Call center agents today cater to more informed, demanding and aware customers than they ever have before.
As a result, call center solutions need to evolve in order to sufficiently provide good quality of customer service.
More and more companies are growing increasingly dependent on the call center agents to drive sales through their interactions.
They are investing in new and innovative call center software, digging into data and training agents to market their products and convert leads to sales.
To aid the process of increasing sales through your call center, here are a few tips on the best selling strategies that can be adapted by the call center employees.
1. Gain domain knowledge. Employees should know everything about the product they are selling.
It creates a high negative impression if an agent is unable to answer a query on the specifications of the very product they want to sell.
Ensure your employees know the business, the market, the product and its functions as well as the benefits it provides.
2. Understand the customer. Every customer comes with a unique set of features.
As an agent, it is important that you give yourself some time to understand the customer you are dealing with, in case this is your first interaction with that individual.
Only then can you model your approach to best fit their personality.
3. Personalize your interactions. No customer wants to hear a generic pitch.
Nobody will be convinced to invest in your product if you cannot take the time out to cater to their individual, specific needs.
Therefore, agents need to treat each separate client as a different entity, study it, learn from it and understand it, and then put up a personalized conversation.
4. Study data of your customer. A call center invariably has a wealth of data on anybody who has dialed in before.
Agents should be asked to study the data about a customer, in order to know their personality, their behavior patterns, their likes and dislike, etc. which would subsequently point to how they are likely to interact.
5. Categorize customer traits. Customers can be analytical, driven, skeptic, expressive or reserved.
Employees who can quickly identify what trait a customer has, are more likely to be able to come up with the goods in terms of what approach fits them better, and how they can be convinced.
6. Adapt communication styles. As mentioned before, customers want a personalized touch to their interactions with the call center.
Agents need to be able to adapt their communication styles to satisfy the customers and ensure they provide consistently good service. Moreover, agents need to be flexible in their approach when dealing with multiple clients.
7. Ask questions to convey interest. In the conversation, it is important you let the customer do most of the talking, but you should also interject from time to time with logical questions.
This will not only help you understand the customer better, but will also convey that you are genuinely interested and that you value your customers.
8. Communicate a mutual value proposition. In business, everyone wants to see their benefits.
Unless you are able to convince your customer that there is a tangible benefit to them investing in your product or service, you will not be able to make the sale.
Communicate your value proposition in such a way that it clearly outlines what they stand to gain.
9. Listen to what your customer has to say. Attentive listening is a big part of quality customer service.
Listen to your customers, not only because it helps you identify their problems more accurately, but also for building a personal relationship and possibly gaining a long-term client, which would prove beneficial in the future.
10. Build rapport with the individual. Successful sales conversions happens when customers trust not just the product, but also the brand and the people behind it.
For this, agents need to strike the right chord with customers during the conversation and build rapport with them to foster a relationship of trust.
11. Look at a problem from the customer’s point of view. The best agents are able to identify problems better because they see the situation from the customer’s point of view, taking into account the various factors that influence their decision making.
Doing so will help you prepare your conversation more effectively, and ultimately push sales in a more beneficial way.
12. Take control of the sales process. While it is important to let your customer do most of the talking, agents also need to steer the conversation along the lines they want, for it to be effective.
Taking control of the conversation’s direction is important to direct the flow of the sales process.
13. Adapt your own behavior to match your customer. Your customers may be in a variety of moods, they may have 2 minutes to spare or an entire day, they may be at their offices or outside, etc. all of which contribute to changing their behavior.
As an agent, you need to reflect their behavior to connect with them and communicate effectively.
14. Take some time to identify the root needs. Customers often do not know their root problems themselves.
A trained agent will be more likely to find that out after a while of listening to them describing their concerns. Identifying the basic needs accelerates the sales cycle because agents can then formulate strategies accordingly.
15. Use technology to anticipate customer requirements. Predictive modeling is being extensively used in modern call centers, using millions and millions of data points to construct probabilistic models to predict future outcomes, such as anticipating a customer’s requirements before they state it.
This helps the call center prepare preemptively for such situations.
16. Train agents to recognize sales situations. Tone, volume, speed and pitch of voice are audio indicators of a person’s outlook, mindset and intentions.
Agents should be adept at picking up on these signals and understanding the mindset of the customer easily.
Different approaches work best in different scenarios, and identifying the situation is a crucial first step towards making a sale.
17. Have an action plan charted to follow up. You cannot afford to be finding your feet as the conversation go on. Agents need to have a proper plan of action charted and ready, so that they can make good on their promises of efficacy if the conversation leads to something fruitful.
18. Engage customers by stating the USP of your product. Agents only have a limited time period to grab the customer’s attention.
They need to utilize this time to describe the most unique and helpful features in their product, so that customers are interested to remain attentive for the rest of the conversation, and know more about the product in question.
19. Research your competitors and define your specialties. In the modern market, you are bound to have competitors in your field.
It is important to find out how your product differs from theirs, and then stress on that uniqueness as a selling point to connect better with the customers.
Branding yourself as a specialist in a field often helps capture market share from your competitors as well.
20. Use referrals and testimonials to build up trust. People tend to believe the words of other customers who have been in the same shoes.
That is why testimonials and referrals work like magic in establishing a positive connection between the customer and the brand, as well as creating a relationship of mutual trust.
21. Stay in touch with leads that show interest. Most of the time, the first call will only be introductory, and will lay the foundation for further conversations.
In this regard, agents need to bear in mind the leads that expressed interest on the first call, and prioritize conversations with them to draw out the best possible results.
22. Present new and innovative ways of pitching for sales. Sales strategies today are far more dynamic than they ever have been – what is cutting edge today may be obsolete tomorrow.
Agents should be ready to evolve as quickly as the changing times to remain one step ahead of their competition and deliver the best results.
23. Learn to handle emotions while on a call. The person on the other end of the line may be very friendly and accommodative, but he may also be frustrated, angry, disappointed or rude.
Regardless, agents need to keep their own emotions in check while on a call and answer professionally to every query being sent in.
24. Have relevant customer information at your fingertips in case a reference is needed. Today’s technology makes it possible for agents to get all the information they need at the click of a button, right on their screens.
During a call, they should refer to the data being analyzed and the trends being projected to gauge how the call is going, and then proceed or change their tactics accordingly.
25. Always remain positive during a conversation. The agent has the onus to maintain positivity in the conversation, so that the customer eventually sees the positive side of the product concerned, even if he starts off skeptic about it.
Dwelling on the benefits of the product and how it would help the customers are the important pointers to maintain.
26. Ensure that you remain respectful towards the customer. An agent in conversation with a customer is a representative of the brand.
As such, it is essential that he or she remains respectful towards the client, for the sake of preserving the brand’s image, if not for common decency.
No matter how uncomfortable the conversation gets, agents cannot lose their temper or be drawn into something unpleasant.
27. Include expert opinions for problem solving. Agents should not hesitate to bring in experts to solve a query if it is out of their depth.
This serves two purposes – the customer is satisfied because they get the solution they want, and the entire process moves along quicker because the issues get resolved faster.
28. Reconsider the decisions made and results accrued regularly. The call center needs to seek to improve and learn from its previous actions at every step, so that they can fine-tune their operations.
They need to record and retrieve the decisions they took, study their effects, rate their effectiveness and then decide the next course of action.
29. Encourage customers to give feedback on your service. Feedback from customers is a great indicator of how good your service has been, and it also serves as a documentation that can be reviewed and improved upon in further scenarios.
Therefore, feedback is essential to the process of continuous improvement embraced by the call center.
30. Pick the right metrics and monitor performance. The call center needs to determine the metrics it will consider for success, and then keep a close eye on the performance of every agent based on these metrics.
Continuous monitoring, evaluation and feedback will help agents serve their customers better and ultimately increase sales.
As we can see, sales is the cumulative effort of a lot of different factors coming together, such as agent skill, training, call center software solutions, demographics of the customers, etc.
Maintaining positivity, understanding the customer’s point of view, communicating the value proposition properly and having thorough knowledge of the product and the market itself, are essential skills to have for call center agents looking to push sales through.
Aided by the best call center software, agents should also look to preempt the issues that customers are likely to face, solve these issues to guarantee a more smooth customer service experience and stay in constant touch with their clients, so much so that they can build a personal relationship and a good rapport with them.
Providing telemarketing software solutions in the modern scenario encompasses a whole lot of activities beyond just talking on the phone.
It involves understanding sales strategies, categorizing the customer, managing multiple channels of communication and dynamically improving from the feedback received.
The tips mentioned in this article will definitely help your company develop better sales strategies and increase revenue generation through sale of goods.