Until the “Sales Gene” Is Identified: Three Ways to Move Employees Into Sales Roles

Posted by Peter Manoogian on Tue, Jul 16, 2013

"You can’t send a duck to eagle school."

So says one of ZS’s co-founders when discussing potential challenges associated with changing a sales team's roles or responsibilities. Taking a "nature versus nurture" approach to sales, we typically subscribe to the idea that salesmanship cannot be taught. Organizations should hire for personality, then train for skill.

This concept arose once again during a discussion with executives of a regional insurance carrier who were thinking about converting the firm’s “renewal” reps to pure “hunters.” As we discussed their challenges and opportunities, they asked, “Should we just hire professional salespeople”?


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New Survey Shows Best-in-Class Carriers Go Beyond Products and Services

Posted by Peter Manoogian on Wed, May 08, 2013

Attracting new agents is a growing challenge for insurance carriers, as discussed in my last post. Maintaining a motivated group of veteran agents and ensuring they write your products versus other carriers’ products is equally important. As carriers refine their product and service offering, they also should differentiate themselves in other factors to drive competitive advantage with agents. 


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Should insurance carriers treat their new recruits like startups?

Posted by Peter Manoogian on Thu, Apr 25, 2013

Startups are on my mind. Our new blog, The Exchange, is a startup, which reminded me of friends from grad school who have launched businesses ranging from organic water to home automation systems. And though The Exchange requires minimal financial support to get off the ground, my friends’ businesses need significant seed money from investors to realize their concept. This, in turn, got me thinking about how startup-financing principles can guide the recruiting and retention of new insurance agents.


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