Key Performance Indicators
Though it can be difficult to set aside time for, studying the performance of your insurance agency is so important.
It can also be challenging to decide which KPIs (key performance indicators) to track and analyze, especially if you’re just starting out. ClearPoint Strategy suggests:
“A good KPI should act as a compass, helping you and your team understand whether you’re taking the right path toward your strategic goals. To be effective, a KPI must:
- Be well-defined and quantifiable.
- Be communicated throughout your organization and department.
- Be crucial to achieving your goal. (Hence, key performance indicators.)
- Be applicable to your Line of Business (LOB) or department.”
For insurance agencies, there are countless KPIs that could be monitored. Agencies will differ on which KPIs are most important to them depending on their size, audience, and product line.
However, we feel there are 5 KPIs that life and health insurance agencies should consider tracking and analyzing on a regular basis. These 5 metrics cover meaningful areas of your business: commissions, new business, agent production, marketing, and customer satisfaction.
1. Actual vs. Expected Commissions
This metric is important for several reasons, like foreshadowing revenue and to be sure you’re being paid what you should from carriers. A few other reasons identified by agencies are to make more informed decisions about:
- Hiring support staff—when will the agency need to and financially be able to hire more staff?
- Expanding or maintaining current client base—how much does an agent need to sell to reach their financial goal?
- Deciding which products to sell—what products bring the agency substantial revenue? Does the agency need to expand into other areas of business?
- Identifying new sales opportunities—how will expanding into a new market or simply selling more of the current products affect revenue?
- Finding missed or inaccurate commissions—are there discrepancies between what the agency expected to receive vs. what was actually received? How does that affect future plans?
$ in actual commissions received (monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc.)
$ in projected commissions (monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc.)
$ in expected commissions from carriers
$ in actual commissions received from carriers
2. New Policies (Per Week, Month, Quarter, Year, and Per Agent)
This metric is a gauge on the overall activity of your agency by looking at one of the most important aspects of your business: selling policies. Although taking care of current clients is crucial, you still focus a lot of effort on prospects and new business.
Looking at the number of new policies coming in weekly, monthly, and yearly is a great way to gauge growth at your agency. Using this metric, you can make more informed decisions on when your busier seasons are versus slower ones so you know when and where to place resources (think placing extra marketing resources/dollars in your slower periods).
# of new policies (per week, month, quarter, year)
# of new policies (per agent in timeframe)
3. Agent Production
Every business monitors the performance of its employees, and an insurance agency is no different. This metric helps you understand where you can help agents who might be struggling and where you can continue to encourage top performers. Not to mention, it’ll help you identify which of your agents might be best for certain accounts.
# of policies sold per agent
$ in commissions received per agent
4. Top Performing Lead Sources
In order to make improvements in lead generation and conversion rates, you have to be able to identify which lead sources are profitable and which ones aren’t. You’ll want to look at the close ratio per lead source and the close ratio per agent to see which sources are benefiting you most.
With this information, you can make strategic decisions on where to place more marketing dollars, where to put more effort from your agents, and potential lead sources you can cut resources from.
# of contacts per lead source (prospects, clients, etc.)
# of policies per lead source
$ in commissions received per lead source
5. Retention Rate
Inc.com provides this calculation and example for retention rate:
“Retention Rate = ((CE-CN)/CS)) X 100
CE = number of customers at end of period
CN = number of new customers acquired during period
CS = number of customers at start of period
You start the (week/month/year/other period you choose) with 200 customers. You lose 20 customers, but you gain 40 customers. At the end of the period you have 220 customers.
Now do the math:
220 - 40 = 180; 180/200 = .9; .9 x 100 = 90. Your retention rate for the period was 90 percent.”
It’s crucial for agencies to keep a close eye on their overall retention rate. Retention rate is an indicator of client satisfaction, but it can also help agencies identify internal or external factors that are playing into client retention that they may not have been aware of otherwise. Afterall, the only way you’re likely to start asking questions or dig into something is if you’re aware of a significant change. And the only way to identify a significant change is by monitoring this metric over time.
Retention Rate = ((CE-CN)/CS)) X 100 (formula above)
Like we said, these KPIs cover the bases for the most important aspects of your business. They definitely aren’t the end-all, be-all for knowing the overall health of your agency, but they can be a good place to start if you aren’t already tracking them.
Visualizing the Data
In order to draw insight from these metrics, you can’t just stare at lines of data. Humans process data best when they can identify patterns and see the trends through data visualization.
To do this, you need the right software. Although many businesses still attempt data visualization through spreadsheets, that process is very manual and time-consuming. Not to mention, you’ll want to look at some of these KPIs on a daily basis, and spreadsheets don’t offer an efficient way to do that. Thus, many insurance agencies are turning to agency management systems (AMS) with data tracking and analysis capabilities.
There are three main ways to monitor and analyze (through visualization): advanced searching, real-time graphs and charts, and industry/custom reporting. AgencyBloc, an AMS built for life and health insurance agencies, provides all three of these.
AgencyBloc Advanced & Saved Searches
A quick way to pull up specific information is to use Advanced Search. Using an Advanced Search, you can get very granular with the information you’re trying to retrieve. And, if it’s something you’re going to be looking at on a regular basis, you can save the search to view again later.
Advanced & Saved Searches are best for information you’re going to act on immediately and for data points you look at often (even daily).
AgencyBloc Advanced Search
AgencyBloc Dashboard Analytics
Dashboard Analytics are AgencyBloc’s most visual way to display data through the use of charts and graphs covering client, prospect, agent, policy, carrier, commission, and overall agency activity data. When data is presented to you in this way (known as “Smart Data”), you’re better able to identify patterns, as we discussed.
This is also a great option for metrics you want to keep a pulse on on a daily basis as they are updated in real-time (every time something affecting the graph or chart is updated in AgencyBloc, the new data will appear on the Dashboard Analytics).
AgencyBloc Dashboard Analytics
AgencyBloc Industry & Custom Reporting
Lastly, AgencyBloc allows agencies to run standard industry reports or build their own custom report via Custom Reporting.
AgencyBloc Custom Reporting
This method of gathering and visualizing data proves useful when looking at your regular monthly, quarterly, or yearly reports. It’s also a good way to get at those really specific data points because you can filter out whatever you don’t want to see.
So, we’ve given you 5 KPIs to consider monitoring at your agency, and we’ve looked at a few ways to analyze those data points. What you need to do now is take those 5 KPIs and consider if they will work for monitoring performance at your agency. What other metrics will you need to add? Consider what your overall goals are. Do these KPIs allow you to see your progression towards those goals?
Next, you need to examine how you’re currently managing your book of business and how easily data can be pulled and analyzed. Unfortunately, some agencies find that their current way of managing their book doesn’t allow for easy data analyzation, so they just don’t do it. You can only survive for so long going down that path. Unless you’re able to visualize your performance, you’re flying blindly, unable to make informed business decisions.
Ready to learn more?
This blog is a snippet of the information available in our eBook, The 13 Performance Metrics Insurance Agencies Should Track, Monitor, & Analyze.
Or, if you prefer to listen as opposed to reading, check out our webinar: The 13 Performance Metrics Your Insurance Agency Should Track (And How!).