Is Telesales Still Effective? Strategies for Success
POSTED : November 11, 2011
BY : PK

In spite of the many technological changes that have directly impacted the effectiveness of telephone sales programs, (internet, mobility, caller ID, voice messaging, etc.), telesales operations continue to maintain their position as a sales practice of choice for B2B sales organizations.

Given the continued and rapid changes in technology, sales leaders must be proactive and learn how to effectively address the changing nature of telesales and the role it plays in their overall sales strategy.

Companies who deploy successful telesales teams:

Invest in technology tools

These companies place a high priority in implementing and improving their technology tools (specifically CRM/SFA) to help optimize telesales performance.  Leveraging the power of these tools for activities such as integration with company websites to capture leads, assigning and tracking results for web leads, segmentation of data, lead scoring/assigning and accelerated response times are a few of the ways these tools are providing the ability to increase sales effectiveness.

Integrate sales and marketing

Telesales deployed as part of a balanced sales strategy is more successful than those that treat it as an isolated tactic. Sales and Marketing teams that align and have joint accountability typically result in higher quality leads and higher conversion rates.

Track key performance indicators

Telesales leaders are measuring leads, conversions to sales opportunities, sales velocity (or length of time required to close the sale), transaction value and win/loss ratio. Building dashboards that track KPIs and have real-time data lead to the ability to make faster decisions.

Invest in training

New hire training programs to help telesales reps ramp to full productivity in a shorter time period along with ongoing training programs to continually grow their sales teams’ abilities and skills are helping to generate more revenue. Managers are also monitoring and measuring “behaviors that are delivering predictable/repeatable results” and working to implement them across the Telesales team.

Practice quality vs. quantity

While selling is a numbers game, more is not always better when it comes to calls.  These organizations have been focused on quality calls and higher conversion rates.  When it comes to leads these companies invest in lead scoring systems to ensure the best leads receive top priority and go to the top-performing reps.

Utilize social media

While social media strategy and program management remain the domain of marketing and communications managers, telesales leaders are increasingly adding social media tools and techniques for lead generation and prospect development.  Sales Teams are leveraging social media tools to identify business opportunities and build prospect relationships.

In spite of challenges in getting qualified buyers to spend time talking on the phone, telesales continues to be a highly effective sales practice for selling B2B technology products & services.  Companies that invest time and money into their Telesales teams are receiving the greatest ROI.

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