Driving More Sales: Planning the Ideal Insurance Sales Contest

Insurance Sales Contest

If you want to motivate your sales team to push themselves, there are many insurance sales contests that you can consider. Below are a handful of ideas you might consider. It doesn’t matter if yours is a large sales team or one with just a few brokers, you’re sure to find something that merits your consideration.

Creating a sales incentive program can help drive enthusiasm throughout the year and motivate your producers to give it their best and achieve greater success – and rewards.

New Hire/New Broker Contests

There are lots of options to consider in motivating newer members of your sales team, including:

  • Refer a Friend – This competition usually lasts a limited time (perhaps 2-4 weeks) with a cash reward to the broker getting the most referrals from current clients, family, and friends.
  • Meeting Bonanza – This is a broker challenge with the winner based on who can schedule the most meetings with potential new clients by the end of the contest period (usually a few days). The prize could be a gift card, bonus check, or electronic gadget.
  • Insurance Trivia – A trivia tournament will help your newer salespeople test their industry and carrier knowledge, while competing for gift cards.
Veteran/Experienced Broker Competitions

To keep your experienced brokers motivated, consider these options:

  • Beat Your Prior Numbers – This contest basically pits salespersons against their prior production. It may help move your middle tier performers to the next level. Choose whatever metric you think will work best for your team (engagement, conversion rate, total sales, etc.) Set your contest period and let the fun begin. The broker with the most improved metric wins. You can award cash, gift cards, dining certificates, or a trophy of some sort. Depending on what’s being measured, you need to be prepared for multiple winners.
  • Sales Poker – Participants can earn five cards (one at a time) from a regular deck of 52 cards for achieving a specified sales goal. At the end of the sales contest period, the broker with the best hand earns the jackpot (a cash reward or gift card).
  • Retention – Reward the salesperson with the greatest retention during a specified period. You can go quarterly, semiannually, annually, most improved year over year, etc.
All Broker Clashes

As you might expect, there are many contest options that cross the boundaries of new, old, experienced, and novice.

  • Biggest Sale – Motivate your sales personnel with a reward for the largest sale during a one-month or quarterly period. Create a leaderboard to track sales and update it regularly. The size of the bonus can vary by the length of the contest – with a bigger payout for the largest sale during the quarter. Be sure your criteria are fully detailed, so everyone understands how the winner will be determined.
  • Sales Bingo – Like a regular bingo game, players are given cards with targeted goals (bingo squares): schedule a meeting with X (insert #) business owners or HR managers; make 10 calls to prospects; meet with sales director/VP to discuss progress toward annual goals; free square; sell X (new product from preferred carrier) to client; send 10 follow-up notes to current clients; sell level-funding product to client; add ancillary to existing group (pick the product with most or lowest sales in your office); include an achievable revenue goal (TBD based on your brokers’ prior production); add other squares tailored to your brokers.
  • Tag Team/Buddy Sales – This is a fantastic way to get your newest team members to collaborate with more experienced brokers. You pair up a new broker (perhaps a lower achiever) with a more successful veteran broker. The team that closes the most deals, makes the most calls, or schedules the most meetings is the winner.
Customer Review Matchups

With this type of competition, you measure broker success based on their existing customers’ feedback. The reward goes to the person with the most or most-positive reviews. The key is getting all of your sales team to participate.

Cross-Selling and Upselling Challenge

This challenge rewards the broker with the greatest number of upsells or cross-sales. You can also decide the winner based on premium volume (rather than total employees enrolled). If you choose, you can include renewing customers as well as new. A variation for multiple winners would be to segment production by group size: groups of up to 49 employees 50-100, and 101+.

Carrier Contests

Don’t overlook the opportunity to piggyback on any sales contests being sponsored by your agency’s carrier partners. For example, we know that right now in California, Aetna and Delta Dental both are offering broker bonuses. The Aetna promotion offers an added payout of up to $100 for each new employee enrolled in groups of up to 100 employees. The added incentive is available on both fully insured and Aetna Funding Advantage plans. The Delta Dental Broker Rewards Program is available on qualifying retention. Other bonuses or added incentives are likely during the year, so be sure to investigate what’s available from your preferred partners.

Tips to Make It Fun
  1. Make it simple. It’s important that any competition or contest you create be something that your salespeople can easily understand. Try to avoid complicated rules or production tiers. If you make it hard to understand, producers will be less enthusiastic – and less motivated. Limit your agency to one contest at a time. Having more than one can be distracting and can undermine your success.
  2. Include your sales team in planning. It is essential to get buy-in early on when developing your contest. You want the greatest amount of participation, so asking your team what would motivate them and what they want as an added incentive can be helpful. Soliciting their feedback ensures their investment in the success of your program. It also helps you avoid creating a competition that is not truly motivational.
  3. Give regular updates. Whether your contest has a short duration or lasts for weeks or months, keeping competitors informed of their progress helps to keep them engaged. Depending on the contest length, daily, weekly, or monthly updates may be appropriate. If your contest lasts only a week, maybe consider daily or twice-daily updates. Depending on the size of your organization, you might create an online dashboard that you post on your intranet site.
  4. Avoid false promises. Don’t advertise or commit to a prize you cannot deliver. If a big-name entertainer is scheduled to appear locally, do not say your winner will get tickets if you don’t already have the tickets. Promising something and not delivering will cause your salespeople to lose trust in you and your agency. That’s difficult to recover from – so don’t risk it. In setting up your contest, be sure to fully consider your potential costs. Could you wind up with more than one winner? If so, be sure to calculate that into your budget.
  5. Pay rewards promptly. Set a timeline for your prize, cash, or gift card distribution – and stick with it. Hand out or mail your prize(s) as quickly as possible after your contest ends. You want your team to be happy – and supportive for whatever future contest you announce. Don’t overlook potential tax reporting of rewards paid to brokers. Ask your tax advisor about tax implications for winners, what disclosures may be required, and whether you should provide an upfront notice when introducing your contests to your brokers.

There are countless other ways you can create a sales contest within your agency. For more ideas, read 25 Sales Contest Ideas to Keep Your Team Motivated, by SPOTIO, or 30 Sales Contest Ideas to Help Your Entire Team Crush Quota, by Nextiva, both published earlier this year.

If you’re open to expanding your carrier connections or you want a general agent partner that is committed to Service of Unequalled Excellence, talk with Word & Brown. We offer a variety of tools, tech, and unparalleled support to help you be more successful. Call (800) 869-6989 to get started or register using our online form.

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