Many insurance agencies are dealing with more unpredictable sales then Northwest Ohio's weather.
Here in Northwest Ohio it rains on the days it's not supposed to rain and there's clear skies on the days it's supposed to rain. We never really know what our weather will look like from one week to the next. But one thing is for certain. We know it will rain eventually.
This is not the approach to take with your business.
Many insurance agencies are not sure what this quarter or next quarter will be. One month they have a great sales volume the next is abysmal.
The weatherman may keep his job if he's wrong, but if your revenue is unpredictable, then you may be out of a job sooner then you think.
We may not know when, but we do know it will, and that those April Showers brings May Flowers.
Are your sales as unpredictable as the weather?
Last week my partner Mark introduced the idea of a sales process in our sales blog. (go check it out) He starts off by addressing that many insurance agencies are flying by the seat of their pants. There's no real process that leads to success.
Think about your own agency for a second. Do you have anything established that you can lean on month after month and expect which provides predictable revenue stream?
There are two ways your business can revamp this and create a predictable stream of revenue in the months to come:
- Create a sales process to follow.
- Utilize marketing to build your pipeline and nurture leads.
Sales and Marketing has always had a line between the two in the past. With today's new tools and strategies, we find these lines are blurring and in some cases erased. Just selling more is rarely the answer to creating a sustainable profit.
Many businesses are finding success with the concept of forming high perform teams by integrating Sales and Marketing efforts. This creates a better customer experience and communication.
By aligning marketing and sales strategies you are able to create predictability within your processes and revenue stream.
One thing we can always count on is that April Showers brings May Flowers. To have a continual harvest of crops, you need to create your "rain showers."
Think of marketing as your "April showers." Something that is going to enable you to have a bounty of harvestable crops. Only in this case, it is a continual thing opposed to a seasonal one.
As I mentioned earlier, the lines between marketing and sales are being blurred. The mentality that sales goes over here and marketing sits in a corner over there is a concept that needs to be done away with. These two segments of business are now integrated and working wholly together.
Here's an example. Here's the "old" way business used to be done:
- Sales goes and does all the heavy lifting.
- Prospecting, nurturing, selling, retention and even cross-selling all fell under sales (and inside sales) realm.
- Marketing, was used as a brand awareness tool and sometimes lead nurturing tool but it was not a complete necessity to the ultimate success of the business.
Now, things have changed. Here's a better viewpoint of how things are done now:
- Sales still prospects, generates leads, and sells. - This hasn't changed.
- Now, marketing is also involved in the lead generation aspects. While sales can generate leads, now, only about 30% of consumers want to talk to sales about a product/service. That means marketing has the job of reaching the other 70% of people that sales cannot.
- In addition to lead generation, marketing now is now tasked with lead nurturing, aspects of retention and nurturing clients to cross-sell.
The reason digital marketing has become such an explosive force in the insurance industry and in business in general is because of the necessity of it to generate new business opportunities and close them. With automation and consistent marketing, it also is providing astounding benefits to business by creating a steady stream (or showers) of opportunities and revenue.
So, if your revenue and sales is unpredictable, I can assume a major reason is because your insurance agency does not have a strong marketing presence in place.
How to create your marketing showers
You are likely already somewhat familiar with the thought that you need to do more with marketing. For awhile, it has seemed as though every event, conference, and learning lab as been on some form of marketing or automation.
Insurance agencies are inundated with advice. You undoubtedly have read about what you should be doing to boost customer engagement, attract new markets and help SEO standing.
But have you done any of them yet?
Good intentions won't get you where you want to be. Many insurance are stuck at the starting block and have not put forth the time and money to see create their "showers."
So what do you need to do?
- Create a plan and work your plan
- Be consistent. If you can't be consistent then hire someone. This may sound unusual but it is crucial to consider and a worthwhile investment to consider. We did this with our old agency and while it took time to get them up to speed, it paid dividends in the long run.
- Continue your efforts and build your skills working smarter not harder!
I know it seems like a simplistic approach but that's what you need to create a consistent marketing machine. Find out what you want to do and put a plan in motion. Keep at the plan. Then learn from your efforts and fine tune your efforts.
Where to go from here
We realize that every insurance agency no matter how big or small is in a different place when it comes to understanding and implementing a successful digital strategy. However, most are in agreement with one thing. Their insurance agency needs to do a better job utilizing digital marketing in-house.
So depending on where your agency is in their marketing journey, you will have a different mission to do:
- If you have not started, well, your first step is to jump in and get started. (here are tips to getting started with digital marketing)
- If you have started but your marketing efforts are inconsistent or even random then it is time to develop or fine tune your strategy (here is how to create a strategy for your insurance marketing)
- If you are actively engaged in your marketing but not seeing the results you want then it is in your best interest to talk with an expert. Someone who can identify what you need to do to get the results you are looking at. (here is where you can request a free strategy session)
Your insurance agency can survive on sales alone (maybe). But, if you want to experience a consistent flow of sales and revenue coming into your insurance agency, then you need to integrating digital marketing with your sales process.