Top 4 Tips to Improve Your Call Center Sales

BY C. Lee Smith
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Exceeding quota may be a top goal for every call center sales manager. But how exactly can you improve that metric when you’re dealing with a big turnover rate? Even worse, jobs in this industry have a reputation as something most people try to avoid. However, you can tackle these challenges one step at a time by using the following hiring and coaching tips.

1. Hire the Right People

Some reports indicate that the typical job experience turnover rates here are as high as 30%-40% every year. This kind of turnover is expensive and demoralizing. One way to reduce it is to make changes in your hiring process.

Your candidates must have a better understanding of what they’re getting into when they consider taking a call center job. You can do your best to explain the daily schedule of the job. But, if your candidate is desperate, they’ll take it, figuring they can hold onto it until something better comes along. Meanwhile, you’re investing in their training. Then, when you lose them, you’ll have to start all over again.

A better way to screen for these employees is to give them a sales aptitude test. Comprehensive assessments are even better because you can filter for what motivates candidates. Candidates often need clarification and will tell you what they think you want to hear. The sales assessment test results for call center operations also allow you to determine how a candidate behaves in a work and team environment and whether they’ll be a good fit for your organization.

For example, Gen Z workers are focused on financial stability. This generation is also very visual. So, offering videos to give them an idea of what the job entails will help them understand what they’ll be doing on a daily basis. They also need to know how the skills they learn on the job will help with their future. 

Take the time to explain how you’ll help them with career development, and you may be able to interest more Gen Zers in your open positions in call center management. Keep in mind that 35% of sales reps who participated in our Voice of the Sales Rep survey remarked that professional development is a key way for the current employer to motivate employees to take on tasks they don’t want to do.

2. Provide Incentives

Some experts recommend that managers set up a competition between internal teams. That strategy might work as long as everyone follows the rules. It might also work when your sales call center agents are selling a commodity versus a complex service. Remember that regular incentives, done biweekly or monthly, may keep people more engaged than an annual bonus program. 

3. Offer Job Flexibility

Employees of all ages appreciate job flexibility. It can come in the form of work schedules. Parents who are trying to share the care of young children will enjoy being able to set the work hours that best suit their calendar.

Another aspect of job flexibility is all about performing tasks. Have your existing or departing sales call center agents complained about the tedious nature of cold calling during their 8‑hour shift? If so, think about whether there’s another way to structure positions. At some companies, having reps split the time between cold calling and handling customer service questions may be possible.

4. Coaching Tips

Leading your team to a higher sales level won't be easy. But if you commit to hiring the right employees and use call center-​specific coaching tips, you'll have taken an important first step. These include working with each rep on the skills they need to improve. Changing up the culture with activities like gamification and contests and reminding reps of how the work they do every day connects to the larger company mission will also make a huge difference for the bottom line.