Make sure your telesales team is targeted on what you are targeted on. Obvious advice in theory, but not every organisation with a telesales or telemarketing team follows this. It can be easy to dismiss the need to do this on the basis that the management looks after the commercial elements for instance. We have worked with companies in the past who only target their team on sales and then have to manage a large volume of unprofitable orders.
We’re just starting a programme with a client just outside Birmingham who has a large team selling items business to business over the phone. We carried out a team audit with them recently (more details of team audits at www.tomarket.co.uk/teamaudits.php.)
The team actively promotes the fact that the goods are free on approval and “if you don’t want them, we’ll simply pick them up from you free of charge.” Also phrases such as “no obligation” appear frequently. Clearly this strategy is intended to get as many products out as possible which is great – but there is no sense of them being selective at all with who they mail out to. The result is that the company feels that too much of it’s sales activity is unprofitable.
The team is targeted on products sent out. It doesn’t take into account how many products come back.
It is really important that you understand what your business needs and ensure at least some of this is fed through to the telesales or telemarketing team on the front line. It pays to make sure everyone shoulders the responsibility for the overall success of the company. And the danger of keeping any part of your team in the dark is that first they don’t understand what is important to the organisation they are working for, and worst they may not realise that what they are doing is counterproductive. Furthermore, how can you ever discipline someone for poor performance if they have every reason to believe they’re doing a good job?