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Top 10 killer tips for telesales success
February 2010

Despite how you might feel personally about telesales or ‘cold calling' it is still one of the best ways to generate new interest from leads and secure sales. A telesales campaign might be exactly the right tool to engage with your target audience and gain valuable information. Of course, just starting a telesales campaign is not enough. There are key things you should have in place and be monitoring consistently to get the best you can out of it!

We have outlined our ten killer tips for success so that whether you start your sales campaign alone or are engaging an external company you know the right things to ask, and what you should be looking for.

Good, clean data
In order for any campaign to be successful the most important starting point is good, clean data. There is no point in paying someone (or a company) to be making calls using old data, or to people who will have no interest in the product or service you are selling. Your data must be up to date, relevant and cleaned regularly.

Know your goals!
You have to know exactly what you want from this campaign. For example is it an increase in sales, and increase in enquiries or increased knowledge about your customer base? You also need to know what targets you have set and how you are going to measure and evaluate the results.

Scripted / Unscripted
Your callers should always sound unscripted. Your callers should get plenty of time to rehearse and understand fully what they are calling about, and what they are hoping to gain from the call! There should always be room to deviate and improvise from the basic outline of the conversation, your operatives need the flexibility to react to what's happening in the moment and not get hung up following a strict script.

Follow Up On Time
If you tell someone that you are going to follow up on his or her call within a certain time, make sure that you do! Whether you have promised to call again, send information or make an appointment, it is very important that you deliver. It is especially important that if another department does the calling there should be strong communication and relaying of information to make sure this is picked up quickly and efficiently.

Know Who You Are Talking To
If you need to speak with a particular person or a particular department then you need to make sure that you do! Of course the first step of this in making sure your data is up to date! The second is being persistent and making any gatekeepers your friend so that you can build a rapport and eventually get through to the person you need.

Don't Be Afraid Of Voicemail
One thing people really dislike about ‘cold calls' is their impersonal nature and inconvenient timing. If you do find that you are calling at awkward times, leave a voicemail. People would rather know who was calling than hear you hang up. It also prepares them for you calling again. (And you should say when that would be!)

Positive Focus
To try and keep the call positive, pleasant and ‘soft', you should make sure you are focusing on the features and benefits of the service or product you are offering. Making the call predominantly about this rather than a hard sell while ensure that you can encourage another call, a visit or a request for supplementary information to be sent out.

Ask Questions
Asking questions will get the person you are speaking to engaged in the conversation. You can usually tell a sales call because the person at the other end is sitting patiently, waiting for a break in the monologue so that they can politely hang up. By asking questions and engaging the caller you will learn more about them, keep them talking for longer and encourage them to ask questions too. The more conversational it is, the more likely the call is to succeed against your criteria.

Evaluate
You should always evaluate the effectiveness of any campaign. If it isn't working in its current format there is no point in continuing. Make some simple strategic changes and make your campaign work for you. It could be as simple as changing your goals slightly or asking different questions. You should make sure that your evaluation methods are set up before your campaign begins so you evaluate what you need to - and not just what you'd like to!

Listen...
Monitor and record a large selection of calls that are made. This works well in 2 ways. The first is that the people making the calls will know there is a chance that their call is being recorded and so will make sure they are giving the best service that they possibly can!

The second is that by listening to a selection of past calls you can hear what works, what doesn't, whether the tone is correct and whether the focus is weighted correctly. This is a key tool for your evaluation and shouldn't be overlooked.

When you are thinking about your next telesales campaign I would strongly suggest you keep these points in mind. They are not difficult to grasp but they are essential for constructing a meaningful and effective campaign. You wouldn't approach any other part of your marketing or sales strategy without having clear goals, strong evaluation tools and excellent methods to work with so don't make exceptions here.

Just because it is an undervalued tool doesn't mean that it has to be for you! In fact you can make a real impact by embarking on a campaign that is customer focussed, conversational and engaging. Set yourself out from the crowd and get good at being the best!

To get the most from your next telesales or telemarketing campaign, visit www.virtual-sales.com or contact us on 0845 034 8217 or via email at sales@virtual-sales.com

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