5 Outbound Sales Cadence Insights Every Insurance Agent Should Know

5 Outbound Sales Cadence Insights Every Insurance Agent Should Know

Sales cadences are about more than just the frequency and content of your emails, they’re about engaging your prospects enough to begin a valuable conversation. How you interact with your leads should vary from segment to segment to maximize effectiveness. A good sales cadence filters out any undesirable prospects, but a great sales cadence will get meetings. One of the biggest differentiators between the two is our first insight: The importance of a timely follow up.

The Art of the Follow Up

The speed of your first response to a prospect is crucial to converting smaller opportunities into revenue. The Harvard Business Review found that businesses that attempted to reach leads within an hour were nearly seven times likelier to have meaningful conversations with decision makers than those who waited even an hour.¹ If you can follow-up directly after a prospect engages your cadence, you’ve got the best chance to move them further through your pipeline while they’ve still got you at the top of their mind.

If your prospects are in the market, they’re already eyeing the competition and likely reaching out to them as well. The longer you wait to follow up after a response, the more likely someone else is to. Conversely, the shorter your response time is, the faster you can get through the opening stages of your funnel to qualify a prospect because a quick response every time makes the sales process easier for your customer. Staying on top of your follow-ups doesn’t only create more conversions more quickly, it creates happy customers.

Don’t Lose Sight of the Big Picture

This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to get lost in the process of following a sales cadence. The point of the cadence is assuming that the prospect has not seen the previous contact, the only goal is to elicit a response. Each new touch point should be treated like a cold call or email: Stay consistent with the frequency and content of your touch points to make sure you’re being seen.

Sales cadences work to organize your outreach attempts to enable you to reach a higher volume of leads without getting disorganized. That being said, it’s your job to be using all the relevant platforms available to engage your prospects and improve the quality of your outreach. Your goal is to make contact, use all the methods available to get your prospect’s attention. Sales development reps who didn’t engage their prospects on social media only filled their pipelines 47% of the time, compared to 65% of the time for salespeople who use social selling.²

As time goes on you should also be creating new cadences to succeed where others have failed. You’ll learn more about your audience through both your positive and negative responses as you keep track of what brings the most success over time and form valuable insights into your sales process.

Know How to Switch It Up

If you’re executing a sales cadence correctly, your leads will have to at least see your efforts, so avoid being boring and using the exact same approach every time. Sales cadences are still cold outreach attempts and need to have variation to maximize your chances of engagement. Thanks to the internet, the biggest obstacle for many cold calls and emails is providing value. Buyers do their own research now and are already at least somewhat informed on your offering as well as your competitors.

Two 2018 studies have found not only that 70% of B2B and 79% of B2C customers in the US do research online before they make a purchase, but also that 44% of B2B buyers prefer to identify potential solutions themselves before reaching out to sales.³,⁴ As such, the job of the insurance agent has evolved into one more similar to an advisor in order to address the questions and needs of more informed buyers. In order to separate yourself from the rest you need to really understand the problems of your leads and provide the buyer with the solution they’re looking for.

By centering your target customers’ pain points in your outreach, you’ll retain relevance no matter how many times you pivot topics or approaches. Your subjects will stay fresh as you approach leads with different topics, but your focus will remain consistent as each topic will be related by what’s most important: the customer’s needs. Instead of putting your whole value proposition in an email, break it down to create a concise sequence of attention grabbing topics. With a well crafted cadence, you’ll be able to not only generate opportunities, but also gain insight into which topics get the most engagement.

No One is as Productive as They Think

In a survey of how much sales reps thought they engaged prospects, the average number of perceived touch points per lead was 15.⁵ However, most reps actually only use 8 touch points per outbound sales prospect. Even top performers only use as many as 12 per prospect,⁶ meaning that it’s very easy to lose track of your relationships with each lead. The beauty of a well planned cadence is its ability to create a schedule for your messaging and keep your outbound prospecting efforts organized. Equipped with a strong cadence, a good insurance agent will be chugging through their pre-organized tasks each day as they go through their schedule, but even that can only go so far.

Besides minimizing distractions, one of the best ways to increase productivity is to improve the efficiency of how you spend the most time: working. To accomplish this, the average sales rep will use an average of 6 tools to help manage their load: A CRM, a data-list feed, a tool for social prospecting, an email engagement tool, and a tool for their sales cadence.⁷ Insurance agents typically don’t have such a busy sales stack, but they can learn a thing or two from these savvy inside sales reps about sales tools and automation.

Choose the Right Tools for the Job

When you’ve hit a wall in your productivity, utilizing a tool to help automate your workflow can take you to the next level. But between sending emails, making calls, creating and assigning buyer personas, and keeping track of your performance and tasks, the consistency and organization of a sales cadence can come at a cost of the time invested into upkeep. Without the proper tool or service, you would need to do lists and excel sheets to manage your cadences with various leads and incorporate them into your busy workflow.

Of course every insurance producer has tools at their disposal, but while your CRM may help you keep track of your prospects and your emailing tool will help cut the number of emails you need to write, the best tool for managing your cadences is a sales engagement platform like 20 Miles. Most sales engagement platforms manage workflow sequences, automate and track emails, create buyer personas, integrate with your CRM, and analyze data on the whole process to optimize, but 20 Miles takes it a step further: In addition to a feature-packed platform and award winning integrations, With robust analytics and a suite of sales tools, 20 Miles lets you get more work done while providing the data you need to perfect your process.

Takeaways

The usefulness of a sales cadence goes so much further than organizing your workflow or helping to ensure continued follow through on your outreach attempts. With the right approach, your cadences can become sources of data on your prospects and help to build loyalty with them through reliability; With the right tools, you can increase productivity and separate yourself from the rest. As you prepare to prospect your next group of leads, consider these insights to take your sales cadences to the next level.

Sources:
The Harvard Business Review: The Short Life of Online Sales Leads
Sales for Life: Social Selling 2017 Trends Report [Via Hubspot]
CSO Insights: 2018 Buyer Preferences Study
Netsertive: 2018 Local Consumer Survey
InsideSales: How to Build a Sales Cadence to Rule Them All
The Bridge Group: SDR Metrics and Compensation Report [Via Sales for Life]
InsideSales: How 900 Companies Build and Execute Successful Sales Development Teams [In partnership with Sales for Life and others]

How to Maximize Your Productivity

As an agent, time management skills have a direct impact on your performance and sales. It goes unsaid that they are necessary to excel in your industry. However, even though everyone has the same amount of hours in a day, some people are able to accomplish so much more than others. Wondering how to maximize your productivity like some others do?

Perfectly organized planners and spreadsheets could explain smoothly handling a flood of tasks. But there are other solutions for the rest of us to navigate a variety of commitments and optimize our time effortlessly.

We have an answer to this dilemma – in a career where missing deadlines is not an option, the Covey time management grid is guaranteed to help you to manage your available time more efficiently.

Covey’s 4 Quadrant Theory offers a simple format to organize your tasks. Covey, an American keynote speaker and author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People , uses four quadrants that allow you to prioritize tasks in relation to their importance and urgency. This helps you to decide whether you need to address a task immediately or if you can postpone it.

Responsibilities are grouped into four categories: Important, Urgent, Not Important, and Not Urgent.

Quadrant I – Urgent and Important

In this section, we find tasks that have skipped out of the non-urgent category and have a significant time sensitivity associated with their completion. Urgent responsibilities require immediate attention. These activities are often tightly linked to the accomplishment of someone else’s goal. Not dealing with these issues will cause immediate consequences. While careful planning can help avoid tasks entering this quadrant, tasks will pop up or increase in urgency to land themselves here.

The real skill is to commit time to processes that enable you to work on tasks more quickly and with ease. It also ensures that they get done more efficiently.

Examples: Crises, deadline-driven work, medical/other emergencies, last-minute preparations.

Quadrant II – Not Urgent but Important

Covey’s time management system proposes creating time to focus on important tasks before they become urgent. Quadrant II activities are not urgent, but they are important.

These tasks are your long-term strategies and goals.  Staying on top of these in a consistent manner will ensure that you are always one step ahead of where you need to be.  This prevents you from ending up in Quadrant I on a frequent basis.

In addition, there are important activities that fall in this category including relationship building and recreation. We often read about organizing our professional lives, but personal lives need to be weighed into the equation as well. To avoid burnout, we need to focus on ourselves, family and friends as part of the equation rather than an afterthought, and Covey realizes this as part of his structure.

Examples: Preparation and planning, relationship-building, exercise, nutrition, and regular doctor checkups to prevent urgent health emergencies.

Quadrant III – Urgent but Not Important

The third quadrant is reserved for tasks that are urgent, without being important. Covey recommends minimizing or even eliminating these tasks as they do not contribute to your output. Delegation is also an option here. At best, these are distractions with high urgency.

Tasks that land in this quadrant often come from sources that regard the task as urgent and important (Quadrant I).  Because of emotion, they fail to delineate between the two. When approached with tasks in this quadrant, it is best to delegate, as previously stated, but do so in a way to subside the crisis-level emotion and guide the task into its true “not-important” category.

Examples: Emails, calls, meeting other people’s priorities instead of completing one’s own tasks.

Quadrant IV – Not Urgent and Not Important

The fourth and last quadrant focuses on tasks and responsibilities that do not yield any value—items that are unimportant and not urgent. These time wasters should be eliminated in designated work time as they have little to no value. However, this quadrant can be used as a reward.

While you want to remain out of this quadrant while trying to drive results, some tasks in this quadrant do have there time and place. An effective use of your time would help you operate in this quadrant by choice rather than venturing into it as part of a by-product of aimlessly wandering through your day.

Examples: Busywork, mindlessly watching tv, scrolling through social media, procrastinating important responsibilities.

How Does This Apply To My Career?

If you’re like most people, you probably spend most of your time on activities that either fall into Quadrant 1 or Quadrant 3 because they’re urgent. And, as an insurance agent, you cannot afford to be scrambling to complete a never-ending list of urgent tasks because they weren’t addressed when they fell into the second quadrant – important, but not urgent.

You must manage promoting and selling insurance products and services to your customers above all. But you also have to balance doing your own research on the plans so you can give sound financial advisory services and customer support to your clients. Marketing strategies must be drawn and redrawn from time to time, keeping in mind your customers’ preferences.

If you sell a variety of insurances, such as health, life, commercial, or medicare – you must complete these objectives for each vertical. Long story short, you have your work cut out for you. But through implementing this model, your load will become significantly less daunting.

Exclusive leads versus non-exclusive leads

Obtaining leads can often take one of two ways, through non-exclusive lead generation or exclusive lead generation. Below is a breakdown of the two methods and their advantages and disadvantages.

Non-exclusive leads

Non-exclusive leads increase competition among agents, they usually sell at a lower price than exclusive leads. When buying non-exclusive leads from a lead generation company, very often, there will be multiple agents calling. In most cases, non-exclusive leads are sold more than once and you may find that other agents are calling the same leads you are.

Purchasing non-exclusive leads has some benefits:

  • Non-Exclusive leads tend to be cheaper
  • Consumers get a variety of quotes
  • Larger amount of leads available

 

Cons of non-exclusive leads:

  • Converting leads may be harder
  • Bad leads are more likely to slip through

 

Exclusive leads

Most lead generation companies offer exclusive leads. With true exclusive leads you are the only agent that calls the lead.

The pros of exclusive leads:

  • Lead quality is higher
  • Higher chance to convert leads

 

Cons to exclusive leads:

  • Exclusive leads are more expensive
  • Less leads are available

The success of your insurance agency is 100 percent reliant on you

Even though you may be buying quality leads from a lead generation company, leads alone do not sell the product. The agent buying the leads is responsible for working those leads promptly, enthusiastically, and confidently.

Quality leads only open the door to a world of potential customers for the agent seeking to grow an agency or boost their sales record. Insurance leads are worth their weight in gold, provided they are exclusive to you only. While other leads may be less expensive, they may also be leads that have been shared with other agents. Even if you work those promptly, you usually play runner up to other agents who have already called those leads.

Why waste time, which is money, and marketing dollars out of your pocket to chase leads that are not exclusive? The extra money you pay for quality, tailored leads is worth it. The leads are pre-qualified, come in real-time, are pre-screened and want the product you offer. If you are the only agent getting those leads just imagine the number of sales you may have on a consistent basis.

Health insurance leads are pretty good sources of income

People still want private insurance. That’s a given. There are many who still do not want to use health insurance exchanges and because of that, you have a good opportunity to still get out there and sell health insurance. You are providing something that people want, need and are willing to pay for in this volatile market. No one likes to be told what to do, what to buy and where to buy it. If they have another route they can choose, many take it and are willing to pay more to boot.

Opt to get exclusive health insurance leads, as they offer you the best source of conversions in the long term. They only come to you. You work them to the very best of your ability. You offer good service and a good product for a reasonable price and know your policies and insurers very well. This makes you part of the sales package when selling health insurance, and that’s not bad. It’s who you are and how you come across that encourages people to respond in a positive, buying frame of mind. Exclusive leads are worth the extra bucks.

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Life insurance leads are easier to find than you may think

While you may have some skepticism about finding life insurance leads in a market that is struggling to maintain some sense of balance in the face of the economic mess the country is in, there are people that do recognize that this is actually the best time to buy life insurance. Just like a depressed real estate market is a good time to buy homes for sale at a profit later.

The market is ripe for agents selling life insurance to savvy buyers who recognize that now is the time to get insurance to protect their families if something happens to them.

Leery about buying leads? Not sure whether you should choose shared or exclusive leads? Largely, that depends on what you want to accomplish and how fast. Shared leads may take forever and a day to pay off in any substantive way. Exclusive leads could pay off much quicker, because they are only sent to one agent. It often makes sense to try both ways to get an idea of what works best for you.

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