What are you looking at this Q4?
Fourth quarter is here, and that probably means that, along with being seriously busy with renewals and Open Enrollment, you’re also likely going to take a look at your agency’s performance over the past year. Maybe even setting some goals based on that performance for next year?
If you’re a goal-setting agency (which you should be), I’m willing to bet that growth is on that list. Whether you’re setting goals for a certain number of clients you’d like to add to your book of business or you’re speaking about it in terms of a percent growth, there is something you should be consistently doing to stay on track for that goal: tracking and analyzing performance metrics.
What metrics should I track?
Performance metrics can definitely vary from agency to agency, but there are a set of metrics that agencies should be paying attention to to at least start with. I’ve grouped them under which area of your business they’ll help you gain insight into.
- Individuals, groups, & policies by lead source
- New leads per month, quarter, year
- Website traffic by source (organic, social media, paid, etc.)
- Groups & individuals by status
- Top producing agents
- Client services:
- Churn rate
- Retention rate
- Products you sell:
- Policies by coverage type
- Net vs. received commissions by coverage type
- Top producing carriers
No matter what your marketing strategy is, it makes no sense to continue placing resources where you aren’t gaining value back. So, you have to analyze your efforts. Even if you’re new to performance tracking, there’s a couple simple ways to get started that I listed above: tracking your lead sources, looking at new leads coming in, and looking at website traffic volume and sources.
Individuals, groups, & policies by lead source
The key word here is lead source. In order to find patterns and know where to aim your lead generation efforts, you need to know what’s worked in the past. Looking at your clients (individuals and group) and overall policies by lead source can help you determine the best areas to continue aiming your efforts and the sources you could potentially drop.
The graph below is from AgencyBloc and shows the number of group leads you’ve acquired and, then, how many now have policies with you for each lead source.
Groups & Policies by Lead Source | AgencyBloc Graph
Something you can quickly deduce from this graph is which lead sources are good lead generators and, more importantly, which lead sources typically sell well. Client referrals for this agency, for example, bring in the most leads of any of the lead sources; however, actual policies sold seems to be lagging behind.
This is just a snapshot, though. You could dig in further with a report over a set period of time to better understand that lag. It could just be that those referrals haven’t all been reached out to yet. But with insights like this, you’re sure to identify these reasons and act on them quickly
New leads (per month, quarter, year, etc.)
Keeping a pulse on the volume and type of leads coming into your agency on a regular basis is important for knowing whether you’re marketing efforts are aimed at the right audience.
This information can be found with a report in AgencyBloc looking at Individual or Group leads you acquired within the last month.
New Leads This Month | AgencyBloc Custom Reporting
The columns are what are going to show up when you run the report. You may not have all of this information, especially if they are just a lead that you haven’t spoken with yet. However, this gives you a handle on what the leads are like and how many are coming in at a time.
You may want to add more columns with details that your agency cares about beyond birth date to better understand the leads.
Website traffic by source (organic, social media, paid, etc.)
This is the only metric in this blog that you won’t be looking in AgencyBloc for. You’ll be looking at Google Analytics (or another website traffic monitoring system that you might use).
If you don’t have Google Analytics set up on your website, here’s a helpful video for getting started:
With Google Analytics, you can see your traffic volume for any date range; plus, you can see the source the traffic comes from: direct, organic, paid search, referral, email, social, and more.
SmartBug, an inbound marketing expert, defines these types of traffic:
- Referral: Traffic that occurs when a user finds you through a site other than a major search engine
- Social: Traffic from a social network, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram
- Organic: Traffic from search engine results that is earned, not paid
- Paid search: Traffic from search engine results that is the result of paid advertising via Google AdWords or another paid search platform
- Email: Traffic from email marketing that has been properly tagged with an email parameter
- Other: If traffic does not fit into another source or has been tagged as “Other” via a URL parameter, it will be bucketed into “Other” traffic.
- Direct: Any traffic where the referrer or source is unknown.
Why is this important? Your website is the front door of your business. Countless studies have now shown that almost everyone researches online before purchasing, so knowing the “health” of your website is crucial.
With these insights, you can make informed decisions on where to place more marketing dollars.
Now that you’ve analyzed how your marketing efforts are panning out, it’s time to take a look at how your sales team is performing.
Taking a look where leads are and what’s on each agent’s plate each month helps you determine where you can be of help, while looking at these things on a quarterly or yearly basis helps you get a feel for the health of your funnel overall.
Groups & individuals by status
Take a look at the volume of contacts under specific statuses on a regular basis. Your contacts could be leads or clients, but you’re looking at their status.
These statuses include not contacted yet, quoting, app submitted, enrolled...or whatever you call them at your agency!
Doing so helps you follow your prospects and eventual clients through the sales cycle.
Top producing agents
If you’re managing several agents, it’s important to know how they’re performing. We’re not encouraging micro-managing here; we’re encouraging knowing how people are performing so you can identify where you can help. This graph showing top producing agents by their commissions earned helps to visualize this.
Top Commissions Received by Agent | AgencyBloc Graph
So you’ve analyzed marketing and sales performance; now it’s time to see how your client services team is doing with your clients.
Churn rate tells you how many clients leave you compared to how many new clients you’re bringing in. Hubspot explains how to calculate churn rate:
“To calculate customer churn rate, designate a time period, and tally up the total number of customers you acquired and the number of customers who churned during that time period. Then, divide the number of customers who churned by the total number of customers acquired, and multiply that decimal by 100%, to calculate your churn rate.
So, for instance, if you have five customers cancel and you originally signed 200 customers during that time period, your churn rate would be 2.5%.
5 ÷ 200 = .025 x 100% = 2.5%”
Since you’re tracking client statuses, you’d find this in AgencyBloc by simply looking at clients newly enrolled in the month and clients who canceled in the month to get these numbers.
You’re probably wanting to know what you should be aiming to stay below for churn rate. Unfortunately, finding benchmarks for your exact size of business and then for the insurance industry can be difficult. However, you can use this graph from Recurly Research as a guideline.
Churn Rate by Industry | Recurly Research
For insurance agencies, you should be looking at the Consumer Services and/or Business Services as the industry churn rates to follow. Obviously, your goal is to always be below these rates.
Just as you want to know how many clients are leaving you, on average, you want to know what percentage of your book you’re retaining on an ongoing basis.
We wrote in this blog how important it is to track retention rate because retention rate is, obviously, an indicator of client satisfaction, but it also helps you identify quickly if there seems to be an issue that needs to be addressed.
The insurance industry average retention rate, according to Guiding Metrics, is 84%. Although, you’ll likely find a bit of a range on that if you do your own research. Your goal is to always be increasing your retention rate, or at the very least, maintaining a high standard like 85-90%.
—PRODUCTS YOU SELL—
You can have the best marketing team and be an amazing salesperson, but you won’t see success if you’re selling the wrong (or just plain bad) products. We just looked at a couple metrics that might tell you if a change is needed in this area (churn rate & retention rate), but the following three metrics dive a bit deeper into the actual products and carriers themselves.
Policies by coverage type
This metric allows you to see where most of your business resides. Why is this important? Well, some agencies rely on selling only a few products or coverage types. It’s important to keep an eye on those so you can quickly notice any changes and address them accordingly.
Policies by Coverage Type | AgencyBloc Graph
Net vs. received commissions by coverage type
When looking at your agency’s financial health, it’s vital to know where your revenue is coming from, how it compares to last year, and, perhaps most important, where your net profit comes from.
For each of the coverage types you see in the graph below, you’ll see how much in commissions you sold for them. This will guide your decisions going forward in what types you’ll continue selling and if there’s a reason to inspect whether to keep others.
Top producing carriers
In the same way as commissions received by coverage type, you can look at commissions received by carriers. Compare to last year to understand where the market is going and what changes potentially need to be made on your end.
How can I track & analyze these?
There are a couple different ways you can track these, but the easiest is definitely within an agency management system, like AgencyBloc, that is already housing this information. Agencies can and do track these metrics within Excel spreadsheets, but you’ll need to understand the time commitments with that. Plus, that won’t be real-time; you’ll need to continually update the information.
AgencyBloc allows users to monitor metrics like these on a daily basis with real-time graphs and charts (like the ones you saw above), but also to dig deeper with custom reporting.
Real-time means that anytime data changes in your book of business, those graphs are updated. So you’re always looking at the latest data.
With custom reporting, you choose the date range and what you want to see.
Building a Custom Report | AgencyBloc
To be confident in your decisions and effectively lead your team, you have to make informed decisions. You simply cannot be “guessing in the dark” on decisions that affect the health of your business and the direction of your team.
While these are just a few examples of metrics that might be important to you, the point is that you need to be monitoring your performance in some capacity.
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