The business pipeline is a critical tool for keeping track of prospects and securing new clients, and yet it strikes fear into the hearts of many producers.
Rainmaker Advisory’s 2017 annual survey of over 1,400 producers revealed that more than 50% updated their pipeline “at least once a month” as opposed to weekly or every two weeks. Unfortunately, close to two-thirds of total opportunities are forgotten without weekly record-keeping.
“The term ‘pipeline’ does probably the biggest disservice – once producers hear it, they tend to shut off,” said David Estrada, industry veteran and Rainmaker Advisory founder, who’s leading an exclusive Insurance Business webinar on business strategy for insurance agents on April 05.
“Traditionally, the pipeline has been a mechanism through which they would input their activity, number of appointments, what they’re working on, etc. In the very beginning, the data input would typically serve the producer very well,” he explained. “With the CRMs, many of them are so robust and asked them to input incredible amounts of data, which takes a long time, and a lot of that is really meant for the organization to crunch their numbers and do forecasting.”
At one firm that Estrada worked for, it would take 18 to 22 minutes just to input a new prospect, which led producers to push off the work until clients confirmed they wanted to move forward.
So, Estrada developed a solution – one pipeline for company leadership to help them forecast, and another so-called producer dashboard for easy documentation of the progress they’re making with clients.
“It takes minutes to update and it literally just contains the fields and information that they as a producer in the field trying to convert non-clients into clients absolutely need to track and keep in touch,” he said. And by minutes, Estrada means only 10 to 15 a week.
Producers are fans of this efficient, two-pronged pipeline. According to Estrada, 92% of alumni that go through Rainmaker Advisory’s coaching programs are still using both.
“Human nature being what it is, producers will bump into someone in the field, they’ll bump into somebody at a party, they’ll bump into somebody at a social event, and they’ll say, that’s a prospect that I should follow up on when I get back to the office,” he said. “They get back to the office, things get busy, they have to return phone calls, there are a few fires, and they just forget.
“The discipline of weekly is absolutely critical and frankly a best practice is on a Friday – at the end of the week, it’s easy to capture all of the week’s events.”
David Estrada will be sharing his insights on business strategy for insurance agents during an Insurance Business webinar on April 05, 2018. Click here for more details and to register.