Turning Your Sales Organization into a Client-Focused Culture

Wendy Keneipp on August 25, 2014

Insurance agencies are sales and service organizations. The two are interdependent on one another for success. You've got to have great sales people to bring in the business, and you've got to have great people servicing and managing the business in order to keep it. This is a cycle that must be in continuous operation. When one part of it gets stuck or stops doing its job, the whole system breaks down.

We've talked a lot about the role of a sales person and how they need to be continuously selling. Their job shouldn't be to bring in new business for a while and then stop when they feel like it. We call sales people "producers" in the insurance industry is because their job is to produce new business. If they're not producing, then they're not a producer. Pretty simple.

And we've also talked about how leaders are often afraid of these producers, thinking they hold the key to the business and if you mess with them, you mess with your livelihood. However, the thinking around this is flawed, and we see businesses turn themselves inside out with this backwards thinking.

Unless you're running your agency with 1099s who own their books of business, the book actually belongs to the agency, and the agency holds the right to reassign it as it makes the most sense for the clients and the agency. There is a lot of territorial behavior around accounts, but that doesn't make it right – it means the leaders must be strong in their convictions and actions.

Who or what is driving your success?

It's easy to get caught up in the thinking about all this by confusing products, processes, and producers.

  • Do you believe you've seen success because the producer has consistently created it, or is it the process the producer uses that generates the success?
  • Do you believe you've seen success because of the products you sell or because of the process you use to sell the products?

Sure there is going to be overlap in these answers. But if you believe that your success lies with the producers and the products, then you likely don't have a very strong process.

Take a step back to review your process, or lack thereof, and see where the focus of the system is.

  • Is it centered on individual producers and the products you sell?
  • Or is it centered on the client, uncovering their needs, and helping them find solutions?

If it's centered on the producers and products, then you're likely overly dependent on these specific relationships in order to drive your own organizational success.

If it's centered on the client, then you likely have a healthy view of your business and how to grow and develop it into the future.

We strongly believe that creating and systematically following a client-focused process (and holding people accountable to following it), will help you generate unprecedented levels of success.

Here are a couple of resources to help you uncover these potential issues and help see your business in a new light:

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Topics: Leadership + Management