Are you a sales manager who wants to jumpstart your team? Learn seven tips for creating a sales culture that will help your insurance agents thrive.
Managing a team of insurance agents is challenging no matter how many years of experience you have. As team members come and go, there’s always a shift in personalities and work styles. An efficient way of maintaining stability within your office is creating a sales culture that promotes good communication and an open exchange of ideas. Whether you are managing a brand new team or joining a long-established work team, here are eight tips for creating a sales culture that will help your agents thrive.
1. Create, review, or revise your company’s mission statement
What are your company’s values? What is the mission statement for your agency? Is it clear, simple, and meaningful? Reflect on your internal and external policies and procedures, to make sure they align with your mission statement. Use your mission statement as a guiding principle from which to base your team’s goals.
2. Hire the right people
Character fit is important when creating a sales culture that is successful. Take advantage of useful personality and skills-based questionnaires to understand the strengths of your team. Tools like Myers Briggs and Clifton Strengths Quest are just a couple of indexes that can highlight desirable skills and strengths to look for in the hiring process. Use creative interview questions like, “How would your friends describe you?” and “How would your co-workers describe your work style?” These types of questions offer a glimpse into a prospective agent’s personality.
3. Cut your losses (and bad employees)
No sales manager likes firing people. (And if you do, consider that a red flag to seek professional guidance). Sometimes, though, it’s just not a good fit. When creating a sales culture it’s important to know that not every employee will be a perfect match. Now that’s not to say you should go on a firing spree the moment an employee doesn’t meet expectations. There are plenty of mentoring techniques and management performance plans that can improve a situation. But if time goes by and an agent continues to struggle, have an honest conversation about what you’re both looking for. If your ideals aren’t matching up, offer to help that employee find a better match elsewhere.
4. Set clear expectations, goals, vision
Creating a sales culture that empowers your agents and boosts your bottom line requires clear expectations from leadership. Setting concrete goals and maintaining a consistent vision helps make sure all agents are on the same page. That’s not to say that expectations and goals can’t shift. When shifts happen in your goals, make sure everyone comes together to understand the shift. Transparency and communication are key when changing focus.
5. Build solid training programs and onboarding schedules
Education is key to creating a sales culture that encourages lifelong learning and professional growth. What programs and trainings do you provide for new agents joining your company? Do you encourage continuing education for your current agents? Whether an agent is brand new to your team or a veteran, a sales culture that promotes education will keep your team engaged in your industry and hungry for growth opportunities.
6. Celebrate successes
It’s easy to get bogged down in any sales industry by making monthly quotas and hitting financial goals. But don’t forget to take some time to celebrate your team’s success. Creating a sales culture that boosts morale, will help retain stellar agents. Recognize individual and team contributions regularly and publicly. Find ways for your agents to give each other “shoutouts” and accolades when they go above and beyond in their work.
7. Keep everyone in the loop
Creating a sales culture of transparency is important now more than ever. Especially since many insurance agencies have moved to a remote or hybrid model where not everyone is in the same room. Be sure to schedule “all hands” meetings for remote and in-person agents for teams to share regular updates and industry news. Build a routine around regular meetings so that your sales team knows to come prepared with information and questions.
8. Mediate conflicts
Sales teams are like families. There are many different personalities and work styles. Unfortunately, conflicts happen. One of the sales manager’s responsibilities is creating a sales culture of respect. As a sales manager, that means leading by example and offering mediation when needed.
Creating a sales culture that aligns with your company’s mission takes time and energy from all employees. Carve out the extra time by taking cold-calling and lead generation off your team’s plate. The technology and insurance experts at HBW Leads will deliver double-verified and exclusive leads to your team.