Agent Link December 2018

Key Metrics and Planning Are Key to a Successful Campaign

On the operational level, we’re not thinking in terms of years, because that’s more than anyone can tackle at once. We think in terms of quarters and other defining metrics that keep us and our teams accountable. But you can’t manage the specifics on a quarterly basis.Those need to be managed daily and weekly to evaluate progress. On our team, each person has quarterly metrics, but they’re not just evaluated every three months. We evaluate our numbers weekly as a team, but within smaller teams, we do it hourly. A great example is call times, connection rates and appointments generated.This ensures we are quick to act when things don’t’ go as planned. Measurable units tracked on a daily and weekly basis give your team something tangible to work toward and help them evaluate where improvements need to be made in order to hit their bigger-picture metrics. If you don’t have these in place, how will you measure success?

Did your parents or maybe a former teacher live by the mantra “10 minutes early is on time; on time is late”? It was probably eye- roll inducing to hear this when you were a kid, but that approach is exactly what makes for a successful marketing campaign. In this industry, we have to work a quarter ahead to deploy a campaign on time. For example, even our direct-mail campaign for the new year started early, in November. When it comes to marketing, you have to think a whole quarter ahead to strategize, set goals and put a plan in place to get where you want to be in three months’ time — or, when planning for the bigger picture, in three years’ time. This approach is also useful when it’s applied to the big picture of your business. When was the last time you evaluated your business plan? If you haven’t looked at it since last year or since you started your business and you’re waiting until the new year to take another look, that’s too late. From a marketing perspective, we’ve seen many organizations wait until the new year to start evaluating where things are and setting goals for the coming year. By then, they are already in March.This doesn’t allow any time for planning, implementing, and executing what needs to happen in the next 90 days.That’s not a lot of time.

-Senia

r the New Year ight

questions instead of facts that can’t be changed, a practice they call “questing,” the framing exercise empowers producers to engage in critical thinking about the challenges in their industry and how they can overcome them. The Difference Between Strategic and Operational Planning Strategic planning is the big-picture, large-scope business plan. It builds the framework for an operational plan, which puts the strategic plan into a day-to-day practice. An operational plan focuses on a 12-month period, while a strategic plan looks three to five years out. Your organization can focus on the bigger picture and help producers connect to it on an operational level. At the operational level, planning identifies key priorities and deliverables for the year.These can be daily, weekly and monthly activities your producers engage in that measure progress, serving as evidence that the strategic plan is working. With these in mind, your producers gain a connection between what they do during the day-to-day and how it contributes to the overall success of the company. It might be the change that, on a macro level, can help them internalize the link between their success and the success of the company they’re writing business for.Thus fueling their drive to produce. Why is this change in perspective so transformative? As Norton and Toombs describe, “It will motivate them to want to think more and establish a planning- and-execution process that will yield strategic clarity and focus, organizational alignment, individual and team accountability, tactical urgency and sustainable results.” Don’t we all want more of that in 2019?

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