Activity vs Sales
Which is the better predictor for producer success?
Many agency principals and sales managers believe that compensation and commissions will motivate their producers. That’s true for those who are motivated solely by money. Many studies show that people, producers included, are motivated by several different influencing factors. Some are positive influencers, some are negative . But they are equally potent, powerful forms of motivation. The most frequent responses to surveys on motivation that ask “What motivates you to perform at work” are:
-Fear of failure
-Personal satisfaction- A job well done
To effectively manage and motivate producers, managers need to understand and determine specific motivation factors for individual producers and develop methods of rewarding them in the ways they want to be rewarded.
“I have come to the understanding that tying compensation to activity to help drive prospecting is a critical non optional behavior that helps create opportunity for success.”
While CRM systems cannot be used to create personal satisfaction incentives, they can be used to address all other motivation factors listed in some form.
-Posting wins creates recognition
-Posting activity and results creates peer pressure
-Both 1 and 2 create competition
-Lack of activity compared to peers creates a potential fear of failure factor
Agency principals and sales managers are beginning to understand that compensation plans for producers, especially young or newer producers must include compensation based not only on results, but on activity as well. I am a firm believer in tying compensation to activity for young or new producers. It’s also not a bad idea to implement activity based incentives for for experienced producers who’s production has stalled. This will result in plump pipelines, more at bats and, if the experienced pro can close, . . . more new business.
New producers who do not have high activity levels are doomed to fail. I see this consistently when working with new and experienced producers. Activity is a key behavior that develops successful salespeople. Fortunately, activity can be a learned behavior and skill set that managers can easily monitor, measure and instill in producers. Activity is also a yardstick mangers can use to measure performance to make decisions that save years of frustration and hundreds of thousands in wasted resources on producers who won’t prospect and sell. Knowing the importance of activity plays in developing of successful Producers, I suggest you find a method of doing this using your CRM, or Agency Management system. In the absence of these an excel spreadsheet will do nicely.
It’s not difficult or complicated. What I want to measure with respect to activity are 4 things.
# phones calls
# of new business appointments
# of visits with centers of influence or clients for referrals
# of cold calls
Leaders can then run these reports to monitor and compare activity to activity based goals they set for producers. Obviously it’s also important to capture these contacts in your agency data base for use in marketing initiatives and for future follow up.
I have come to the understanding that tying compensation to activity, providing a method for producers to record their activity and monitoring their activity to help drive prospecting are critical non optional behaviors that help create opportunity for success.
Good luck with your producer development!