Call Center Training Solutions

Call Center Training Solutions Blog

Floor Management and Coaching Archive

Is Your Center A True Sales Center?

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

Sometimes companies want their people to sell, but either don’t provide telephone associates with the right tools and compensation, or they try not to make a big deal of the sales component. Introducing sales expectations will be a big deal. Whether or not to introduce sales is a question that every company will attempt to answer. And sales is not for everybody. But if we are going to do it, it is imperative that we do it right.

Everything changes when introducing sales into a call center. It is not the same as upgrading the telephone system. Since telephone associates in these centers were not originally hired to sell, skills must change. Supervisors must modify the way they coach, to incorporate conversations about how well telephone associates are selling. Senior management must make changes as well to make sales communication an everyday part of the job. Training is necessary, too. Here are a few tests to see if your center is maximizing its sales potential. Read More »

Ten Actions You Can Take Right Now To Improve Your Center’s Sales Results

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

If it is time to increase your sales results, try several of the following techniques. Do not be hesitant to try some of the tougher ones. They will help you “mature” both your sales force and your floor-management.

1) Put the Stack Rankings On A White Board

This is an easy one that all centers should do. We are amazed at how many sales centers hide the sales results. They may have some team results visible, but not individual results. This is usually because they do not want to make the lower performers feel bad, having to see their 28% of quota up on a large board.

There is nothing more motivating, however, than to see yourself at the bottom of a list. It will dawn on you, “Hey, I think I’d like to be out of that bottom slot. I guess it is time to start selling.” The end result will be better performance. Read More »

Transform Your Center By Celebrating Sales!

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

In many call centers,  Sales is a dirty word.  We­ll call the agents «product specialists,­ not sales people. Telephone associates dread the idea that they are selling anything to callers. Claims are made that all callers hate to hear cross-sell attempts and these attempts  blow up in our faces, every time we try. If you ask just a few people you will hear all the reasons why selling is a bad idea.

The good news is that those comments represent only half the story. Sales centers are usually much more lively than service-only centers. Telephone associates can make more money. When revenue is positive, the call center can spend more on its employees and facilities. Best of all is that customers are more educated about ways to enhance their lives through increased use of your product line. Everyone wins. No one loses. Let­s never apologize for selling. Read More »

Overcoming Resistance to Selling or Anything Else

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

In most inbound sales or customer service call centers supervisors struggle with resistance. Some telephone associates resist selling because they  weren­t hired to sell. Others resist because they believe that callers will buy what they want to buy, and everything else is just  pushing products on them. Even in inbound sales centers (e.g. catalogue sales), many telephone associates will resist offering the top-end product first or cross-selling attempts.

Although this can be very frustrating for supervisors, the good news is that each supervisor has an arsenal of tools available to help break this resistance. Even better news is that most resistance to selling can be broken without damaging overall center morale. Read More »

Successful Coaching Strategies: “On-The-Fly” Coaching

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

On-The-Fly Coaching

Of all the coaching processes, strategies and tips that we have seen or introduced throughout our client base, this one tops them all. “On-The-Fly” coaching is unrivaled by other coaching techniques, even if your supervisors and floor managers are not great coaches at the outset.

Importance of Coaching in General

In other articles we have introduced the importance of investing at least one hour each day in proactive coaching on the center floor. During this time, a supervisor will have at least 5-10 coaching opportunities. Some observations may be extremely positive (e.g. the telephone associate made a sale using a technique endorsed by the supervisor). Some observations may be more critical (e.g. the supervisor overheard a telephone associate using slang with a caller). In general, most observations will have one or two positive points and one or two improvement opportunities. In all these cases, immediate coaching will reinforce the positives and eliminate the ineffective techniques. Read More »

Strategies For Managing Difficult Agents

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

We have all had the experience of working with an employee that just doesn’t seem to care. Many of these employees cause cancers within the center that are far worse than they seem on the surface. Other associates start to side with the negative employee. The supervisor becomes more distant and doesn’t approach the employee. In the end, everyone loses.

Often, the key to success in dealing with negative people is in how the dynamics of the relationship are set up right from the beginning. In some cases, the supervisor was once a peer – and even a friend – of the negative employee before any problems began. Remember, the employee wasn’t always negative. Things occurred (were allowed to occur) over time for this problem to manifest. We will look at the Tips from several different relational points, beginning with a supervisor that adopts a team with problems. Read More »

Call Center Floor Management: Coaching Fundamentals

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

The following fundamentals come directly from our Call Center Floor Management workshop. Each one will help you with a different aspect of coaching on the call center floor. Please e-mail us when you have had success with any of the tips that follow.

Tip No. 1: Set specific, developmental objectives with agents.

The first step of coaching is setting a developmental objective with the employee. Setting objectives is essential for achieving results. Setting a goal or objective provides a target on which to focus our daily behaviors and activities. Objectives should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Bound (set for a specific time period). Read More »