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 Get More Revenue With Drip Emails

Drip emails. These can bring in a lot of revenue for your business. It will help you attract the right subscribers, keep them engaged, and get them to commit to your call to action. These emails offer businesses a new way to communicate with customers, which can lead to more revenue. However, there is a method to being successful with these kinds of emails. It has to be all about relevance and timing. Go about it all wrong, and you will lose customers, and a sale.

What Are Drip Emails?

laptop opened with an opened envelope on it with many unopened envelopes floating out
Drip emails is a marketing strategy. They offer businesses a new way to communicate with customers, which can lead to more revenue.

Drip emails is a marketing strategy. It consists of multiple emails sent out at a specific date and time in order to draw in clients. The emails go to customers after they have visited your site, and sign up for an email list through a form. The emails are usually pre-written, and sent in order to motivate customers to talk with you, and eventually close a sale with them. Consider them baby steps into building a relationship with your customer.

The reason they are called drip emails, are because they are sent out at different times to subscribers to update them on helpful information, products, and notifications over time. These emails should use timing and behavioral triggers to send automated messages.

For example, when you are into a certain product, you generally sign up for their email subscriptions. This way you get to learn all the promotions, new product information, sales, etc. The continuous emails are considered drip emails.

Benefits

Drip campaigns are a great way to consistently grow with time-consuming, demanding or delicate tasks. It will lead to more revenue by luring customers. Not only are you educating your leads, but you are promoting your product, while rewarding them.

picture of graph with bars going up over time with a red marker line above it drawn by a hand with a marker.
Drip emails produce a 119% increase in click rate!

The more you personalize your email, then the more your customers will feel a connection, and more likely to work with you.

More Engagement

Drip campaigns bring in more revenue because it raises engagement with customers. 119% increase in click rate! With these kinds of emails, you will engage more with your customers without having to meet with them. You stay connected with them and it doesnt need your constant attention. These emails should be monitored and tested by marketing teammates, but do not need much creating and sending.

More conversation is created with drip emails. You keep an ongoing conversation between you and your subscribers. You slowly build a relationship with the person, while promoting your brand and product.

How To Create Successful Drip Emails

There are a number of different drip email types. There are the welcoming emails, the onboarding emails which tries to convert free trial customers with nurture.Re-engagement emails tried to pull inactive prospects back into working with your company again, and confirmation emails telling a person their order is complete and thanking them for using your services.

In order to create successful campaigns that will keep your client engaged, you must:

  • Consider the customer– Approach is everything. If the customer is new and inquiring about your business, then a lot of nurturing and relationship building is important. Focus on the customer’s needs and adjust your emails accordingly.
  • Space Out!– Spacing out your emails are important. You do not want to fire emails back to back, and you also don’t want to space them out too far that the customer loses interest. Be consistent and stick to no more than one a day.

    different social media apps on a cellphone screen.
    Try to lead your customers to other channels you have, like social media.
  • Write quality over quantity– Write valuable content to your customers that are short and to the point at first. Get personal and avoid marketing language. Set deadlines and exclusive deals and write compelling messages.
  • Connect Channels– In your emails, make sure to try to lead your customers to other channels you have. For example, if your company is on social media, add in your email “follow us on Facebook!”
  • Test Your Campaigns– Sometimes things will not work. Automated emails should be tended to and you should always reevaluate and adjust to perfect them.

Captive Agent Vs Independent Agent, Which Is The Right Path For Your Career?

As you embark on a new job in your life as an agent, there might be some questions regarding whether you should be independent or captive. These two kinds of agents differ in how they get clients. Independent agents generally generate their own leads, and work harder than captive agents. Captive agents are trained and given leads/clients to work with. It may seem tempting to become a captive agent because they are given the tools needed, but they make less commission than an independent agent.

silver scale with a question mark on each side.
There is a difference between a captive agent and an independent agent. Do you want to generate your own leads, or work for a company that provides leads?

Captive Agents

As a captive agent, you sell the company’s insurance products, and are limited to one specific insurance carrier- the one that pays you. Leads are given to you, and unlike an independent agent, you do not have to take a risk of spending your own money to generate these leads. Your company will provide you with leads, so you get to benefit from their marketing department without searching for clients on your own.

You will either make a set salary, or work on salary plus commission as a captive agent.

The Pros:

  • Captive agents are provided with financial support to help get their business on the rise.
  • You are provided with resources, and guided towards clients and referrals, product training, marketing and advertising tools.
  • You have a more reliable source of income pad from the company you work for.
  • More knowledge on the products you are selling.

    group of men and women in an office space.
    Captive agents are provided with resources and guided towards clients and referrals, product training, marketing and advertising tools.

The Cons

  • You are limited to the products you sell, whichever the company provides you to sell.
  • You will have to meet a certain sales quota.
  • If your company stops selling certain lines or increases rates, then you can lose clients.

Independent Agents

Independent agents have no limitations as to what they can sell, and which companies they can work with. They can cross sell from other carriers, mixing and matching to create a custom plan for clients. This is an advantage over captive agents. Essentially, you are your own boss, and do not have to share your leads or sales with a company, which means more money in your wallet. However, the caveat is that you have to generate your own leads.

dice that says "profit," "loss," and "risk"
Independent agents must start their own business with some risk and loss. But overall, they make a great profit working for themselves.

In order to get leads, you will have to invest your own money, which is always a risk. You will have to be motivated in order to be successful. You can work for an independent agency, or on your own, and will only be paid on commission.

Pros:

  • You make a higher percentage of commission than a captive agent.
  • More freedom than working under a company.
  • Ability to cross-sell insurance, and being independent from all carriers.

Cons:

  • You will pay for your own expenses to start your own business.
  • Only commission based, so there is no guarantee of an income.
  • No support, resources, or guidance from a company or other agents.
  • Build your own customer base/list.
  • Profits from sales are generally put back into the business for the first year—to help offset startup costs and lead generation.

Which Is Right For You?

When you take on the role of an insurance agent, there are different factors to consider on whether you should be an independent or captive agent. Do you feel like you are motivated enough to build your own business and create your own client base? Or do you want to work for a company that offers the resources you need and offers a salary? These are important questions that you need to think about before diving into the field.

You can become your own boss and build a network, or you can work for someone and become a part of a network. Either way, there is success in both of these kinds of agents, it just depends on how much work you want to put in.

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.

How to Sell Health Insurance to 26 Year Olds

When it comes to selling health insurance, there is a niche, often overlooked group that requires a different approach than your average 30-year-old looking to purchase a family plan – the 26 year-olds.

The reason selling insurance to this age group should be handled differently is because, similar to any specified target customer, the needs and wants someone is their mid-20s has are unique. They’re purchasing insurance for themselves for the first time, most likely because the lifespan on their parents’ plans has come to an end.

To help you take on this group, we’ve compiled three key tips to provide agents with some insight on the purchasing behaviors to keep an eye out for when encountering a young adult:

Flexibility

Perhaps one of the primary behaviors of a young adult is a “no-commitment” mentality. Many of these individuals, if single, are not looking to sign off on anything that is permanent. Just look at the recent stats from the U.S. Census Bureau – the average age of first marriage for women in 2017 was 27.4 years. For men, it’s slightly older at 29.5 years. At 26, it would be fair to anticipate that flexibility is appealing.

Unlike long-term plans, short term health insurance provides fast, flexible insurance with many benefits. These plans can be extended up to 3 years, and you can pick your deductible amount from many options. You are also able to drop coverage without a penalty if you want to change to a long term insurance option. Premiums are lower than ACA health insurance plans, and you get coverage as soon as a day after applying. We’d recommend, in addition to providing information on long-term plans, you emphasize flexible short-plans if a 26-year-old sounds hesitant to commit to a purchase.

Partnership

Key trait of the 26 year-olds: they’re online. Shopping, of any essence, is typically done via computer, phone, table, iPod, etc. This generation is used to one-click Amazon Prime purchases. As the professional agent, it’s your job to make insurance shopping the same.

Comparison shopping, which any experienced shopper is familiar with, takes up a significant amount of valuable time. Being the insurance agent, you become the one-stop Amazon Prime Insurance stop. By offering your guidance and comparison of plans – you’re doing the difficult work for them. Prove your expertise by doing proper research to give them a well-rounded analysis of plans, prices, premiums, and more.

In this customer scenario, you are, above all, their teammate. Help them to decide on their preferences. Preferences that a first time shopper does not even know they have. If you can help the average young adult find a quality plan that checks off their boxes, you’ve done your job. Remember: you are there to inform and support them in their selection, regardless of what it may be.

The Overall Price of the Plan

If an individual is a 20-something, as mentioned, they are more likely to be single and childless – but that doesn’t mean they will stay that way. Life events are approaching. Marriage, children, mortgages, retirement plans, etc.

Short term plans are certainly cost friendly. However, the downside of waiting to buy a long-term plan is that they might face higher premiums. Emphasize this to your customer; good deals are attractive to a young professional transitioning into “adult” mode.

Keep in mind that health insurance will not be the only major purchase a 26 year-old be thinking about. These life events are cost sensitive, so for a mid-twenties individual who may be in the early stages of a career, it is not far off to assume the plan should fit a specific budget. Be prepared to provide quality plans at a low cost, especially if the customer sounds concerned about a serious purchase such as this.

You’re The Pro

When establishing rapport with a 26 year-old, you must take into consideration the amount of money they are willing to pay, the coverage they are looking for, the premiums offered, and the term length of the plan. If the individual does not have an opinion on any of these answers, be sure to guide them with explanations.

While you are doing your best to sell a plan, your primary approach should be to educate the customer. You are the professional. Create a culture of Q&A between yourself and your client. If you do this successfully, you will establish yourself as an expert in what you do. Your clients will take notice and refer you to more potential clients, and you will quickly become the go-to for guidance in your network of customers. If you put building trust within your community first – the sales will follow close behind you.

Do You Know How to Sell Yours Product?

While this may seem like an unrelated question to insurance marketing, it is a valid one. Not everyone knows how to sell a product or service. While for some selling comes naturally, others struggle. This does not mean you cannot learn how to sell.

It is a good thing to remember that a product, particularly insurance, does not sell itself – not without the help of a well-trained, personable and knowledgeable agent. The number one thing to remember is that no insurance sale can be complete without a competent agent. You need to be able to self yourself to others because the product will not necessarily appeal to people on its own. You are the key to making people buy insurance.

Next, to be great at sales, you need to know your product. You will need to train diligently to know the product. You knowledge of insurance policies will allow you to explain your product to your clients. This will help attract new leads.

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