It’s getting colder, things are moving slower, and the out of office responses are growing in number – it’s the end of the calendar year. This is a time for holiday celebrations, gathering with friends and family to look back at the year passed and make resolutions for the one to come.
December is also the ideal time for your agency to slow down, take stock, and establish your own resolutions for growth. Break out agency management system reports and ask yourself: “Where have we been? Where should we go? And how do we get there?”
See the Top Agency Reports to Gauge Sales Success on our blog
Step 1: Reflect
To know where you’ll go, you have to look at where you’ve been. Ask yourself questions like:
- What were our goals this year? Did we meet them?
- How did our carriers do this year against past years?
- How did our staff grow/change/improve this year?
- How does our client base look? Did we grow? Shrink? Stay the same?
Once you have your answers, consider whether they’re what you want to hear. If they’re not, it’s time to move on to the next step: plan.
Looking to improve your customer relationships? Get four steps to improve them
Step 2: Plan
Chances are you’ll come up with quite a list. Narrow this down and separate into short-term and long-term goals. One list should feed into the other, with your short-term goals slowing building to achieve your long-term objectives.
Part of your planning should be putting in place ways to measure your achievements. This is where your agency management system comes in handy. Set up reports to gather the data you need such as:
- Renewal activity by service and date added
- New customer acquisition by referral source and region
- Retention by policy type and revenue
Once you’ve got a plan, it’s time to put it to action.
Find out more about how to effectively set agency goals in our goal setting eGuide
Step 3: Execute
As former President Eisenhower said, “Planning is essential, but plans are useless.” Be ready for your plan to change the moment you put it into action. Use your management system reporting to monitor your progress regularly and be prepared to pivot if you do not see the results you’d like.
As is often the case, changes can be subtle, yet if tracked with some frequency and consistency, you can see the patterns. Such patterns can help you understand the impact (positive and negative) that have taken place and consider ways to adapt and improve.
Be ready for hiccups in your plan by Managing the 4 Cs of Change
Use the Right Tools
For many agencies, gaining and retaining clients is a recurring goal year to year. One key to reaching these goals is using the right tools to connect with and engage current and potential customers. Automation tools can increase interaction, keeping your agency and brand top of mind. Such tools also yield useful data, including how often and in what ways customers engage and respond. The power of automation is its ability to do more, better.
At SIS, we’re harnessing this power, adding marketing automation with the new Partner XL. Combined with our cloud-based Partner XE agency management system, Partner XL has the reports and tools you need to put together compelling communications and stay connected with your customers.
Author: Alex Deak
Alex is one of the founders of NuGrowth Solutions and CEO of Strategic Insurance Software, acquired by NuGrowth in 2009. He has held a variety of leadership roles in technology-oriented software and services businesses from the early days of the Internet to today’s cloud environment. Over the course of his career, he has earned recognition from a variety of sources, including a PCWeek cover article where he was recognized as one of the “New Breed” of innovative, creative CIO’s, and a “Forty Under 40” award by Business First Magazine of Columbus, Ohio.