Why Most Insurance Agency Sales Training Falls Short
Author: Susan Toussaint, VP, Growth Solutions and Frank Pennachio, Practice Leader, Growth Solutions | ReSource Pro
HOW INSURANCE BUYERS HAVE CHANGED
Driven by the current digital fatigue and information overload, insurance buyers today are:
• Overwhelmed, time starved, distracted, and stressed
• More risk averse, uncomfortable with change, and likely to defend the status quo
• More likely to utilize a team buying process to spread the risk of the decision
The modern buyer needs more compelling reasons to change than they did in the past, yet few insurance sales training programs have adapted, nor have many producers’ sales processes. Consequently, organic new business growth is eroding, and the gap between the best producers and the laggards is expanding.
Let’s explore three common challenges and issues most sales training programs fail to address.
1. TEAM BUYING
It has become increasingly common for a producer to engage with the CFO, HR Director, Safety Director or Risk Manager, and even the CEO all at the same time and in the same meeting. This strategy of team buying, much like team selling, has introduced new complexities to the sales process.
Typically, buying teams have not agreed on the problems they are solving for, nor the process they will use to select solutions or partners. Producers need to help buying teams address these issues by leading them to a more effective approach to making insurance buying and risk management decisions.
Additionally, team buying can be especially risky for producers who deploy a capabilities presentation early in the sales process. Capabilities presentations—which typically outline the agency’s safety and loss control, human resources, and claims advocacy services—can endanger the entire engagement if presented in the wrong manner, as one or more of the decision makers in the room may perceive it as a threat their job and livelihood. Agency capabilities are indeed valuable to the sales and client retention process, but producers must learn to position and deploy this presentation in a way that fits this new buying process.
2. PRODUCERS ARE NO LONGER PURVEYORS OF INFORMATION
Thanks to the evolution of technology and information, much of the insurance-related information that was previously only shared by producers is now available on-demand. However, this does not mean producers are no longer needed or that their intellectual capital and knowledge is of no value to buyers.
Buyers need effective producers now more than ever. Why? Because information is ubiquitous, while knowledge is scarce. Producers who play the role of informant are no longer necessary, but producers who can assist buyers in navigating complex problems are in high demand.
3. DIFFERENT PRODUCERS HAVE DIFFERENT NEEDS
You will rarely find a group of insurance producers who each possess the same level of experience, technical capabilities, and sales acumen. New and inexperienced producers have very different needs from the recently validated or matured professionals with established books of business. Yet few programs evaluate these individual needs and customize training and coaching to them.
In addition, producers can struggle to create consistently robust pipelines and predictable revenue at any stage of their career. But sales training often omits lead attraction and nurture training, leaving the producer with no one to sell to. New producers, and many other producers for that matter, cannot rely solely on referral networks to get into new business opportunities.
DISCOVER A NEW APPROACH TO YOUR SALES TRAINING
Our profession’s training is fragmented. Most sales trainers assume that producers will receive, or already have their technical training and expertise. They also assume that insurance producers have learned how to attract prospects and build a strong pipeline with predictable results. As a result, countless time and money is frequently invested in programs that ultimately fail to yield results.
READ MORE ABOUT TRENDS IN INSURANCE SELLING:
• The Missing Ingredient: What Buyers Crave, Resist and Rarely Get
• 3 Ways Insurance Brokers Can Help Clients Cut Costs
• Are You Leveraging the Right Team for Cross-Selling?
It’s time for a more effective solution. Empower your sales teams with virtual and customizable training from Growth Solutions. To learn more about why insurance sales training fails, download our full white paper.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please reach out to Robyn Eberhart at [email protected].