Building an agency business plan: The first 90 days

This article offers guidance on how insurance sales teams can develop their own 90-day business plans. (Photo: DenisIsmagilov/iStock)

Within 45 days of starting something new — an office protocol, a routine at home, a diet — you generally establish a habit. The “new” becomes a way of operating, and from there, you can fine-tune and leverage the positive impact. Therefore, we at MarshBerry recommend insurance leaders start a 90-day business plan that includes two 45-day cycles and encompass one full quarter for your sales team. It is enough time for repetition to build better business habits, and during a quarter, you can spot trends and help your team track progress. 

During the 90 days, you can help your team evaluate what worked in a plan and what did not. Also, you can observe how seasonality influences prospecting and closing new business. You can test campaigns and track results. 

The key is to make the most of those 90 days, which is why your sales team must begin with the end in mind, backtrack and plan every day until the quarterly finish line. Here is some guidance as you help your sales team develop their own 90-day business plans.

Chart it out

As a visual person, I find that pie charts are an effective way to see how team members are allocating time and resources. Think of a typical business day and what goals should be accomplished during the 90-day business plan. For example, a new producer would focus time on building industry knowledge, earning certification, establishing carrier relationships and starting to prospect. With that pie chart, estimate and then divvy up how much time the producer should spend doing these activities. A seasoned producer aiming for the 90-day goal would dedicate time to prospecting, client meetings, drafting and delivering proposals, and follow-ups. Included with these responsibilities might be mentoring less experienced producers. 

Once the time is charted, make edits. Is the schedule overloaded? Are there unrealistic expectations? Or, can team members push and advance their goals? A visual of how team members must spend time to reach the end goal can help avoid a setup-to-fail scenario, which could negatively impact performance or morale.

Check-in weekly

A dozen weeks will pass during this 90-day period as the plan is worked. Check-in with team members individually every week. On a monthly basis, hold a group meeting to review 90-day business plans, completed tasks, new habits established, and discuss challenges and barriers to achieving goals. Problem-solving as a team gives producers an opportunity to share ideas and establishes a rewarding, collaborative, mentorship culture. 

Share successes. It is easy to focus on what is not working, and we are all guilty of going down rabbit holes in business and life. Sometimes, the details can become so overwhelming that the big picture fades. Therefore, the check-in meetings are so important — and so is giving team members the mic to share their successes. This insight could be used to establish new best practices or protocols. 

Reflect and review. Gather the numbers from your CRM system and evaluate prospecting calls, meetings, marketing and other initiatives and activity that took place during the 90-day period. From this, develop a cost-benefit analysis to inform future decisions. You can review all that the team has achieved and revisit what is still left to accomplish in the next 90 days. 

A firm is nimbler when it has a 90-day business plan in place and continues this cycle of goal setting, implementation, review and reflection. Making strategic decisions in real-time can allow your team to capture opportunities that align with your goals and vision. It is amazing what you can accomplish and learn about your business in 90 days.

Ready to start a new habit? 

Jill Mullaney is a vice president at MarshBerry. She can be reached by sending an email to [email protected] or calling 616.214.3335. The opinions expressed here are the author’s own.