Keeping your telesales or telemarketing team motivated is clearly important. You don’t need me to tell you that! And it’s important to recognise that making lots of outbound calls is a tough job. It is repetitive by it’s nature, and your telesales personnel face a lot of rejection.
Nevertheless it is a vital part of the sales process. You can talk to more customers and prospects in a day than you can using any other medium. And the quality of contact is much higher than direct mail or e-shots, because when you talk to prospects you’re engaged in a 2-way dialogue.
There are obvious ways of motivating outbound telemarketing and telesales teams : offering incentives, running campaigns and paying bonuses, but there are a few things you can do that are more systemised that are proven to work.
Along with the obvious stuff around incentives, coaching and motivation, we’ve found that simple changes can have a huge impact on the results of sales campaigns. Here are a few:
1. Regular short breaks – away from the phone
Make sure you ‘force’ your team members to have time away from the phone. At least every 2 hours or more often if you can. Even a 10 minute break will give them a chance to clear their head, and think about other things. Encourage them to spend lunch breaks away from their desk too.
They will appreciate this element of pastoral care on your part and it will help them keep their energy levels up. So important in business development roles.
2. Keep them informed
It is vital to keep your team in the loop. Encourage and maintain good flows of communication – both ways. Encourage your team members to let you know what is happening in the market place. Remember your phone team is almost certainly having more customer interactions in a day than anyone else in the company.
Share company information with them too. Keep it positive. Talk about developments, new products, new initiatives. And above all, make sure you have reporting systems that tell your team what business is coming in as a result of their efforts. This is particularly important if they are appointment setting telemarketers. They need to know what is coming from their efforts. By all means have daily briefings or flag-waving sessions before they start phoning sessions if that is your style. But the key is keeping them informed.
3. Regular feedback, stats & praise
Your team has KPIs right? Like our KPI system telemetrics it is important to keep your team clear on what they’re supposed to be doing. How many appointments in a week or day, or month. And the KPIs such as our telemetrics will also tell each phone team member what they need to do in terms of dials and decision-maker conversations to achieve the desire outcome.
Make sure you sit down with each member of your team at least once a month to discuss their personal progress. Use stats where you can, as their objective, and it’s not personal. If you present figures that show a phoner is getting less orders or appointments because they’re making less calls / dials than anyone else, they can’t complain that you’re having a go at them because you don’t like them, can they?!
Look for reasons to praise. In any form of management, praise always works better than reprimand. Keep your communication style light but clear. And be aware of spending time with everyone. It’s easy for management to spend most time with underperformers, and miss those who are doing well.
4. Get them out of the office
Many phone based teams are promoting products or services that they may not encounter in their daily lives. So make sure that you give them the opportunity to experience the products in use, and meet some of the clients who use them. Giving telemarketers or telesales personnel days out from time to time with their field based colleagues, is something I’ve always found worked really well. They’ll like the fact that they’ve got a day out of the office. They’ll learn from their colleagues who sell your products and services and meeting clients / customers will help them envision how people interact with your products and what they think of them. Even the team manager should do this too.
5. Have a strong call structure – scripting
6. Minimise the admin
Making sure a phone team is focused on making calls is clearly key to achieving success. So be really hard on yourself to avoid giving them lots of admin to do. If they make calls interspersed with lots of other jobs, processing orders, getting the board room ready for your VIP visitors, booking the M.D.s flights to France, going to the bank, you can’t be surprised that the outbound calling doesn’t get done. Or if it does, you may find it’s not especially successful. Make your mind up!
You can always get one person per day, or per half day to do the order processing. Focus produces better results and less mistakes. Fact.
They need to put all call notes on the CRM system. This is important, but discourage them from writing chapter and verse. Comments such as “I spoke to him and he said that he might review their choice of supplier at some point next year depending on how their year goes sales wise…” are too lengthy, waffly and time consuming. Keep it concise.
7. Regular training
- Product training
- Process training
- Behavioural training