Posted: December 15, 2017 by Staff Writer
Careful planning is essential for your future success. It gives you direction, and it provides you and your business with a road map for where you are – and where you want to go – throughout the year. It also helps guide you when it comes to allocating your time.
So, where should you start? Here are some important tips:
Review your past success
In looking toward the future, it’s a good idea to look back, too. After all, if you don’t have a clear sense of where you are today, you’re unlikely to be realistic in setting up your goals for the future. Look at what you did in the past year – and what worked and what didn’t – as it relates to your sales and marketing activities. What was your biggest success? Can you replicate that experience with future prospects and clients? Review your Value Proposition. Assess your competition. Maybe, there’s been a change in your local market that requires you to shift your strategy for the next year.
Establish your sales plan
Your 2018 sales plan should be simple and straight-forward. It’s a summary of your strategy for the new sales and calendar year, a snapshot of your planned approach to growing your existing business and achieving your new sales quota. There are typically four key components to a sales plan: new business strategy, tactics for driving new business, current business growth strategy, and current tactics for existing business. Your target sales quota will help you set the tempo for your year-round efforts (including mid-year, quarterly, or monthly goals).
Related: 9 Tips to Writing a Sales Plan
Do some research and set up your goals
In creating your 2018 plan, make sure your goals are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Do some research on the market and shifts that have (or are expected) to occur. Is your region attracting more small employers? If that’s your niche, carve out a portion of your schedule to go after them. If your goal is to increase your small business sales in 2018, make the increase specific – 20%, for example. Based on a 20 percent annual target, establish your incremental goals – say four percent in Q1, Q2, Q3, and eight percent in Q4 (or whatever you believe is achievable based on your 2017 success). Set a target for your calls and quotes each day – and your enrollments each month.
Develop a strategy for current customers
Don’t overlook the role your current customers play in your overall sales for the year. Their ongoing renewals and referrals can play a big part in your 2018 plan. Consider setting up a touch-point program, where you reach out to each of your current customers at least quarterly (and, preferably, more often) with information on a new way you can assist them. Send a monthly (or at least quarterly) newsletter to current customers and past prospects. (You may be able to re-engage those who are not yet customers.) Consider a referral reward program, where those who share a referral are entered into a drawing for a gift. Launch an online education program for existing customers. There are many ways for you to engage your customers, so they want to stay your customers.
Craft a Q4-specific sales program
For many brokers, Q4 is the busiest time of year. If that’s true for you, it would likely benefit you to set up a Q4 plan. It should include a list of all customers renewing in the quarter, their renewal dates, your planned outreach date, possible re-enrollment dates, forms required for each group’s enrollment, plan information for each carrier (including whether a popular health plan is changing any of its benefits), etc.
Planning is key to driving you and your business toward your goals. Don’t forget a goal without a plan is just a wish. Put yourself on a path to greater success by taking the time now to craft your strategy for 2018.
Contact Word & Brown today to learn more about how we can help you build a successful career in health insurance sales.
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