Insurance agency executives, producers, brokers, agents, and executives all share a common theme. All of them want to increase their business. This invariably leads to an effective lead generation strategy. This discussion can be part of a larger insurance agency marketing strategy. However, it is more common for established agencies to have this conversation. Smaller agencies tend to focus on lead generation. In almost all cases, agencies seek better qualified leads. This leads to an interesting paradox: Is it the successful agent that will produce high-quality leads or is it the agent that will be successful?
A few key elements are essential for effective lead generation in an insurance agency, or pipeline building, as some agents call it.
- Attributes of the Prospect Profile/Target Profile
- Suspect/Prospect List Generation
- Data Repository (Contact Management/SFA/CRM).
- Lead Generation Strategy/Campaigns
- Lead Handling Process
- Closed business
- Closed Loop Marketing/Lead Gen Plan Measurement
This is conceptually a straightforward process. The pipeline will be more productive if there are enough leads. This will allow for more business to flow down the funnel. Although this sounds straightforward from a strategic perspective, it can be difficult from a tactical standpoint. Let’s take, for example, an insurance agency telemarketing lead-generation initiative.
Let’s start with the 2,000 insurance prospects at the top of the sales funnel. You can target a vertical market (specialty market like trucking insurance, contractor insurance) or a horizontal one (any business with a revenue between $5 million and $50 million in a specific geography). C-Suite executives such as CEO, CFO and COO could be your target. You will target owners more often if the profile is smaller. You might consider adding VP and Manager level prospects to larger companies, such as Benefits Directors or Risk Managers. A sound plan for insurance lead generation includes identifying the target prospect attributes and creating a quality suspect list.
Agents and producers should spend time with qualified prospects who will likely buy. But where are these leads coming from? A decade ago, a new producer would be handed a desk, phone, and phone book. They were instructed to “pound the phones”, and to join local organizations to get leads. Even though this is still the case today, we will assume that the phone book has been replaced by some digital alternative. It could be a simple spreadsheet, database, or a more complex SFA or CRM system. This approach often shows agencies that many of their new producers lack sufficient skill to drive enough leads into their pipelines. Organization of data is an important step in the process. How will your insurance agency organize and build prospect lists? Where will data be kept and updated? This is an essential part of lead generation for insurance agencies. A weak suspect list can lead to substandard campaigns regardless of who is outbound calling or eMarketing.
What are the most efficient and fastest ways to generate leads for insurance agencies? Targeted eMarketing is a great way to grow your insurance agency pipeline. Professionally rendered appointment setting calls (using knowledgeable and experienced insurance telemarketers), are also two of the most effective ways to do this. Adding fulfillment tools such as webinars, case studies, white papers, newsletters and industry whitepapers to these lead generation efforts will increase efficiency. Any agent can start at the beginning. This involves a clearly defined and well-managed insurance telemarketing campaign, as well as a lead handling process. If you have the necessary staff, this can be done either in-house or outsourced to an insurance marketing agency.
The incremental increase in investment in a new or existing producer by insurance agency lead generation can significantly improve the quality of your pipeline and increase your close ratios, which will in turn positively impact ROI. Although there are inherent risks in hiring new agents or investing in more experienced producers, an effective program for insurance lead generation can increase everyone’s book.