Сontact Center For Sales: Opportunities and Tips

All of us know that sales are the primary goal of every business. To tell the truth, business exists to perform sales, as its goal is to earn money, and there`s no way to do that without selling something. Goods, services, and even knowledge are sold, but that is all about theory, not practice. 

Firstly, the more sales you do, the higher outcomes you achieve. Secondly, as it follows from the previous statement, you have to put maximum effort into growing the number of sales. Finally, all of the call center software tools that you use for the enterprise have to influence the conversion rate positively. 

But where is the place of the contact center on this topic? Most people are thinking of a contact center as a customer service department that doesn’t relate to sales. Nonetheless, it is a big mistake. Call center sales are performed in two ways - inbound and outbound sales, and each of the methods requires a different approach, tools, specialists, and goals. 

The sales contact center can work not only via calls but also through diverse communication channels. It offers great prospects in getting to higher sales rates, but let’s deal with everything in order. 

What are sales call centers? Why sales call center is beneficial? What is an outbound sales call center and how does it differ from an inbound sales call center? What are the best call center sales tips for agents? 

These and even more questions are answered in our new article - just keep reading. 

What is the sales call center?

The sales contact center is the department - independent or a part of a bigger company’s contact center - that is focused on performing sales, inbound or outbound calling. This unit has its own sales team that includes agents, managers, and supervisors. The team divides into groups, and each of them has its own tasks, plans, and strategies. For example, one group is working with incoming call center sales, while another group has its goal to do outgoing sales calls. 

The main difference between the classic and notorious call center and the sales call center is that the call center sales have little in common with customer service. To say more, agents also differ by their skills, qualifications, and experience - in classic call center agents work mostly as customer support representatives, while when we talk about call center sales, we have to keep in mind that agents play the role of salesmen in this case. 

Inbound vs outbound call center sales 

Call center sales differ by the main characteristics - who is the initiator of the contact between agent and customer? 

Inbound sales work only in cooperation with other marketing tools - advertising, SEO, offline events, etc. The person has to discover your business and products before calling you and ordering something, so inbound marketing requires big investments in constructing the company’s image, and reputation and beating the competition for customers across the industry. 

Outbound sales are a synonym for cold calls campaigns - you reach the leads from the base with an offer to buy something. Even though numerous discussions have taken place for years, and still thousands of people keep blaming outbound marketing as useless, untactful, and harmful, it works and it is going to keep working well. 

There is no sense in comparing these two types of call center sales strategies if we ask ourselves “What is better?”. Both inbound and outbound marketing should work in pairs to achieve the highest efficiency and generate the maximum profit and number of sales. 

Briefly about the workforce management tips

Every call center requires wise and realistic hiring and onboarding strategies as it strongly relies on the qualification, skills, and performance of the employees. Agents are the fundamental part of any customer service department, and even though we are talking about sales, agents and their knowledge and abilities are those who determine the overall success of the unit. 

If in the case of traditional customer support call center agents can make mistakes or allow inaccuracies in their work during the first few months, call center sales to require the absolute focus on every deal, perfect communication skills, true empathy, and an ideal understanding of the product, its pros and cons, competitors and market realities and trends. 

By the way, in the customer service center, if the agent is failing, the call can easily be escalated or transferred to more experienced specialists. When we want to perform massive call center sales, it is impossible to switch the customer to another agent, so one failure means you lost the deal, and it costs an unaffordable price. 

As a consequence, control, monitoring, and training intensity should be even higher than it is in customer service. You ought to take into consideration that a lack of attention and awareness of your call center sales team may cause low customer retention, low conversion rates, and loss of money. 

Exact call center sales tips to use for sales rates boosting

Well, it looks like we have spent too much time describing the theoretical part of our tale. Now, that you are acknowledged what are call center sales, how inbound and outbound sales differ, and what is required from your employees to perform greats sales rates, it is a moment to move further and learn the twelve most vital and efficient call center sales tips to increase call center sales rates and overall performance of the unit. 

Let’s begin!

Wise goal-setting 

Before any contact begins, you have to come into it with an exact target and thoughtfully selected techniques and approaches that suit this contact, according to customer information, previous interactions, and his needs. Even though this tip may sound a bit obvious, always set goals - not only to sell the product but to achieve a high customer satisfaction rate and build loyalty and close relations for future communication. 

Use an omnichannel approach

Call center sales aren’t available anymore to be closed by phone only. Use your social media, messengers, and website as the platforms that not only exist as newsletters, or, what’s worse, exist without any precise reason. People can easily place their orders on any platform and your goal is to offer them a complete sales experience through any channel they’ve chosen. This is even more important if take into account that people don’t like to be disappointed by poor customer experience, and this would be the main cause of why they choose your competitor. 

Hard skills coaching

The main thing in the call center sales process is to make sure that the agent knows the product and service ideally - including its pros and cons, market position, comparison with competitors, price policy, main features, and what client problems can it resolve, and so on. The agent has to be qualified enough to answer all possible questions, no matter how complicated they would be. Situations, when an agent is unable to answer or starts to look for some details in the knowledge base, are forbidden - you have to eliminate all product knowledge gaps during regular training sessions.

Provide mentorship to call center team leaders too

Not only do agents have to be regularly trained - their team leaders have a strong influence on the overall performance and success of their group, so their professionalism and knowledge level should be at the highest level. Allocate enough time to use it for training sessions, where supervisors would learn new soft and hard skills, management tactics, and some workforce monitoring tips to be able to control agent groups and detect all imperfections or cheating if needed.

Use a multistage reward system to empower your workers

When we are talking about motivation, we should keep in mind such fact that saying “you’re doing great, go on!” or something like that isn’t enough to empower operators to put more effort into getting their goals and KPIs. Operators have to see and get real rewards for their performance, especially if they perform better than is required. Use various levels of praising your workers - money rewards, free courses, free gym certifications, and so on. No matter what you give as a prize - the main tip is to offer the prize itself. 

Use customer feedback as a source of recommendations

Who is the best business advisor for improving your customer service? Surely, your customer is saying what he adores and what annoys him. Some enterprises prefer to ignore some customer complaints if they are not too direct or emotional - for example, if some callers mention that it was a bit difficult for them to pass the IVR menu, most managers would just pass this phrase by the ears. On the contrary, you, as the wise manager, have to notice every similar statement. If you discover that some people have issues with too long or complicated IVR, let your technical department change it. If some clients complain about too long queues, use the callback option or review your workforce management system - maybe it isn’t focused on dealing with peak hours. 

Use all modern tools

Many firms still perform cold calling campaigns manually - and this is only one little fact about how far is total automation from reality. On the other hand, if you want to achieve higher rates and close real deals, you need to buy specified software tools to speed up and automate your call center sales process. To be honest, no call center sales tips would work without the right software solutions. Such instruments as auto-dialers and CRM integration are irreplaceable for sales calls, and your goal is to purchase them, set them up, and teach agents to operate them with the highest level of effectiveness. 

Personalize every offer

Such things as “special offer”, or “today only!”, and so on, don’t work anymore. The market is overloaded by supply, competition is higher than ever, and you can’t let yourself use outdated and poorly efficient marketing techniques. Contrastively, the tip that works is personalization - even such things as greeting discounts would work better with a bit of personalized communication. 

Pay attention to technique conditions 

Another obvious tip, but this doesn’t make it less significant. Always check your software, net connection, and other technical parameters before you start important campaigns, and it would be even better if you use such a check every day before working hours begin. It would be very frustrating if a great deal would fail because of connection problems or something else. 

Use CRM info during the call

Never choose call center sales solutions that don’t allow you to see all information from the CRM system in the same interface where the call is going. Agents spend too much time switching between different tools, while CRM integration allows them to keep all necessary data in front of their eyes.

Describe product benefits, but avoid salesy language

The person has to know why he needs to choose your product instead of a competitor’s. On the other hand, people are tired of too many advertising phrases, which contain numerous laudatory adjectives such as “ideal”, “unique”, “best in class”, etc. Use precise comparison - for instance, “our motor oil has passed all inspections and certification of the car manufacturer, while all competitors in the same price range don’t have any certification. As a consequence, only our product is allowed directly by the manufacturer”. In this sentence, people can’t find any advertisement - only real facts, which are huge advantages at the same time.

Operate monitoring features 

Many call center sales go through the inbound channels, and the best solution to achieve higher inbound call center sales rates is to monitor agent performance during these calls. Use call monitoring features, such as recording, whispering, and barging in, to stay assured that operators do their work well and provide customers with a service that meets their needs and business standards. Call recordings can also be used for further agent training.

Let operators take more responsibility

Call scripts are great for many tasks and bear numerous advantages, but every phone conversation is unique and requires personalized attention and approach. Let agents deviate from the scripts if they feel that the exact dialogue needs another solution and communication model than the script offers. This method is also great as a coaching and development strategy, as only initiative and creative agents can become real professionals, while scripts make them act in the same way during every call. 

Provide a friendly onboarding process

Call center sales tips relate to new agents too. New hires sometimes can be disappointed by the amount of work and the necessity to communicate with live people almost eight hours per day. Because of this fact, many newbies don’t stay for even three months and leave their position - it is one of the most influential factors in call center turnover. 

Let newbies feel your readiness to help and advise in cases where they need this. If new agents will feel your interest in their success, they will be more likely to stay. 

Check every call to find out the improvement areas

Every call is a source of information that can serve you in the task of improving the customer service level and call center sales performance. Look for some issues that haven’t been met by customers before, or for duplicative requests that point to the strategic problem that has to be solved in the nearest time. 

Monitor the performance

Call recordings exist not only to listen to customers but also to listen to agents. Look for every employee’s performance to discover imperfections, skills that ought to be improved, lack of some abilities, and readiness for conflict situations. A performance check is also vital to meet key performance indicators, as you can see the performance of every operator at a distance, and find out changes after training or mentorship sessions. 

Invest in customer loyalty

Let well enough alone - a great saying that describes this paragraph. As the research states, finding a new client is almost five times more expensive than keeping an existing one. This is more than enough to invest in customer trust and loyalty by improving customer service, and satisfaction and providing more personalized assistance. Keep all customer data to greet them during the next customer interactions. Such little things as showing them that you remember their last contact with your please them, and loyalty grows. 

Take into consideration that the first and the most fundamental part of customer loyalty is outstanding customer support, so try to use all tricks to please the current customers. 

Collect customer feedback

As we have already mentioned, customer feedback is your main indicator of improvement areas and needed changes in your strategy. Thus, use all opportunities to gather feedback - automated calls, live feedback, automated surveys on the website, or by sending links via SMS or in the messengers. The more evaluations you will get, the more potential or already current issues you will resolve. 

Track all stages of the customer journey

The customer passes various phases of his journey on the way to the deal and after it(during post-purchase assistance and communication, like follow-up calls). Track every stage separately, to find out what could be done better. Fewer call transfers, shorter waiting times, more personalization, more attention to customer needs, and so on. 

You can even take another mobile phone and call your own contact center to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. 

Provide agent feedback

You have not only to praise sales reps who perform well but learn to provide wise, detailed, and comfortable feedback to all operators. Use some tips to provide agent feedback, such as the sandwich model, bilateral feedback providing, etc. Do it regularly to make contact center agents feel that you are highly interested in their development and performance. 

Conclusion

All tips we have described above are unavailable without the right call center software solution that will allow you to control agents' performance, monitor calls, organize training sessions, perform outbound calls and get detailed stats. So, the only thing that keeps you from getting more sales is the fact you still haven't purchased a VoipTime Cloud Contact Center Solution. Where to get it? 

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