Teach New Producers to Diagnose Success Early and Often
There is a fun phrase in golf, “Drive for show, putt for dough.”
It’s a subtle shot at those guys that can rip it off the tee but can’t putt, so they don’t score so well.
The reality is even more simple than that: There is a minimum of three parts in the game of golf that you can measure and therefore improve.
Those are your KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators.
Yes, you can get intricately more sophisticated with a trackman, measuring plane, club head speed, angle of attack and more. However, a good golf coach will start with those basics to help you build a plan to improve your score. If you don’t keep track, and most amateur golfers do not, then it’s more difficult to diagnose what will improve your score.
The same could be said for a new producer. If you don’t keep track, it’s more difficult to diagnose what will improve your ability to hit your new business goal and become the next Million Dollar Producer.
With that in mind, here are five KPIs that will ensure you keep on track.
Average Account Size
If you want to be a Million Dollar Producer and obtain financial freedom, you’ll need to write the kind of accounts that will enable you to reach your goal while still being able to have a life.
It’s pretty easy math: You need 50 accounts at $20,000 each, 20 accounts at $50,000 each, 100 accounts at $10,000 each, 0r 200 accounts at $5,000 each.
Periodically, you need to evaluate this. If you write too many small accounts, it is guaranteed that you will get bogged down in the swamp of renewal, and it will kill your spirit. When that happens, you can easily become a glorified account manager instead of a respected producer.
So, you’ll want to compare your average account size to your goal, both in your existing book and in your prospect pipeline. Why would you prospect an account that won’t get you to your destination?
Number of Appointments
Once you set your new business goal, you’ll have to do some reverse engineering to determine how many accounts you need, with a high probability, to achieve that goal.
When that happens, you’ll have a monthly target. Monitoring your “appointments set” frequently, will embolden your confidence that you are on track, or be a gut check that you must improve your prospecting skills and increase activity.
Suppose you owned a hotel with 100 rooms and your proforma was based upon a 75% occupancy rate to break even. If you go below 75%, you’ll lose money. If you go above 75%, you’ll not only break even but will make money.
Your Qualifying Rate could be viewed the same way.
Suppose you set your new appointment goal at 34 for the year, and you expected, based upon your differentiation and selling skills, to actively work on 26 of them. Out of the 26, you expect to close 50% and with that, hit your new business goal.
What if only 20 are qualified to work on, and you still have a 50% close rate? You just went from closing 13 accounts to only closing 10. A significant difference.
It’s not the end of the world, if you catch it early. You can adjust your activity and you can improve your ability to find pain. You can adjust, improve and get back on track, if you know the truth.
Qualifying Rate is a KPI that is easy to track and keeps you in the know instead of in the dark.
Quick review: You set a goal of 34 appointments. You plan to qualify 75% as workable deals, meaning you’ll walk away from 25% because they are too small, too weird, no pain, no relationship or the incumbent has a bold grip on them.
Of the 75%, or 26 that you work on, you plan to close 50% or 13. That is your close ratio; those that you got by BOR or quoted and won. It’s another powerful KPI, that is easy to measure. If something goes awry here, you can diagnose and fix.
If you don’t have your KPIs, it’s like having a poorly performing stock portfolio, but you don’t know which stocks are killing your return.
Activity to Appointment Ratio
Here is the last piece: Your activity to appointment ratios.
Let’s do the math again. If you expect to set 34 appointments this year, you will want to determine how much activity it will take to accomplish that. In this example we are going to look at your ability to use the phone to set appointments.
There are three sub-ratios to look at.
Dials to Conversations: 12 conversations / 100 dials = 12% effectiveness
Conversations to Appointments: 2 Appointments / 12 Conversations = 16% effectiveness
Dials to Appointments: 2 Appointments / 100 Dials = 2% effectiveness
This is all easy to measure. If you are good at getting people on the phone, but it’s difficult to convert to an appointment, you can work on that aspect. If you struggle to get people on the phone to have a conversation, then you can add some marketing emails and/or improve your voicemails.
By having these KPIs, you can take responsibility for your success.
Message to Producers
Your agency owner or sales manager is a very busy person. They generally do not have time to hold your hand and guide you along this path. You can either fall into a state of mediocrity and do what comes naturally or take control of your own destiny by becoming your own performance coach.
Here is my recommendation.
To become your own performance coach, take these five KPIs and put them on a spreadsheet, handwrite them or if you have a technology platform like we provide our iWin Agency Growth System Members, use that.
Get your goals defined with precision, then update your worksheet weekly. Get three highlighter markers: green, yellow and red. At the end of each week, spend five minutes comparing your Actual to Goal. Using your highlighters, green for where you are on track or surpassing your goal, yellow for caution areas, and red for falling behind.
Face the truth with courage. Take control and fix your problems.
You might be a great appointment setter, but can’t find pain, so you quote and lose. You might be great at closing, but you are way short on appointments. The cause could be a lack of activity (too few dials), or your phone pitch is weak.
Learning to self-diagnose will put you way ahead of most of your peers and competitors.
Good luck and I look forward to seeing you in the line that says, “Million Dollar Producers” only!
Schwantz is founder of The Wedge Group. He’s also the author of the book Agency Growth Machine. Phone: 214-446-3209. Email: email@example.com.