Call centers can be some of the most difficult sales environments. The high pace of work and the constant rotation of calls coming from the auto-dialers keep sales reps at call centers constantly on their toes and stressed. Partner this with the fact that most sales reps at call centers are working their first sales job, and you have a recipe for massive turnover rates. We tapped our SVP of Sales, Remi Morken, who spent a decade working in and managing call centers to get real insights into how to better motivate, incentivize, and retain call center sales reps.
Who makes up your sales force?
Call centers are generally made up of mostly young sales reps. Oftentimes this is their very first job, and most of them fall under the socializer personality type. In general, socializers are focused on collaboration with a drive to develop a network of friends and contacts. Call centers have a hard time building socializers, as most of their work is done in a silo, they rarely have time to work together, and socializers are oftentimes the first to look for greener pastures.
The pressure cooker of a call center can easily help mold some of the most determined and motivated sales reps, and finding those diamonds is crucial. Over time, many of your sales reps will turn into killers and achievers, which in the call center environment, are what you need the most. So how can you go about helping those sales reps realize their potential and create a space that reps are actually going to enjoy?
Here are some of Remi Morken’s top tips.
“Your newest reps are always going to be the first to give up, they will quit after the first day. What they really need is at least 60 days to even figure out if they are any good at this job”
Turnover is a massive issue, and ignoring it is only going to make your culture and morale worse. One of the biggest pitfalls that most call center managers fall into is that they only incentivize sales. Your newest reps are not going to hit ambitious quotas, you have to accept that. Instead, try incentivizing the behaviors that are going to get them to their goal INSTEAD of focusing on revenue right off the bat. We know that money and sales are, of course, the most important thing in any sales environment, but keeping your reps in this framework for at least the first 60 days will help you boost retention while picking out the reps that have the most potential.
Break Down Goals & Set Expectations
No sales rep is going to thrive in an environment where they are just told to sell without knowing how they are contributing to the quarterly or company-wide goals. As a manager, you have to break down these larger, comprehensive goals into small, daily activities. Remi recommends that you take the following steps:
- Start by having your reps make 100 calls per day. That’s right, calls, not dials. This should be an easy goal if you are using auto-dialers, like most call centers.
- Transition to making 20 calls per day that last 3 minutes or more. These are the decision-making calls that will lead to the most sales.
- Finally, move to make at least one sale per day.
Once you have your reps hitting these goals regularly, you will have a fully ramped and mobilized sales center. You can further increase your chosen metrics by setting more goals to incentivize your reps to go after those targets.
We know how hard it can be to keep call centers staffed, selling, and motivated. Use these tips to motivate your team, find the reps you want to keep the most, and hit your sales goals reliably. You can further boost your sales by investing in sales gamification, which works extremely well with this age range, selling style, and environment.