After a short call with a health insurance company’s CEO, I wasn’t sure I heard his response correctly, so I rephrased his comment back to him; “You don’t help your insurance agents market themselves because you don’t want them to be distracted from selling?” “Yes, that's correct” was actually his response. This particular company doesn’t provide any type of insurance agent marketing support such as an agent websites, dynamic client newsletters, or social media posts to help their own agents grow their business. This CEO believes that having his agents focus on social media posting and sending out an agent branded newsletter to clients and prospects will take up too much of their time, leading to decreased sales numbers! He doesn't realize that providing content solutions (newsletters, social posts) for his sales team will increase their sales, and ultimately his company's sales.
No matter what industry you’re in, if you’re in a sales position you know how ‘selling’ has changed. Gone are the days when you went to a prospects home to enjoy cookies and coffee while you sold them your product! Online research (websites, social media content, dynamic/web-based newsletters) is how prospects find you and your company. HubSpot’s 2017 study reported that 81% of shoppers start their online research (Yes, Mr. Insurance Company CEO, even health insurance) before deciding to buy. That means not only the company is being researched, but the sales agent as well.
Companies that don’t provide marketing support to their sales team are disregarding important ‘tools for success’ if they aren’t providing individually branded sales team member websites, dynamic newsletter communication (relationship building, not sales flyers), and relevant industry social media posts. Relevant content has been one of the most successful SEO (search engine optimization) tactics that drives internet searches that lead to sales, according to 72% of marketers in the Hubspot study. Positioning the company and their sales team members as experts in their profession with an online presence is one of the most effective ways to drive sales numbers upward. Perhaps corporate marketing is ‘too distracted’ by CEOs that don’t understand the bottom line starts at the ‘bottom’, which in this case is helping their sales team be successful.