Direct Interested Sales Leads to the Right Agency Employee

By | November 18, 2013

Sales leads arrive at today’s property/casualty agencies from a variety of digital and traditional sources. The former includes social media, websites, blogs, emails, etc. The latter features direct mail, telemarketing, print advertising and more. Leads also arrive from client and company referrals, walk-ins, and as a result of just being in business. These opportunities are essential, but what’s even more important than their birth method is how they are distributed and employed.

Call-to-Action

Everything starts with the call-to-action featured in your outbound marketing. If you use your firm’s Twitter account to encourage followers to contact “the agency” by phone or Web visit, then this is the action you seek. Ditto with all other agency promotions, regardless of whether you employ digital or traditional media. The optimal result is a steady flow of leads arriving at “the agency,” some of which employees convert into sales. This seems reasonable, but in practice, if all incoming sales leads go to “the agency” (as in the Twitter example) instead of to pre-selected staff, problems can occur.

Avoid Lead Leakage

Never be casual when it comes to the management and distribution of active leads.

Never be casual when it comes to the management and distribution of active leads. Too often these vital tasks are left to the discretion of the receptionist or another low-level staffer because interested shoppers who contact “the agency” have no one specific to ask for. This default approach results in lead allocation based on whoever is around, or worse, favoritism, instead of directing each policy inquiry to the pro most capable of converting it into a sale. It’s a dangerous omission in top-level planning that results in missed opportunities. The resulting damage is more than lost revenue; your office appears to be disinterested in writing new business (or worse). Such perceptions adversely impact your firm’s image and can generate unfavorable online comments.

Lead Distribution System

To properly develop incoming leads, establish an internal system that quickly triages and assigns new business prospects upon their arrival. There are many ways to structure it. Here’s a starter set of six ideas.

Create the position of “lead czar.” A veteran staffer or dedicated marketer gets all undirected incoming leads. The czar promptly assigns each prospect to the right agent or rep, and follows up to make certain they are acted upon.

By promo. Don’t simply invite prospects to contact “the agency” for a quote. Instead, prominently feature the name and contact data of an individual producer in your promotion’s call-to-action, as in Contact Ernest Agent … This way, leads resulting from specific campaigns go straight to the agent.

By source. It’s widely believed that young producers and digital media are joined at the hip. So be hip and direct some or all online leads to your youngest qualified agents. Ditto with leads from traditional media; let mature producers develop them.

By key characteristics. Personal lines examples: Drive motorcycle leads to staffers who ride, float watercraft leads to boaters, send high-value personal lines leads to your best-suited agent, etc. In commercial lines, assign leads to the producer whose expertise best matches with the prospect’s industry, group, or other identifying attribute.

Referrals.When a current client refers a new prospect, direct that individual or business to the referrer’s own CSR or producer. When an insurer, another agent or a sponsoring group refers a lead, send that party to staffers pre-assigned to the source.

Existing insureds. Direct all current client sales inquiries to their present producer or CSR. For house accounts where no one is assigned, pilot the person to the most qualified rep or agent.

About Alan L. Shulman

Alan Shulman, CPCU, is the publisher of Agency Ideas® sales and marketing newsletter (free basic subscription at www.agencyideas.com/join). He is also the author of “500 Sales Ideas for Commercial Lines Producers” among many other P&C sales resources. Email: alan@agencyideas.com. Website: www.agencyideas.com. More from Alan L. Shulman

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Insurance Journal West November 18, 2013
November 18, 2013
Insurance Journal West Magazine

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