Working at an insurance agency, there’s no shortage of measurable data points you can use to assess the agency’s performance. But for many insurance agencies and their agents, the factors that make a successful producer are still largely mysterious. The insurance industry has a reputation for being a little behind the times—technologically speaking—as a result, it’s not always clear what the real indicators of top-performing insurance agents are.
Luckily, it’s getting easier to measure and track the key performance indicators (KPIs) that lead to an agent and agency’s success. Insurance-specific sales software and customer relationship management systems (CRMs) are popping up all the time, and agencies that adopt them can gain incredible insights into the data of their best (and worst) performing producers.
Even without modern technology, most agencies can still track their agents’ KPIs if they make an effort. But with so many data points available, which ones really matter? Here’s a look at the top five KPIs agencies should be paying attention to, and why.
Being a successful insurance agent is often about quality over quantity. When first starting out, new producers may only be able to write very small policies, like personal auto or renters’ insurance. Even focusing on commercial lines, inexperienced producers may have more luck with small business policies that don’t come with high premiums.
As an agent gains more experience, they should expect their average deal size to grow larger. This is the way to gain long-term success while still maintaining a high level of personalized customer service. After all, one agent with a handful of six or seven-figure deals will make more money and be able to focus more on their clients than an agent with a thousand policies, each with only a few hundred dollars of premium.
It’s always exciting to land a new big fish client, but it’s actually more profitable long-term to retain current ones. Of course, the best insurance agents want to be doing both! But don’t underestimate the value of retention. A high retention rate indicates an insurance agent is doing a great job and taking care of their clients by providing real value.
Modern consumers are trained to vote with their wallets and are always on the lookout for a better deal on their insurance premiums. So when you have an agent with a high retention rate and many long-standing clients, you should ask them to share their methods with other agents because it’s a very strong indicator of a job well done.
This may be the most obvious KPI, but it’s still worth mentioning. For any insurance agency’s bottom line, the producer with the highest total premium dollars is bringing in the most money. While it’s easy to think of this as a simple metric, it’s important to look at this KPI on a more long-term basis when using it as an indicator of performance.
A producer with high premium dollars today could easily drop in a few months, or a year, if they’re not providing exceptional service to their clients. Because of this, it’s a smarter strategy to track total premium dollars over time and examine which producers are growing, shrinking, or remaining static. It’s really the agents who can show consistent growth in their total premium dollars that are your top performers, not just the ones with a high, but static, number.
New leads are the lifeblood of an insurance agency. Without leads, there are no insurance quotes and no sales. Regardless of how an agency obtains leads—whether by referrals, cold calling, digital advertising, or directly from their carriers—leads are what turn into eventual sales, so continuing to bring them in is vital. Bringing in a lot of new leads isn’t in and of itself a great KPI for an insurance agent. However, in conjunction with a good close rate, a large volume of leads can be one key to success.
Looking at leads can also be helpful in training and developing producers. If an agent is bringing in a large number of leads each month but not closing a good portion of the business, this can indicate a skill gap in their sales process. Or, maybe they are best suited to a lead-generating role but not to the actual quoting, proposal, or sales aspects. Either way, this is good information to have, which makes tracking the number of leads each producer has each month a great KPI.
As we mentioned, generating leads is not in and of itself enough to equal success. The close rate—what percentage of leads turn into actual paying clients—is a vital piece of the puzzle. A producer with a higher close rate doesn’t need as many leads to achieve the same (or greater) level of premium dollars as an agent with a lower close rate.
As with retention rates, measuring close rates can give an agency insights into its top performing salespeople and provide the opportunity for them to share their “secret sauce” with other producers. A low close rate can help an agency identify agents who might need further training or be better suited to a different type of role.
These five KPIs are a great place to start if you’re looking to pay attention to some valuable sales data at your agency. It’s important to also realize that any one of them isn’t the sole indicator of performance, and agents should be tracked over time to see trends rather than judging their performance at a specific moment in time.
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