Monthly Archives: March 2017

5 Consistent Challenges For An Inside Sales Team

pexels-photo-29594Reposted by Danny Wong

Sales is a demanding, yet ultimately rewarding, career, no matter what type of sales you engage in and what segment your product fits into. However, inside sales professionals face a unique set of challenges in their day-to-day activities. These obstacles are inherent to the very processes of inside sales, so leaders and reps must learn to recognize these potential pitfalls and counteract them to build an effective operation.

Not getting to speak to the right leads

It’s no surprise that generating a high volume of valuable leads is a vital concern for people in all levels of the sales unit. Sure enough, a 2016 study of inside sales managers found nearly 24.3% of respondents cited “lead quantity & quality” as a major challenge.

To reliably bring in more and better leads, sales and marketing must work together to agree on what kinds of content will effectively inbound and nurture high-quality prospects. Additionally, they must decide at which point it’s appropriate to hand off a marketing lead to an inside sales rep and, at a more fundamental level, they need to define what a qualified lead is. It’s up to salespeople to take the initiative and insist on collaborating during certain stages of the marketing process, so that each unit can better learn from each other in the service of the leads.

Standing out in a crowded field of competitors

One of the key differences between field sales and inside sales is that field sales representatives almost always have the opportunity to make a physical impression when they meet prospects. Inside sales professionals don’t have this luxury, meaning they often have to find a way to stand out through a phone call, social media interaction, or a cold email.

Aside from getting more qualified leads, the best thing a salesperson can do to stand out is to ask their prospects the right questions, and let them tell you about their pain points with specificity. Then you can use these insights to demonstrate you intricately understand why your solution is ideal for their problems.

Getting the most out of technological tools

Almost every organization now has access to innovative sales acceleration technology and robust CRM programs. However, employing these platforms is not the same as making sure every sales professional in the company knows how to fully utilize them; that requires initiative from multiple different parties.

First, IT management and even technology vendors must be committed to making sure the solution is accessible and compatible with existing programs. Sales leadership also has to ensure their employees understand the importance of the technology, and how it will help them better serve their customers and exceed their goals. Finally, sales reps must take an active role in training programs so they know how various technological tools can be used optimally for their duties.

Staying motivated in a structured environment

Unlike field sales — which typically involves frequent changes of scenery, meetings outside of professional settings, and so on — the average day in an inside sales office is usually quite structured. You come into the office and answer emails, make sales calls, log data into your CRM, perform customer research, and get ready to do it again the next day.

Many workers thriver in this type of environment, but plenty of others can find it difficult to stay motivated if things become too predictable. Rather than viewing their schedule as a series of repetitive tasks, reps must learn to see each prospect interaction as a unique experience, and an opportunity to find out what they can do to make each individual client’s life better. When every action is performed in service of this goal, the inside sales process is far from monotonous; it’s a new, value-added experience every day.

Finding time for adequate coaching

Every inside sales professional understands that hitting certain numbers is vital. You can have the best sales strategy imaginable, and be a rep who instantly connects with your prospects no matter what the medium is; if you don’t contact enough people, and have the right data on hand, you simply won’t have enough conversion opportunities.

So, obviously, you have to find time to do the work. The issue is meeting these obligations often cuts into your time to accomplish peripheral tasks, such as coaching and professional development. Maybe your manager is content to let this slide, because they have a lot on their plate as well. The key is for management and front-line reps to come together and understand how important coaching is to everyone involved: managers, reps, customers, and company stakeholders. It’s actually not a peripheral activity at all, and each party has an obligation to notify the other if expectations aren’t being met.

Call AmeriAgency‘s Commercial Department for help understanding business insurance at 615-209-9362.

star ameriagency (1)

 

5 Tips for Protecting Your Engagement Ring

pexels-photo-271543

5 Tips for Protecting Your Engagement Ring

  1.  Take your ring in for a yearly inspection. Your jeweler will make sure there aren’t any loose settings, damaged prongs, or any other issues. Not to mention, they’ll give your ring a nice shine and cleaning while you’re there, too!
  2. Keep your ring clean. Built up dirt can lead to long-term damage in your engagement ring if you are not regularly cleaning it. Ask your jeweler how to best clean your setting and how often to do so.
  3. Diamonds are forever – if you take care of your ring! Just because the rock on your finger is durable doesn’t mean it’s invincible. Prongs can dent, diamonds can chip at the right angle, and some elements can come loose. If necessary, remove it before participating in any rough activity.
  4. If you notice any damage to your engagement ring, take it to the jeweler immediately. Even something as simple as a worn prong could be fatal to your ring setting.
  5. Insure your ring! That little piece of jewelry on your left ring finger is more valuable that you know. Protect it against theft, misplacement, and damage.

You’ve got The One, you’ve got the ring, now get the coverage.

Call AmeriAgency for a jewelry floater policy at 615-209-9362.

GetInline.aspx

How to Take Care of Your Boat

fishing-boat-denmark-beach-sea-86699

Taking out your very own boat is an exciting and thrilling experience. You can invite friends, eat and party on the water. But as much fun as your boat can be, it’s important to maintain it properly. Proper maintenance ensures that you can continue to enjoy your boat year after year.

Battery
Make sure that you’re properly checking your battery level and charging. Check the liquid levels in the battery and make sure to keep your battery clean and dry. Damp conditions will damage your battery.

Motor
Flush your engine after every excursion. You should pay attention to engine oil levels and always ensure that your engine cooling system is working at full efficiency.

Check Your Propeller
A propeller with even the smallest dent could damage the performance of your watercraft. Remove the propeller and check for damage before every launch. A damaged propeller can set off a chain reaction that creates further danger to you as a passenger and to your boat. You should also use a waterproof grease on your propeller shaft to protect the propeller from corrosion.

Change Your Oil
Usually, you can get a good estimation of how often you should change your boat’s engine oil based on your specific boat model. If you’re unsure, usually every 100 hours of operation or once per year, is a solid rule of thumb. You can have your oil professionally changed at a dealer or you can change the oil yourself.

Washing
Washing your boast is especially important if your boat is going into saltwater. Any time a boat is in saltwater, it should be rinsed off with freshwater and then properly cleaned. A boat brush with soft bristles combined with a marine boat wash or car wash soap should do the job just fine.

Winterization
Perhaps one of the most important maintenance components is related to storage. It is important to look into your best options for storing your boat in the colder months to protect your vessel from winter damage. Every individual model should have best practices. If you don’t have a guidebook on care for your particular model, it’s worth consulting a specialist. Winter can be a dangerous time for your boat and you want to make sure she’s protected.

To protect your boat call AmeriAgency for a free insurance quote at 615-209-9362.

How to Avoid Motorcycle Accidents

pexels-photo

Motorcycle accidents can be fatal, especially if the vehicle operator is not following standard safety procedures (wearing a helmet, obeying speed limits, avoiding blind spots, etc.).

There are also some interesting statistics involving motorcycle accidents that every biker should be aware of (courtesy of NHTSA):

50%: Percentage of motorcycle crashes that involve alcohol
50%: Percentage of single-vehicle fatalities involving no other vehicles
44%: Percentage of all motorcycle accidents that happen on weekends
26%: Percentage of riders in fatal crashes that did not have a valid license

So, before you hop on your motorcycle, make sure you do a thorough pre-ride inspection, make sure you are wearing head, eye and skin protection, and never tailgate another driver while riding. Also, avoid riding next to a truck – you’ll be in the blind spot of the driver.

If you are a good driver and need motorcycle insurance call AmeriAgency at 615-209-9362.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Dog Bites? – It Depends

pexels-photo-29696

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Dog Bites? – It Depends

When you’re choosing a homeowner’s policy, you have to keep in mind the risks that you bring with you. Those risks include the family dog. Unfortunately, insurance companies are reluctant to provide coverage for homes where certain breeds of dogs live. If you do find an insurer that will cover your home when you have one of these breeds, you will likely pay a higher premium.
So what can you do to make sure that you’re getting the best deal on your policy?

Know the Breeds
The most likely breeds of dogs to cause your policy to be denied: Pitbulls, Staffordshire Terriers, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers and Rottweilers. If you already have a dog that falls on this list, you need to look at what companies will insure your home anyways. You should also be prepared for higher costs.

If you are considering getting a dog, keep in mind, these breeds will cost you more when it comes to your premiums. If you’re adopting a dog, and unsure of exactly what breed they are, a veterinarian can give you their best estimate. Expect your insurance company to follow the word of your vet.

Know Your Dog’s History
If your dog does bite someone and your insurance company has to pay out, it is likely they may drop your policy altogether. This will make it difficult, and even more costly, for you to find coverage. The best thing you can do is know your dog’s background. If you adopt a dog, try to get as much information about what they experienced previous to your ownership. The sad truth is dogs that have been abused are more likely to bite someone.

For advice on your dogs and insurance call AmeriAgency at 615-209-9362.

Does Your Renters Policy Cover It?

stairs-home-loft-lifestyle

Everyone knows that life insurance, health insurance and auto insurance are valuable and necessary products for a successful financial plan. But when it comes to renters insurance, many people believe that they can get by without a policy. They assume that they are covered under their landlord’s property insurance policy and that this policy will reimburse them for any damages to their possessions and that they are not liable for any damages to the premises—ever. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Let’s take a look at four different scenarios and see how renters insurance could help in each.

  1. It’s Friday night and it’s time for your friends to come over and watch the final episode of some long-running television show that you love. While inside your apartment, one of your friends slips on some water that you spilled on the floor but neglected to wipe up. He must go to the emergency room and the injury results in medical bills and missed work.

In this scenario, you are liable for your friend’s injury. You neglected to clean up the water and you created a potentially dangerous situation in doing so. If you have renters insurance, then the policy will cover the medical bills and may cover lost wages.

  1. It’s the holiday season and you are cooking for your family. The turkey is almost done, the mashed potatoes are whipped to perfection and the green bean casserole is sitting on top of the stove waiting to be served. Unfortunately, the wooden spoon that you left in the green bean casserole is hanging over the burner that you used to cook the mashed potatoes. It catches fire and your stove—along with your dinner—follows suit.

While your landlord’s insurance policy might cover you if a fire began due to bad wiring or faulty appliances, the event described above is something that you would be responsible for since it was the result of your negligence. If you have a renter’s insurance policy, then you won’t need to reimburse your landlord for damages out of your own pocket but can instead have your landlord submit the claim to your insurer.

  1. After a trying day at work, followed by a grueling hour at the gym, you come home to your apartment tired and ready to relax. As you walk up to your front door you notice that it seems to be standing open—and you’re pretty sure that you didn’t leave it that way. You slowly ease toward the opening, craning your neck to try and avoid getting hurt if someone is actually in the apartment and you see that the door has been kicked in. As you step over the remains of the door and your eyes adjust to the low light of the room, you notice that your new television, stereo, gaming system and other valuables are gone.

In this situation, your landlord’s insurance would cover the cost of replacing and re-hanging the door. But a landlord or property owner’s insurance policy won’t cover the contents within the apartments, as those are the renter’s responsibility to insure with a renters policy.

  1. You’ve finally decided to take the two weeks’ of vacation that you’ve been hoarding at work. You’ve gotten your passport, packed all your new vacation duds, and are ready to head out onto the open waters on a luxury cruise. Unfortunately, before you even get onto your ocean liner you realize that your luggage, including your MP3 player, laptop and your new sandals, are gone. They’ve been stolen and you’d have to get your money back for this trip in order to afford to replace them.

There is probably no one on earth who would expect their landlord’s insurance policy to cover stolen luggage that isn’t even on the premises of their apartment building. But did you know that your renters insurance policy actually will cover stolen luggage?

Renters insurance helps ensure that you are made whole when you are the victim of a theft, it helps protect you from liability when someone is injured in your apartment and it ensures that you can reimburse your landlord if you cause damage to the building or appliances as the result of accident or negligent behavior. It is a comprehensive policy offering protection that would be a mistake to do without.

For a quick quote on renters insurance call AmeriAgency at 615-209-9362

Security Cameras – Not Just for the Rich

pexels-photo-97509

Security cameras for around $50.00 can do some amazing things.  They can detect motion, record movements on a sd card, the allow you to view multiple cameras from your phone at the same time.  Really technology serving people.

You will need wifi to get full use out of the new cameras.

Below are some examples of good low cost cameras.  There are many others.

Search www.amazon.com for best prices and reviews.

YI Dome Camera 720P - White
$59.99
YI Technology
Free shipping
YI Dome Camera 1080P - Black
$70.39
YI Technology
Free shipping
YI Home Camera 720P - White
$34.49
YI Technology
Free shipping
For help with insurance call 615-209-9362 or click AmeriAgency.com

Life Insurance Does Say Love

pexels-photo-207962

If you’re in the market for life insurance, you’re going to want to make sure you find the deal that’s best for you and your family in the event of your death. There are several questions you should ask yourself as you shop around for the deal that fits your needs.

What are my goals?
Are you protecting your family in case of an early death? Are you interested in leaving an inheritance to a family member or friend? These are just two of the questions you need to ask yourself before you commit to a life insurance plan. There are also two types of life insurance: Term and Permanent. You’ll need to research each to determine which is best for you and your family.

What all is available?
As mentioned, Term and Permanent life insurance are two of your choices. You can also opt for Group life insurance and Individual life insurance. These are some other options you’ll want to consider before purchasing a plan.

Where do I buy a life insurance policy?
There are plenty of search engines that can direct you to a life insurance agent or agency, but it might behoove you to seek out a professional and speak face-to-face. They may be able to provide information that you weren’t aware of.

Call AmeriAgency for help determining your life insurance needs at 615-209-9362.

Car Accident – What to Do!

 

crash-test-collision-60-km-h-distraction-163016So you’ve gotten into a car accident. This stinks, I know. But, what do you do now?

  1. Check Your Vehicle: Check yourself for injuries. Check any passengers for injuries. If anyone is injured, call an ambulance immediately.
  2. Evaluate the Damage: If your car can be moved, try to move it out of the flow of traffic. If it cannot, make sure that you are standing someplace safe nearby so that you can be on hand when help arrives.
  3. Swap Information: You need the other driver’s name, address, phone number, insurance company, policy number, driver’s license number and license plate number, to start. If the driver is not the owner of the vehicle or insurance policy, make sure to get the same information for the owner.
  4. Play it Smart: Do not allow yourself to get into arguments with the other driver. Do not apologize or say the accident was your fault.
  5. Snap it Up: Take pictures of all vehicles involved. This is for your protection and to help prevent fraud.
  6. File a Report: Inform the police of the incident. If they do not come to the scene, you can still file a report. This can help speed up the claim process.
  7. Stay on the Scene: Do not leave the scene of the accident until the police have arrived (or they’ve cleared you to leave via phone) or before you have all the information and photos you need.
  8. Contact Your Insurance Company: Get your claim started right away. Make sure that you are ready to provide them with all of the information and evidence you have at your disposal.
  9. Visit a Doctor: You may have initially felt just fine after your accident, but some injuries take longer to become apparent. You could have internal injuries. Make sure you’ve been checked out.
  10. Stay on Top of It: It can seem like there’s a lot of follow-up for your claim, for your police report, etc. All of it is important. Do not put off communication with anyone regarding the accident. You could cause delays in your claim.

Call an agent at AmeriAgency for advice on an accident  at 615-209-9362.

Baby Proof Your Home

pexels-photo-266098

Children learn about the world through exploration, touching and manipulating things. However, a home that isn’t prepared for children can be fraught with danger. One way that a parent can gain an appreciation of their home from their child’s point of view is to get down on all fours and crawl around. Things such as exposed wall sockets and vases sitting high overhead on tables become immediately apparent. To help with the baby proofing process, five tips are discussed next.

Use Outlet Protectors

While using simple outlet plugs do the job, they can also become choking hazards if removed and not put back into place. A preferable solution is to use outlet protectors that have a sliding latch. They give quick and convenient access for adults while providing safety for your child.

Secure or Remove Furniture and Objects That Can Fall

Secure furniture that can be tipped over such as chairs and tall reading lamps. Unstable bookcases must be secured to the wall and books kept out of reach and placed securely in the bookcase. Television sets, tall shelves and dressers should also be secured.

Remove Small Objects and Cords

Small objects lying around are choking hazards while electrical and drapery cords, string, ribbon and shoelaces are strangulation hazards. Many of the electrical devices we use, such as cell phones and laptops, have chargers with cords on them. Always keep these well out of reach of curious children.

Use Foam Bumpers on Corners and Edges

The corners and edges of furniture can cause head injury unless covered with foam bumpers. Immovable objects made of metal or concrete are especially hazardous.

Place Locks on All Cabinet Doors That Contain Harmful Items

These items include tools, knives, medicine, matches, cleaning agents and chemicals. Even salt can be harmful if large amounts are consumed.

Kids are natural daredevils who are curious about everything. As they grow and learn, they will find yet more ways to explore. Therefore, the most important tip of all is to keep them in safe areas and to always keep a watchful eye on them.

Let us help you protect what is precious to you.  Call AmeriAgency at 615-209-9362.