images iStock shaking hands with text 361764500

This is the third article in a 4 part series where I will be presenting the results of an in-depth insurance industry research project. As a part of the research, I interviewed several of the industry’s top agency sales managers to find out everything I could about what makes a great sales person and how to effectively manage sales teams. This post focuses on training and mentoring.

By Jessica Stevenson, Account Executive – MySalesResults

 

Conclusions:  Continual education and business acumen in any profession is necessary for success.  And having good mentoring program is the best type of training for a new sales person.

 

Internal – What type of internal process do you have to teach your new sales people in-house systems procedures as well as your culture and how the rest of the team contributes to the overall big picture?We found that although most agencies have a some sort of formal internal training program in place, most felt that that they could be doing a better job at it.  And even through again it takes time upfront to do this; in the long run it will help your producers to be more successful. 

Mentoring – What have you found to be the most effective mentoring program?

The mentoring process is generally a 1-3 year program where the producer is assigned a specific mentor in the organization.

 

Carrier – What type of training do your new sales people participate in on the carrier side?

Carriers throughout the industry offer training programs, from both a coverage standpoint as well as sales skills, they generally range from 1-3 weeks. 

  1. few that were found in our research are listed here:

 

Outside Sales – What outside sales consultants do you use for new sales training as well as continued training?

Hiring or working with outside sales consultants will help not only new producers, but also helps the entire sales & management team.  Below are a few well known industry groups with programs specifically developed for insurance sales people.

Training | Mentoring – Summary

Having a structured training and mentoring program is a critical and fundamental component to the success or failure of a producer.  Not only is education and business acumen important for a new producer, it is necessary throughout every level of the profession in order to continue to be successful.

Our research shows that effective producer training should include a three-pronged approach.  Internal training is important to get new producers acclimated to the agency’s policies, processes, and culture. Mentoring – arguably the most important for young producers – helps producers learn from seasoned agents and provides a source continual support as they progress.  Finally, outside sales training and resources are readily available from various sources that can help producers enhance their sales skills.

Stay tuned for part 4 of the series that will focus on accountability & motivation.  Thank you again to all of the agencies that participated in this project.

Jessica Stevenson is an Account Executive for MySalesResults, a SMART IT Services company.  She has worked in the insurance industry with sales people and sales managers for over 11 years.