Partnering with a third party contact center is a great way to boost your company’s sales and meet your overall performance goals. However, as Nikita Arora of Ameyo writes, “The operational performance of a call center must be effective to help the business achieve the desired goals.” Read on to learn how you can effectively manage your contact center sales team to ensure you see the results you’re investing in.
Adding a contact center as a new revenue stream is a great way to boost your company’s overall sales revenue and performance. Here are just some of the ways that an outsourced sales team can augment your internal sales efforts:
Warm up sales leads. An outsourced sales team can help boost your company’s revenue by warming up sales leads before passing them off to your internal sales agents. So, your internal team won’t waste their time cold-calling prospects that have never heard of your company and services. Instead, the prospect will already be well versed in what you have to offer by the time your internal sales team spends any time with them.
Keen understanding of your industry and clients. Contact center sales teams are experienced in a wide variety of industries, so they won’t have to start from scratch to begin working with your company and customers. Partner with an outsourced sales team that has a proven track record of working well with the types of customers you target to maximize your outsourcing dollars.
Handle day-to-day customer service. You can rely on a contact center team to handle your day-to-day customer service for your company. They can field calls directly from your customers, and answer questions quickly to cut down on hold time. Happier customers means more referrals, and more referrals means more revenue.
Anticipate client questions and needs. Because the contact center team will be working closely with your customers and prospects and they already have deep experience in your industry, they’ll be ready to anticipate client questions and needs. Not only does this improve your company’s overall customer experience, but it shows those customers your company cares about solving their problems. In today’s customer-centric world, this is key to winning new business and retaining valuable customer relationships.
There are a variety of tactics you can use to best manage the sales performance of your contact center sales teams. Arora of Ameyo suggests adding a spirit of competition to ensure agents hit their monthly goals. When salespeople are properly motivated by friendly competition among their peers, they are more likely to hit their numbers. In this way, “Managers can motivate their employees by coaching their agents to fill their knowledge gaps, develop agent’s self assessment programs, and identify best practices to improve agent’s missed KPIs.”
Additionally, it’s plain and simple: you have to know what’s going on with your outsourced sales team if you expect to properly manage them. Monitoring the sales calls of your outsourced team is a great way to better understand why their performance might be lagging and how you can help them make improvements. By listening to sales calls, you might determine that a sales rep needs additional training on a certain sales tactic or needs more information about a new product you’ve released, for example.
Furthermore, strive to find partners that pride themselves on being an extension of your company. For instance, partnering with a contact center that actually designs its facilities around your brand once you hire them will help those sales agents feel like part of your organization. In turn, your customers will experience communication with a team of agents that are completely in sync with your company’s tone, goals and culture.
Make sure that your contact center sales team has access to sufficient information about their workload and the customers they’re serving. Shauna Geraghty of Talkdesk writes: “Agents that have access to real-time information like how many callers are in the queue, the status of other agents, longest waiting time in the queue, average abandonment time and average waiting time can better adapt to the call center’s needs and make more informed decisions based on this information.” Sales reps that have comprehensive information about what type of calls are coming their way in the queue are less likely to be flustered or overly stressed, and will be better equipped to focus on the customer on the phone at that moment.
Additionally, making sure your reps have all the information they need, front and center, when they have a customer on the phone is key to the success of their tasks and the satisfaction of your customers. Geraghty explains: “When agents have all the information they need popup in the browser in front of them as the phone rings, long gone will be the days of searching through multiple systems looking for the information they need to resolve the customer’s issue.” They will be able to serve that customer quickly and more accurately, and move onto the next call in their queue to keep wait times low. Geraghty suggests considering investing in contact center-specific software that keeps all customer information organized in a single place for your reps.
Mike Aoki of Reflective Keynotes suggests implementing the three following tactics to improve the sales performance of your contact center sales team:
Hold a sales skill workshop. Aoki argues that great customer service skills alone aren’t enough these days. In addition, your sales team needs to attend workshops related to cross-selling and upselling so they can learn to not only attract new business, but upgrade existing business whenever appropriate. If you don’t train your outsourced staff on these important revenue-generating tactics, then you risk missing out on valuable sales opportunities.
Train in-depth on product knowledge. Just like your internal sales team, your contact center sales team should know your products and services inside and out. Aoki suggests: “During team meetings, have each call center Agent take turns doing a five minute presentation on the key selling benefits of a product.” This way, salespeople will sharpen their sales skills and get valuable practice pitching your products.
Show how you stack up to competitors. Not only should your sales team fully understand the features and benefits of your products, they should also be well versed in how they stack up against those of your competitors. Aoki suggests that all sales team members have a smart answer ready when a client says, “But your competitor offers…”, to ensure they’re ready to show how your company offers the best solutions for their needs.
Geraghty of Talkdesk suggests enhancing the contact center work environment in order to boost productivity and success. Some companies today are moving to cubicle- and wall-free environments that break down barriers between contact center agents, managers and executives. Take initiative when working with your contact center partner to help craft a sales environment you believe will be conducive to better morale, and in turn, better performance.
Partnering with a contact center sales team is a great way to boost your sales — but it’s important that you are managing sales performance effectively to achieve your desired ROI. Make sure you’re equipping your external sales team with the tools, tactics, goals, coaching and work environment they need to be successful. Devise a strategy that facilitates smooth handoff of customer data between your in-house and outsourced teams. When you take the proper proactive actions, managing your third party vendors will feel just like managing your internal teams.
Publish Date: March 17, 2016 5:00 AM
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