It’s planning season and our annual planning guides are available for download! Regardless of your company’s size – a couple of people or a couple hundred – all insurance agencies, solution partner companies, and their salespeople need strategic plans for the coming year.

Without a plan of what you want to accomplish in key areas, how do you know if you’ve had a successful year? How do you know if you’ve made progress? How do you know if you’ve had growth and achieved goals? Wishing, hoping, and winging it are common approaches.

However, growth-focused organizations take a strategic, planned approach to ensuring their growth and predictable results.

Start with the producers

Assign each producer to reflect on their role and their pipeline and how they will bring strong, if not record-breaking, new business into the organization. Insurance agencies and solution providers are all sales or growth organizations, and as such, you should always be striving to share your message with people who can benefit from the work you do.

A producer’s role, by definition, is to produce new business. It’s not to produce business until they’re personally comfortable and then turn into a highly-commissioned account manager sitting on a book of business.

It’s your business and your call on how you manage this dynamic. Our recommendation is that salespeople are responsible for always producing and bringing new revenue and new opportunities into the organization.

The producer plan consists of three key elements:

  1. Where you are today – Take a look at your current situation of your role as a salesperson, your role in the company, and your personal book of business.
  2. Where you want to go – Put some quality thought into having a clear understanding of who your ideal client is, what a realistic goal is for the year, and what you want your personal KPIs (key performance indicators) to look like.
  3. How will you get there – Now for the accountability pieces of how you’re going to accomplish your goals for the year. What behaviors will you have, what skills will you develop, who will help you hold yourself accountable, and what will you theme be that drives your thoughts and activity throughout the year?

Download Q4i Producer Annual Plan here. 👇

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Wrap it up into the agency plan

Insurance agencies are often led by a highly productive salesperson, which is great for growth but not always the best for leadership. The two skill sets don’t naturally come together. No shame in it; just create a plan to manage around it.

Either commit to following a planning process yourself as the leader, or have a team lead the planning process with your involvement. Both can work as long as you get the planning done and have procedures to ensure consistent activity and follow-through on the plans.

The agency plan consists of six key elements:

  1. Net revenue – What revenue goals are your producers going to achieve? Wrap up their individual plans into the agency plan. Does it add up to what you want as an organization? If so, great! If not, factor that into the balance of your planning and determine what changes you need to achieve higher revenue numbers.
  2. Marketing – How will you use marketing to support new business activities and help attract the attention of the businesses you want in your agency portfolio? What will a successful year look like if you intentionally focus on a marketing presence?
  3. Sales – How will you approach the sales team and sales process this year to support the agency's appetite for continuously attracting and closing new business? What will a successful year look like if you intentionally focus on the sales team and promote their ability to grow?
  4. Service – How will you deliver on a consistent experience that delights your clients and not only makes them want to continue working with your company but recommend you to others? What will a successful year look like if you intentionally focus on processes for your client experience?
  5. Leadership – How will you lead your team this year to ensure everyone knows the company plan and goals and how their roles contribute? What will a successful year look like if you intentionally focus on leading your team and communicating with them regularly?
  6. Communication – How will you communicate the plan to your team as you kick off the year and how will you keep them informed on the results throughout the year? Outline a schedule for a regular cadence of communications.

Focus on this one year. Don’t try to make your plan into the ideal scenario of what you ultimately want to accomplish with your business as its legacy. Instead, be very honest with yourself about where you are today as an organization, and select the few most important changes you can implement THIS YEAR to start moving the needle.

You don’t need perfection, and you don’t need to do it all at once. Take everyone along on the journey with you and have them help carry the load. It’s much easier when you don’t need to be the only person doing all the thinking and work to make change and growth a focus for your company.

But you do need to get started.

Download Q4i Agency Annual Plan here. 👇

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Download our producer planning guide and agency planning guide to get your salespeople and your company on track for an excellent year of growth and improvement at a manageable and achievable pace. What you’ll find are the basics of a good plan:

  1. Take inventory of your current situation.
  2. Include a projection of what you want to accomplish in the coming year.
  3. With those two endpoints, you can create a plan of how to move between the two.

Happy planning! Have questions? Feel free to reach out and ask.