By AJ Windle
John Quincy Adams once said “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish”. I think the reality in this quote speaks to the fact that challenges in this industry are not in moderation, with every program comes new challenges and with every venture come new obstacles. Because results are directly impacted by these ever changing variables, pushing through the challenges to create success is what makes us great.
Outbound telemarketing is a fast paced, ever changing industry with growing demand for increased results and with those expectations our performance must follow. We all want to be riding that cloud nine at the end of the day looking back and knowing that we are ahead of the game. Just like anything else we are going to have bumps along the road but it is how we as an industry handle these things that affect us in the long run.
A well organized and extensively thought out plan is what it will take to get a program off to a good start. Cross your Ts and dot your I’s when you are ramping up a program. Do we have everything you need? Do we have goals set? Have we communicated clearly the expectations of the program? Have we tested the system? These are all good questions to ask ourselves when beginning a program start up. Make sure you have everything you need to hit the ground running. Even a small piece of information or miscommunication can throw a huge wrench into how performance kicks off.
Training is a pivotal part of the success of any program. If the agents are not prepared to handle all the aspects of the program they will lack confidence and their results will typically follow suit. Make sure that all the information of the program has been communicated thoroughly to the agents in a way that can be easily translated to the work they will do on the phones. As you focus in on training don’t be so concerned with the length of the training but more with the content that is involved. A lengthy training can have its benefits but if the agent isn’t moving forward then they are standing still and can begin to lose focus. There does come a point where training in the classroom will reach a standstill and the only way to increase the agent’s knowledge is through experience on the program. Develop program training by being cognitive to the fact that everyone learns in a different way and in order to create a strong team in all avenues you will need to use engagement, visual, lecture, and curriculum based styles of training. Grow your agent’s knowledge, experience and confidence in training and you will see a dramatically positive outcome in your programs performance.
Analysis, Ideas and Action
One of the greatest things about results and performance is they are measurable. In order to really know where you are at and where you need to go these statistics must me analyzed frequently. Because variables change it is important to set up specific KPIs on programs to measure performance in a consistent fashion. These KPIs will help you to identify trends, weaknesses and opportunities within your outbound dialing. They will help you formulate creative ideas with your team and will help when making decision about what actions need to be taken to increase your results. Tracking these numbers on a consistent basis will help you to analyze if your changes are making a positive or negative impact to your numbers.
Statistic analysis should be evolved around both the universal level as well as a granular perspective. Because of this, it is important to think not only about what KPIs you will be using but what directly affects these particular numbers. Its cause and affect, it is not enough to see that you are or are not hitting your completes per hour you need to know why. Do we need to dial more aggressively? Are we reaching our DMCs? What is our Wrap time? What’s our conversion rate? This is where monitoring at a granular level really comes into play. Think about it, average team numbers are great to look at but if they not coupled with a more magnified observation approach they can be a little misleading. Say for instance you are hitting your metrics on completes per hour, while this is great if you were to jump down to the granular level you might find out that there are several people riding on the shoulders of the few that are way above goal keeping your numbers just where you need them to be. The result of this can be eye opening but also a great opportunity for increased performance on any program. If you have a solid group of individuals that is far exceeding goals you now have two things working in your favor. One is you have identified people who need additional coaching, one on one sessions, or more training. The second thing going for you is the fact that you have people who are excelling on the program who you can use to share best practices and make your team even stronger. No matter how you look at it, this is a win, win situation.
The bottom line is that excellent performance and exceeding results don’t come without struggles, hard work and determination. We all have been in a situation where we ask ourselves how can we get better, and what can we do to increase our numbers? While there is really no simple answer to these questions, proper preparation, a well developed training and program measurement will help get you on the right track to maximizing your results on your Outbound Telemarketing Programs.