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Exposing the 6 Myths of Call Center Sales: The Metrics Myth

Welcome to the third installment of our series: Exposing the 6 Myths of Call Center Sales. Be sure to check out the first and second post in this call center training series. 

Myth #3: You can improve your team by measuring the same performance metrics you always have.

Okay, so you’re getting the right people in place, and you’re showing them new ways to meet real customer needs. Now, how do you measure their performance?

You can get quality control and assessments down to a science by measuring factors such as abandonment rates or whether the CSR used the customer’s name in conversation. But until you also deal with the art of the call, you will not see the results you want.

When it comes to assessments, we’ve all seen great reps get bad scores (and bad reps get good ones). 

What’s going on? 

Too often, these assessments aren’t focused on identifying the key success behaviors. For example, it’s easy to ask if a CSR used the customer’s name during a call. But what if the customer was annoyed by this constant use of his name? An assessment may indicate that the CSR “built rapport with the customer,” but what if that particular caller simply wanted a quick answer instead of having to make small talk about her recent vacation? The rep will score well on his assessment, even though the call didn’t score with the customer.

Here’s some call center sales strategy advice: There’s an art to handling calls effectively, and it’s more than simply saying the right words and checking them off.

It has to do with interpersonal skills, the ability to listen, and knowing how to respond to subtle clues in a customer’s manner or tone of voice. If your assessments aren’t picking up these underlying factors, then you may be measuring (and rewarding) the wrong behaviors. 

To assess the art of the call, you need to focus on key customer outcomes.

Did the customer:

  • Allow the CSR to lead?
  • Agree to a discovery of needs?
  • Reveal stated and unstated needs?
  • Embrace the CSR’s recommendation?
  • Honestly communicate concerns?
  • Commit?

When you’re defining the critical milestones of the call, base them on the customer’s behavior and not the rep’s behavior. This not only ensures better performance, but it will also improve your relationships with your top reps. Instead of arguing about scores, you’re focusing on outcomes. This frees your most talented reps to quit “counting the dance steps” and lets them use their own sales strategy and expertise to achieve the desired outcomes.

If the critical milestones are not met, then the coach or quality team needs to determine which talents, skills, or knowledge gaps are preventing the rep from achieving the desired results. 

The good news is that once you also start identifying the more artful success factors, you may find that the science improves, too. For example, when CSRs master the art of leading the call, they’re able to identify customer needs faster. As a result, call times are reduced. Assess both the art and the science of the call, and you’ll soon see better results. 

Interested in learning more about ASLAN’s call center training and sales strategy? You can download the complete ebook “Exposing the 6 Myths of Call Center Sales” here and continue reading. Have any questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re happy to chat, whether it’s about sales and golf analogies (a company favorite) or sales training. 

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