Prepare Your Phone Reps for Selling Success (1,689 words)
By Penny Reynolds
Prepare Your Phone Reps for Selling Success.
In a catalog call center I visited recently, the phone representatives were asked to upsell one of the company's new products at the end of the order-taking process.
Rachel, one of the newest reps in the center, regularly offered the product on every call, and enjoyed a pretty good conversion rate. Alex, a seasoned employee who was more skilled than Rachel, didn't offer the product on a single call. And Sarah, another fairly new employee, only made some attempts—without much success.
What's wrong with this picture? Is it a matter of having the wrong people for the job? Not enough training? Insufficient compensation? Inconsistent policies and procedures? The wrong scripts?
In today's call center the focus is on selling. Whether it's an outbound center whose sole purpose is telemarketing or a traditional inbound customer service center that decided to gain additional revenue through an upsell/cross-sell process, it's becoming increasingly important to polish sales skills.
Let's address the three steps necessary to set up a successful telephone sales program.
Step 1: Identify the Right People
The most critical factor in successful selling is getting the right people for the job. The first step is to carefully screen and profile the candidates—to see who is most likely to be successful and happy in a sales role. Whether you're hiring new employees or identifying people in your existing call center to move into more of a sales role, making the match is critical.
One of the ways to assess candidates' fit is to determine what motivates them. Are they motivated by money? A challenge? The satisfaction of helping someone or solving a problem? Those motivated by money or a challenge will likely find sales a rewarding experience. On the other hand, candidates whose test scores show they're averse to risk probably won't make good sellers, since hearing "no" is a frequent part of any sales process.