How to Create Sales Leaders Who Inspire

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Earlier in 2016, we looked at what it takes to be an effective Sales Manager.  We explored the shift of focus from management to leadership in recent years and how that has led sales managers to bring vision and inspiration to their staff, to support their development and keep them headed towards success.

We acknowledged that recognising and developing talent within your team is a vital part of sales management, requiring an extensive set of skills covering planning and motivation, coaching, communication and delegation.

This time, we wanted to take a deeper look into the type of activity required to become this type of Sales Leader.

Four core practices are at the heart of creating the type of environment in which a sales team can reach its full potential, Strategy, Education, Feedback and Leadership.  It’s a continual process, based on a cycle of reflection, communication and implementation.  Applying this method of looking back at what your team has already done, discussing what needs to happen next and then making it happen, will allow you as a leader to engage with each individual salesperson and support their development  as they become capable and effective team members.

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Strategy:  Creating a personal development plan for a salesperson will give opportunity not only to bring assistance to their weaknesses but also celebrate and reward their strengths and achievements. A salesperson who feels supported and is in agreement with a development plan will be an engaged and productive team member.

Education: An ongoing programme of sales training will equip team members with the skills they need to develop into successful sales professionals.  Whatever their sales role, each team member will benefit from understanding every stage of the sales process. Refresher training and opportunities to expand upon areas already covered will prevent stagnation or loss of skills.

Feedback: An open, continuous line of communication is key to getting understanding the ‘whole picture’. Important concerns or requests can be missed when there isn’t an easy opportunity to explore them with your sales team.  All feedback will help to further development plans and make adjustments where necessary. Creating an environment where team members are comfortable to open up about any questions they have, even difficult ones, cultivates a level of trust that demonstrates real leadership.

Leadership: The benefit of your experience in sales will enable you to provide top-level coaching to your sales team.  You can give real-life examples of solutions to common problems which will inspire them to push through the challenges they face.  Just like any professional sports coach, keeping motivation high is a key factor in sustaining momentum across the whole team.

Lastly, it is essential to implement a personal development plan for yourself. When you take opportunities to train, grow and develop as a sales leader, you will benefit just as much from it as will your team members.  Investing in your own professional development will directly & positively impact the development of your sales team. Lead by example, it’s an old phrase but it’s no less true.

Estadia’s open sales training courses cover all professional levels and are all currently discounted when you book and pay for any delegate places during December 2016. For more information, click on the links below for course content and to make a booking:

Essential Sales Skills  :: Was £129/ NOW £99

Field Sales Training (1) Closing More Sales  :: Was £199 / NOW £169

Essential Telesales Skills  :: Was £299/ NOW £269

Effective Customer Service Skills  :: Was £129/ NOW £99

Effective Sales Management  :: Was £399/ NOW £349

Estadia’s December Discounts – on ALL Open Sales Training!

Estadia has discounted ALL of it’s upcoming Sales Training courses for places booked and paid for during December 2016. Covering everything from Essential Sales Skills through to Sales Management and our part 1 of our new Field Sales Training Programme where we have brought the best aspects of our face-to-face sales instruction together.

More than 3 delegates to train? Speak to one of our team to discuss group booking options.

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Estadia’s Telemarketing Focus Comes to an End – What Did We Learn?

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The purpose of the Telemarketing Focus during November 2016, was to establish the facts about Telemarketing and also explore its place in a business sales strategy. Here is a recap of a selection of the best articles featured during the month.

whats-your-least-favourite-thing-about-telesales_At the start of the month our blog post ‘Is B2B Telemarketing Still Effective’ identified Telemarketing’s key strength as being that it taps directly into the fact that people like to buy from people.  As a method of sales and marketing, it is the best way to ensure certain types of people engage with your product or service.  It is therefore a vital part of a blended marketing strategy that covers as many areas of potential new business as possible.  Read the Full Blog Post Here.

 

5-challenges‘5 Challenges of Running a Successful Telemarketing Campaign’ sought to identify essential points for consideration when it comes to planning and executing a campaign that delivers the best possible results. From setting the right kinds of goals and expectations, to ensuring the best care and use of data, through to things like reporting and client interaction, this blog is a great way to assess how ready your business is to implement a telemarketing strategy.  Read the Full Blog Post Here.

 

prepareStaying on the theme of preparation, ‘Preparing Yourself for a Successful Telesales Session’ explored a number of ways that you can ensure you or you sales team are ready to take on the challenge of selling over the phone. Not shying away from some of the more difficult aspects of telesales, this article provided encouraging advice and practical tips that can be implemented immediately. Read the Full Blog Post Here.

 

netzsch-cs-smallerEach week we highlighted some real telemarketing campaign case studies featuring our own clients who have worked with Estadia to deliver telemarketing campaigns to engage with their target market and develop new business.  In each case we identify the needs of the business and explain how we went about executing their campaign, along with the results.   Click here to see our telemarketing case studies.

right-questions ‘Are you Asking the Right Kind of Questions on Your Telemarketing Call?’ examined the best ways to obtain the important information needed to progress to the next step in the sales process.  Not only that, it also makes some suggestions about how and when to ask questions, hopefully eliminating wasted time and frustration for both parties. Read the Full Blog Post Here.

 

best-time-to-outsource_Towards the end of the focus we asked the question: ‘When is it the Best Time to Outsource your Telemarketing Campaign?’ because not all businesses have the time or resources to achieve this without outside help. A useful checklist of areas to consider helps you to assess your own business’ situation and some practical information on the benefits of outsourcing this important area of your overall sales strategy also features. Read the Full Blog Post Here.

 

trust-an-outside-telemarketerOut final post of  the month asks ‘Can You Trust an Outside Telemarketer to do the Job Well?’.  It identifies they key assurances you need to be confident that your telemarketer will deliver the very best campaign on behalf of your business, with results that prove to be a great return on investment. It also explores Estadia’s own approach to carrying out marketing campaigns for other businesses.  Maybe Estadia is the right choice to deliver your telemarketing campaign? Read the Full Blog Post Here.

 

We’ve really enjoyed exploring in depth, this area of sales over the past month.  We’d love to hear from you and what your thoughts are so if you have any feedback please do contact us through the website or join the conversation over on our Twitter or LinkedIn pages.

 

Can You Trust and Outside Telemarketer to do the Job Well?

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So you’ve decided to outsource your telemarketing project to an outside company.  Naturally, you want to be confident that they will deliver on a number of points.

 

  • They will need to represent your company in a positive and professional manner.
  • They should have a number of proven campaign strategies that they can call upon to reflect your product or service in a way that your customers will positively identify.
  • They will have methods in place to accurately record, monitor and evaluate the performance of your telemarketing campaign.
  • They should appoint a telemarketer who has made it their business to know your company inside-out and is familiar with both your current and prospective client base.

 

In short, a good quality telemarketing company will collaborate with you to ensure your telemarketing campaign reaches the right customer for sales appointments with ready-to-buy prospects.  It is a working relationship built on the assurance that the telemarketer is as well-prepared as possible and this will ensure your campaign is heading in the right direction from the outset.

 

So in our own experience, how does our team at Estadia Telemarketing make sure this is the case for our clients?

 

Estadia telemarketers take ownership of their telemarketing projects from the outset.  Their line manager maintains an overall view of the project but it is essential that the person making the calls stays in communication with the client they are representing.  This relationship is key to the success of any project so we start by arranging a briefing meeting, either in person, or over video chat or telephone to both identify the right strategy to implement and begin this key relationship between client and telemarketer.

 

What happens during the briefing meeting?

 

Establishing Goals

We will agree the goals for your project with you, taking into account the market you are looking to target, the number of calls we can do each week, our anticipated conversion rates and the number of appointments you can attend.

We look at your common customer objections to identify ways to overcome them and make time to learn more about the reasons why a client should choose you over the competition.

 

Appointment Types

There are 3 types of appointments that we set for our clients, depending on their needs:

  • A fully qualified appointment where the needs of the customer are clearly set out and there is a definite chance of you converting the appointment to confirmed business at that point.
  • A fully qualified appointment where there may be an opportunity for you to do business either now or in the future. The customer will be in need of services like yours but they may be dealing with another supplier currently, but they are open minded to discussing your services as an alternative.
  • An appointment with someone who could potentially buy your services and they are interested in meeting you to find out more about your offering.

With the first 2 appointment types, you will get fewer meetings, but these will provide you with much greater opportunity to do business in the short to medium term.  The last category will provide you with many more appointments, but you will need to qualify them fully and develop the opportunity from there. Our clients choose their appointment types depending on their abilities to convert, the time they have available for appointments and the type of customers they are targeting.

 

‘Walking Through’ the Appointment Setting Process

At this point we will discuss the strategy for making calls, qualifying the target customer and identifying the decision maker and extracting an email address for that person. Following on from that, the steps we would take to make contact with them, with the desired outcome of arranging an appointment for you to meet with them face-to-face.

Staying in communication with you and evaluating progress

 

Lastly, we will agree with how we intend to communicate throughout the process, from raising specific questions that need to be answered quickly, how we would go about finding out more about specific aspects of your business, booking and passing on new appointments, to detailed weekly reports.

 

 

Conducting this type of briefing meeting has proven to be very successful for us as it has allowed us to deliver successful campaigns on behalf our clients, across of a number of different industries. You can learn more about these successes in our case studies on the links below:

When is it the Best Time to Outsource your Telemarketing Campaign?

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In an ideal world your business would find its way to you directly, in a consistent and generous flow.  However, as any business owner knows, competition is always a factor and you simply cant rely upon all potential customers to stumble across your website.  A reliable strategy for generating new leads has to be in place, whilst functioning effectively alongside all other areas of your business.

So, what are you doing to get your business in front of as many potential customers as possible?

Hitting the phones yourself to generate new leads is a tried and tested method that can achieve some interesting results but a structured, targeted telemarketing campaign, conducted by a trained salesperson can pinpoint the right kind of potential customer, understand their needs and use that information demonstrate the benefits of using your products or services.

As we looked at in one of our previous blog posts, any marketing campaign needs to have both goals and expectations established at the very outset.  Once you know exactly what it is that you want to achieve, you can then measure the resources available within your business to see if it can sustain the work involved.

If you want to avoid overstretching your staff, adding new duties to their workload and taking their focus off delivering to a high standard, then it may be more cost effective and productive for you to outsource your telemarketing.

Other common reasons for outsourcing Telemarketing include:

  •     Your business levels are subject to seasonal peaks
  •     You don’t wish to take on the responsibility of managing another team
  •     You can’t afford to equip a call centre or have the space to accommodate it
  •     You want to start up your marketing campaign quickly

Is it time for you to think about outsourcing your telemarketing campaign?

So, what exactly are the benefits?

Personnel – A telemarketing company will be experienced at recruiting staff who are qualified and experienced in this field. They will already have a number of staff who have been selected specifically for their suitability to the work required.

Training  – Staff recruited specifically for a telemarketing role will have received training to help them make the most of every conversation they have with a potential customer and although you will be involved to bring knowledge about your product or service, ultimately the telemarketing company will take responsibility.

Space and Equipment – By outsourcing you will benefit from the best telemarking equipment and software without having to pay as much for it.

Reporting and Tracking – Your telemarketing company will utilise the technology and resources they have to provide you with reports and tracking information that evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign.

Do your research!

Not all telemarketing companies are the same.  To make sure you are getting the highest level of service from a team dedicated to delivering your campaign to the highest standard, there are a few points to look out for.

Are the Telemarketing Staff appropriately trained?  Quality training is often overlooked leaving staff to learn ‘on-the-job’, making mistakes as they go, maybe even picking up bad habits from observing other under-trained colleagues.  This can lead to missing out on potential new contracts, simply because the initial call was poorly handled.

Are there suitable, efficient reporting systems in place? It is essential for you to know how your project is developing week-to-week.  Ask to see an example of their reporting and if needed, find out if it can be adapted to suit your requirements.

Are they promoting the right thing to the right customer? If you have left the telemarketing company to collate and work through their own data, make sure they are focusing on high quality leads and assessing their needs.

A good quality telemarketing company will collaborate with you to ensure your telemarketing campaign reaches the right customer for sales appointments with ready-to-buy prospects. They will be able to clearly demonstrate a proven track record of success and will maintain a close working relationship with you thought the campaign.

There really are so many benefits to outsourcing your telemarketing campaign.  It could be the best investment you make this year.  There’s really no time like the present.

If you are considering outsourcing your future telemarketing campaign, Estadia Sales Development is undoubtedly qualified to successfully accomplish the goals and deliver the results you expect. Click here to find out more about how Estadia can deliver a successful telemarketing campaign for your business.

Infographic – 7 Top Tips for Appointment Setting

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7 Top Tips for Appointment Setting

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In many call centres you have to make outbound calls to generate appointments for field salespeople. To be successful at this you need to be confident in the relationship-building aspect of telemarketing.  You are responsible for presenting your product or service in a trustworthy and professional light and you recognise the importance of what it means to exceed the expectations of your prospects.

All of that said, what can you do to ensure your best chance of securing that appointment?

Make sure you have a plan!

If you have already prepared everything you want to say during your conversation you can be confident in covering all key areas.  This will also help you to maintain control of the discussion, enabling you to bring it back to focus if it strays off-topic.

Strike early with your offer.

Make sure you raise interest early and ward off any objections with an offer that is packed with benefits. If you don’t act quickly, negativity can set in making it harder to get an agreement for an appointment with your prospect.

Keep it conversational.

It’s vital you do all you can to engage your prospect throughout your phone call. Talking for too long or asking too many and/or confusing questions will simply lead to them ‘tuning-out’.  If you’ve prepared well, you can avoid this.  Make sure to ask short, open, relevant questions, one at a time to gain as much information as possible and keep their attention. Repeat their answers back to them when appropriate to get a head start on having them say ’yes’ back to you.

Handle their objections.

When you acknowledge the prospect’s objections, you demonstrate understanding of their situation. Show experience in assisting clients with this sort of thing before. “I understand how you feel. In fact, many of our current customers were in a similar position when we first got to know them.” Explain that the purpose of the appointment is to assess their needs, but don’t labour on the point, make an assumptive move and suggest an appointment time.

Don’t fear uncertainty.

Trying to blag your way thought something you don’t fully understand is a risky business and you’ll almost always be found out.  Relationship building with your prospect is heavily focused on trust so admitting you need more information or need to speak to someone else is not always a bad thing.

Don’t quit first time around!

Objections will happen and so when they do, the aim is not to reinforce that objection further, so avoid probing too deeply or repeating the objection back to them. Ask polite questions to gain a brief understanding of why the prospect said no and don’t ever take the rejection personally. It can sometimes take a number of conversations to convince the prospect to accept an appointment.

Advice that stands the test of time is usually best.

Sell the benefits of your product and service and not the features.  Find out what their issues are and present the solution to their most pressing ones.  When you’re offering them the chance to find out more about something that they would find it difficult to say no to, then is your moment to close, so offer an appointment.

Are You Asking The Right Questions on Your Telemarketing Call?

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I recently received a call from the local Golf Club.  The lady on the end of the phone introduced herself and said “Good Morning Sir, I am calling to tell you about our Exclusive Luxury Dining Club, if where, if you bring a guest along, you can dine free for a week. Would you like to join?” 

I wasn’t interested, and her question gave me the perfect opening to say ‘no’ and end the call immediately.

This kind of closed questioning leaves absolutely no room for the customer to disclose anything about themselves. It’s over before it’s even started.  This approach is all too common and renders the salesperson ineffective.

So, what could the lady have asked me instead?  How could she have identified the facts of my situation? How about:

  • “How often do you currently eat out?“
  • “Have you eaten in our restaurant before?”
  • “What was your experience of that like?”
  • “Do you ever have the need to entertain clients?”

My reaction would have been quite different and with that information, the lady could have then geared the rest of our conversation towards what suited my needs.  And I could be enjoying a free dinner tonight…

With that in mind, here are some tips for more effective open questioning for your sales call:

Ask questions that highlight the benefits of your product or service.

For instance, if you are selling an office cleaning service you might ask; “How flexible is your current cleaning company?”, “Can they be booked at short notice for extra work?”, “Do the provide they own cleaning materials?” or “Do they operate at weekends?”

Use questions that highlight the negative aspects of their current situation – ‘Pain Questions’

Think about what problems your prospect may have and how you may be able to provide a solution. The following areas are common for difficulty; time, availability, ease of access to service, stock levels, business levels etc.

For example

  • ‘How much time do you currently spend…”
  • “What action would you take if your current supplier ran out of stock?”
  • “What area of your business is most important to you at this time?”

Be flexible and be prepared!

When your prospect starts to answer your open questions you need to be ready to give them opportunity to expand further.  So for instance, if your prospect says that are spending too much time on handling things themselves, you could ask “What is the financial impact of that extra time spent…?” When you customer has finished responding if you feel you need more information why not say “Tell me more about that.”?

Find and fulfil their need.

You need to make it your mission to identify their needs as early as possible and sell them the benefits of your product or service, e.g; “…if I said I could help you save more time covering _______ and money on the associated costs, would you be interested in talking about it further?”

Don’t interrogate.

Use your best judgement and make sure you ask enough questions to keep the conversation flowing, however allow time or your prospect to answer each one and don’t ask two or three in a row.  This can be confusing for both parties in answering and recording the information needed.

Get used to the silence.

After you have asked your question, make sure you wait for your prospect to answer.  A pause might only mean they are just taking a moment to think it through. Don’t try to help them with their answer – that is a big mistake!

It’s definitely helpful to repeat your prospect’s comments back to them, just be sure do give a quick recap at ten end of your conversation, rather than after each question individually, which can be irritating.

Remember, you have to know them and their needs to be able to help them, or you’ll be no help at all!

Preparing Yourself for a Successful Telesales Session

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Aside from having a robust sales process and good product knowledge, effective preparation for a telesales session can make the difference between a successful calling session and a frustrating one.

Follow these simple tips to make sure your next set of cold calls produce great results.

There is no such thing as No!

First of all, having the right attitude to being told ‘no’ is vital to the success of your whole session. Taking rejection personally or feeling like you have failed will dramatically reduce the effectiveness of your following calls.

We have to understand that, as long as you are calling prospects that are in your target market and could use your services if they wanted to, then No must be interpreted as Not Now. Situations will always change and, the reason they give you for not wanting to deal right now may not be relevant in 3 months for instance.

Remember – Some Will, Some Won’t, So What, Move on to the Next Lead!

We also have to accept that getting a ‘No’ is actually part of the job. Sales people are probably in the only occupation where we get paid for being told no. We know that our conversion statistics will show us that for every 100 calls we make, a certain percentage will say yes and the rest will say no or maybe. Therefore, we must embrace the ‘No’s’ as being all part of the job. Once we have that attitude, then our approach and attitude to our telesales sessions will change.

Prepare Physically

The key word here is energy! To maintain the correct levels of attention, enthusiasm and drive, you need to make sure you’re feeling good to start with and throughout the session. Thirst and hunger can be a major distraction so make sure this is taken care of and schedule regular breaks to make sure you’re not getting too tired.

Prepare Mentally

Only when you have established goals and expectations for your session can you have right attitude towards what you’re doing. With a clear headspace you have the capacity to feel properly motivated so make sure you address any concerns you may have with your Manager before you start.

Create the Right Environment

The setting of your workspace can greatly impact upon productivity levels. Getting the right balance of temperature, air quality, the type of chair you are sitting in etc. all these things need to be kept comfortable. In addition, the emotional atmosphere is equally important. The interaction between co-workers needs to remain positive and supportive, especially during more challenging tasks.

Encourage the Right Interaction in your Office

Staff are focused and energised when everyone is motivated and enjoying what they do. It’s very easy to notice the difference when that ‘buzz’ in the office is lacking! The introduction of small incentives on a regular basis will keep the momentum going. Co-workers who seek out to discuss challenges and advise one another have a hugely positive impact on the rest of the team as a whole.

With those points in mind, take a look through the checklist below of things to introduce or avoid in your telesales office. Perhaps implementing a few changes will put you and your team on the right track for a successful telesales session!

THINGS TO AVOID:

  • Taking rejection personally
  • Starting your session feeling hungry or thirsty
  • Picking up the phone without knowing your goals and expectations
  • Mental distraction
  • Working in a uncomfortable environment
  • Negative co-workers

THINGS TO INTRODUCE:

  • Introduce goals
  • Establish timescales
  • Introduce rewards
  • Provide opportunities to address concerns
  • Focus on positives: Environment, Attitudes, and Interaction
  • Prioritising leads and activities before sessions start
  • Always keep looking forward