No matter your company’s goals—whether that be to drive more bookings, increase retention or build your brand—improving your sales and marketing strategies is critical.
Here are my five sales and marketing tips to help insurance organizations, no matter your size, kickstart your 2021 initiatives.
1. Clean Up Your Data
First and foremost, you have to look at your data. Now is the perfect time to do a spring cleaning of your database. In my 13+ years working in insurance and having conversations with brokers and agents every day, one of the biggest mistakes I see businesses make is not having clean data.
Having incomplete or inaccurate information in your database will absolutely hinder your sales and marketing efforts.
Now is the time to give your data a good scrub. Look for ways to eliminate duplicate data and complete your clients’ and prospects’ contact information. At a minimum, I recommend having their account name, contact name and email address on file. After all, it’s 2021, you need email addresses for all of your contacts. Having a phone number is not enough.
2. Organize Your Content
Over the years, I’ve seen more insurance organizations using content to build their brand and showcase their expertise. Using content is a great way to establish yourself as a thought leader and show why you are a trusted advisor in your market. This helps build people’s trust and get them excited about working with you.
What next-level companies are doing, though, is thinking about how to organize that content. It’s not enough to just have content, you need to think about how it’s stored and shared between everyone at your agency. Where does your content live now? Is it in one central location, or do you have seven individual producers all with different stuff saved on their desktops?
Especially in today’s digital environment, keeping track of all your content is essential. A centralized content management system helps eliminate guesswork for your producers and account management team who are working directly with your customers.
Take the time to really think about your approach from the top-down. Do you want your agency to only send content you’ve created? What about content from third parties or carriers? Is everything you’re sending out accurate, reliable and representative of your brand and who you want to be?
The more thoughtful and systematic you are about your content strategy, the more efficient your team can be and the quicker you can build a strong reputation in the market.
3. Elevate Your Communication Strategy
Throughout my career, I’ve worked with agencies of all sizes, from the top 100 firms to the one-person shops and everything in between. What I’ve seen across the board, especially at smaller to mid-size shops, is a lack of a marketing strategy and communication plan.
Here at Zywave, we offer solutions to help automate your communication strategy and increase touchpoints. But there are simple steps you can do on your own as well. For example, create a rough outline of all the different services you offer and what you can bring to the table that is truly unique.
From there, you can slowly build your messaging into campaigns and trickle out those messages throughout the year. You don’t want to be the broker who waits until renewal or there’s a problem to reach out. You want to proactively provide value to your clients.
Think about a bow and arrow. Right now, oftentimes individual producers go out and make a lot of cold calls or send a fury of emails without a formal strategy in place. They pull back that bow and it only goes 3 feet.
However, if you take the time to truly organize your data, centralize your content and develop your marketing strategy, now when those same producers go to pull back the bow and release, you have trajectory. You’ve been thoughtful and intentional and you aren’t just shooting from the hip. That’s what is going to help you move the needle and level up your communication strategy.
4. Automate Whatever You Can
Next comes automation, which I’ve alluded to already. Just think of your personal life and the things you automate like your 401(k) or paying your credit card or mortgage. The more manual work you can eliminate through automation, the more likely it is to happen.
So think about it, how can you automate your communications so your outreach isn’t just reactive, but proactive? Sending ready-to-go email campaigns with legislative updates or wellness resources can help you provide value to your clients even when they aren’t outwardly asking for anything. This proactive outreach is huge with clients of course, but it’s also critical for prospects. It helps you stay on their radar and create a future at-bat, so you can show your value before even asking for a meeting.
And these changes don’t necessarily have to be huge. They could be as simple as creating a set of email templates so you aren’t reinventing the wheel with every communication, or developing a cadence for contacting prospects and documenting your progress.
Of course, if you want look beyond communication and marketing automation, there are ton of areas where you can explore automation when it comes to things like quoting and proposals. These are all labor-intensive tasks that require a lot of number crunching and time in spreadsheets. Automation is what will allow you pull that bow all the way back and take a strong shot in the year ahead.
5. Don’t Underestimate LinkedIn
Last, but not least, you need to look to LinkedIn and social selling. I believe LinkedIn is a super underutilized platform within the insurance industry, and there’s a ton of potential for producers, agencies and other insurance professionals to capitalize on this.
I challenge you this year to look for new ways to grow your network and share valuable and engaging content on LinkedIn. This is a challenge I took myself last year, and I grew my network from a few hundred contacts to more 10,000. Expanding your network helps broaden the reach of your message, build your brand and turn you into someone that people are excited to do business with.
If you aren’t sure what to post, look for inspiration from other leaders in the insurance space or make reviewing industry publications a part of your workflow. Share articles and resources that you know your target audience will care about. If you’re a Zywave partner, you can also share content directly from the Content Cloud to your LinkedIn Page. This is a simple way to curate content without spending too much extra time looking for relevant things to post about.
Someone is waiting for you to step up and provide thought leadership and value in your marketplace. I encourage you to speak up and own it. Make LinkedIn a priority for yourself and your team this year.
I hope you found these tips useful! Leave a comment below if you have questions or want to share a tip that has worked well for you. I’d love to hear your thoughts.