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CONTROLLING THE UPSIDE

Posted by Frank Cox on March 17, 2021

Driving predictable, profitable organic growth is critical to the success of any insurance agency or brokerage.

While much as changed over the course of this past year – one thing has not. Driving predictable, profitable organic growth, or PPOG, is critical to the success of any insurance agency or brokerage.

Recently, MarshBerry highlighted the importance of sales velocity - or new business as a percentage of prior year commissions and fees. Specifically, if a firm can minimize its leakage, or lost business, while maintaining the same sales velocity, its organic growth rate will increase. So, if you’re driving sales velocity and your organic growth increases – that’s PPOG, right?

Not so fast.

When looking to drive PPOG, there are four key variables to focus on and measure if you want true organic book growth. These are all factors that you can control:

  1. Number of Active Opportunities: Is your firm actively tracking opportunities
    • Producers should have a minimum of 5-10 active deals in their pipeline at any given time with each having a 50% chance or more to close.

  2. Average Deal Size: What is the average size of all deals won?
    • Understanding this key factor is one of the fastest ways to grow your overall book of business.

  3. Win or Conversion Rate: Which metrics are more predictive?
    • There are several conversion ratios to measure - from prospecting to presentations. However, understanding your closed opportunities vs. all open opportunities is a great place to start. Then, reverse engineer to get a clear line of sight on each of the other ratios.
  1. Average Sales Cycle: How many days does it take for an opportunity to close?
    • A good rule of thumb for Property & Casualty Firms is 60 – 90 days; for Employee Benefit Firms it is 90 – 120 days.

Build these key variables into producer business plans and review monthly - at a minimum. Your sales velocity will thank you for it. Here is an example of the new business a producer can predict to write if used correctly and monitored.

 

If your firm focuses on improving each of the key areas above – your lagging indicator (sales per year) will drive your sales velocity. When these leading indicators improve, you will write more new business than you did the year prior.

Not sold? Just look at the difference in sales velocity between Average and the Best 25% of firms. According to MarshBerry’s proprietary financial management system, Perspectives for High Performance, the Best 25% of firms are outpacing average firms.

How are the Best 25% achieving these rates – especially in a pandemic? They’re:

  • Focusing on PPOG key variables to predict top line new business growth.
  • Conducting frequent sales huddles; weekly is ideal.
  • Leveraging team selling with SME resources to close business.
  • Utilizing time previously designated for travel for virtual huddles, strategic planning for clients, and training sessions to improve sales acumen.
  • Searching for quality opportunities vs. quantity.
  • Adding value to their clients by impacting their Total Cost of Risk.

These are simple steps. Often times, it is the return to the basics of selling discipline that accelerate sales velocity and reduce leakage.

If you have questions about Today’s ViewPoint or would like to learn more about driving predictable, profitable organic growth for your firm, please email or call Frank Cox, Senior Vice President, at 616.426.8522.

 

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*Source: MarshBerry's proprietary financial benchmarking system, Perspectives for High Performance. Preliminary 2020 data as of 3/15/21. L&H: Life & Health; P&C: Property & Casualty
 
MarshBerry continues to be the #1 sell side advisor in the industry (as ranked by S&P Global). If you're considering selling your firm, we are the best choice to help you through the complicated process. If you don’t hire MarshBerry, hire a reputable advisor that can help you navigate one of the most important business decisions you will ever make. You will be much better off having an advisor in your corner that knows the industry than trying to do this on your own.

Topics: insurance, brokers, sales, agencies, organic growth, lift, leakage, new business, sales velocity

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