Do you manage a call center that specializes in selling products?
This blog was written for you! No matter what you’re selling and whether it’s inbound or outbound, this post has 18 actionable tips that are guaranteed to improve your sales call handling.
#1 Prepare for Your Call
Preparation is probably the most important aspect of call center sales.
First off, you must be prepared to answer questions about your product or service — like how it works — and have answers ready to address common objections.
You should also prepare for your call by researching the prospects that you’ll be calling. We recommend using a pre-call checklist.
But, if you’re placing a high volume of calls and can’t do your homework for each prospect, you should at least research the territories you’re calling.
#2 Nail Your Greeting
A good opener can delight prospects and set the table for a discussion.
For inbound, you might greet callers by stating your name and the company’s name and asking how you may help them.
For example, you could say “Global Call Forwarding, my name is Luke. How can I help you today?” Remember to smile and sound enthusiastic.
Outbound might be a bit different. Some sales gurus preach about cold call openers and say that you should trick prospects into staying on the line or get them to say ‘yes’ as soon as possible.
That’s old-school thinking.
You should tell prospects who you are up-front and clearly state the reason for your call. People don’t like being deceived, and it’s better to let them decide whether they want to hear your pitch.
#3 Do a Proper Discovery to Understand Their Needs
Sales discovery is your first chance to elevate the buyer experience and build rapport. During discovery, you want to explore the challenges faced by your prospective buyer.
The best sellers start by sharing relevant insights and then ask provocative questions to dig deeply into buyers’ issues. This will demonstrate a thoughtful focus on the customer while setting the stage for you to build a strong case for the value of your solution.
Understand the buyer’s challenges to set up a value-driven sales cycle.
#4 Listen Actively
Active listening allows salespeople to build rapport, discover prospects’ challenges and goals, and overcome objections. It’s one of the most important skills for a salesperson to have.
It starts with truly listening to what prospects have to say.
After listening to your prospect, you should repeat what you just heard back to the prospect.
You can either repeat exactly what you hear, paraphrase what you heard, or rephrase what they said to you. This will demonstrate to your prospect that they’ve been heard.
When a prospect feels that you’re listening to them, they’ll openly volunteer more information, making sales call handling much easier.
#5 Mirror the Other Person’s Communication Style
Is the other person relaxed? Or do they seem rushed?
Are they speaking in a casual tone of voice, or is their communication style more formal?
When selling in a call center, you should mirror the other person’s communication style to make them feel understood and build rapport.
Whatever their communication style might be, you must slow down and breathe. This will signal confidence, build trust, and make you someone that prospects want to talk to.
#6 Know Your Product
When you’re doing call center sales, you have to know your product inside and out.
This includes knowledge about common use cases, strong points, weaknesses, competitors, and more.
You should be able to reference this information and sound confident when doing so.
#7 Sell the Benefits, Not the Features
Most people don’t care much about your product and all of its features. In reality, they care most about what your product can do for them.
So in a call center, you should always be selling the features in terms of how they benefit your prospect.
Instead of saying that you have “XYZ feature” and just leaving it at that, you’ll want to connect how that feature will help them accomplish their goals, which you should have uncovered already through active listening.
#8 Cross-sell and Upsell
The best salespeople know the concept of “land and expand.”
Once a lead signs up and turns into an account, you can then reference your prior discovery notes to uncover cross-selling and upsell opportunities.
What other needs of theirs can you help them solve? Would their services be a good fit for other departments in their company?
#9 Practice Proper Etiquette
Practicing good etiquette is so crucial for making a good impression, but it’s almost like a lost art these days. Here are a few etiquette tips to keep in mind when you’re handling a sales call.
- Don’t interrupt the other person.
- Be polite; say please and thank you.
- Build rapport.
- Be mindful of proper cultural phone etiquette.
- Have a positive attitude and keep your tone of voice pleasant.
If you remember these pointers, you’ll have a better chance of achieving positive results.
#10 Agree on Next Steps
Before hanging up the call, you should discuss the next steps with the caller.
First, you should ask about a timeline and when would be a good time to follow up.
Second, tell the person what you’re going to do after the call. For example, you could say “after this call, I’m going to send you an email with what we just discussed.”
Finally, ask whether there’s anyone else that should be included in the correspondence.
#11 Check-in with Prospects and Customers
To be a good salesperson and increase call center sales velocity, you’ll need to follow up with prospects. You can ask them “when would be a good time to check back in?” and then follow up with them on that agreed-upon date.
Follow-ups should be personalized and add value if you want to break through the noise.
Plenty of sales automation and sales engagement tools exist in the market, but you want to go the extra mile and add your own human touch.
Remember — people will appreciate your follow-up efforts, as long as you’re genuine and respectful of their time.
#12 Don’t Rush the Sale
Buyers can smell commission breath from a mile away. If they get the sense that you’re always trying to sell them something, they’ll label you as a pushy salesperson.
It starts with earning the prospect’s trust. You should recommend things that make the best sense for them, not for you. This means giving up revenue in the short term to land a good long-term customer.
Larger enterprise customers do not like being rushed. Instead, you should keep engagement high with lots of touchpoints and then let them make decisions according to their own timelines.
#13 Consider Call Tracking
As a call center sales manager, you should have an understanding of what’s sourcing your leads. This will help you train salespeople better in relevant topics and also prepare them to deal with people from different regions.
We recommend that managers in a call center reference call tracking to understand the types of callers that are coming in and what those callers might be looking for.
#14 Ensure the Call Quality is Good
Sales prospects in a call center will likely hang up or form a negative impression of your business if they can’t hear you clearly. This might happen if you’re using a low-quality phone service provider.
Your business VoIP provider should be able to give you basic call quality stats.
#15 Listen Back to Your Sales Conversations
The best way to get better at sales call handling is through repetition. It’s like riding a bike – there’s only so much you can learn by reading. You have to learn some things by doing.
But, there needs to be some kind of feedback loop to maximize those practice reps.
Top salespeople and teams are constantly learning from past experiences. This means listening back to sales conversations that went well, along with sales calls that didn’t go so well.
Then, you can improve your performance.
#16 Make Sure it’s Easy for Callers to Get Where They Want to Go
How many times have you abandoned a call because you didn’t want to deal with an annoying voice menu? Especially these days, a lot of people just want to speak with a real human.
So, call center sales managers should make it easy to navigate their business phone system and get to the right place.
If you have an IVR, keep it to under three levels.
#17 Minimize Wait Times
On the same topic, callers don’t want to wait on hold for a long time for their sales call to be handled.
You should do regular forecasting and ensure that you have enough call center agents on hand.
Make sure that you have the right tools and staff in place to manage high call volumes.
#18 No Scripting, But Talk Tracks
For more complex sales, talk tracks are better than call center scripts.
For example, you want to make sure that your reps ask certain questions to uncover specific things and mention certain things in each call.
Call center scripting is still effective for smaller, transactional sales. Just make sure that you’re following best practices.