Whether your call center is inbound or outbound, and if you have a product or service to deliver, finding ways to increase sales is a consistent priority. The topic of increasing sales is so prevalent that thousands of books and articles are published. You can find anything from helpful tips to a geographically convenient inside sales seminar to attend with a quick Google search.
All these avenues provide great information if you’re like me, but the real benefit is they inspire me to think creatively about improving or tailoring new techniques to my specific product or service selling strategy to increase sales.
The fact is, I need to inspire my customer-facing staff to leverage best practices to increase sales. So many great ideas can quickly fall apart or appear unsuccessful simply because the strategy wasn’t necessarily the best approach for a team.
Consider the following ideas:
1. Increase Sales with Cross-Selling
Let’s talk about cross-selling. This is one of the more common techniques to increase the overall value of an account. These accounts already have the main product or service, and the cross-sell is an add-on item that will increase the total amount of the account.
It’s critical to have a thoughtful approach when cross-selling. For example, selling the main widget and offering a completely unrelated cog will certainly not make sense to the customer.
Based on experience, sales staff will resent the need to make such offers based on customer reactions and even decline the number of cross-sells offered.
Tip: The impression should never be that additional products are provided for the sole purpose of increasing sales but rather as a valuable secondary component designed to enhance the primary offering.
Team leaders need to communicate this usefulness to the sales team, so the philosophy developed is to help the customer understand why they need it. It is key to a creative approach that combines the main goal with the logic and reasoning to achieve it.
2. Sales and Service
Sales and service as a model is a great system that combines your business needs with your customers’ needs. Without sales, there would be no one to provide service to, but without service, eventually, your customers will be someone else’s customers.
There are a lot of great products out there, and consumers have more choices available to them today than at any point in history. So excellent service is one of the competitive advantages you can control.
When I think of excellent service, I don’t look at whether I can return something to a vendor if it was not to my satisfaction. That should be a given and is just the base of service, but that doesn’t make it great.
Excellent service gives me the feeling that who I buy from cares that I continue to buy from them.
One technique is to follow up with customers after a transaction or just after delivery. Call them and find out their experience, from the buying process to their thoughts on the product. The risk, you may think, is that you may receive feedback that something did not go as well as you hoped, but now you can address it, and your customer knows you cared about their business enough to find out how they felt proactively.
If you want to increase sales, having customers who know you care about them is invaluable.
3. Use Recordings to Improve Call Quality
Call recordings and call quality are invaluable tools for understanding breakdowns in your sales process.
- Tailor quality monitoring programs around a set of predetermined points, designed to ensure specific areas are touched on and maintain acceptable customer service levels.
- Listen specifically for the objections instead of listening to the calls to score them in line with your QA form or requirements.
Tip: Don’t listen to objections as a “NO.” Instead, go into it with the understanding that objections are just unanswered questions requiring more information.
I may not want to buy a product because of features and benefits I was unaware of, or not buy a service because its ease of use or set up timeframe was not well known.
These clues will give you insight into the customers’ perception and allow you to edit scripting and have meaningful discussions with your team about what is important to discuss while selling.
4. Increase Sales by Upselling
Upselling is another common technique to increase sales but cannot be rooted in the sole purpose of increasing sales. Instead, upselling typically involves selling a higher-level product or service than the initial offering.
An example might be buying a car and then moving from a base to an upgraded model through the need for additional features. Having questions ready to understand the consumer’s needs is critical. Matching needs with the product offering is a crucial component to increase sales.
Tip: Don’t try to talk your customer into buying something; ensure it aligns with their needs.
This harmony creates satisfaction, shows you care, and will lead to repeat business. For example, you could sell a car with heated seats to a customer living in a desert climate, but eventually, they will come to their senses and realize they paid for features they didn’t need.
The value of training is immeasurable in the pursuit to increase sales. However, this is beyond the training that it takes to be job-ready. Initially, you may teach the main features, but is there more to it?
I never assume that things get figured out once the work begins. Employees, like customers, will have a lot of questions that go beyond “what else does this item do?”. Understanding why a feature exists, exactly how a customer might use it, or where they may benefit are all topics for ongoing training.
6. Be Confident
It is a great feeling when you know your stuff. Confidence in what you are talking about is an easy read for customers. It is ok not to have every answer but coming across unprepared for basic questions is the fastest way to lose business to the competition.
You could look for some flashy, salesy, closing sentences to use in your scripting, but believing in the words you are using and the purpose behind those words will increase your sales over the long haul.
Sure, there are techniques you can employ today for a quick burst of sales, and you will get just that, a burst. However, having a customer-centric sales strategy that shows your integrity to customers through your operational philosophies will align your sales employees to your vision and generate loyalty from the consumers.
To increase sales requires a sustainable commitment to your customers that everyone in your organization feels and that your customers can see is genuine.
How a Partner Can Help You Increase Sales
Quality Contact Solutions (QCS) is an industry leader in contact center and BPO solutions, including B2B and B2C programs. Learn how QCS can help support your company goals and increase sales for your team. Contact us today to learn more.
Patrick Gilbert is an Operations Manager for Quality Contact Solutions. With over 25 years of leading call center operations, Patrick brings a refined yet refreshing approach to the sales and service environment. Patrick’s breadth of experience makes him an adept problem solver who expertly crafts creative solutions, implements best practices, and develops winning strategies for his clients. Patrick can be reached at email@example.com or 516-656-5119.