In order to keep sales figures in the call centre high, agents must feel confident in their ability to sell particular products or services.
This confidence is a function of both knowledge and experience, which can come from a range of influencing factors such as: Product Knowledge, Customer Knowledge, Self-Belief and Experience.
These confidence drivers can be learned or gained over time through effective training and feedback, though there must be a degree of personal application too.
Here are some tips on how call centre agents can increase their effectiveness in selling over the phone:
1. Feedback Providing feedback is a vital skill that all good managers should possess. Even if the feedback is difficult or negative, the overall experience should always be a positive one, leaving both parties with a clearer understanding or solution. Feedback should never be confused with criticism. It is information intended to help your agents improve their performance and is one of the most significant aspects in building and agent’s confidence. See more here: 10 Tips for Providing Effective Feedback
2. Communication & Training From the outset of employment, agents should be made familiar with the company’s vision and values. This should ensure that they feel part of the company and understand the overall direction and common goals of the organisation. Communication of these values should be covered consistently throughout employment – not just at the induction or initial training.
Involve existing call centre agents in training to boost new agent confidence – this will also ensure your existing agents feel part of the process instead of being controlled by it. Existing agents know what works well. By integrating and involving them in the training, they can share tips and advice with their new colleagues. Build confidence from the outset through mentoring programmes, mixing new recruits with experienced agents to encourage open discussions and support in a comfortable environment.
3. Going off script Where active selling is part of your agent’s responsibilities, a non-scripted flexibility and freedom to talk naturally is essential. However, going off script can be risky, unless an agent has been thoroughly trained. So in order to retain the quality in an agent’s call, you must ensure your agents:
i. Know your products and services – their features, benefits, prices, additional services, delivery options ii. Know your sales and customer service processes iii. Know how to ‘get inside the mind-set’ of prospective customers iv. Know your competitors’ products and services – what’s good / not so good about them v. Have a measure of experience – knowing what has worked and not worked in the past vi. Have faith and belief in the product, service and brand
Although going off script will allow your agents to talk more naturally, conducting sales calls can be daunting and many people fall at the first hurdle. That is a why a good telephone script should still be used as it will not only build your agent’s confidence but also make their calls effective. For more on script building, see How to Build a B2B Telephone Sales Script
When a sales professional is genuinely confident and competent, they will exhibit appropriate verbal communication, tonality, breathing patterns and non-verbal behaviour. This will have a significant impact on their sales figures, as well as creating a fantastic impression of themselves, the company and the product/service.
If you are considering a telemarketing campaign, get in touch to find out how we can help!