How your telephone sales coaching practices should be changing every year...
The needs for telephone sales training and coaching change every year. Standards tend to slip incrementally unless you are particularly watchful and organised – this is a universal fact of business life. Telesales departments are often run simply on KPI returns, with actions taken to announce those figures. Madness.
Technology such as CRM systems, plus all manner of other reporting devices and clever technical advances, are interesting and can often change things for the better. However, year after year the bottom line is that those operating and working in telephone sales, from small companies to large call centres, see standards decline as soon as coaching stops and training is left off the menu. Giving people all-singing-all-dancing computer dashboard screens never helps them sell better because it never helps them realise that it is time spent on the phone itself which counts. The phone miles help you to your destination, since this is what leads to quality sales and relationships with solid clients.
Most training and development can be summed as a few hours or days listening to others, then later being hammered with KPI results. Then it's the bells and whistles of dashboards and the micro-management of figures, which everyone seems to love these days but which rarely lead to an improvement in basic traits and performance.
So when I say that telephone sales’ training requirements change, what I really mean is that the telephone sales’ training itself needs to change. It should revert to what actually makes a difference in performance, rather than continuing to update and fine-tune the reporting process. This advice may be the most significant you get this year or next. Either go back to coaching your team effectively or start coaching your team in what it really takes to get the sales figures up.
KPI-led sales coaching is as much use as a chocolate fireguard. Simply telling staff to improve figures does not work. Telephone sales’ coaching is a real skill and can only be passed on effectively by those with a lifetime of professional experience in the front line of making cold calls, making appointments, opening accounts and closing big deals.
So ask yourself why it's important to work smartly as opposed to maintaining a dogged commitment to a sales KPI process which allows 60%+ plus of the working day of staff to be spent scrolling through screens, emailing and reading emails, researching leads or any other unproductive activities. Instead, to make 2017/2018 your team's year, try getting in touch with an authentic, time-serving coach and get your team truly up to speed in what's important in the life of a telephone sales team.