How Incentive Programs Can Motivate Insurance Agents

insurance agents incentive program

Anyone who has worked in sales knows that it’s never an easy job in any sector but selling insurance ranks right up there with the toughest of sales jobs in any industry. Suffice to say that insurance agents need a little more motivation because it’s not an easy job and each sale should be made out to feel like the victory that it is. So, how can a manager or a regional head bring out that motivation from his/her agents? There are some tried, tested, and established incentivizing techniques that do work.

Devise a Smart Incentive Strategy

Incentives and commissions are going to be your primary and secondary motivators for sure, but you will still need to be strategic with how you use the allocated budget. After all, every insurance company offers incentives to their agents and very few of them turn out to be as effective as they hope they will be. Other than that, incentivizing agents should never be more expensive in comparison to the revenue they are generating.

To mitigate overspending on incentivization, healthcare and wellness benefits can help both the management and their employees. Go through this analysis of Blackhawk Network healthcare benefits, incentives, digital rewards, restrictions, perks, etc., to get a better understanding about how to incentivize healthcare benefits and motivate your agents with it.

Do Not Announce Team/Individual Targets

In a research paper published by the NYU, Professor Peter Gollwitzer explains why it is more important to highlight and reward steps that lead to the achievement of any particular goal, rather than just incentivizing the final goal. It’s an interesting study on human behavior interpretation that can be used to successfully generate productive behavior from human beings in both personal and professional environments.

People just perform better and become more productive when they have smaller and more immediate goals to achieve. There should still be a bigger incentive for agents who manage to meet their unannounced targets or cross them but keep that information private until they have managed to achieve their respective sales targets by meeting all previously announced, smaller targets.

insurance agents incentive program dos and donts

Announce and Incentivize the Smaller Goals

Incentives are not going to work as well as you may believe unless you start incentivizing the steps that lead to the main goal. If that feels counterintuitive then you need to understand how the human psyche works. The study mentioned earlier shows that the simple act of announcing big targets can either demotivate, stress, or may even create a sense of false achievement, depending on the individual’s personality type. Therefore, the following points should be kept in mind before devising any sales incentive strategy.

  • Do not announce your expected/estimated yearly/quarterly targets.
  • Do not assign individual or team goals based on the estimated/expected target.
  • Break down the final target into smaller steps and redefine them as the immediate goals.
  • Set small to medium sized incentives at the end of each immediate goal.
  • Assign both individuals and teams on the same principle of smaller goals.

Personalize the suggestions shared here in ways that best suit your own insurance team/company. Do track the results every quarter and don’t be shy about changing strategies if any of your ideas to boost productivity seem to have had an adverse effect on your insurance agents.

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