A good supervisor can influence the employees’ energy levels and support them in huge ways!
Telemarketing is a mentally demanding job. It does not have a great reputation, so many contacts are quite difficult for the telemarketer. For example, I have even received death threats, but some people have also opened up to me about surprising things – for many, a phone call made by a telemarketer may become a therapy session because it is their only contact with another person. Because of this, it is highly important that the telemarketers have supportive and competent supervisors. In this article, I list the six points that I believe are the most important when it comes to telemarketing coaching:
1. Do a lot of monitoring
Listen to what the telemarketers are saying, evaluate their e-mails and monitor their actions actively. I recommend that you spend at least 40% of your work hours doing this. For some reason, many see this as “stalking” and something that limits the employee’s freedom. However, that is definitely not the case! Without monitoring there is no way of knowing what a person’s areas of improvement are or which strengths should be utilized better in his or her work and, thus, how you should coach the person. As a third party, you can always see and hear more! If you want to read my earlier article on monitoring, tästä linkistä.
2. Request and provide feedback on a regular basis!
Once you have accumulated data through monitoring, you can clearly see the best way to support a telemarketer so he or she can succeed at the job. Give feedback immediately and regularly! You should use at least 40% of your own work hours on this. In addition to giving feedback, it is also important to request feedback. You cannot develop your own skills unless you know what your team expects from you. If you want to read my earlier article on giving feedback, tästä linkistä.
3. Hold short team meetings daily
As I mentioned above, telemarketing is a mentally demanding job. Because of this, you should hold at least one meeting for the whole team every day. In the meeting, it is best to focus on successes: give everyone the opportunity to tell others how they succeeded. A t the beginning, this can be quite difficult for Finns, but after a bit of practice, people start to find more successes. Even small successes matter, because the sense of achievement is the most important thing here. It will give a person a better boost than any other reward.
4. Build team spirit
Yet another factor that greatly influences how people cope with the challenges of their job. People doing telemarketing on their own have a difficult time recovering from challenging situations or celebrating their successes. It is also harder to develop your skills if you do not dare to ask your colleagues for help or open up to them. In addition, the team’s success may be more important to many people than their own success. For them, the sense of accomplishment is directly based on the team’s success. Ways of building team spirit include, for instance, competitions, theme days or weeks, daily team meetings or creating common sales guidelines together. There are many options, so you can be creative and involve your team in the planning process!
5. Hold competitions, make use of gamification
People working in sales are often quite competitive! Challenging yourself by trying new things and developing your skills is one of the best things this work offers. As a supervisor, you can encourage this by arranging team or individual competitions. If you work in a company that provides outsourcing services, try to get the customer to sponsor some rewards for the competitions. If you would like some tips on gamification, voit käydä lukaisemassa, kuinka 020202 sai aikaan palkitsemisen kulttuurin omassa organisaatiossaan.
6. Identify small successes and give recognition
This might be the most important tip, or at least close to the top: you need to recognize small successes and give recognition to your sales personnel. I think it is as important to recognize a salesperson’s improvement as the areas in which they still need to improve. It is even more important to speak openly and honestly about these things. And, finally, you must recognize the changes that a telemarketer has made even if sales do not immediately improve once those changes are implemented. Here is a quick example from my time as a coach:
One of the telemarketers in my team tended to rush when dealing with customers. As a result, he did not listen to the customer and was thus unable to counter the customer’s objections. He was in such a hurry, he also forgot to put a smile in his voice. We discussed these matters in a feedback conversation. We also listened to the previous call, and the telemarketer decided to change his methods immediately. The next call went much better, but he did not succeed in closing the sale.
Ville: Did you notice what a great customer contact you just created?
Telemarketer: Well, I don’t know. I did not even manage to close the sale. I don’t think your tips are working.
Ville: It isn’t possible to succeed in closing the sale every time. However, I am sure that the customer was left feeling good and got a positive impression of the product. Continue like this, and I am sure you will close a sale within the next 10 calls.
We then listened to the good call together, and what do you know? The next call resulted in a successful closing of the sale. We celebrated this together, and I offered the agent a piece of candy. The next call resulted in another sale.
Spend the majority of your time coaching!
As a supervisor, you should use at least 80% of your work hours on monitoring, coaching and helping the sales personnel. What do you think – would that be possible?