For most agencies, the cornerstone goal in 2017 is likelynew business written, allocated byproducer.

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“In 2017 we'ill grow 15 percent; each producer will write $125k+in new business.”

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Seems like a logical place to focus, right? Not so fast.

  • First, there is no sense of urgency.

  • Next, because the goal set has no real basis, nobody believes init.

  • Because nobody believes in it, there's no accountability orconsequences when it isn't hit.

  • As a result, the goal is nothing more than a suggestion.

The root problem with this approach is that it pays littleattention to the activities that lead to new sales. To improve odds for success, makeyour primary focus the activity that allows the final goal to beachieved.

Sales isn't the job

Any good salesperson can close. The difference between goodsales people and great ones is the ability to open doors. Withenough quality (ideal) leads, sales numbers take care ofthemselves.

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Your primary goal must shift to opportunities created, bothquality and quantity.

Two sources, one goal

Leads come from two basic sources: Marketing efforts andsalespeople (aka, prospecting). It's time to establish acoordinated goal for both.

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Start with the following:

  • Agency growth goal – It's still important.Let's assume $500,000

  • Average account size – Assume$10,000/year/revenue

  • New accounts written – You need 50

  • Close ratio – If your close ratio is 20percent, you need 250 leads

“In 2017, we will create 250 new, 'ideal' opportunities.'”

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Here's why this is a more appropriate cornerstone goal:

  • You can break it down to five leads/week, creating a sense ofurgency

  • You get buy-in because it's based on past results (closeratio)

  • Accountability and consequences become easier because it'simmediately measurable

  • With accountability and consequences, stuff gets done

Who will do what?

While marketing efforts take longer, they are the mostpredictable generator of leads over time. Conversely, prospecting,while less predictable, is a quicker path. Decide how much of yourgrowth needs to be driven by marketing and how much by prospecting. Let's assume 50-50.

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Marketing's primary goal should be the creation of 125 “ideal”leads. Secondary goals could include website visitors, conversions,marketing-qualified leads, etc.

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Prospecting's main goal should be 125 “ideal” leads (dividedamong producers). Secondary goals could include cold calls,referral conversations with clients, etc.

It's a new ballgame

The 2017 game is lead generation via a combination of marketingand prospecting. Play at a high level and you'll blow through yourgrowth goal.

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Of course, goals mean nothing without execution.

  1. Have you armed your producers with the training, sales processand value proposition to prospect with confidence?

  2. Have you developed a marketing strategy capable of actuallygenerating leads?

If you can't answer yes to both questions with absoluteconfidence, it's time to get “game ready.”

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