It’s common for outbound call centers to experience a natural ebb and flow in growth from time to time. And it can be difficult for teams to break through that plateau when sales may have been static for several months (or worse—years). While there are many tools that contact center managers can use to determine the cause of a sales plateau, the real challenge lies in helping sales agents consistently work together to achieve company growth—and, most importantly, close sales.
We’ve all been there before: January rolls around and the company brings everyone together to introduce a new program that will “change the game.” Three months later, the program is all but forgotten, much less implemented. At which point, many call center managers and agents are wondering when, or if, they’ll be able to reach their sales targets.
Below, we tackle the difficult, and nuanced question of how to accelerate growth within a contact center. We’ll begin by unpacking what sales initiatives are and move onto why they are essential to business performance. Finally, we’ll show you how you can begin implementing them today.
What Are Sales Initiatives?
First thing’s first—a definition.
A Sales Initiative is a unified effort made by a call center to accelerate the growth of sales. These initiatives help agents focus their individual efforts on metrics that tie into overall business goals. Goals are the backbone of any good growth initiative. Every business needs to decide which key performance indicators (KPIs) lead to the most success. For contact centers, the standard KPIs are metrics like answer rate, call duration, call attempts, and answer speed. These metrics are typically the most important measurements used to accelerate growth in your business.
Let’s take a minute to talk about the most effective ways for contact centers to trigger sales growth. Keep in mind that there is no “best formula.” Instead, use a combination of strategies, tailored to your unique business needs. Let’s jump in!
Communicate Product Value
All great businesses are built on products or services that create value for customers. In order for a company with a call center to sustain growth over time, each agent must learn how to communicate that value with prospective customers.
Before you can communicate your product value to your prospects, you first need to know who your ideal customer is. This is called “defining your target audience.” Although it may be tempting for your business to find your target audience via a shotgun approach to calling prospects, understanding who you are selling to, and what they stand to gain from purchasing the product or services, is the only way to provide lasting value--and set your agents up for the most success in conveying what that value is. Dedicate time and resources to create buyer personas. Learn what key issues your customers are facing in their lives. If you truly understand where your customers are coming from, it will be easier to connect with them more quickly during a phone call.
Once you have established who your customer really is, you can now connect them to your product. Use the information gathered from your buyer persona to inform your prospects about how your product is relevant to their life. Don’t just tell them, show them what problems your product solves.
Develop a Structured Sales Process
One of the challenges contact center agents face is the repetitive nature of making calls for hours each day. If your company isn’t careful, you may find your teams developing bad habits that inhibit growth. Combat this by implementing a structured process for every call. Train new agents on your sales process, provide opportunities for seasoned employees to receive ongoing training from management, and utilize positive reinforcement when possible.
In developing your process, create specific guidelines for agents to follow during each sale. These guidelines should show examples of how to: grab the prospect’s attention, communicate product value, and answer frequently asked questions.
Your plan should also include Call Center Automations. These automations are helpful because they manage the mundane, repetitive parts of the call. This frees up the agents to focus on helping the prospect decide to take the next step in the sales funnel, as opposed to fielding the first portion of the call.
Be careful to not add too many steps to your sales process. While a detailed plan can guide customers through the sales funnel, too many steps can convolute the call with unnecessary information that ends up irritating prospects, and confusing agents. Carefully consider which steps are absolutely necessary, and simplify when possible.
Build an Omnichannel Experience for Customers
The best prospective customers will likely have had some interaction with your brand before receiving a voice call from you. Successful sales initiatives aim to improve every interaction a customer has with your company. In a previous article, we outlined how to create an omnichannel experience for your customers. To summarize, here are some key factors to consider:
- Follow the buyer’s journey
- Leverage technology effectively
- Study all elements that affect the prospect’s experience
- Collect feedback from prospects and customers alike
- Evaluate the performance of channels individually
- Adjust for new trends
There are so many variables that affect the customer experience aside from what happens over the phone. Train your team to handle every interaction on every channel with care. If you manage channels like websites and social media properly, prospects are more likely to answer your calls—and each call counts. A coordinated effort upfront will end up having a major impact on your bottom line.
How Does Hiya Help Teams Reach Their Sales Initiatives?
Hiya Connect is designed to help contact centers achieve their goals for growth. Hiya tracks valuable metrics for you so you can see both progress and areas for improvement. The Hiya Connect Console provides an intuitive dashboard that displays insights that lead to actionable improvements to your call performance.
One of the most significant KPIs Hiya helps improve is answer rates. With 94% of unknown calls going unanswered, identifying your business before a user picks up is crucial. Hiya Connect offers branded caller ID with your company name and logo so your prospectives and customers know it’s you who’s calling. Hiya Connect can even allow you to provide a short snippet about the reason for your call.
The key to accelerated growth is to understand the metrics that lead to success. To learn more about how to nail your performance goals, download our Sales Call Metrics that Matter eBook.