Creating a Sales Plan: A Step by Step Guide

Posted on September 11th, 2020 by nms

Sales are a critical component of any business operation. Insurance agencies of every size and type rely on sales practices to drive business growth. The right sales strategies can more efficiently connect with new customers as the agency shares its products and services, improving the bottom line. Not all sales initiatives are created equally, however; for the best return on investment, a dedicated insurance marketing sales plan is the key to unlocking the incredible potential of sales. In this guide, we’ll show you how to create your own insurance marketing sales plan.

Why Create an Insurance Marketing Sales Plan?

As an insurance professional, you know how important sales are in improving business revenue and growth. Unfortunately, many agencies struggle with sales initiatives, trying numerous iterations before one begins to produce the desired results. The missing component in many of these sales initiatives is the plan itself. A plan helps the marketing team focus on what outcome or goals the agency desires, and it can eliminate costly mistakes. Insurance marketing sales plans also lay out the specific steps needed to implement far-reaching sales strategies. In any organization, planning is the key to success, and that applies to insurance firms as well.

Components of an Insurance Marketing Sales Plan

There are many factors that influence the creation of a sales plan. Ultimately, this plan lays out primary objectives for the sales team, then provides guidance to achieve those objectives. Some of the components of an insurance marketing sales plan include:

  • Information about target audiences based on demographics, regional details, and consumer preferences.
  • Clearly-illustrated goals and objectives, such as reaching a target sales figure or a new region.
  • An outline of the roles and responsibilities of each member of the sales/marketing team.
  • Specific steps to take in rolling out sales initiatives, including timelines for implementing the different parts of a given initiative.
  • Mechanisms to collect and analyze sales data to gauge progress of the sales initiative.
  • Pricing information for the products and services on offer.
  • Promotional information, specifically those that can be extended to potential customers to create conversions.
  • Details about a given target market and overall market conditions that will influence sales strategies.

The above components can be used to draft a plan template, further streamlining the process.

Writing the Insurance Marketing Sales Plan

Before embarking on the process of creating an insurance marketing sales plan, it is time to gather all stakeholders. Each member of the sales team, as well as principal managers and agency owners, will have their own ideas. Gathering these ideas beforehand can positively influence the sales planning process and may reveal specific goals or objectives.

To begin the drafting process, it is always a good practice to start with the company’s mission and vision statements. These statements may differ from the agency’s core mission; in other words, the sales mission statement may spell out goals specific to the sales initiative.

Next, assign roles to each team member. These roles – and their related responsibilities – are an integral part of the plan, helping to keep each member and the entire team on track as progress continues. Deadlines and deliverables for each team member should be clearly delineated in the plan.

A sales initiative’s target market is perhaps the most important piece of the sales puzzle. Gone are the days when insurance agencies blanketed a region with marketing; today, data-driven identification of targeted customers is a fundamental part of the sales process. Clearly identifying audiences based on location, financial details, preferences, and insurance needs greatly streamlines the sales process and helps to keep costs in check. The target market’s details must be included in any sales plan.

Creating an action plan within the sale plan is perhaps the most difficult part of the planning process. In this part, timelines for achieving certain performance metrics are spelled out. For example, an action plan may include features like:

  • Objectives for referrals, commission targets, or promotional discounts.
  • Setting bonuses for sales teams.
  • Hosting events and workshops for the sales team.

Because a specific goal or goals are part of the sales plan, a timeline for achieving those goals is crucial. This action plan sharpens focus, encouraging the team to hit benchmarks at a pace sufficient to achieve positive outcomes.

Other Sales Plan Considerations

You’re well on your way to developing your first insurance marketing sales plan. Most of the big components are in place and the team is ready to begin tackling projects to achieve goals. There are still several factors to consider as you embark on the sales planning process, however, including:

  • Budgetary requirements, which may include overall plan budgets as well as line-items like training, staff development, contest prizes, travel expenses, and tools or resources needed to implement the plan.
  • Any resources needed to implement the plan, such as datasets and demographics for target audiences, specialized software solutions, or third-party assistance with artistic and creative components.
  • Details on competitors. Understanding your competitors can unlock new opportunities by helping the sales team to identify what is working for them and how your own efforts can be differentiated. There are almost always gaps to exploit, and by understanding them, you can position your own efforts to fill them.

An insurance marketing sales plan offers many significant benefits for agencies and brokerages. While the planning process requires a lot of hard work and dedication, the improvement in revenue and in business growth more than outweighs any difficulties in establishing the plan.

About Agency Tsunami

Agency Tsunami is the digital marketing division of Neilson Marketing Services, who has provided the insurance distribution sector with innovative marketing and communication solutions for over twenty-five years. With our Agency Tsunami program, we have implemented an integrated marketing strategy that includes optimized, professional websites supported by high-quality SEO and Social Media for hundreds of insurance retailers and wholesalers. Our goal is to help your insurance business perform and generate new opportunities. Give us a call at (800) 736-9741 to learn more about how we can do that for you.