Sharpen Your Sales Strategy with Brian Smith (Presented by EMS Consulting)
Synopsis: Identify how a CRM like Salesforce solves the sales process problem and learn how to diagnose the health of your sales methodology. Additionally, explore how to develop your niche of expertise and utilize the right technology to get the production you want.
Speakers: Brian Smith, The GOVCON Insurance Guy at Insurance Office of America and Taylor Richardson, Facilitator at EMS Consulting
Is it Time to Talk?
0:00:05.8 Taylor: Hello, everybody, and thank you so much for joining us today for Sharpen Your Insurance Sales Strategy, presented by EMS Consulting, with very special guest, Brian Smith. Brian, thank you so much for being here today.
0:00:19.1 Brian Smith: Glad to be here. Very glad to be here.
0:00:22.0 Taylor: Awesome, we’re glad to have you. Brian is a 30-year veteran of commercial insurance, covering service management and production, and is also known as “The GovCon Insurance Guy”. He is currently with the Insurance Office of America in Atlanta, Georgia, and he brings an absolute wealth of training, experience and wisdom around effective sales strategies, developing your own sales niche within the insurance space, of course, and ultimately, growing your own book of business. We asked Brian to be here today for several reasons. For one, actually, he practices what he preaches. He actually employs these sales strategies that he’s gonna be sharing today. Secondly, he has a holistic approach to developing a very health-based sales strategy, and I’m, for one, I’m a huge believer in efficiency. And so that, I think that that’s a really great approach that absolutely everybody can benefit from. Thirdly, for those insurance sales teams, producers and managers who are maybe considering adopting a CRM like Salesforce, I think you’re gonna quickly see how Brian’s razor-sharp methodologies become a lot easier to employ with a CRM platform like Salesforce. And for those folks who are on the fence, maybe, about a CRM and what it can do for you and your production and your sales, I still think you’re gonna benefit greatly from Brian’s approach and advice. We have a very great line-up of educational content here today, so please do stick around, you’re gonna learn a lot.
0:01:53.8 Taylor: Real quick before we get started, everyone on the call today is welcome to use the Zoom chat feature to ask questions throughout the presentation. We’re going to leave a little time, hopefully, at the end to address them. However, if any of them, if we run out of time or we’re not able to get to everything, we will follow up with you via email. So definitely ask away, and we’ll be able to get back with you on that. So without further ado, Brian, take it away.
0:02:23.0 BS: Great, great, let me go ahead and get this started here with the presentation. And let’s take a look here. So wanna thank Taylor for that great introduction for us today, and to really get into what we’re all about here is really gonna be with regards to how to have a, basically, a very good, healthy sales process. And when I was talking with the folks at EMS, we were going over a few things that they thought was interesting because of the approach that I have taken over the years, and put together a training session for you. This is really geared toward commercial insurance sales, and it doesn’t necessarily have to start and stop there; it could certainly go into other sales with regards to either employee benefits. It could go into personal lines insurance. But the field that I’m in is commercial insurance, and I do a lot of work with regards to larger commercial insurance clients.
0:03:22.0 BS: So let’s go ahead and jump right in to the first, basically, the first slide and metrics and want to start talking about where we are and what we’re doing. So when I talk about sales health, I’m actually referring to two aspects, and that’s production and personal. Production refers to… Referring to the overall production translated in the bound accounts and successful renewals. Personal in the sense that areas of how your sales process is actually affecting you personally. In this case, do you make the adjustments necessary in a timely manner and in the event that an adverse outcome is present? More importantly, how do you know? How do you know if you’re making those right adjustments?
0:04:10.1 BS: But before I get started, I’m going to spoil the ending by saying that everything that I am about to say today, I’ve actually have had happened to me. Every single thing that’s happened. As a result, I have changed my perspective to the point where I honestly state that I can say this with 100% certainty that I don’t feel like I work anymore. I honestly, I don’t feel like I’m going to work anymore. And not from the sense that I’m no longer being employed as an insurance producer, but the sense that I have achieved by making the proper adjustments to historical sales approach that really was riddled with disappointment, low revenues and very, very little focus. And that has obviously changed over the course of time, and it didn’t take anything but a long time for me to figure these things out. But over the last, but over a long period of mistakes, successes and measurements, I’ve been able to come out of that to the point where I don’t even feel like I work anymore. And I no longer work because I love what I do because it’s become a part of me, who I am and ultimately, who I’ve become as an insurance professional because the decisions that I’ve made on the metrics that I’m gonna mention in this presentation.
0:05:25.7 BS: So gone are the days where I’ve had frustration and failure over and over and over again. And now present is a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment due to becoming an expert at my craft. And then instead of seeking those opportunities, I’m actually sought after now. And instead of intruding on someone, my interactions are received with relief because I actually solved the problem. So that’s a completely different mindset than I used to have when I would make calls, when I would send emails. “Are they gonna read this? Are they gonna open… Are they even gonna listen to my message? Are they gonna pick up the phone?” And the reason that I got into this is because I become exhausted. I was at a point in my career where I was exhausted and I couldn’t figure out why. But I was tired all the time. Still performing based on the criteria that was laid before me, however, by my sales manager; my numbers really didn’t reflect my work. It really only reflected my activities. And that really didn’t do it for me. So there’s a big difference between results and activities. And with the right tools, the right attitude, and equally important, the right level of sales health, you can run without really going anywhere if you don’t keep track of that. So really, I found myself running and not making any progress because I was doing the same things over and over and over again, and not really getting the key result.
0:06:57.4 BS: So looking at the first slide, in this session, I’m gonna illustrate the correlation of personal health and sales health, the ways to improve, the strategies to successful new client acquisition, future clients, if you will, no longer prospects. And this all started when I realized that I was working out when I was doing some exercises recently, and I was measuring my heart rate instead of my speed or the distance that I was going in my cardio exercises. And as I was doing this, I realized that this is interesting. I began to correlate that with what I’m doing at work ’cause I used to concern myself with: How far did I go? What was the overall speed that I went on the treadmill, for instance? Or how could I keep up? Or even my biceps size, things like that, silly things now. It’s about the quality of my workout. So now, I measure and work only on what is important, not only from the perspective of my physical health, but also from my sales health.
0:08:03.2 BS: So I no longer cold calls anyone. But that was no longer the case. In fact, my previous agency management that I worked for demanded that I had a certain number of dials each day. And you may be in that same situation, or you may request or require your associates to have a certain number of dials each day. And these were measured weekly, and they were routinely reported on a monthly basis. And when the goals weren’t achieved, at least the first thing that they said was, “Did you make your dials this month?” Not how effective were you with your prospects. In other words, the numbers mattered most, and regardless of the content of the discussions, I were, if I were fortunate enough to actually talk to someone, the whole point was based on, “Did I reach someone?” So let me check on something here. Here we go.
0:09:03.0 BS: So the things that really mattered most were the numbers, and regardless of the content of the discussions that those numbers were supposed to provide me, if I were even fortunate enough to talk to somebody, the whole point was, “Did I reach somebody as part of that cold calling effort?” Now, once I did, I was… Once I did reach somebody, I was pretty shocked, actually. And then I would go into this mode of thinking on my feet, which I got really good at. I got somebody on the phone and now, I needed to ask a certain number of questions to get them to talk. But my impact was limited because I was focused more on my numbers than I was on the substance of the call. The intent was to get them to make an appointment, to allow me to come in and talk to them about their insurance program, and that was pretty much it. When you get an appointment, that’s when we were supposed to shine. And the problem was without differentiating myself on the call, the appointments were actually pretty few and far between. But candidly, that didn’t really matter to the sales leader, at least on a daily or a weekly basis, because what mattered to them most was how many dials that I actually put in there ’cause I had to let them know.
0:10:15.0 BS: And from this, I realized my cardio workout where I no longer cared about speed or distance, but my heart rate, so too did my metrics change in my sales process. So I no longer concern myself with the number of dials that I make. I don’t do that at all. In fact, it’s changed now to the quality of the interaction. So now, really, for me, it’s about the depth of the message, my ability to contact or to connect, rather, with that future client. And the long-term impact that I hope to eventually have, because trust was established much, much sooner than before when the only thing that mattered was the dial.
0:10:51.7 BS: So when I look at this metric here on how we measure, if we take a look at the personal fitness, it’s easy to see that from my perspective today, it’s heart rate, it’s my stamina, and it might be weight loss. And then what used to matter to me was my speed, was my strength, and candidly, vanity and ego. Those are no longer my measurements because I’ve matured out of that. The other part of that from a sales perspective is I wanna have more of a quality content and interaction with my future prospects or my future clients. And that impact is gonna be, that’s gonna help me understand who I actually wanna talk to. So I’m more selective now. No longer do I have to worry about the number of dials that I make. I no longer have to exert a significant amount of effort into my work each day. And I also find myself that I don’t have to talk to anyone with a pulse. It just gives me a sense of ownership when it actually comes to being an effective sales professional.
0:11:58.2 BS: So now, let’s move on to fitness, and that being knowledge and discipline, which, I think, comes to any true sales professional after a while. And the notion of increased knowledge, that being what you know, and equally important, what you don’t know, can be a true and a powerful tool. Combined with discipline to work on your craft, the product knowledge or even a true perspective of what your prospect’s signals may be when you get them on the phone or when you’re able to talk with them in person, the two can… And they do lead to better sales and stronger outcomes, at least they do for me. And the impact has been made sooner than later. And what I look at here is I think to myself, even professional athletes. They prepare for their performance. So in this case here, I’m talking about spring training. But even after years, years of mastering their craft, they go back to the basics, and they work from there. So when people go to spring training, they pick up the ball again, they start throwing, they start catching, they start hitting, and they do the basics, they get back to the fundamentals. From an insurance perspective, for us insurance professionals, if we begin to move away from basic practices in order to either find an easier route or to cut a corner, these can lead to errors and omissions issues. Certainly, fewer sales successes, and what I believe is a decreased sense of accomplishment because you’re not getting where you really wanna be.
0:13:29.8 BS: And so what I look at from here is having the knowledge that I’ve obtained over the years and having the discipline to put in certain actions that I know are gonna actually end up with a positive result. So ask yourself this: If you… What is the common denominator that you’ve had for sales successes in the past year or two, three, five years? And do you know what those are? And asking yourself: Why did they work? If it worked once, can it be replicated? Can you continue to do that process to get us the same outcome, which is success? And did you share that with others, either in your agency or in your office? And did you even ask for feedback on whether or not that could be improved? So going through that process and even taking out the trash by dissecting that process could certainly lead to more efficient methodologies. And that’s what I’ve been able to do once I realized that my sales health was ever so more important and continually important.
0:14:39.0 BS: So as we look here, let’s take a look at these six bullets. And they may very well look familiar to you if you have a certain sales goal on an annualized basis. And this really just illustrates the number, the number of events that may or may not turn into a sale. Simple enough, putting a formula together that’s intended to add credence to a process based on activities, but not on impact. And that’s what’s shifted for me, and I’m gonna get into why and how that’s changed for me over the years. But this is just an illustration, and I’m not gonna insult you by reading through these six bullets here, but it’s certainly probably familiar to many of you. And the measurements in insurance sales have been largely attributed to overall production against either a book of business goal or even within a calendar period. So other measurements may be reduced in time to a specific number of activities in a day, a week, or even a month. But regardless, there is a measurement somewhere in there.
0:15:44.0 BS: Take for example the following metric-related activities routinely associated with insurance sales; right here, these six. And based on these, how hard do you work? How effective are you? How effective have you been? Are there other ways that you could improve your effectiveness to obtain that sale or get closer to it? Well, of course, there are. And when you begin to identify what worked for you against what didn’t work for you, you’ll be able to sort those out and begin to put in those steps that are most effective. So when we go back to the heart rate issue, I’m no longer interested in the size of my biceps, or my waist measurement, or how much I can bench. So what interests me now is my overall health and to achieve goals that matter for me most today and for tomorrow. Same thing occurs with my sales. So without getting into what really matters most, let’s shift gears and observe similar goals for selling that have changed over time. If we look at this, we can break down these activities. And everyone here, I’m sure, that is in sales have had to do these. And breaking activities down even further, we can easily see numbers being generated without any indication of impact. That’s a problem. All predicated on the conversation that must be had in order to build trust, credibility and confidence in someone that we’ve never even met.
0:17:22.9 BS: And so when we look at this list, the number of dials and the voicemails that you left, prospect emails, if you have websites that are being measured, the number of conversions, discussions with prospects or centers of influence, my measurement used to be four per week. And if I had those, then they would lead into an X number of anticipated meetings or sales. Again, these are all types of metrics that were used. But what is not in there was, “What impact did I make? What impact was there?” These are activities, these are actions that are supposed to lead to a sale, but over time, I realized that the percentage of success based on these metrics was so low that I was wasting my time, that I didn’t have a concerted effort, at least in the right way, to make those improvements known. And once I figured that out and I had the confidence to change that up, which I’m gonna get into here in just a minute, then I was able to make a significantly greater impact, not only on my personal sales, but also on my sales health, which translated into personal health, which was improved over time.
0:18:47.1 BS: So after working on the actions of the last slide for many, many years, I found myself becoming more and more tired. I was disenfranchised. I was routinely disappointed, not because the work was hard, but because the results were unpredictable and inconsistent. In fact, I found myself reflecting on my career at that point in insurance sales, and I started to really dig into why things were the way that they were ’cause I was making the calls. I was keeping record of all those calls, I had my follow-up dates set up. And then every quarter, I’d follow up and do the metric the way it was supposed to be done, but I just didn’t feel… I didn’t feel good about it. My numbers were okay. They were okay; they weren’t great. But I began to feel bad. I was tired, I was exhausted. So I took a step back. And what I found was that the reason that I was tired was because I was constantly prospecting.
0:20:03.0 BS: I drive down the road on my way home, which took anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour, and I was looking for DOT numbers on trucks. I was looking at businesses, at business signs. Everything that I looked at was a potential prospect for me, a potential lead. And I was working all the time, even on vacation, when if I was in the United States, I was looking constantly at opportunities to maybe make a call when I got back. And I never really put this together, I didn’t realize that I was working, subconsciously, all day long. So even when I wasn’t in the office doing the activities, I found myself just physically and mentally exhausted. And you couple that with the stresses of sales meetings, having to present your numbers or talking about new opportunities, revenue growth on where you were year-over-year compared to last year and why your numbers are up, why your numbers are down. And this was just fatigue, it was setting in. And here, I was running, and I’m trying to do all these things, and I quickly began to realize that I didn’t give myself a break. And that was a measure of my sales health that ended up affecting me physically. So that’s why as I look, I was chasing, I was constantly chasing. And this is where my process really began to shift once I realized what my sales process used to look like.
0:21:44.6 BS: So let’s take a look at this slide here. So when you look at this, compare that to what your sales process looks like. And I’m assuming that you have one. Some people, they don’t. They work strictly on relationships, for instance, or there’s no defined process for them. And many can be very successful. But in my case, I didn’t find that to be factual. But when I started to look at it, I asked myself, “How effective was I in the… How effective was I and how confident was I in this process? How did I react to the lulls in the production?” Even though I was following this process, it was harder to recover. And well, I measured my sales success by my bounce-back rate. In other words, “How quickly could I get back on my feet again after I lost a deal? Or something I worked on for a long time, how long did it take me to recover?” And then I began to realize that I didn’t recover as quickly as I wanted to because I didn’t know what was gonna happen the next day. I didn’t have a predictable factor built in there. And that was because I was all over the place, even though I was doing the sales process.
0:23:05.6 BS: And I’m not gonna get into all these individual steps here with you, but when you look at this, it was… I was really all over the place. But I did all this stuff, I did everything on that list, and I did it with diligence. So I really began to think about it and analyze what I was doing, and I started to think to myself, “There’s gotta be a better way.” And so I began to find out from Discovery that it really was more than a numbers game. By following metrics like this, the number of calls that you made, the discussions, the follow-ups and so forth, the appointments, there had to be more. So I started looking at, “Why did I get a deal?” And I began to really break it down. And once I discovered some of those key nuggets, it led me down a road that I really, truly never expected to go down because I was following this metric. But fortunately, I had numbers in there, but the numbers were not translating into the numbers financially that I was looking for. And as that began to happen, changes I knew had to be made in the way that I did things.
0:24:20.0 BS: So here, you look and you say, “How many dials did it take to get the win? And how many meetings or phone discussions did I have to have to win a deal? And what factors involved were winning me, were winning the deals for me? And really, how effective was that process?” And candidly, it wasn’t. It really wasn’t. So then I started looking at a few things here, and I found that measurements in insurance sales had been largely attributed to overall production against your book or your business goal, or even during a calendar period; and I mentioned that earlier. But other measurements may be reduced in time to a specific number of activities in a day, week or month, like that previous metric had. But regardless, there’s a measurement out there somewhere.
0:25:05.6 BS: So take, for example, the previous metric, and you say to yourself, “How are you keeping up with all these prospects?” You do the calls, you do all this. Are you putting it in an Excel spreadsheet? Are you using a hand notebook? Are you just writing stuff down? There’s people out there that do that. Are you using Word documents for this like a follow-up message, or you keep notes together, maybe even in Outlook under the contact information or the name? Lists? Multiple lists, if you will. Or maybe you have a CRM, but you don’t use it, and you don’t understand it. And you find that because you don’t use it or understand it, it’s probably really not worth your time. And then you begin to ask yourself, perhaps like I did, “Is it really worth it?” And that’s when the shift had to happen, and it was only because of my reflection that I was able to get to that point.
0:26:13.0 BS: So what I found myself was that recovery in this particular slide is the main point. Being sales-healthy allows for a speedy recovery to lost opportunities, lost business, and other defeats that might happen. Ultimately, it’s based on the strength of a pipeline, and a pipeline of solid opportunities that will warrant strong revenues. But for some, however, when we look at the last slide with the Excel and the Word and maybe an unused or a bad CRM, for some time, for some people, that pipeline is actually just a pipe dream, and that’s because they lack the structure, they lack the discipline, which is something that really needs to be considered here. And so sales fitness is relevant because if you don’t have a process, you don’t have a means, you’re gonna be exhausted. And you run the risk of burning out, you run the risk of missed opportunities ’cause you didn’t have adequate follow-up. And then if you do lose a deal, if your recovery takes too long, that can have a significant impact on your future success. There’s so many things that are not written in sales books or advocated by agencies when it comes to the individual producers’ mental health, as far as losing those deals and what they need to do to move on, because it gets lost because things are based on metrics or based on hard numbers. And it’s hard to be successful if you don’t have a methodology behind it.
0:28:00.2 BS: So really bouncing back from a recent loss of an account or an opportunity can really wreck havoc on our psyche as an insurance producer. Being aware of our other opportunities and ways to improve performance by uncovering process weaknesses can certainly bring us back faster, but we gotta have a methodology behind it. It requires discipline and it requires knowledge, and it really truly requires a process. By working smarter, and not harder, it allows us to bounce back, and the ability to speed things up for the next deal. And then enjoying the confidence that comes from being an expert in an area. It means the next opportunity will likely have sought out our services. And so those are the things that I’m gonna talk to in just a minute ’cause it’s gonna be about niches.
0:28:57.0 BS: As I look here on this slide, one of the things that really stick out for me is realizing that no from somebody doesn’t mean no from it. It just means no for now. It doesn’t mean no forever. But now, I K-N-O-W, I know where we are in the sales process and I can pull back. Instead of being defeated by that word, which is so strong, right? I looked at it as another data point and a way for me to figure out, “Is it the timing? Is it the approach? What are some things that I need to do even better?” And then also on ways of burning… To avoid burning out in disappointment, is just to take a look at some of the things that I’ve listed here. One thing that you may not be told to do is to take time off. If you’re not organized and you’re not confident in your sales process, then you’re not mentally or physically gonna be able to keep up the pace. That’s why people leave the industry or they have poor sales. They don’t wanna pick up the phone because of call reluctance or they’re just not confident in what they’re doing. And there’s ways around that, and I’m gonna get into that right here. But you gotta leverage some of those resources, too. And I leverage heavy the resources of LinkedIn, miEdge, and then pretty much a very successful CRM utilization from Salesforce.
0:30:32.0 BS: So over time, I’ve taken all those numbers and all those actions, and I boil them down to some very basic things, and it has really worked for me. But let’s take a look at the power of a CRM. So consider the following from a sales manager or a mentor or a sales leader, whatever you wanna call them, and they come to you and they say after a sales meeting, “What can I help you with? How’s sales going? What do you need from me?” Pretty common thing, right? Because there’s nothing to go to, to find out where you might be in the sales process. So imagine, if you will, that you’re utilizing a CRM, in this case, we’re gonna talk specifically about Salesforce, which is what I use. And they come to you and they say, “Hey, let’s talk about X, Y, Z Enterprises because I saw a few of the points that you’ve outlined in Salesforce. How can I help you with some of those moving the process further along in the pipeline? What can I do to move that sale further along?” Because now, there’s something in there that they’re looking at. They’re not looking at whether or not you made call, but they’re actually looking at information that you put as a sales professional into a CRM that is going to lead to a positive outcome.
0:31:51.8 BS: On the reverse, if the information is lacking, you gotta ask yourself, “What is that really a reflection of? Is the person lazy? Are they inefficient?” Just because leads are put into a CRM doesn’t mean they’re gonna be worked on. And metrics that matter the most should be input in there. Aspects of the client need to be added to that, to that CRM. And what gets lost in most sales environments is what a good opportunity actually is. And so one of the successful things that happened to us or me, personally, when Salesforce was introduced to us, the sales team got together, the management got together and they showed us, in Salesforce, what a good opportunity actually looked like. What were the aspects that needed to be in the CRM to make it worthwhile? What needed to be put in there? And then we also realized that it could integrate itself or it could be integrated with what we were using, which is called EPIC. So a lot of times, producers aren’t… We weren’t required to go into EPIC, and it was kind of crazy, so it was inefficient. But once we realize how Salesforce could integrate with EPIC, we could put information in. It would go into EPIC, which would save steps for the account manager.
0:33:12.3 BS: And because we knew what a good opportunity looked like from a suspect or a lead perspective, then, because we were shown that by our sales team, it increased our overall efficiencies. So now, I had a tool, and a tool that was actually working for me. And because my sales management team was able to look at things, I minimized my garbage and I had somewhere to put it. Instead of putting it into an Excel spreadsheet about, “This date, I called,” or, “This follow-up, I gotta do,” or I put it into my Outlook with a task, which I never looked at. So as soon as I went into Salesforce, it gave me all this stuff. But you gotta remember, it had to be good information the first time. And it also, it also gave me an idea about what mattered most when it came to the prospect ’cause it actually took me through the sales flow. Not all these CRMs do that, so I found that it really helped me improve my sales health ’cause it allowed me to have a focus on some of the things that needed to be most considered when it came to moving a sale forward.
0:34:20.3 BS: So if we look at some of the things here on the CRM, specifically with some of the benefits of it, if we look at the features of… You’ve got a central location to put everything in. So now, I could easily find it by just typing in a few numbers in a search engine and boom! My prospect comes up. So if I’m on the call, I could prepare for this in advance, and I could take notes, and it’s all right there. It’s uniform ’cause we’ve actually had input as to what do we want in our fields, which is something that I’m sure you’re gonna find out about, but you can actually modify what’s in that sales record. The data was good, so it helped me understand what my risks were looking at, and I had a better understanding about what they needed from my previous conversations because it was in there. I actually logged in what activities took place two weeks ago. So I didn’t have to remember everything just off the top of my head. And a lot of us do that. It’s unfortunate, but a lot of us do, do that. So without getting into all these other things, these other aspects here on the slide, what it basically did was, having a CRM that worked allowed me to have a platform where all this work could be assembled and where it could actually have a very specific outcome.
0:35:43.0 BS: Now, I’m about to get ready to wrap up here, but I wanna get into something with you on what really changed for me with regards to the major shift that I had. And when I used to make the cold calls and call a variety of companies, I may have been given a list by sales leadership, or I may have found some companies that I wanted to call on. But it could have been anything from a group of dry cleaners, restaurants, apartment complexes, shopping centers, transportation risks. Could have been IT professionals, IT companies, could have been anything. So the major shift that I had was I went and that became a niche, I had a micro-niche. And what happened was incredible, actually. I used to swim upstream, I used to call it. I was exhausted, I was tired, I felt defeated. The competition was fierce. And when the underwriters would come in and talk about their products, they always wanted the same thing: They wanted manufacturing risks, they wanted service. They may have a property initiative going on. But what I found was that it was always predominantly about price, more than service. And that didn’t make me feel very good because when you win it on price, you lose it on price.
0:37:09.8 BS: And so I shifted from being a generalist into being an expert. And that expertise allowed me for a clean and clear view of what can be done to improve or not to improve on a risk because I knew a lot about that. Knowing when to say no was an indication for me about a healthy sales pace, a healthy sales lifestyle because I was able to do that. Now, I knew quickly what a good risk was versus a bad risk when it came to the opportunity that was laid before me. And because of that specific knowledge, it gave me an opportunity to identify a client that I wanted, specifically. It shrunk down the amount of fluff that I had out there. Competition was significantly reduced because I was an expert in that field. And by the way, my field is government and defense contractors, so I don’t call anybody else. So when I call on this company or these companies, I have a reason for them to talk to me. But what I found was instead of the chase, I found that because of my niche, that that shifted significantly. The knowledge and discipline overcomes many obstacles and hurdles when it comes to sales. And these are immeasurable. At least the fact that… At least the aspect of learning is immeasurable. So when I shifted to going into a niche, I had to go into learning more in-depth about what was actually happening within those organizations. And I spent my time significantly more wise on those risks.
0:38:55.2 BS: So now, what happened was, is I ended up having this process that completely changed over time, and that was I went from a chase to a follow. And the analogy here was, I now had opportunities or fish following my boat. So now, because I became this resident expert, people were contacting me. And this is, I’m telling you, it was, it changed my life. So I became a subject matter expert, and I learned as much as I can and I’m still learning about what goes on with government defense contracting around the world, not just the United States. My discovery channels changed. I now had a specific reason to reach out to these companies because I knew what company I wanted. And I went after them specifically because of who they were and the demographic, either the number of employees or the revenue size. What I found, too, was because I put information out there, that they were now calling me. And they would, by reaching out to me via LinkedIn Messaging or even an email, they were going to my website, they were looking at my YouTube channel, and they’d say to their CFO, “Hey, call this guy because he’s the government contracting insurance guy, GovCon insurance guy.” And my sales went through the roof.
0:40:17.0 BS: I was no longer bothering people with a cold call because the reason behind everything I was doing had a purpose. And so I became an expert where I was a thought leader, I was a specialist. And now, when I was talking to somebody, they wanted to hear from me ’cause I was solving a problem. And it went from an unhealthy sales process to one that was very healthy because it allows me to have more control over who I wanna talk with. So there’s a lot to this. There’s a whole lot to it. And if you look at Salesforce as a solution, there’s a variety of things here that can be taken into account. And I think I wanna turn it over to Taylor and have her talk a little bit more about this slide here.
0:41:12.7 Taylor: Awesome, thank you so much, Brian. That really… So much of what you’ve said today has really resonated with me. My brain is going all over the place with excitement. I’m sure a lot of folks on the call today have taken away a lot of insight and have ideas for their own teams. Even though I’m personally not in the insurance space, I have been a digital marketer for many years now. I also tend to obsess over quality metrics and measuring the health of my marketing efforts. So I can definitely appreciate how you’ve broken this down for sales teams and managers to take back and really do some reflecting on the health of their own teams, sales processes, and as you stated, how a CRM like Salesforce can support that. Will be the first to acknowledge that I’m totally biased as a SalesForce partner here at EMS, but I really do truly believe in the power of the platform, and I know everybody else here does, too. Salesforce Sales and Service Cloud have been around for a very long time and have become world’s number one CRM for a reason. Financial Services Cloud now offers an insurance data model, and is the perfect solution for insurance teams who are looking to formalize their sales process and their lead generation process as you’ve beautifully painted out to us today. So thank you again for that.
0:42:35.7 Taylor: If anyone attending today would like to know more about Salesforce and how it can truly transform your sales practice, please do visit us at consultems.com. You can also reach out to your EMS account exec if you do have a relationship with us already, and definitely schedule a conversation. We can loop in all of our, the experts that we need to, to really talk about transforming your sales process and ultimately, customizing your Salesforce or to really support that new process. Great! Well, I think that’s it for us today, everybody. Thank you so much for joining. As I said before we’ll be posting the recorded webinar at consultems.com/webinars so you can share it with anyone who might have missed today. Brian, on behalf of everyone at EMS and our attendees today, thank you so much for being here and sharing your incredible wisdom. Now, I know it’s up to each of us to actually go and put it into action, so thanks, everyone, have a great day!