In my last post, The Causes and Ramifications of Your Inside Sales Turnover Problem, I outlined why so many companies are facing constant churn among their phone agents. The issue is driven by the challenging nature of the job, the rush to hire and fill positions quickly and the intense competition for qualified personnel. Given the lengthy time to hire a new rep and bring them up to speed (from nine months to well over a year), it’s a costly problem.
But have you ever considered how this issue impacts your bottom line? Have you had the time to slow down and think about new ways to solve it?
If not, read on.
First, let’s look at the two types of costs related to inside sales turnover. One is the direct cost of filling vacancies, and the other is the cost of having vacancies.
- The Cost of Filling Vacancies
If you need a phone rep you have to get the word out, sort through resumes, spend time prequalifying candidates on the phone and schedule and conduct interviews with hiring managers. Once you whittle down the list of potential hires, you have to do reference checks and make offers. At any time during the process, you run the risk of losing a top applicant to another company and all the energy you put into getting that far. All this activity consumes many hours of time for both human resources staff and the sales and marketing team.
Once you finally hire someone, they may be skilled and experienced, but they do not know your product line or the inner workings of your company. It will take more time for your associates to help move them along the learning curve so they can successfully sell your solution, using your unique processes and systems.
- The Cost of Having Vacancies
When you have vacant inside sales positions, your sales engine works inefficiently. In some regions, it may come to a complete halt as there could be no one to follow up on leads. Since speed is of the essence when it comes to lead response time, it’s likely that affected leads will go stale. Thus, all the time, effort and money you have plowed into lead generation goes to waste. Even once you fill positions, reps will initially be inexperienced, and your conversion rate will likely slip.
New marketing campaigns may also be in jeopardy. Your marketers cannot initiate them if they do not have salespeople to follow up.
Finally, if your phone agents support field salespeople, your road warriors are likely to have difficulty reaching their sales goals.
The result of all these issues is that inside sales vacancies make it almost impossible to reach revenue targets.
While it may be difficult for you to quantify all the costs above, experts estimate sales turnover costs companies between 150 and 200 percent of an employee’s annual salary.
Given that inside sales people average less than one and a half years in a position, turnover costs essentially double your outlay for each rep on your staff.
What’s the Answer?
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results. So some businesses are trying a different approach.
Let’s consider your goals. You want to make sure your sales engine keeps humming along, minimize hiring and training costs as well as the time to get reps up to speed. You can accomplish all of these by contracting part or all of your call center needs to a B2B telemarketing company.
- Shore Up Some Language Skills
If you only have one or two reps who speak a given language, losing them can be extremely disruptive to your business. So you have a lot to gain by outsourcing the need for reps with unique language skills. That’s because an established international telemarketing firm will have a larger pool of reps able to converse in each language.
- Co-Source a Variety of Reps
You may want to diversify risk by handling some of your inside sales needs in-house and the remainder at a B2B telemarketing firm. The beauty of this solution is while you wouldn’t have all your eggs in one basket, you also retain the ability to work with reps on-site. When a vacancy occurs, you can ensure your sales operations continue to run smoothly by requesting that your partner assigns another rep to your business.
- Obtain Inside Sales Insurance
3D2B’s inside sales insurance program ensures you always have a pool of reps on standby who are trained and ready to handle your campaigns and projects within a couple of days’ notice.
How does it work? You sign a contract and pay a monthly fee. 3D2B allocates management and agents to your business; they will spend time every month in training and sales meetings related to your business. This enables them to learn about your solutions, campaigns, organization and more, so they can step in for you rapidly if you ever lose a rep.