Workflows for growing agency

Apr 16, 2019 at 9:51 AM

  1. Judith Jolley
    Online

    Judith Jolley New Member

    Posts:
    3
    Likes Received:
    2
    State:
    Florida
    Hey all! This is my first post here, but I've been lurking for some time. Our Medicare agency is starting to grow. We recently added the 4th employee and have found that prior to this, we didn't really work on clear job descriptions or have a flow. With the new addition, we're having trouble delineating who is responsible for what and are doing redundant work. I have since stepped back from sales and moved into a managing position, but I'm getting some push back on setting up a workflow. Nobody likes change I guess!

    Our main issue is with prospects coming in. Our prospects mainly come from client referrals/word of mouth or seminars with centers of influence. We currently have 2 active sales agents, one being the owner of the company. He likes to take the bigger fish, if you will, due to possible life insurance/annuity cross sales. So we're having issues with leads coming in and either he doesn't get time to see them due to also running the company, or our other agent (who is NOT independent and works solely for the agency) ends up seeing them and that causes problems as she is not as successful into steering them towards supplements.

    Does anyone have a process set in place to qualify leads before assigning them to an agent? Our agency is well loved because of the casual atmosphere, so we don't want anything too complicated or offputting. But something where the leads flow through and go to the most appropriate agent for the sale.

    We are currently running with the 2 agents, an office manager (myself), and our new addition will act as an admin assistant/new business submission. Just looking to see how others handle the flow of a growing business.

    Current ideas include:
    -a brief preliminary survey that asks key identifiers..either through an online format or over the phone
    -collecting information and CEO allocates cases to agents (time-consuming and not working)
     
  2. Todd King
    Offline

    Todd King IMO/FMO Owner

    Posts:
    8,103
    Likes Received:
    1,647
    State:
    Virginia
    Sounds like it's time for the owner to train that salesperson a bit more so that she can handle ALL of the sales with only a few having to kick up to the owner. It's time for the owner to be an owner now, not an agent.
     
    Todd King, Apr 16, 2019 at 10:30 AM
    #2
  3. Judith Jolley
    Online

    Judith Jolley New Member

    Posts:
    3
    Likes Received:
    2
    State:
    Florida

    100% agree. Hoping with a set process in place he will feel more comfortable working ON his business, rather than IN his business.
     
  4. BADTROUT
    Online

    BADTROUT Guru

    Posts:
    409
    Likes Received:
    259
    State:
    Colorado
    If he wants to work on the business he hires a real salesperson and closer. If he wants to work in his business he needs to make you his executive assistant, pay you your salary plus half of the salary he would have paid to the clerical person and call it good... but he will again plateau... the best producers dont always make the best owners... took me 10 years to let go... and in the 4 years since, I've doubled in size... twice.
     
    BADTROUT, Apr 16, 2019 at 11:04 AM
    #4
  5. Judith Jolley
    Online

    Judith Jolley New Member

    Posts:
    3
    Likes Received:
    2
    State:
    Florida
    Great point. He's been in the business since the late 70s, he's 76 himself..so I'm working against some bad habits. When I came to work here a few years ago, I got the feeling that everyone was just letting the company ride until he passed away, and there was no succession plan in place. That has since changed, a succession plan is in place, and I think he has renewed his fire to grow. But during that slump, things have gotten really crazy from an operational standpoint. There is ZERO process. It's just a frenzy from the time the lead comes in til delivery. Things are falling through the cracks. Work is being done twice, sometimes three times by different people because there is no clear directive on who is responsible for it. It's insane to me. I've now been promoted and I think I can get this thing moving in the right direction, but I think there's going to be a come to jesus meeting with CEO on how he is his own roadblock here.
     
  6. BADTROUT
    Online

    BADTROUT Guru

    Posts:
    409
    Likes Received:
    259
    State:
    Colorado
    It was hard as an owner for me to let go and hire an operations manager... what helped me get through it (I'm not 76 but I am just as stubborn) was she asked me for a job description. So I laid out my job description... She informed me that sounded more like an assistant and the word manager was being used for fluff. If she was to manage, she needed to be able to color however or wherever she wanted and my role was just to draw the lines she could not cross... It was enlightening. I suggest perhaps the same approach from you. Ask what his expectations are of his "manager", and if that is to determine the most efficient (and modern-centric) workflows he has just put you in a position to do, and ask for forgiveness afterward. I have an agency I work within the same position you are only in P&C and it has taken over a year, but the 'ol man finally is giving in and seeing the benefits of his YEARS of hard work come to fruition by the empowerment of his staff. Just remind him, if he COULD do everything, he wouldn't need any staff. Hope this helps with your resolve!
     
    BADTROUT, Apr 16, 2019 at 11:37 AM
    #6
  7. leevena
    Offline

    leevena Guru

    Posts:
    1,230
    Likes Received:
    140
    You have a few issues here, and keep in mind I do not know enough of this situation, so keep that in mind as you read.

    You stated that you are getting pushback on the workflow you have proposed, so it appears to me that you may be out there on a limb without any backing or authority. Step 1 is to always get the boss/owners backing for what you are doing. Your plan should then be reviewed and approved by the boss/owner before being shared. Once the boss/owner approves he/she should announce to the staff what you are doing and that he is fully behind it and you.

    As for the issues of prospects, he is the owner and can do whatever he wants, whether anyone likes it or not. However, you may want to have a discussion with him about this, layout options with pros and cons and develop a process based on what he wants.

    As for responsibilities, this is a little more difficult for me because I do not know work loads, capabilities of staff, etc.

    Good luck
     
    leevena, Apr 16, 2019 at 12:46 PM
    #7
Loading...