Why More Agencies are Focusing on Sales Coaching

As top insurance agents are retiring, newly licensed individuals are coming into the market with far less experience in sales. According to the research conducted by The BridgeGroup, even a requirement of 1-2 years of experience is giving way to hiring insurance agents straight out of college or those recently licensed. This lack of expertise in early-career sales roles and the need for rapid improvement after initial training has put sales coaching on the tip of every agency’s tongue as they look for new ways to help new agents outperform competitors.

The demand is so high; even tech companies are taking advantage of this opportunity and responding with brand new sales coaching platforms.

What’s the difference between sales coaching and sales training?

Sales training refers to an event or series of events related to a “baseline education.” Sales coaching, on the other hand, implies an ongoing relationship between agents and managers, with continued optimization and improvement. The scope of coaching ranges from process enforcement to the enhancement of the sales conversation.

Why should I be coaching my staff?

Sales training programs are commonly developed as a “boot camp” that lasts for weeks (or even months) before newly recruited agents are “up and running.” The reality is most agencies do not want to wait that long to see if the agents have what it takes to be successful. Coaching focuses on building incremental improvements over time rather than trying to cram knowledge in at once.

When you consider what agents must learn (i.e., product specifics, marketing tactics and guidelines, carrier details, unique sales methods, etc.), you usually find it is quickly forgotten.

Sales coaching has also grown more critical as agencies have rediscovered the importance of conversation skills and relationship building techniques, which are best taught by coaching. In particular, the lack of phone skills among millennials is a well-documented business phenomenon that cuts across all industries, but especially insurance (i.e., appointment setting, follow-ups, cold-calls.)

Why leaders choose to coach

The benefits of sales coaching are clear. With an on-going relationship, you can measure the actual effectiveness of coaching across several hierarchical management layers. Additionally, agencies can now address common data-driven questions. Coaching offers up to address five basic needs:

  • Increased visibility into performance assessment
  • Better access to communication
  • The ability to give agents feedback in real-time
  • The capability to set clearer objectives
  • The power to measure improvements in agency performance over time

Getting your agents involved in a mentoring program with contact training, developing and coaching leads to constant improvement and more closed sales, and with more closed sales comes more compensation.

Agent Pipeline offers assistance with agency building programs, training, and additional tools to help grow your business. For more information on the opportunities for you and your agency, please contact a Regional Sales Director in your market by calling 800-962-4693.