Strip out lead qualification processes from core sales activities and free up your sales team to sell, argues board executive at professional telephone answering service alldayPA.
Far from being just administration, calls are an important part of the sales process – a bad call reflects badly on the brand and can negatively impact upon the bottom line.
Sales people are notorious for taking the path of least resistance. If they can cut corners on admin, then more often than not they will. Their eye is on their bonus – and rightfully so.
We are seeing more and more businesses using admin support teams in call centres to strip out lead qualification processes from the hands of sales teams. Instead their sales teams are provided with a pre-qualified list of leads and freed up to close deals.
Our research shows that customers respond to this process. Our latest Every Call Counts report shows that if a call is handled quickly and effectively that customers make major decisions about a business. For example, if a call is handled well, then 60% instantly feel that they will be treated fairly as a customer. Instantly this customer is in much more of a positive frame of mind so the sales team can close a sale.
Separating lead qualification doesn’t just free up time - having a good call centre operation – either outsourced or in house - can help with effective data capture. Accurate data capture is essential in the lead qualification process.
For example, imagine being a telecoms provider that takes hundreds of sales calls a week from their prospects. A good lead qualification handler will take more than just the name and phone number. They can capture all the basics of the customer’s requirement, plus the details of the job, where it is, what time the customer is likely to be in the office. The call answerer can populate a CRM database and pass the lead onto the right team, and prioritise workload, provide accurate and useful case notes or even divert the call if it is urgent so a job can be escalated.
Put simply, good data capture, means happy customers and more efficient teams, contributing to increased profit.
If you add to this the increasing trend for out of hours calls from customers then no traditional sales operation can expect to answer all their calls 24/7, so they need help. More and more telephone calls made outside of office hours. [Insert graph.]
By having a separate 24/7 lead qualification operation. Leads can be stacked up out of hours ready for the sales team to handle in office hours. Customers are primed and ready They feel that their enquiry has been made and is being handled effectively.
Setting up an external lead qualification call centre is easy. Firstly, a good provider will create a bespoke script to make sure calls are handled effectively. They won’t just revise details about the business and learn its USPs, they will live the brand. Once the script is put in place, a client simply diverts their number and calls are then handled by a dedicated call answering agents. This could be a permanent solution or just an outsourced overspill for busy periods.
Messages can be sent via email, SMS, or if there are high volumes of calls agents can use bespoke CRM software as per the customer’s requirement.
In a world of remote working and smart phones it’s easy to think that sales teams have never been so simple to manage, but in reality administrative burdens have never been so great. Having a call centre resource which can focus on lead qualification and data capture means sales people are freed up to focus on closing deals and - ultimately - that customers are handled much more effectively.
By David Joseph, board executive at professional call answering service alldayPA, which provides professional outsourced call centre services for sales teams nationwide.