So, your B2B Telemarketing Sales program is on the decline and is no longer producing the results that it once was. Why? There are obviously many variables and factors that a manager can dive into to begin to diagnose where the problem areas lie. I guarantee you; from the sales professionals on the phones to the managers running the campaign the first thing that people will point to is leads. “The leads are junk!” Have you ever heard that one? We’re all guilty of it, and I promise you that I am no exception to that. Sure, where there is smoke there is sometimes fire, and poor lead files aren’t exactly uncommon. Your lead file might lack proper segmentation and thus you are targeting the completely wrong audience to get you the qualified sales leads that you need. Your list may not have went through a proper data cleanse and your sales people are spinning their wheels, and so on and so on and so on.
My point is that it’s the easy scapegoat that people can point to while ignoring other potential underlying problems that have sunk your results. Below are my top five “tough questions” to ask when your B2B Telemarketing Sales program is on the decline that have nothing to do with blaming the leads.
• Is the sales team good enough? – Everyone wants to believe they have the best sales agents. It’s easy to look at this last or to try and turn a blind eye to the possibility that perhaps you don’t. Maybe you did. Perhaps attrition took its toll and you lost a couple of key players and you haven’t done a good enough job of replacing them appropriately. By the way, if you did lose some key players, why did you lose them in the first place? There can many factors here, and everyone knows their team best, but it’s the hard question that has to be asked and it’s the one that is easiest not to because it can be the hardest thing to correct quickly.
• Is the team’s supervisor holding the team back? – I feel like I have written this a thousand times, but it’s because I believe it with every fiber of my being. A great supervisor can make a good team great. A bad supervisor can make a great team terrible. I have seen countless sales floors, and it doesn’t typically take long to tell if a team has a good supervisor. A good supervisor is spending 90% of their time motivating and coaching. They are not chained to a computer at the end of a row or in a cubicle that the team can’t see. Oh, and by the way, that isn’t always their fault. You might also ask yourself what duties they have been given that keep them chained there.
• Has complacency set it? – This is a tough question to ask, isn’t it? No one wants to believe that there has been a drop in qualified sales leads because things turned to autopilot. Complacency is the enemy of sustained success. The strategy that worked for you three months ago might not be the same strategy that works today. Odds are that the needs of your target audience have changed. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Okay, fine. But don’t assume something that worked before is going to work now just because it worked at one time.
• Have dialing efficiencies decreased? – This question wins the unsexy award. If you find that efficiencies have decreased, this can be the drollest diagnosis you will ever make. But, perhaps the most fruitful. Have you compared the teams’ dials per hour vs. when they were successful? If they have went down, why? Have dialer settings changed? Have we lengthened the sales confirmation process? Are we requiring the team to make special notes in 15 different systems? Are dials per hour fine but your actual contacts are down? If so, you might want to monitor your salespeople’s gatekeeper skills.
• Have we properly set expectations on the goals? Are the goals realistic? Is the team motivated by the goals? Are we properly rewarding the team for hitting their goals? Do our goals truly define success? – Okay, yes. You’re right. I cheated. That’s five questions. But you see the theme, right?