10 "Musts" for Outbound Calls (1,103 words)
Training should involve two basic components, says Andy Wetzler, a telemarketing consultant based in Boca Raton, FL. First, provide reps with product knowledge; then give them lots of opportunity to practice through role playing. Regarding the use of scripts, he says there's a tendency in b-to-b to give reps a script, describe a bit about the company and then say "go get 'em." "That's not enough. If possible, get them out on the road with the outside rep, demonstrate the product or service that's being sold," he suggests.
6. Human excellence, part II: ongoing motivation and supervisory support. "If you picture a big phone room with many reps and a few supervisors, you'd realize this is not the atmosphere conducive to success," DialAmerica's Korb says. "There's going to be high turnover."
A better situation, he says, is to use smaller, more intimate phone rooms and to have a rep-to-supervisor ratio so there's constant interaction. "You don't want 32 or 36 people at workstations in a room with one supervisor," he says, noting that at his firm, "we have a 4:1 ratio for new reps and 10:1 after that."
This allows relationships to form, Korb notes, explaining that the supervisor can motivate the reps by understanding why they are there. "This is especially important for part-timers, which there are so many of. Ask them: How much do you need to make? Getting that one extra sale per 100 calls can make a difference for that rep. That personal motivation comes through on the phone if the reps are focused."
7. Constant call monitoring. Listening to what's being said on the phone can tell a supervisor a lot, says Andy Wetzler. After monitoring a call, give feedback immediately—not two days later. And make sure 50 percent of what you say is positive. "If there are several problems, pick the top one or two to deal with this time," says Wetzler.