How to maximise the performance of telesales staff is a constant question for many managers. Telesales training courses typically focus on questioning and listening skills, handling objections and closing the sale. These are essential skills, but how much is actually practised once the employee is back at their desk?
For example, some telesales staff may be introverts, who find it much harder than their extrovert colleagues to pick up the phone and make a call. I have worked with sales teams who were not reaching their targets for sales visits. Their managers were at their wits’ end – why did the sales team not just make a call and ask for an appointment? To the managers it was glaringly obvious. The teams, however, tended towards introversion and were uncomfortable with the idea of forcing themselves on the client, as they saw it, and kept putting off the calls.
When we discussed the problem in terms of them helping and supporting the client by explaining their services and how they could solve the client’s problems, they were able to operate from their natural energy and started to make the calls. An almost 100% success rate in securing appointments encouraged them to continue!
This is an example of how telesales coaching brings the training to life. The coach spends one-to-one time with each member of the team as they talk to real customers. Unhelpful habits and phraseology is identified and better alternatives practised which immediately result in better rapport and deeper understanding of customer needs.
With the support of the coach, they are able to experiment with new behaviour they would never have risked or even considered while working alone, and start to experience better results than ever before. Their new success leads to increased confidence, a markedly more positive attitude and sustained improvement in performance.
In a recent programme, there was an immediate increase of 300% in appointments made! Figures for subsequent sales are not yet available, but at the very least are likely to be several times the cost of the training, in itself an excellent return, not even taking into account the probable rise in job satisfaction and reduced staff turnover.
Andy Britnell specialises in sales and customer service training for both the private and public sectors. Go to http://www.andybritnell.co.uk/ and you can sign up for my FREE short monthly newsletter and FREE e-mail coaching.
I coach corporate and SME clients who wish to achieve better results - see http://www.executive-coaching-for-business-growth.com/