Typical mistakes in phone sales: advice for call centers

Most common mistakes call centers make in phone sales: technology, management issues, and people.

Nothing is new under the sun, and even mistakes that call centers happen to make, tend to be tied to two common factors: technology and management.

Management

1) Hiring practices

Call centers are notorious for employee turnover. This means that people working there tend to be less motivated and have less training. Improve your hiring standards, invest in educating and training your employees, don't forget about competitive salary, and the effectiveness of their work will skyrocket.

2) Bad scripts

You can't write a perfect script in one go. You need to assess and improve it continuously. Try using call recordings to check what works in a real conversation.

Tips for better scripts:

  • Don't make it too complicated. It will be hard for an agent to follow.
  • Don't make it too long. Time is a limited resource, and the patience of a customer can run out faster than your agent can convince them to buy your product.
  • Don't make your agents follow the script religiously. Sounding too rehearsed will actually hurt how your agent comes across. Following the script guidelines instead will make your agents sound more genuine, and it will be easier for them to adapt to the flow of the conversation.
  • Being too pushy. Customers don't like it when you're pressing them into making a decision. Present your product as best as possible to those who could benefit from it, and it will do your work for you.

3) Buying leads

If you don't have your own customer base, don't go buying others. It's counterproductive: even if you happen to purchase leads that are your exact target audience, people don't like cold calls.

It's better to gather leads yourself by providing people free value. You can make your social media entertainable and your ad campaigns creative. People will be happier to hear from you if they leave the contact information yourself. On your websites, you can post interesting and useful information for your customers. Then you can use a Callback or Click-to-Call widgets to gather leads.

Technology

1) Chasing cheap call rates

Of course, the costs are a significant factor. But if you're selling something via the phone, the quality of sound will matter too. If your customer can't hear you, they won't understand how great your offer is or how necessary it is for them to have the latest version of whatever product you're peddling.

When using IP telephony, there are also setup fees and monthly costs to think about as well. Don't go trying to save a dollar if you risk ending up losing a hundred buck. Choose an IP telephony provider carefully. How reliable is their service? How fast and efficient is their support? Are their business hours the same as yours? Are you sure you won't lose the money you saved, or more, due to the downtime?

Having a reliable VoIP provider will ensure that you're always in business.

2) Not using a local phone number

People tend to find those similar to them more trustworthy. That includes people who live in the same area, city, state, or country. That's one reason to check if your provider has virtual numbers available for the market where you're reaching out.

The other is how accessible you are for your customer. If they miss a call from you or want to check some detail and want to call you back, if you're using a local number, that's more probable.

3) Using personal mobiles to make sales

Not to mention how hard it is to track the agent's progress if you don't have a centralized system with call history and analytics, but it also limits the features that your employees can access.

Instead of personal mobile phones, try using a virtual IP PBX. It doesn't take up space, and it is very convenient for call management like call queues or conditional call forwarding. You can set up a real virtual call center with this service!

Also, dialing with a SIP app or your call center dialer is much more convenient than dialing numbers one digit after another on a mobile.

Avoiding these common mistakes will help you to make more sales.

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