Working in insurance sales demands patience and perseverance. As an insurance team leader, sometimes called a sales manager, your staff's income will typically depend entirely on commission, and you may have to deal with more people leaving than in a regular office job that pays a salary. Your staff will require a lot of attention, from training to assistance with potential clients, but your single biggest concern may be to keep your team motivated at times when they lose their focus, which can lead to letting a sales opportunity pass them by.
One of the most important functions of the insurance team leader is recruiting new sales staff. Because the nature of the work involves working on commissions, this job is not for everyone. You must constantly search for new talent, which entails meeting a lot of people with varying backgrounds and evaluating their chances for success.
The people you hire will come from all walks of life. The only thing they may have in common is the fact that they can meet and talk to people easily. However, that alone is not sufficient to make a good salesperson. Your sales staff must also possess a sound knowledge of the products they sell. They must know techniques for prospecting new clients and convincing those clients that they have a need for financial security. Part of your function as an insurance team leader will be to hone these skills in your sales staff.
Your sales team members will undoubtedly run into situations where they require assistance. You have to make the time to review sales files with each team member, provide guidance on how to identify a sales opportunity given a particular prospect's financial and personal information, and go on a sales call with him to review his sales techniques. This will allow you to offer guidance and coaching to the sales team member so that eventually she will become more productive on her own.
Monitor Sales Results
Your success will be measured by sales results. Therefore you will find yourself constantly monitoring them in order to identify positive or negative trends. You must analyze sales results for clues to whether your recruiting and training efforts are effective, or whether team members who do not meet the quotas need special attention or perhaps to be fired. The insurance team leader's function requires a lot of tact and patience, but also a certain ruthlessness in the name of the bottom line.
Philippe Lanctot started writing for business trade publications in 1990. He has contributed copy for the "Canadian Insurance Journal" and has been the co-author of text for life insurance company marketing guides. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from the University of Montreal with a minor in English.