Cheers to a new year, new insurance agency goals! As the year comes to an end, it is time for agencies to evaluate how the past year has gone and what they want to do to grow in the upcoming year. Successful business leaders understand that developing a concrete business plan and implementing it strategically throughout the year is the best way to promote growth and ensure that goals are being met.
Develop a Business Plan for the Upcoming Year
Agencies should begin by analyzing their industry and how the company has been performing. Look at market research about the current buyer personas and see how well the company has been measuring up. Interview current clients and see if they can offer any insight into how well the company is performing overall. A successful agency will provide a quality client experience from the first interaction with the brand to the last, so analyze every stage of the buyer’s journey, including questions such as:
How well the content is produced and is it meeting the need of clients?
How well are the marketing measures reaching their intended audience?
How responsive are marketing teams and sales representatives to client inquiries?
Do clients find sales teams helpful or pushy?
What drives the clients who convert, to convert?
What prevents other potential clients from making the conversion?
What type of support and follow up is offered after a purchase?
When insurance agencies can pinpoint answers to these questions, they will be better able to develop a concrete plan for meeting their clients’ needs and growing their business. Agencies should outline how each of their departments will be addressing these various areas and working together to promote agency growth.
How to Measure Success
Once the plan for the upcoming year has been determined, the agency should determine how success will be measured. They should have systems in place to help them analyze their leads and look at information such as:
Where are the leads coming from?
Which leads progress down the rest of the sales funnel and which ones do not?
What marketing efforts that are leading to the most leads and the most clients?
What is the cost per lead and the cost per client and how it does it compare to past years?
How well are the goals outlined in the business plan being met?
Following Up on the Business Plan
Using the above measurements, agency leaders should regularly convene to discuss their progress. The data gleaned from the analysis will give the agency hard numbers that they can compare to their outlined business plan and see where their strengths and weaknesses lie. With the numbers in front of them, the departments will be able to rely on data rather than feelings or intuition to determine their respective successes. The meetings can then be used to propose solutions about how to improve the weakest areas and further streamline processes. These regular meetings will also improve communication throughout the agency, which will enhance efficiency and teamwork. The various departments will be more inclined to view each other as teammates rather than competition.
Developing a successful business plan and taking the time to measure it and adjust as needed will help any agency grow in the New Year. As preparations for the start of 2015 get underway, all companies should make a resolution to follow these steps, and they will get the year off to a fantastic start.