This week MarshBerry takes a look back at three articles from a year ago to determine if predictions were on point.
This week, in Today’s ViewPoint, MarshBerry takes a look back at three articles from a year ago to determine if predictions were on point.
The second article in the series looks back at Prospecting During the Pandemic.
This time last year, the world only started to settle into the “new normal” of social distancing and working from home. It didn’t take long for MarshBerry’s consultants to receive requests for guidance on how to pivot prospecting activities. It was recommended that producers remain steadfast by increasing their efforts to build prospect lists, establish relationships while business activity was quiet, and adjust their short and long-term strategies accordingly so that when the right selling moment occurs, they were ready to deliver. Not so much of a prediction here but, according to results, your teams put their heads down and got to work.
If your firm is looking to reenergize its team as business begin to reopen, here are three steps to take. Now.
Step 1: Define Your Niche
MarshBerry recommends firms take a closer look at their book to anticipate how clients and industries could continue to be impacted by the pandemic. The goal of a book analysis exercise is to anticipate leakage or adjust new business targets. Even though the insurance industry was one of the least impacted by COVID-19, your insureds may not have been so lucky. Industries hit the hardest over the past year include travel and leisure, oil and gas, and retailers. The industries anticipated to take the longest to recover to pre-pandemic performance are transportation and manufacturing. The goal is to stabilize existing clients in these niches, but also secure new business from industries that have benefited from the pandemic such as technology, medical, and consumer goods and materials.
Step 2: Research Companies and Key Decision Makers
Gone are the days of casually catching up with a prospect over lunch to build a relationship. MarshBerry anticipated prospect research would be more important than ever given the pivot to selling in a virtual and more socially distant environment. Researching a prospect can be done through multiple avenues like websites or social media but the most powerful information is the data your sales team captures in a CRM. However, according to MarshBerry’s Sales Culture Assessments, technology remains the worst performing sales culture category compared to sales leadership, performance management, and people development. More specifically, the last 12-months of aggregate data collected from our clients’ rate sales technology adoption and proficient utilization at 48%; therefore, the insurance industry has a lot to gain from focusing on sales technology improvement!
Step 3: Leverage your Network – Ask for the Introduction
MarshBerry sales coaches have seen great success from producers sharpening their social selling skills to identify shared connections with prospects. Many users have become more familiar with technology like video conferencing and social medial as means to stay connected during the pandemic. In fact, LinkedIn continues to experience record levels of engagement with an average 26% increase in activity since the COVID-19 pandemic began, making it a thriving environment to warm up leads and ask your connections for an introduction.1
Today, we know 2020 resulted in one of the strongest new business years for some firms and producers. The commonality between those firms is the strength of their pipeline before the pandemic as opposed to trying to build a pipeline after the world shut down. These successful firms serve as a friendly reminder to encourage healthy and consistent prospecting habits to hit new business goals despite a pandemic.
If you have questions about Today’s ViewPoint, or would like to learn more about creating your competitive advantage in today's environment, please email or call Brooke Lugonjic, Vice President - Connect Network, at 616.828.0741.
Chart Source: MarshBerry Sales Culture Assessment Report - 2020 Client Aggregate