Before you could answer the title question of this blog, you would first need to have a sales process. Maybe you don’t have one yet, but would like to. This is Part 2 of series on sales processes, so first, read Part 1.
As an agency owner, you may be saying to yourself, “it sounds complicated, and God knows my staff and I are already just so busy. What is a sales process anyway?”
A sales process is your organization’s best practices for winning business. Take a look at what you and your top performers consistently do to win deals. Preferably, you have analyzed the data in your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and discovered from past wins and losses what works and what does not (if you don’t have a CRM, look here at why you should). You disseminate that golden knowledge to your whole team so everyone is on the same page on how best to bring in the deals.
David Brock of Partners in Excellence says, “If your sales process isn’t producing these four outcomes, then it’s a bad process–fix it! If your people aren’t using the sales process, then they aren’t maximizing their impact–fix it! If you aren’t reinforcing the use of the sales process in all your reviews and coaching, then you aren’t fulfilling your responsibility as a leader–fix it!”
The 4 Must-Haves of Your Sales Process
- Does it improve win rates?
It seems simple, but VERY often I see agents using a process designed to make things easier on themselves, but not necessarily what gets the best sales results. Execute the activities that you know bring in the most revenue for the agency.
- Does it shorten the sales cycle?
A good sales process creates focus. It eliminates waste and helps your agents move buyers through the process as quickly and efficiently as possible. Time is money. Do what brings deals in early and often.
- Does it maximize deal profitability?
How often do you notice your agent’s deals left money on the table because they didn’t ask just one more pertinent question? Or how often has a deal come in, but with zero referrals in tow? How about a simple focus on the type of business that is most profitable or comes with additional carrier bonuses?
- Does it align with your customer’s buying process?
We need to sell the way customers want to buy. If you hear your agents saying something like, “Well, that’s the way we’ve always done it,” or “I’ve been selling insurance for 30 years this way,” you might need to see if your agency process is aligned with today’s modern consumer. Modern consumers want to buy on their own schedule and access your info on their smartphones (So I hope you have a mobile-friendly website as well).
Rather than try to convince you that investing a little time in crafting your sales process is worth it, I will simply say, it is hard to argue with results.
Kimberly Dickerson of the Dickerson Agency said it this way, ”The biggest benefit to me as an owner is the bottom line. The numbers are up. We had our best year in 25 years in business.”
In the next blog in this series, we will go into what you really need in terms of data and technology to optimize your sales process. Stay tuned.