“We have two ears and one mouth, so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” – Epictetus, Greek philosopher

Call monitoring is possibly one of the best tools that you have as a sales manager. It comes with your CRM integration, and can be done during a call or using a recording of the actual call. The goal is to listen in, assess and correct – and here, we are not just referring to your sales rep.

Monitoring phone calls is not just about keeping an eye on your rep’s work practices and communications skills. Call monitoring benefits your entire business, and can be the catalyst for change.

Benefits of Monitoring Phone Calls 1: For Sales Managers

An immediate benefit of monitoring phone calls is that you get to listen in to your reps as they try to connect with your potential customers. You get a feel of this “intangible” – a key driver in your sales success that is hard to measure. Good relationships are the foundation of a business’ success. When you monitor calls, you can see these relationships develop, or crash and burn.

Of course, monitoring phone calls is a time-consuming task. A sales manager can only do so much in a day, on top of other responsibilities. The best strategy here is to target outliers, or reps who are on top of their game and those who are underperforming.

The take-away from targeted call monitoring is a better understanding of high-yield behaviors. These are behaviors that nurture business relationships, reduce customer attrition rates and encourage customer loyalty. According to Martin Hill Wilson, Director of BrainFood Consulting: “The more that we understand about the detail of the behavior, the more we are able to help people change their own behaviour.”

When you understand these behaviors and know what works, you can then help underperformers do better. Here are a few high-yield behaviors you need to take note of:

  • Script adherence
  • Net promoter score (willingness of customers to recommend your business) techniques
  • Better call handling time and skills
  • Ability to reverse customer attrition
  • Conversational techniques

Call recording is another key CRM integration feature that works hand-in-hand with call monitoring. You can use the recording feature to save outstanding calls, or calls that applied your department’s best practices. Use these calls as training aid to improve your team’s performance. Take note of language and techniques that have consistently received positive responses, and then use these to update your scripts and procedures.

Benefits of Monitoring Phone Calls 2: For Sales Reps

One of the first things that you should let your team know when monitoring phone calls is that it is not about catching them mess up. Call monitoring shouldn’t be viewed as a negative. In fact, it should be integral to your team’s skills development, and approached as a collaborative task, with input from both manager and rep. A sales agent has a lot to gain from call monitoring.

According to Ed Creasey, Consulting Director at NICE Systems, a data recording, analyses and security company: “We need to monitor the top performers as well, because that is where you get the best insight about the best practices and the new behaviors that can really drive the results…. (while focusing) on the bottom performers, as that’s how you move the overall average to get the results that you need.”

As a collaborative task, you and your sales rep can work together in assessing monitored calls. Reflect on the positives and negatives of these calls. Listen to its recording alongside a recording of a “best practices” call and list down key points. Use call monitoring as an opportunity to encourage your reps to improve themselves.

Larry Skowronek, Project Management Vice President at NICE Systems says: “When the agent and the coach go into their meeting, because you’re dealing with all their interactions, the agent doesn’t have the ability to say ‘you happen to have found the one case where I did that, but it only happened once’…. So it removes the ability to blame sample size and allows the coach and the agent to become much more collaborative.”

Benefits of Monitoring Phone Calls 3: For Your Business

Call monitoring gives you an intimate understanding of your user’s experience. Wherever they are in relation to your sales funnel – lead, opportunity or customer – when you monitor phone calls, you begin to understand them more: what they go through as your prospect or client, what their frustrations are when it comes to your product or the support you provide, and what is required from you to keep them as customers.

When it comes to sales, foremost here is having a stronger grasp of what brings them into the fold – what convinces your leads to sign up or buy. Your best sales reps can give you priceless insight on what works. From here, you can implement team-wide training to apply these best practices. Use call monitoring as a starting point for more effective sales teams and watch your revenue grow!