Most call center managers use advanced analytics and reporting tools to ensure, not only that the center is meeting its goals, but also that their agents are achieving their full potential. Despite the performance measures management uses to assess the efficiency of call center operations, most of them don't know how to interpret and utilize performance data sufficiently to take sales staff to the next level: selling to executives.
Why would anyone want to sell to the C-Suite? The reason is that these executives form a new, unexplored market which provides sales managers with a wide range of business opportunities. Unfortunately, selling to C-level executives isn't that easy.
Solving Executive Sales Problems
If performance data shows that call center agents are unable to sell to executive decision makers, sales managers should analyze sales staff's skills and the sales training programs, giving careful consideration to whether or not the products and services being offered address the issues which executives are facing.
Of course, most executives are exceptionally busy, arriving early in the morning, staying late into the evening, receiving dozens of calls and emails, and attending too many meetings to track. Thus, making a couple of calls followed by an email is almost never going to be enough to close a deal. Call center agents need to be more persistent and use different, more creative approaches to capture attention.
But even if salespeople capture executives' attention, very few of them actually close a deal. Why? Most of the time, it's the sales agent. It seems that these days, many call center agents do not address customer needs; instead, they address their own "needs" focusing only on selling a certain product or service. Call center managers can solve this issue by analyzing performance data and paying close attention to certain things, such as: missed targets, closing rate and the number of "exception" deals.
When managers are unable to identify closing problems based on call center performance data, call centers face a high risk of losing business to competitors. As a rule of thumb, the inability of a sales team to penetrate through the "executive wall" points out the need for more training.
Training the Sales Staff
Before asking new agents to approach clients, call centers need to teach the sales agents different key phrases necessary to move deals toward closing while helping them develop a variety of skills and training them to handle obstacles professionally.
Unfortunately, many sales managers don't realize that these abilities form the foundation upon which they must build further in order to help salespeople make the most of each interaction with C-level executives. In this context, "building further" actually means re-training and re-tooling staff that may have been previously trained, even changing the entire culture of the organization, in order to conquer new markets.
If a sales team is unable to make successful requests for proposals (RFPs), close advantageous deals, attract and retain high-value customers and build strong relationships with them, call center managers need to look for additional training programs that focus on more advanced sales techniques.
How Important is Training?
Regardless of the performance measurements call center managers use to gauge overall efficiency along with individual performance, business priority remains revenue growth through new customer acquisition and retention. However, meeting revenue goals in a call center environment is more difficult than many people realize. Further, selling to executives requires determination, hard work and a lot of effort.
Thus, it's not only about training inexperienced agents, but also about developing the skills of experienced salespeople through continuous training. By training staff to deal expertly with C-level executives, a call center can acquire a large number of new customers, consequently associating its name with respectable public figures, gaining good reputation and even more high-quality business opportunities.
If an organization provides appropriate training and encourages relevant skill development, call center managers allow salespeople to strengthen their competencies and keep up with the latest sales techniques so that the best possible outcomes are achieved for everyone involved.