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Finding, motivating, and retaining top producer talent is considered a high priority for agencies. Getting the most out of producers is even more apparent in the current market, leading me to research what traits make a successful producer and what training and motivational techniques managers can practice to contribute to that success.

By Jessica Stevenson, Account Executive – MySalesResults 

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 is the first article in a 4 part series where I will be presenting the results of this in-depth insurance industry research project and below are the conclusions of each sub-topic along with the questions I asked:

Conclusions:  Sales people need to be sales people, but they also need to fit into your culture.

Sales People | Sales Management:  Recruiting | Hiring – pt 2 of 4

Where – Where are you finding your best sales people?
Characteristics – What characteristics do your best sales people possess?
Interview Process – What is your interview & hiring process?
Testing – What type of testing programs do you use to determine traits, qualifications & unique abilities?

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

Sales People | Sales Management:  Training | Mentoring – pt 3 of 4

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?
Mentoring – What have you found to be the most effective mentoring program?
Carrier – What type of training do your new sales people participate in on the carrier side?
Outside Sales – What outside sales consultants do you use for new sales training as well as continued training?

Conclusions:  If you don’t have goals, how can you exceed them?  Sales people who are “maintaining” and not “selling are not sales people, they are account managers.

Sales People| Sales Management:  Accountability | Motivation – pt 4 of 4

Goals - What are the goals & minimum expectations set for your sales people?
Measurement – What do you use to measure and track goals in order to hold your sales people accountable?
Meetings – What is your sales meeting structure?
Compensation – What type of compensation plan do you use to ensure your sales people continually exceed minimum expectations for both new business & overall growth?

The results of the research are very exciting.  The group of agencies researched ranged in size from a small 6 employee agency to a large 100+ employee agency and everywhere in between. 

Stay tuned for the articles in the upcoming months where I will be covering each of the sub areas in more detail.  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.