2014 Goals: We’re nearing the end of the first quarter, time for a checkup!

How’s your agency’s scorecard today? Are you on pace to meet your goals for this year? If not, do you know why?

This week we’re going to talk about goal setting and next week I’ll expand further and cover KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators). I’m bringing up goals today because in my daily chats with many agents like yourself, I find that most, being “sales guys/gals”, are just winging it. Their goal and their staff’s goal is simply to “sell as much as they can.” But there’s no method of measuring these goals, or holding anyone accountable.

First and foremost, did you set S.M.A.R.T goals for your agency and staff this year? If so, are you holding them accountable? Are you measuring the results and effectiveness of your efforts?

S.M.A.R.T. = Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic, Tangible

There are basically three types of goals within your agency:

  • Operational Goals: Business success indicators such as written premium, renewal %, profitability, customer retention, PIF, policies per household, etc.
  • Problem solving goals: Designed to eliminate recurring problems within your agency and client interactions. Think written processes, systems and streamlining strategies.
  • Innovative Goals: Designed to improve on the level of service to customers, work flow/environment, internal processes, marketing your agency, etc. Basically, how will you take your agency to the next level this year?

In order to come up with S.M.A.R.T. goals, you need to clarify some things first:

  • Your agency vision: Your goals should always be moving you towards your company vision, so it’s important that you and your staff are clear on what that is. If you haven’t, craft a clear and compelling vision that encompasses everything you want to create this coming year for yourself, your staff and your customers.
  • Your agency mission statement: Your goals should align with your company mission statement. Write out a statement that incorporates what you want to create, who you want to serve, and how you intend to get there this coming year and make sure that every goal you set is inline with that mission.
  • Your core values and beliefs: What are the guiding principles of your agency? Think about all the values that you want to stand for as an agency and narrow them down to 3 to 5 core values. This may be words like service, integrity, added value, streamlined, ease, etc. Find the words that resonate with you, your vision and your mission. Stick to 3 to 5 as too many will water down your vision and divide your focus.

Once you have those things in place, think about your overall S.M.A.R.T goals for your organization. Not just for a specific department but agency wide goals such as new softphones for the agency by 4/1/2014. You should also set departmental S.M.A.R.T. goals for your agency from there, including Financial Services/Life, Auto, Home, Commercial and Service.

Beyond that, it’s beneficial to set S.M.A.R.T. goals for each individual position or staff member in your agency. These are the goals necessary to reach your departmental and overall agency goals, and they will allow you to hold each team member accountable.

Once you have your goals, what are your strategies and plans to accomplish them? How will you measure them? Thinking about this will allow you to set measurable results such as your sales producer making 75 outgoing calls per day, or writing a minimum of 3 policies. These are specific and measurable and helps you and your team make progress.

The last thing to figure out is how will you communicate the results of your organizational, departmental and individual goals? Daily? Weekly? Monthly?

Next week, I’ll go into more detail on how to measure your KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) and how to use that information to make needed adjustments to your S.M.A.R.T. goals so that you continue to move your agency forward.

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