5 Tips To Create A Sales Call Center That Works

sales call center that worksSales and marketing are really just 2 sides of the same coin. Yin and Yang. Push and Pull. And in many ways, they are becoming more and more alike. I have spent time in both roles and the basic tenets of success in sales and marketing still come down to basic human nature. Help people and they will reward you.

And no matter what business you are in, you will need to find the right balance of traditional and new techniques to reach your customers and help your company grow through higher sales.

In this post, my man Rob Krekstein is back with 5 tips to generate sales through that most traditional of techniques, the call center…

Whether you are a B2B or B2C Company, you need to understand that you are selling your products or services to People. With that as your Platform, you can then move to consider how to create your Call Center Sales team model and process. Here are a few tips for creating a Call Center that can yield significant Revenue for your company through Volume and Velocity.

  1. Hire Phone Warriors – You should look to hire people that are not afraid of making a high volume of calls. Qualified Sales People are fantastic but if they come from Companies where they were viewed as “Sales Executives” and expected to make 10-20 calls a day, and hunt Elephants, they are not for you. In today’s world that might mean hiring younger more inexperienced people, but look at that as a positive, as they are like a blank canvas waiting for your instruction, with no bad habits to break.
  2. Be Realistic about the job – All Companies create ambiguous titles like, “Demand Executives”, “Inside Generation Experts” or “Inside Account Executives”, but be honest, this is a job where you need to be a “Phone Sales Expert”. The job Is all about Volume and Velocity, and you need to be certain your new hires understand that.
  3. Do Not De-Value Training – Training is critical to the success of your agents. Not only Product or Solution Knowledge, but Phone Sales knowledge as well. Getting past Gatekeepers, utilizing proper preparation skills, Value Propositions, and Competitive information will be essential for your Representatives to close revenue. The Training should be standardized, not like the old school methodology “Every Salesperson uses their own techniques that work best” which basically means you did not invest in Training properly.
  4. Metrics Are Key – You must set expectations that are realistic and in line with your Product or Service. This does not only include Revenue, but Dials per day, Conversations per day, Appointments per week, and Pipeline. This will set the foundation for your Employees so be sure and set the goal appropriately. If more than 60% of your workforce consistently hits or exceeds the goal, you should look to raise it as it was improperly set.
  5. Dials = Dollars – This is a common understanding in the “telemarketing” world, but for some reason when we talk about “Sales” we lose touch with this. It is a simple, logical premise…More Calls equals more conversations which equals more Pipeline which leads to more REVENUE. You must make this concept a part of your team’s DNA if you want to create and cultivate a successful Call Center Sales Force.

With these simple tips you will have created a sustainable, Revenue Generating Sales Force, that can handle any product or service. They will have been properly trained, motivated, and should be focused on the correct actions to attain all their targets.

Photo by Flickr user Jurvetson

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.

3 thoughts on “5 Tips To Create A Sales Call Center That Works

  1. Michael, I’m shocked.
    Most of your posts are insightful and forward looking but this “Pile them high, it’s all about numbers” approach is straight from the bad old days.

    People buy because something is relevant to them and because they want the benefits it offers. Taking the time to find out about them and their needs makes a big difference.

    Secondly, when the conversation has been opened, interested prospects will probe to find out if the person they are talking to actually knows what they are talking about. Fail here and you close your company out from all further considerations, especially for major purchases.

    Thirdly, B2B decisions are no longer made by one person. Thus traditional “appointment” metrics are meaningless.

    Last but not least, there are no green fields any more. With a barrage of push marketing, people make Yes/No decisions in principle on a host of things. Thus you need to move them on from current thinking, not just start from scratch.

    Modern telephone contact is about building intelligence – finding out whether they have the problem you can solve, who is likely to be involved, what will influence each of them and how far along the decision path they already are.

    It is a whole lot cleverer than hiring kids and getting them to hit the phones. That is just old fashioned, ineffective, interruption marketing. Shame on you.

    1. Peter, thanks for your comment. I appreciate your point of view and I am sure good intentions of keeping me honest! Let me explain why I thought this was a post to publish because I did think about it when Rob sent it to me. See, I spend much of my blog articles talking about everything that’s wrong with marketing and what we need to change and how we all need to become content publishers, etc.

      But in reality, B2B companies are spending a significant portion of their budget on foundational elements like telemarketing. In this article, Ron laid out a few simple steps to establishing telemarketing call centers that are effective. He should know. He ran one for a long time. I also worked with Rob generating some impressive business results. I would gather “leads” through digital and content marketing and he would qualify, score and deliver those qualified leads to sales. Working together, Rob and I saw many of our leads turn into sales and create happy sales people and happy customers.

      So I thought it was important to keep people grounded. Some companies spend more money on telemarketing than any other marketing tactic. It isn’t all cold calling and it isn’t all bad. There are effective ways to set one up and it will never go away completely.

      So I think there is value in this content. I think others found some value in this content. And even from my point of view, from a change-agent angle, it is still important that we work together with our inside sales and sales executives toward the common goals of driving more business.

  2. You have some very interesting points here, but i would say that you seem to have the mindset that my tips above are for every company and sales model, and that was not my intention. My comments above are simply to showcase how you set up a “Call Center” Inside Sales Model that can create huge Revenue for your company. Whether or not you have this set up as your front end lead generation, or your back end sales closing depends on your products or service, your industry, and your model. You seem to be applying attributes of an “Outside Sales Force” with complex selling solutions to your response, which is a very archaic Model based on industry intelligence that showcases a 20% rise in Inside Sales forces each year. This is a VERY effective way to generate leads, and in many cases close business for Inside Sales, which is a Volume and Velocity Model. The points above are extremely valid and actually showcase the future of Inside Sales in conjunction with Marketing support, as more companies realize that they cannot “Hunt Elephants” with complex solutions and incur the high costs and timelines associated. I appreciate your response, and certainly respect your opinion.

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