What does your insurance agency consider to be the stages of its sales funnel? If you can answer that question, you’re ahead of the game. Even though it can provide an easy framework for converting leads into closed sales, many companies have not identified their sales funnel. Insurance agency sales organizations often have the same challenge.
But what exactly is an insurance agency sales funnel (also known as revenue funnel or sales process)? It’s the buying and decision-making process that companies lead customers through when purchasing products or services.
6 Phases of the Sales Funnel for Prospects and Customers
Often, companies divide their funnels into phases. Here are six of the most common phases:
- Awareness – This is the phase in which your prospects become aware of your business and the solutions you can offer to their problems and pain points.
- Interest – During this phase, prospects demonstrate interest in your products and services. They may do this by conducting product research.
- Evaluation – After their research, prospects often weigh your solutions against those of your competitors.
- Decision – Just like it sounds, this is the phase in which prospects decide if they are going to purchase your solution.
- Purchase – Again, this phase is self-explanatory.
- Re-evaluation – Don’t discount the importance of the post-purchasing phase. As your clients become more familiar with your products and services, they will continue to assess how well they work as a solution to their problems and pain points. They may even be approached by other insurance brokers who would like to take their business. Your clients will frequently re-evaluate whether or not they want to continue doing business with you.
Building Your Insurance Agency Sales Funnel
OK, so now we know the process your prospects will go through as they travel through the insurance agency sales funnel. But how do you identify the specific steps your agency must take to lead them from unknown entities to paying clients?
First, apply some sales funnel fundamentals. Consider the tools you can use to identify leads, drive them to your agency, qualify those leads and eventually close a sale. For example, you might write a daily blog that draws readers from your ideal customer demographic. You might use social media as a tool for lead generation. Zywave partners often build an email list and send regular updates to both prospects and clients using the tools in Broker Briefcase.
Next, establish a step-by-step process for employing those tools in a personalized sales funnel. The best way to do this is to plan the funnel backward. For instance, you might have a large, flagship product or package of services that you are hoping to sell to a prospect. But even if your prospect is already aware of your business and interested in your offerings, most people are reluctant to purchase something expensive before you’ve walked them through the evaluation and decision phases that we discussed above.
But before you can sell, you’ll need to offer something else that convinces the prospect to trust you with their business. Content is key to helping your clients self-educate and advance through the sales funnel.
Walk yourself backward from your end goal (closing the sale) to your initial step (identifying the prospect). At each step in the process, ask yourself, “What is this person likely to need from me before they are willing to take this step?” Your steps might end up looking something like this:
A backward plan for a sales funnel process:
6. Flagship product
5. Introductory product
4. Free informational offering
3. Email opt-in campaign
2. Blog visits or comments
1. Social media interaction
The process might not be this cut and dried. You may have to repeat some steps with many of your prospects. Sometimes, you have to interact on social media multiple times before a prospect visits your blog. Some prospects may visit your blog on several occasions before they opt into your email list. And sometimes a list subscriber may go backward through the funnel and need a little more encouragement through social media before they are ready to make a purchase.
The important thing is that you take a little time to work out your own insurance agency’s sales funnel and identify the process you must take prospects through before closing a sale.