As a manager, your responsibilities are spread far and wide but keeping team performance high is a priority. So how do you develop a high performing telesales team without dramatically increasing your workload and decreasing efficiency?
This blog outlines 6 tips for telesales managers to help you improve coaching delivery and implement strategies to improve team performance and decrease time pressures.
1. Provide best practice examples
A common practice with telesales teams is call recording. However, often this is used for compliance, quality assurance and one on one critique. Your team can learn a lot from listening to other calls. A form of modelling, so to speak. Save your golden calls to provide tangible best practice goals for your team. This will let your team know what they are striving for and how best practice can be achieved.
Get your team to highlight best practice calls and discuss their reasoning behind it. Whether this is team leaders, peer mentors, or individuals, it will empower your team to take pride in their performance and be more engaged with training activities surrounding best practice.
2. Coach continuously
Feedback and coaching should be a continuous process. Are coaching sessions followed up? Has behavior changed? What progress has been made? If you are not following up after coaching, or providing an ongoing coaching dialogue, then it is highly unlikely that effective behaviour change will take place.
Now you’re probably thinking, how will providing my team with more coaching free up my time?
Well, coaching is linked to increased work performance, improved communication and productivity, and reduced reliance on manager support due to a boost in team effectiveness. So providing your team with the coaching support they need now will save you time later.
3. Peer coaching
Your team are on the front line every day. They make the calls and they take the calls. They deal with objections, praise and the people that are just having a hard day. They are your main point of contact with customers and gain more experience and more direct feedback than any other area of the business on a daily basis.
Use this! Get your team to coach and mentor each other, how did they deal with a particular objection, has one of your agents found something that works particularly well? Share it. By encouraging peer coaching, your team will not only be more engaged in the coaching, they will buy into it more and lessen the strain on their managers.
Set up team triads and get them to work on a particular goal, whether this is customer service or sales get them to focus on one objective and see how they collaborate. Provide them with example calls to discuss, develop an action plan and then evaluate the outcomes.
4. Offer objective contextualised feedback
Feedback is great, but contextualised and objective feedback is even better!
- Objective feedback consists of specific and measurable data points about performance.
- Contextualised feedback is giving feedback in conjunction with performance.
By doing both, you can pinpoint specific areas that need extra support.
If the agent is committed to the goal of improving their performance, contextualised and objective feedback enables them to see the difference between their goal and their current performance. This allows you and your team member to agree on areas for improvement and work towards corrective action together, collaboratively.
Giving your team the opportunity to reflect on their own calls will let your team draw their own conclusions and self-evaluate their current performance. When paired with sharing best practice and modelling, they will be more than capable of highlighting their improvement areas and what changes to make. This allows for a greater collaborative coaching experience and also removes pressure from managers.
Encourage agents to check in on their own calls at least once a week so that they remain focused on their goals. This makes them accountable for their own learning and makes them aware of the importance of continuous learning.
6. Collaborate over goals
As a slight continuation of above, it is important that the coach and coachee have an agreement on performance goals and aims. This does not mean the coach prescribing goals, but working together to identify areas that the coachee would like to develop. Again, this creates a larger buy-in from the agent and makes them much more likely to put their learning into practice. If not, coaching becomes a form of quality and performance management rather than a collaborative dialogue for improvement.
To learn how iConnect can improve conversion rates in your sales team, coach your team, get in touch