By Angela Garfinkel, President
When it comes to telesales best practices, evaluating your training program is typically at the top of the to-do list.
Telesales training can be painful, both for the trainees and for the trainer. Why is it so painful? Primarily because the training is typically not very effective. Here are three ideas that will immediately improve your telesales training.
1. Intersperse classroom training with hands-on practice.
Telesales training should not be jammed into a condensed schedule, racing from one module to the next. Telesales training is best conducted with a thoughtful blend of classroom training and hands-on experience. When it comes to telesales best practices, I’m an advocate for training just 20% of the product knowledge and then giving the team some practice with some low value leads. People will not successfully retain all of the product knowledge, market positioning, and benefits of your product or service when they don’t get a chance to practice and use what they have learned. Ideally, training is spaced like the following:
- Day 1: Classroom training, first 20% of the training curriculum.
- Day 2: Practice with live leads. Tip: Buddy people up to cut down on burning through your
- list with unskilled sales presentations. One sales rep does the talking, and the other sales rep does the call guide navigation and data entry.
- Day 3: Classroom training, next 20% of the training curriculum.
- Day 4: Practice with live leads and set some very realistic stair-step goals to master and implement the first 40% of information trained.
- Day 5: Classroom training for half the day with the next 20% of the training curriculum. Then spend the second half of the day with live calls.
- Day 6: Classroom training for half the day with the next 20% of the training curriculum. Then spend the second half of the day with live calls.
- Day 7: Classroom training for half the day with the final 20% of the training curriculum and tying it all together.
- Day 8: Graduation from training!
2. Implement a training graduation bonus.
Pay a reward after the completion of training and completing a skills assessment certification (particularly if the team is comprised of new hires). Telesales representatives are motivated by money. Pay them a smaller ‘per hour’ wage for training hours and then offer a bonus for successful completion of training (including perfect attendance and skills assessments tests).
By pairing the training compensation to an end goal (vs. just a flat compensation for their hours), the telesales team members will be motivated to ensure they attend all training and are preparing for the required certifications. This will also cut down on the people that say, “I’ll try this job, and if it doesn’t work out, I don’t have anything to lose.” When it comes to telesales best practices, you want people to opt-in for the opportunity that believes they will have a high chance of earning the bonus (which I recommend should be 30 to 50% of the minimum hourly rate you pay for a training class hour).
3. Integrate the “Why” into the training.
Why do we say the things we say? What is the psychology behind the words? What is the reason that the product or service makes the world a better place? What is the potential customer missing out on by saying “no” to our call? As a telesales best practice, I recommend that you do the deep work to identify the “why” into your training curriculum. For example, start with answering these questions.
- Why does the (client product) exist?
- Why do we pitch the product/solution the way that we do?
- Why does this product/service matter?
- Why should a prospect listen to us (take our call)?
- Why should a gatekeeper provide us with access to the decision-maker?
At Quality Contact Solutions, when it comes to telesales best practices, our learning never stops. Our telesales training experts are hard at work, crafting practical and useful training daily. Our management team is dedicated to making training less painful. Our clients reap the benefits with results that exceed expectations.
Other Articles You Might Find Interesting:
How Much Training is Too Much in Outbound Telemarketing?
Successful B2B Telemarketing Services Starts With Training
10 Best Practices for Delivering Virtual Training
QCS Ensures Telemarketing Programs Get Ongoing Training
Angela Garfinkel is the President and Founder of Quality Contact Solutions, a leading outsourced telemarketing services organization. Angela has the pleasure of leading a talented team that runs thousands of outbound telemarketing program hours on a daily basis. Angela can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 516.656.5118.