Getting more sales, orders or appointments from the sales calls you are making or taking is clearly key. It’s equally important to understand these key numbers and ratios too. If you’re the member of a phone team, it’s always good to know what your performance profile is over time. And if you’re managing a team, then knowing how each member of the team compares and how they’re performance is changing over time is key to managing them. To Market’s KPI system deals with this.

Your conversion rate is the amount of orders or appointments you generate from the calls you make where you get through to the decision-maker. No point in comparing sales to number of dials is it? You might be ringing a bought-in list of butchers and bakers, when you should be talking to candlestick makers.

The following 5 things are all useful to ensure you keep your eye on the ball and get the most out of the sales opportunities you come across.

1. Ensure sales training is included in the induction programme

You may have a comprehensive induction programme. Great. Many (perhaps most) companies focus on the 2 ‘P’ s : products and process. Clearly this is important. But compare how much training you provide that covers the dealing with customers bit. Do you allocate enough time to helping your team get the most from your customers? Then ensure that this subject is revisited every 6 months at least. What have you got to lose? Apart from more orders if you neglect it.

2. Make sure you count the right things

Understandably many organisations (especially big ones) are focused on dials and the number of calls made or taken during a given period. This is understandable in that the more calls you’re involved in, the more sales or appointments you’re likely to generate. All other things being equal. But all other things aren’t equal are they?!

The volume of business, orders, money, value, opportunities is what is really important. So if someone has high levels of connection time but low call rate, because they’re busy building rapport and selling to people, that’s a good thing isn’t it?

Ensure your measurement of success factors that in. Diallings are important, sure, but they’re a means to an end. Not an end in itself.

3. Don’t do training at the desk

You may need to do some call handling mentoring at the desk, but when revisiting core behavioural skills or doing something different, it is important to do it away from the desk.   Use classroom set-ups and encourage all participants to share views, ask questions, and ‘get on board.’ You will find it works better.

4. Patience is a virtue

Although everybody connected with the management of the team will be under pressure to achieve results,  it’s important to be patient when developing new people, upskilling existing team members and or trying out new processes or promoting new products. Rome wasn’t built in a day. 

5. Don’t forget to communicate with your team

The telesales, telemarketing or internal sales team will be spending a lot of time talking to customers over the phone every day. It’s really important they understand their role, the company’s aims and culture and the products or services really well. Never underestimate the importance of constant and positive communication with them. The more they understand what they’re being asked to do, and what the organisation is about, the more they will be able to make intelligent and informed decisions on the telephone. And this after all is what you want. It’s also a lot more enjoyable for them too, to have this element of job enrichment. They won’t know this stuff unless you tell them!

Helping improve conversion rates is one of the topics we’re frequently asked to help with. We work with outbound telemarketing and telesales and inbound internal sales teams across the Midlands, including Birmingham, Solihull, Lichfield, Coventry, Daventry, Leicester, Derby, Nottingham, Hucknall, Loughborough, Coalville, Market Harborough, Melton, Rugby, Lutterworth, Warwick, Leamington Spa, Bedford, Milton Keynes, Cambridge, Bury St. Edmunds, Newmarket as well as wider parts of Leicestershire and Northamptonshire. Call us on 01858 461148 directly or by e-mail at