By Ryan Apodac, Trainer
You hire a new telemarketing employee. The telemarketing employee (a telephone sales agent) completes their new-hire training and is officially ready to be released into the wild to use the tools they now have on their own. What is wrong with this picture?
Having a training process to onboard new employees is a necessity, but ongoing training can be even more critical. What about their training needs as time goes on? What happens in a few weeks, months or even a year down the road? In the Telemarketing Services business, the key to front-line telemarketing agent success is to continuously grow. The true definition of insanity is continuing to do the same things and expecting a different outcome. To expect your B2B Telemarketing agents to exceed their current production with the same tools they’ve had since day one is insane! Here are the Top 5 reasons ongoing training is crucial for all telemarketing services agents.
1. Information Retention
When onboarding a new team member in a Telemarketing Services organization, there is so much for them to learn and retain. Company policies, daily duties, systems; the list of information a new employee needs to retain is endless. This “internal” information can be an overload in itself, but then we add product and sales training and it’s easy to see how some things can be missed. Studies show that people, on average, only retain 50% of the information you present within one hour. If that doesn’t open your eyes to the absolute need for ongoing training, here’s another statistic: within 24 hours people on average forget 70% of the new information, and within a week this jumps to 90%! Continuous ongoing training is crucial to help reinforce the core information that will make your B2B Telemarketing agents successful.
Things change! Products, services and strategies are continually updated to reflect changes in the market. What works today may not work tomorrow. One of the biggest challenges in the Telemarketing Services industry is staying ahead of the market. Ongoing training enables you to keep your agents abreast of new ideas that will ultimately help them adjust to what works in today’s market.
3. Increase Employee Value
Evaluating a new front-line telemarketing agent’s potential is tough to do in B2B Telemarketing. Once they have gotten settled into their new position, managers can identify an agent’s strengths and weaknesses. For those agents who are struggling, ongoing training allows you to focus on the skills they didn’t quite catch from the onboarding training. For those who are excelling in their duties, this gives you an opportunity to continue nurturing them to assure future growth and success. It is also great to show commitment to the front-line agents by acknowledging their efforts through further investments of training them with advanced techniques and tactics.
4. Reduce Attrition
New statistics show that a lack of training is one of the top reasons employees leave their jobs. Likely the top reason a telemarketing agent leaves his position is they don’t feel they “have what it takes”. While sales isn’t a role for everyone, everyone who will put in the effort and wants to succeed in sales can… with the proper training and tools. While there are “naturals” in the world of sales, it’s far more prevalent to have agents who grow into their success, and the only way for them to do so is with ongoing training. Employees who know they will have ongoing training to continue to grow in their careers are far less likely to give up.
5. Team Building
While ongoing training sessions should have a purpose, there is something to be said about opening things up to the front line agents to share their successes and struggles. This gives the agents an opportunity to help each other and feel like important team members. Recognition from peers can sometimes resonate more than from a manager. This also gives the agents an opportunity to hear suggestions that are working from agents they know are doing the same things they are day in and day out. A lot of times agents may not feel comfortable expressing the struggles they face.
Many companies are good at the onboarding process of B2B Telemarketing agents by giving adequate training for their agents to hit the phones, but fail to realize ongoing training is critical to long-term success. In fact, I believe that ongoing training is just as important (if not more important)than the initial new-hire, onboarding training.
Ryan Apodac is responsible for training at Quality Contact Solutions, a leading B2B outsourced telemarketing organization. With a background of more than a decade in sales, Ryan is passionate about developing and delivering training that ultimately results in improved performance for client programs. Ryan can be reached at email@example.com or 516-656-5127.