As an Insurance agent, you always try best practices to increase your sales. To do that, you need a marketing strategy. Carefully choosing and adjusting your marketing strategy is, of course, an ongoing process. But, how can you increase your level of confidence that you’re making the right decisions on your marketing strategy? For that, you set up an insurance sales pipeline; so that you can know what it takes to get where you want to go.
An insurance sales pipeline is a system that allows you to methodically organize your sales and outreach efforts; so you can maximize your sales, by effectively organising and tracking individual leads (prospects). Viewed from a different angle, an insurance sales pipeline is a visual snapshot of where prospects are in the sales process.
However, as an insurance agent, you need to define what your sales process is, so that you can transform it into an insurance sales pipeline.
You need a system to keep track of what’s going on and effectively convert prospects to clients. At any given time, leads are at a different point along your process. Notwithstanding, you should be able to answer the following questions.
These are just a few of the questions that you’ll be able to answer once you’ve set up and started using a sales pipeline. It does not end here, though; creating a sales pipeline is just the beginning. The only constant element is change; therefore you should review the stages that compose your pipeline and make sure that it closely represents your process. When your process changes, so should the stages in your pipeline.
A sales pipeline is an important tool for your operations. It’s a tool that should be included in your insurance CRM so that you can improve your bottom line.
Initially you have to define the stages of your sales process. In the insurance industry, these are typically the most common stages of a sales process:
You can adapt and modify these stages according to your sales process, of course.
Each stage in your process must have a detailed set of activities that describe the conditions to move a lead into this stage and the conditions to move then to the next stage. This method will provide you with actionable metrics down the road; so that you know what should be your next action, with each particular lead.
Once you’re done with detailing the conditions and actions for each stage you need to link the process to your sales goals. Only then will you start to make sense of this new sales tool.
Once you’ve set up your stages with all the relevant details, you’re ready to go. This will be just the beginning of using your new tool to guide you through the sales process.
Your oxygen is a constant flow of new leads. This article isn’t about lead generation; so, we can assume that you’ve established at least one source of good quality leads.
But how will you know if a new source of lead acquisition is a worthy investment? This will take some time on your part, because you’ll need to nurture these leads and then study how they fared. This means that, in the very beginning, you’ll be on your own, until you’ve developed some kind of momentum through your pipeline. However, once you’ve built that momentum, you can evaluate which sources generate leads that convert. This way, you’ll know where to seek your next leads; and, thus, invest time and money getting that source in.
When you validate your assumptions about acquiring leads, you can focus on the next stage; which, usually, is qualifying who to talk first, commonly after an initial set of screening calls. Lead prioritization will happen based on your own criteria and past data. Thus, you have to start with a substantial set of initial data, namely leads; and, gradually, process them through the stages of your sales process, to build momentum.
Once you’ve completed the qualification stage, you can schedule meetings with them and record their insurance needs. This is also an important stage in your process, regardless of the final outcome. Why? Because when you record the insurance needs of your prospects diligently and you update your CRM with that info, you will improve on your ability to focus on high-quality prospects; thus, improving your bottom line.
Setting up and using an insurance sales pipeline does not necessarily require a Customer Relationship Management system. However, insurance CRMs today provide such a feature. It’s important to remember, a sales pipeline is not static. Building and managing a successful insurance sales pipeline is an ongoing process that will evolve with your business; so, keep building and keep iterating!
Your goals change over time, so you need to realign your sales process and your sales pipeline to serve your new goals. Additionally, you might need to realign your sales pipeline stages if you recognize that they are not detailed enough; or that they are too detailed. There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to building an insurance sales pipeline.
Your insurance sales pipeline is a means to improve your processes and your bottom line, not an end.