When you set your business goals at the beginning of the year, did you foresee a pandemic?
Even the best business plans can get thrown off by external events. However, while the entire global economy regains its footing, it’s a perfect time to adjust your growth plan and build your sales funnel.
In sales, you need to have a constant stream of new opportunities entering “the top of the funnel.” If you’re not familiar with this analogy, the top, or widest part of the funnel, is where all the leads enter the sales process. As prospects move through the funnel, a percentage of them are lost or delayed, but what emerges through the bottom are successfully-closed opportunities.
Because not every new lead will end up being a client, you need a healthy sales funnel to expand your business and exceed your growth targets. This strategy can require a little back-of-the-envelope math to determine what percentage of leads become clients. For instance, do you have ten leads for every one new client? This cursory analysis will help you determine how big of a funnel you need to build.
Think back to the business goals you set at the beginning of the year. What areas did you identify as growth opportunities? Did you expect to sell more lines of insurance to existing clients? Or did you intend to bring new clients into the agency?
Both existing and prospective clients can go into the funnel. Historically, existing clients will have a higher close rate since you already have a relationship, but it’s essential to track them in the same way as new prospects.
We refer new contacts added to the funnel as “leads,” and they should have verified contact information, and may even be a referral. Whether you have your eye on a particular target market (Automotive Centers, for example), or are starting from scratch, here are a few tried and true tactics to build your lead flow:
While in-person networking events are momentarily on hold, finding a group of like-minded people offers excellent networking opportunities. From church groups or volunteer organizations to local chambers of commerce or golf leagues, these groups allow you to connect in a meaningful way. If these organizations have suspended in-person meetings, see if they have a Facebook group or other method they communicate with each other online.
You’re proud to be an insurance agent, right? Then tell people! Everyone does something for a living, and people enjoy helping their friends and colleagues. Don’t be afraid to ask for a referral!
Providing value for free is one of the best ways to create a digital following. Using communication technology is easier than ever, and most people enjoy connecting from their own office. Plan a presentation of no more than 20 minutes and teach your prospects about workers’ compensation.
Your website does not have to be complicated, but it does need to look and sound current. It also needs to offer a compelling reason to contact you. Consider adding a blog or other valuable content where you can direct prospects so they can see a sample of your offerings.
Most businesses utilize LinkedIn to network and find support when they need it. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is working hard for you, even when you’re sleeping.
It’s helpful to identify the different stages a prospect goes through in moving from a lead to a client. As we mentioned, a lead may turn out to be a quality contact, so what’s the next step? Tracking their progress is important in predicting how many new leads you can expect to convert into clients.
Every person will have their own system, but one example of sales funnel stages could be:
It could be a referral or a person you’re targeting within an organization. Next step: meeting.
Meet with the prospect (either virtually or in-person), having researched their organization and determined likely needs. Uncover their specific needs, requirements, and budget. Next step: proposal/quote.
Provide the prospect with a comprehensive solution to address all identified requirements. Next step: Close.
This could also end with the prospect making a different decision, in which case you can decide to nurture them so you can get their business in the future.
Of course, this is a simple example of a sales process, and you may decide to add layers to your own to provide more visibility into how the opportunity is progressing. Whatever system you use, be sure to track your progress, make lots of notes, and nurture your prospects through valuable communication and expertise.
If you’re looking to expand your agency and include workers’ compensation in your offerings, Normandy Insurance would like to talk to you. We offer generous compensation, and pride ourselves on our exceptional customer service. Become an agent with Normandy!