Keeping producers motivated and engaged is a key challenge for all agencies. Managing team morale is an ongoing task and definitely not an easy one. When things are good, it’s easy to for producers to rest on their laurels and coast. But at the same time, when things aren’t going so well, their energy, confidence and morale are low.
On average, U.S. companies are running at 33% efficiency, according to Gallup. In other words, employees are producing one-third of what they are being paid to produce. If this problem is affecting the majority of companies across the nation, chances are it’s probably affecting your agency too.
Lack of engagement and motivation on your sales team results in lackluster productivity, wasted talent and resources, and reduced profits. Regardless of where your team currently stands, the fastest way to boost revenues and grow your agency is to tap the full potential of your sales force.
In today’s hypercompetitive marketplace, it’s imperative that your employees produce. Here are eight tips to rev your sales engine and improve producer performance:
1) SMART goals. You can’t get results without a game plan. To keep your sales team accountable for their professional development and ensure they’re hitting targets, introduce SMART goals.
SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Administer this framework when pursuing new opportunities to grow business and serve clients, as well as correcting other issues within your operations.
2) More communication. Your producers are on the ground every day. Meanwhile, managers often operate from the office. That means managers and producers are operating with two different points of view.
Constant and frequent communication is key to gaining a general sense of your sales team’s morale. To ensure you’re all on the same page, gather the team for ideation sessions, strategy sessions, constructive criticism and anonymous feedback. By keeping the channels for communication open, you can more proactively address issues.
3) Show them how it’s done. Who better to fire up your sales team than you? One way to raise the morale of the squad is to roll up your sleeves and get in the trenches. Get on the phones, service customers and share ideas, tips, tricks and stories with the team. Show them the fire and energy that initially built the company.
4) Specialize. Today’s buyer is more sophisticated than ever, and specialized expertise and concierge-level service are necessary to be competitive in today’s market. Let producers operate by their inclinations and allow them to expand their training in various areas in insurance.
Furthermore, you can help your producers to build their network and expand their industry expertise through trade associations, publications, seminars and research opportunities. Invest in their professional development and allow them to explore their interests while you reap the benefits of cultivating niche-experts—it’s a win-win.
5) Gamification. Salespeople are competitive by nature and love games. “Gamify” your sales surge by applying gaming elements to motivate and drive competition amongst your sales team.
Not only that, gamification can instill positive behaviors beyond revenue-producing activities, such as maintaining accurate records and following-up with clients in a timely fashion. Plus, there’s plenty of tools to monitor the numbers as a sports coach would.
6) Empower them. Take stock of the tools your team uses every day in their job. Maybe they’re using outdated systems and tools? You should be auditing your team’s software and equipment for usefulness and redundancy. Technology changes, new tools pop up and old tools become obsolete. You should be frequently considering new tools and getting rid of redundant and unnecessary ones.
7) Team building activities. Day-to-day operations at the office get boring and stale. It sounds cheesy, but team building can be one of the best investments you can make. When was the last time your team celebrated a big win? A fun team-building event boosts the team’s morale and that energy gets carried back into the office, which will boost your bottom-line.
8) Work from home. Today, technology allows for your team to work from anywhere. You hired them to work for you, so you can trust them to work from home and skip the morning commute. Don’t like that idea? Try local workspaces, such as WeWork. They are simple and easy and provide a hip and professional workspace where your team can link up to work together. Either way, work from home days are the perfect incentive for increasing performance.
Producer morale has a direct impact on your organization’s sales productivity. Whether your sales team is in a slump or sales are through the roof, put these ideas in place to increase productivity.
Cam Bob III is founder of Infinity Leads, a customer acquisition agency for independent insurance agencies. In 2018, Bob III was named Young Innovator of the Year by British private equity firm CVC Capital in the development of a cutting-edge digital lead generation system for insurance agencies. Bob III is also the author of “The Digital Insurance Agent,” a step-by-step guide to generating exclusive leads online.