Smart & Effective Ways to Structure Your Insurance Sales Team
Your insurance agency is only as good as its people, and your insurance agents are a particularly important part of your agency development efforts. That being said, an insurance agency’s efficiency and productivity aren’t only improved by the agents you recruit; it also matters how you choose to structure your team of insurance agents.
As an agency principal, it’s your job to create a balanced team and distribute responsibilities appropriately. We’ve asked the top producing agencies and their principals to share what methods they use to organize and structure their insurance agency. The best answers are below.
Agents have found that the most effective sales teams are structured in “pods” or “swarms,” with account executives, solution specialists, customer success representatives, and technical salespeople all working together on a set of accounts. With this structure, teams have shared responsibility for their overall success, and learn to work effectively with strengths and challenges for each team member.
Implementing a hybrid supervisor role allowing for a front-line insurance agent to take on supervisory responsibilities, but also continue with individual production has been successful in one high-producing agency. The hybrid supervisor provides for a career path for individual insurance agents who also want to dip their toes into management, and also disperses managerial work and creates a talent pipeline for future leadership roles.
An Outside-In Client-First Structure
Too many insurance agencies build sales team with an eye toward what works internally, not what works for beneficiaries. Think about your insurance products and services from a prospect’s perspective: What barriers do beneficiaries face? What do they need from you? What’s their buying process? To meet their needs, think from the outside in and structure your department in a way that makes sense externally.
Diversity of Experiences
Successful insurance agencies are comprised of individual agents from all walks of life with diverse experiences. Try taking a moment to identify personal strengths and weaknesses before assigning responsibilities as opposed to being fixated on the traditional “job duties.” Placing this concept at the forefront of building the insurance agency and assigning responsibilities truly maximizes the results.
Utility Players + Technical Experts
In an ever-evolving technological industry, agile and adaptive players are essential to an insurance agency’s core. Pair these “utility infielders” with focused technical sales experts, diverse in tenure and the role. An agency well-rounded in perspective and experience is inherently balanced, and its individuals grow out of the collaboration.
It seems like an obvious decision for your top insurance agent to become a sales manager when the opportunity arises. A word of caution – just because someone can sell, does not mean they can manage people. This can create a double tragedy in your agency, as you will have the wrong person managing your insurance agents and you will lose the production of your most reliable performer.
Insurance agencies that build an efficient and effective sales team focus on the people. It’s crucial to hire the right insurance agents for the right positions and empower them to make decisions based on their position within the team. In some cases, people will need to be shifted around to ensure the organization thrives. Keep your eye on the people and empower them to be the best they can and you will win.
“Setters” and “Spikers”
Having a robust analytical person on every sales team who can speak to the agency principal with a strong CFO background, while also having an active, charismatic salesperson who can talk to the enthusiastic or emotional CEO is a great idea. The contrast of talents will close more deals. At times, one is the setter while the other spikes or visa versa. It is teamwork at its best.
Organize your insurance agency by specialization to highly your agents’ talents and create an efficient unit. Whether you divide your group based on skills in prospectings, technical knowledge, or negotiation, you’ll get the right people in the right roles to create a balanced team. Your employees are more likely to enjoy their work if they’re contributing to increasing sales numbers.
If you’re looking for more agency building recommendations, programs, or techniques, Agent Pipeline can help you identify a structure that works for you. We go above and beyond to ensure your organization is compliant and equipped with products, market knowledge, and branding management.
Give us a call at 800-962-4693 and speak with your Regional Consultant to learn more about recruitment and expansion today!