Developing Front Line Training For a New B2B Telemarketing Program Launch
By: Ryan Apodac, Operations Manager & Training Leader
Launching a new B2B telemarketing program is an arduous task. Countless hours and good ole fashioned blood, sweat and tears are essential. In addition to developing good training for the front-line telemarketing services agents, the organization must also design the scripting, dispositions, rebuttals, and programming requirements. The startup list goes on and on. Each item on the startup list is pivotal in launching a successful new B2B telemarketing program in an outsourced telemarketing services environment. However, all of the hard work and attention to detail in the setup phase will be for nothing without a successful training program for the front line representatives.
I believe there are 3 primary components to developing a strong B2B telemarketing training program. They are script training, systems training and product knowledge training.
1. Script Training
For a successful B2B telemarketing services launch, it is key to identify the message you want the agents to convey to the customer and how you want them to deliver it. In some B2B Telemarketing programs, verbatim scripting is a must, while on others it can mean a disaster. There is a lot to be said for script adherence, and even a conversational approach depending on the target decision-maker and the market. Knowing which approach to train and being clear in your direction to the agents, as well as the desired tone, pace and keyword emphasis are crucial to success. In addition, make sure role-playing is prioritized. During the script role-playing the B2B telemarketing agents will work through any unwieldly aspects of the script or call guide and you’ll emerge from training with an improved script. I recommend dividing the training class into pairs or groups of 3, with one agent being the customer, one the telemarketing representative, and one the observer and rotate.
2. Systems Training
When designing your training for a new B2B telemarketing services program, it is absolutely critical to include training on the systems to be utilized during the calls. To ensure training goes smoothly, make sure that everything is setup, tested and tested again. Nothing can set you back more than failures on day one. Utilizing a client’s CRM or website is a great tool for agents, but also an extremely significant responsibility. When developing front line training for CRM’s for instance, a “sandbox” environment or account for agents to work through what’s needed in a safe zone to make errors and learn from in training is a great way for agents to get more comfortable with utilizing it. Getting them hands on with systems early and consistently through training is a must. Eventually working systems training into the script role-play exercises is also beneficial to the team; it’s better for agents to stumble in role-play exercises to smooth out the edges before having to put it all together for the first time with a live customer during a real phone call.
3. Product Knowledge Training
What do the agents need to know? It can sometimes be a fine line between getting into too much granular detail and not enough. Knowing the product or service like the back of your hand is necessary on some B2B telemarketing programs. On other programs, too much product knowledge can be overwhelming and un-necessary. It’s always paramount to definitively identify the top three to five features of a product or service and even more importantly the benefit to the customer. More than five features and benefits can dilute the message and become over-whelming to telemarketing service agents and will inevitably result in laundry listing in the presentation. On the flip side, carefully consider what key information the agents need to be prepared with to ensure they can competently answer questions that will come up as part of the sales process. Most telemarketing services agents’ biggest fear is being caught unprepared. Work aids and cheat sheets that are well organized and as simplistic as possible are ideal. Ultimately there will be some questions customers may ask that agents won’t know the answer to, however, thinking of things from the customer’s perspective as well as the agents while building training is the key to limiting these occurrences.
If you use these three items as a template for your developing effective training for new B2B Telemarketing programs, you will ensure success. Clear and concise front line training for new program launches is the number one factor to determine whether the front line team will sink or swim.
Outsourced telemarketing is constantly changing and adapting to meet the needs of organizations. If you’re looking to see what Telemarketing can do to grow your organization, we would love to help. Give us a call at 1-866-963-2889. Or email me at [email protected]
Ryan Apodac is an Operations Manager & Training Leader 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.