I often hear insurance and benefits producers complain about their service team:

  • "The spreadsheets are 'never' correct."
  • "They aren't sophisticated enough to support the type of business I want to write."
  • "I constantly get pulled into service issues they should handle."

If true, these are legitimate complaints, and they need to be addressed.

The thing is, most of these producers want to hold their team to a higher standard than they meet themselves. These same producers don't spend enough time prospecting, have less than adequate pipelines, and are coming nowhere close to meeting their sales potential.

Suppose a producer was prospecting consistently, maintained a healthy pipeline, and regularly brought in new business. In that case, I am pretty sure the agency's leadership team would ensure the foundation was there to support the business and the producer. If not, I'd be looking for a new home as a producer.

What came first?

Is this a bit of a chicken and egg scenario? Maybe. But the one variable a producer can control is their performance.

When leadership can see that their sales (revenue-generation) team is consistently firing on all cylinders, it becomes easy to invest in improving and expanding the service (revenue-protection) team.

The producer’s pipeline is the crystal ball into future revenue that gives the leadership team confidence to make additional investments.

You’re on the same team

Does all of this sound familiar? If this excuse for not producing is used regularly in your agency, whether you’re the owner or the producer, I would strongly encourage the following “mutual commitment” to be put in place.

The producer needs to commit to prospecting and selling the volume and sophistication of accounts that warrant an additional investment into the support team. The producer also needs to provide some support for quickly acquired accounts in the short term.

In exchange, the agency leaders need to hire and or train the level of talent required to support this type of production in the long term. The owner and the sales team need to be meeting regularly to monitor the producer's pipeline to ensure the support is there when needed.

If either party, producer or owner, can’t get on board with this type of mutual commitment, the other should take that as a huge RED FLAG.

 

Photo by feverpitched