How to build territories in Commercial Insurance over time.

Why ignoring this concept is costing you money.

Let’s face it, producers come and go, but territories tend to be permanent. Marsh Berry says on 54% of newly hired producers will validate.

If you think about it, regardless of how we divide up our universe of potential new clients into territories, the individual targets within them stay the same. So, as I like to say, shame on us if our universe of potential targets are not warmer and better defined a year from now than they are today.

There are two reasons why this is important:

  1. There is the potential for new clients and lost sales revenue every time there is turnover in a territory because requests for call backs and momentum gained through previous calls (pursuits) can be lost when territories are transferred from one producer to another if there is no way to track activity and results.
  2. Reduction of producer turnover. One of the reasons we see turn over within the commercial insurance agencies we work with is because new producers can’t close enough new sales in their first year on a job. Calling on the same unqualified targets that have been disqualified by earlier efforts is not only inefficient and expensive; it is demoralizing to the new producer. Easily transferring the results of past work and leveraging those efforts mitigates this.

Here’s what happens in most agencies we work with. They hire another producer to come in behind the one that just left and give the new person exactly the same list the old one prospected from (if they even provide a list). He or she will call on the same targets, usually starting at the top of the list again getting exactly the same responses that the departed individual did (except that some of those targets might even now begin to become irritated and rude because they’ve now told numerous producers of yours to leave them alone).

Let’s assume for a moment that the departed producer was reasonably good and did the job well, calling on 500 different businesses before leaving. He/she determined that 150 of those were unqualified (not unreasonable on a virgin list.) They quit because they had to spend way too much of their time talking to and qualifying out those 150, so they couldn’t make enough money. Wouldn’t it be better if your new producer didn’t go call on those same 150 again?

Finding a good quality list with nothing but qualified targets on it is problematic at best. List manufacturers themselves will tell you a list is obsolete the day they send it to you. You’ve also most likely spent good money on marketing programs that got someone to raise their hand and say they were interested. But even that list grows stale over time. So, if you think just having a list for a producer to call on solves the problem, you’re just flat wrong.

One last thought. CRMs are not the answer. By definition (the ‘C’ in CRM stands for customer, not target, suspect or prospect). They are good at keeping track of customers. They are also good at managing forecasts of current prospects who have entered into buying cycles with you. They were never designed to be efficient for prospecting, although they are sold as the producer’s Swiss Army Knife. CRMs are not only inefficient and ineffective at this task, they’re downright counterproductive. The point is they are so cumbersome to use for this task that producers just won’t use them, or if they do, the process adds to their frustration level so much that it adds to your turnover problem—Catch22. (They know this. It is why solutions such as Sales Force has many certified partners—including Contact Science.)

Our suggestion is to use a product from Contact Science called PROSPECTING. (It used to be called Klpz.) It is the only automation we’ve found that was actually designed to be used for prospecting, and appointment setting in particular. (We use it every day.)

It solves all of the challenges I mention above, paying for itself many times over even before one takes into account the many other advantages to using it for the task of appointment setting.

If you’re interested in some benchmarks on the topic, let me know. I’ll send you some results of side by side comparisons of CRMs vs PROSPECTING. Or, if you’re interested in why no team of producers has ever failed to at least double the number of Initial Appointments they were setting after going through one of our programs, give us a call or drop us a line. (Part of the increase comes from the efficiencies the PROSPECTING tool brings to the table.) We love talking about the challenges of appointment making!

Caponi Performance Group and Contact Science jointly market the appointment setting solution called Coldcalling101™.  It is the only comprehensive solution to solving the biggest barrier to success in most selling organizations—the inability to secure enough Initial Appointments to begin the selling process. We accomplish that through simultaneously addressing both the efficiency and effectiveness of the process.  We can be reached at 817 224-9900 or at You can also find answers to many of your challenges in our many published articles on LinkedIn and in our books: Contrary to Popular Belief, Cold Calling DOES Work! Volume I: Effectiveness, The Art of Appointment Making and  Volume II: Efficiency, the Science of Appointment Making.

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