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KPQ Questions > KPI Statements


Every sales manager and principal loves them.

I did.

Sales team? Probably not as much.

Why? Because it shines a light directly on performance.

KPI’s are a statement.

And personally, I’ve always found questions, not statements, to be a more effective way to get to the root of something, whether good or bad.

So for all you principals and sales managers, this post is for you.

Here are 5 questions to bring to your next 1-on-1 coaching session or sales meeting. Mix up your regular KPI’s with these KPQ’s.

KPQ’s: Key Performance Questions

Q1: What specific industries, niches or segments are you targeting?

Selecting a target industry, or industries, isn’t a nice-to-have, it’s a must. It gives focus. With a narrower scope, you can start to use industry specific language. You can create a manageable prospect list. You can create an offer that speaks to the unique challenges of the target industry, be it manufacturing, hospitality, contractors or white collar professionals.

Using industry specific language is an easy way to show that we have some idea “what you’re going through, who you are…”

It’s a rapport building quick-win. Which means your prospects are more open to trusting you.

Q2: How are you differentiating yourself from your competitors? i.e. What’s your compelling offer?

Let’s assume that every one of your competitors offers these:

  • Customized coverages

  • Personalized service

  • Expert advice

  • Competitive pricing

These four are table stakes. You’re expected to deliver on these. What’s more, you can’t own any one of these as competitive positions.

The good thing is, no one can.

So what can you own? What’s your differentiator? How are your producers standing out? What’s their compelling offer?

Here are three categories to help you think about differentiation:

  • Values-based

  • Expertise-based

  • Process-based

Start with who your producers are, their values. Build out a list of values. Line these up against members of the target market. These are foundational brand messaging pieces.

Next, move to expertise. Do your producers have specialized knowledge in their chosen fields? If yes, document this. Then turn it into some kind of value-based offer.

Finally, is there some aspect of your process, of working with your brokerage, that is different than the rest? Describe it. If you don’t think so, I encourage you to document the steps that a prospect (and then customer) do through when working with you.

There will be places to build out something different. Something unique.

Q3: Do you have a robust prospect list?

This might seem like a no-brainer, but I’m willing to bet it’s not as common a practice as we’d like to think.

(I should know. My pipeline is crap right now…)

Focusing in on a segment gives your producer(s) a manageable target market. They can start to build out a focused, rich prospect list.

Ways to build out the list:

  • Google: search, research and build out a list

  • List broker: buy a list from a list broker based on SIC codes

  • Industry associations: you may be able to rent or purchase a list

Regardless of where it’s sourced from, building out a list is key. It’s the first step to putting tangible campaign in action, in motion.

Q4: Are you (producers + you) continually creating meaningful marketing content?

We are interrupting people with our marketing. Is yours boring or fun? If it feels like an interruption, it won’t get the response you want (but likely the one you deserve).

And you’ll have to define meaningful as it relates to your target market. To me, 1) educate, 2) entertain, 3) engage are good benchmarks. These are commonly referred to as the 3E’s of social media marketing (but I’d argue services marketing, too).

Same applies to any form of content. Because in today’s hyper connected, media message saturated world, opening a wedge, being remembered, being noticed, is getting harder and harder.

As famed marketer Seth Godin says, “you have to push to the edges”.

Or think of it this way, you have to push outside of the standard industry message.

Bringing it back: determine your differentiators, then create messaging and content around these.

Q5: How often are you launching targeted lead generation campaigns?

I don’t have a ‘right’ number to give you. How many campaigns you launch is dependent on what your sales targets are and how much money you have to spend on marketing.

The main thing is that you keep this going.

I don’t believe in or subscribe to “Saviour Marketing” - the belief that one single campaign or ad is going to instantly drive revenues.

I mean, I get it because I have limited money to spend on marketing myself and want to maximize it.

But having been in the game a while (and being a consumer of a wide number of things), I see the ratio between HOW MANY ADS I SEE: HOW OFTEN I PURCHASE SOMETHING

It’s a pretty high ratio. We’re competing with all of the other products and services out there. We’re hardwired to ignore most of what we see because we believe it’s someone trying ot sell us something.

Which means it’s more difficult than it’s ever been to break-through.

But I also believe that there’s more of an opportunity to stand out. If you’re bold.

In Closing…

If you use KPI’s or not, shake up your next meeting with these KPQ’s.

They may help you uncover things in a constructive manner.

Just don’t make it into an inquisition, okay?



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