Post-Pandemic Call Center Sales Trends
As the economy opens up, consumers and businesses are starting to spend again. While some have suffered real financial hardship over the past year, others have built up a pool of post-pandemic cash. In order to maximize share of sales going forward, businesses need to understand that expectations have changed. Whether you market B2B or B2C, customers are more familiar than ever with online sales channels. When they do want to speak to a human – and they usually do eventually – they expect agents to be empathetic and professional. In other words, sales in 2021 are not the same as sales in those long ago days at the start of 2020. At the very least, the pandemic has accelerated trends already in play. With that in mind, here are five call center sales trends you need to realize for the post-pandemic world:
1.) Sales..Meet Marketing
Buyers are more demanding than ever. They expect you to be knowledgeable about their situation and the challenges they face and offer consistent, focused messaging. To do that effectively, sales and marketing need to be unified.
The fact is, sales people are spending too much of their time not selling. According to Forbes, about two thirds of the average sales person’s time is spent on non revenue-generating activities. Many of those precious hours are taken up creating sales content, or conducting research on clients or sectors that would be better conducted elsewhere.
And by ‘elsewhere’, we mean marketing. Sales and marketing need to work more closely together than ever, to make sure that, as a business, you’re delivering consistent, focused messages that filter into every piece of collateral and every customer conversation. When marketing insights constantly feed into your sales strategy, you’ll be giving customers more of what they want: tailored, relevant information.
2.) Forget Cold…Go Warm
The death of cold calling is a hot topic. But while having too many leads is every sale manager’s dream, in most cases, this isn’t the reality and a properly equipped strategic outbound sales function is a necessity.
Having said that, the most progressive organizations don’t rely solely on cold calling in a post-pandemic world– they do warm calling instead. How do you raise the temperature of your prospects as part of your outbound strategy? It’s a combination of information and efficiency.
Quite simply, don’t go in cold. Go in armed with all the information you can get on that customer, and as much insight as possible about their pain points and challenges. Find a timely reason for your call. That might come from your CRM or from sector and industry research. Ask marketing to give you everything they can.
To achieve team efficiencies and to focus on getting the customer outcomes you want, outbound dialing software comes into its own. Outbound dialer features, for example, allow you to build an intelligent, data-driven workflow that maximizes the time you spend on the phone with clients and minimizes calls that would go to voicemail. It learns alongside your agents, refining the process so you’re always targeting the best data at the most effective times.
Put the two together and you’ve gone from cold to warm, and implemented a more efficient outbound sales strategy – an absolute imperative for any business wanting to grow quickly.
2.) Training Needs to Stick
Training sales staff to be more knowledgeable, confident and empathic is great, but at the moment largely ineffective. According to Xerox research, sales professionals lose 87% of training insights in just a month. How do you make sure sales training is absorbed and implemented? We suggest using gamification, video and peer learning. Get your teams together regularly – via Microsoft Teams or Zoom if necessary – to share best practice and success stories.
And best of all, create a training journey. Give your agents a training goal, and a series of short, easy-to-absorb steps to achieve it. Let them track progress towards that goal and take regular tests and revision sessions. Repetition is the key to learning, but it should be fun, practice-based and easily applicable to day-to-day activities. In a nutshell, make it easy for agents to turn training into action and action into habit.
4.) Measure The “Important” Metrics
In 2021 the temptation is to measure everything, but you need to focus on metrics that mean something to your customers and your sales teams. Not every metric is relevant to every business. For one company, long average call time figures are an indication the sales process is too lengthy. For another, they might offer little real insight.
Nevertheless, real data is essential, and while you may be able to get basic stats from your unified communications provider or telephony solution, implementing customer contact centre software can provide transformational results. Powerful contact centre solutions provide answers, not just information, and give you real insight that drives performance. In this respect, productivity reporting is key, especially if your teams are working from home.
In addition, trend analysis measures performance over time, illuminating trends that can inform more effective sales strategies. You can even analyze the speech patterns of your best salespeople, learn from them and replicate their methods across the team.
In 2021 the most effective sellers are those that continually hone and refine their strategies and processes. Information is key to that, which is why you need comprehensive reporting functionality in easy-to-understand reports.
5.) Do it Today!
The final trend is perhaps the most important. With sales activity gearing up for a post-pandemic surge, there’s no time to wait. Economies are already bouncing back strongly from the Covid crisis, creating a golden opportunity for forward looking call centers.
Companies are readying themselves for the the great comeback. To make the most of it, please be aware of the changing call center sales trends to improve your operations today!
If you are ready to enhance your call center sales, contact Worldwide Call Centers today at 719.368.8393 to discuss your situation and explore the Contact Center Outsourcing options available from the US and Canada to Eastern Europe, Asia or Latin America.