"An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field."

~ Physicist Niels Bohr, quoted in the Harvard Business Review ~

Top Telesales Tips 3rd Quarter 2020

Anyone falling for the New Normal ? I hope not .

Everyone should focus on simply getting back to normal. Only the strong will survive. Make sure it’s you and please save me from the media rhetoric of New Normal. Get back to basics and everyone please get serious and ignore the New Normal Nonsense.

Nothing much has changed in the world of persuasion over time. Technology has changed and so have people’s aspirations. Here are a few pointers :

Firstly ignore the messiahs of the new normal. It’s a fantasy . Deep down any new normal is not relevant in telephone sales. Pretty soon people will wise up to the obvious and that’s a return to the straight line structure and processes of telephone sales.

 Zoom calls ?

Are you kidding me ? Nothing beats pure mouth to ear communication outside of a personal visit to clients . Make a short product or service video by all means but no Zoom calls. Hard work on the phone aided by a short product or service video is the answer. Zoom and Skype and all their imitators are false prophets as the past 30 years have proven. Simply little traction and now heralded as the New Normal  ? Piers Morgan on his breakfast show this week rubbished Zoom calls perfectly after a one month trial. He is right.

Video conferencing has been around 30 years with poor success rates year on year outside corporate clap trap. A recent Hubspot survey in the USA shows only 15% of recipients being more comfortable with video calls rather than phone calls. Fact.

My third quarter tips are :

1. Clean and up to date data. Don’t waste valuable telesales time with “marketing” diversions. Find the best list provider in your sector and pay accordingly. The list will contain everything you need. This investment will always return more than the DIY work. Keep your telesales teams on the phone doing the “hard yards”  or grunt work as I call it.

Telesales Teams love doing “research “ during prime calling time. The reason being you pay them a salary for this work and it generally means plenty of time can be spent on research rather than picking up the phone. Good lists are a no-brainer. I know all about Pipedrive if you are using this system. I am both a fan and not a fan as my clients know. Don’t ever
use it as a stand alone system is my advice.

1a. A good LinkedIn survey published today confirms that real time calls made in Telesales departments has   dropped by 20% since the year 2000 with the advent of CRM bells and whistles. I often spot more activity in a public library than many phone rooms.

2. Employ the right people. It’s really not hard once you know who you are looking for and pay a reasonable basic (never a high basic). Put in a proper and worthy commission structure. Be very careful about long term bonuses. They do not motivate sales teams. Open ended uncapped Commission is the key. Finally look at your offer. Would you take the job ? Often you wouldn’t so get back to the drawing board.

3. Every day should kick off with a morning meeting and this way the stragglers are embarrassed into coming to work on time. Plus you inspire everyone and notice the weak links early in the day and deal with the situation.

4. Afternoon meeting as above. Short and sharp.

5. Training ? Training is what you give your team as regards products , services and company process. Equally important is sales coaching on a regular and individual basis over and above team talks, away-days at  seminars and the carrot and stick approach.

Professional time tested coaching from someone who has had a lifetime on the phone may be as good as it gets.

The best paid employees in the USA are major league sports coaches. That’s for a very good reason and we should all know that telephone sales is a contact sport. I do not need to recommend myself as my clients do that for me. I am, by no means, for everyone. There are plenty of teachers of sales out there for you to choose however few with a  long term personal experience of telephone sales.

6. The tip here is to get a professional (with many miles of telephone sales under his or her bonnet) to coach your team. It’s very different from “managing” a team. Sales managers not 90% on the phone themselves are a waste. Nobody in successful  commission only sales would ever dream of being a “manager”. Be careful of what I call “management creep”. It’s similar to Poison Ivy in the gardening world. Your best salesperson leads by example not by a meaningless title.

7. If you have a sales team that needs to be managed you are way off course. 

8. Telephone sales is not the generalist subject so many think it is. It’s a specialist subject. The difference solid individual coaching can make is enormous. External coaching can set a team on fire.

9.  (That’s enough plugging myself.) Simply ask to speak to my reviewers if you are “on the fence” on external help ). 

10. Read the above 9 points  again  and get back to normal.

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