During peak times the order calls roll in at contact centers, but during off peak it’s sometimes hard to find ways for the inbound team to help drive sales. Most inbound service team members make great order takers and problem solvers, but how do you get them to become more active with making outbound sales calls?
The key is to make them feel comfortable with making a sale, which can be done through customer relationship building. Along with providing them the tools to achieve this and incentives to motivate them, you can maximize the inbound team’s potential to help drive sales. Here are four simple ways on how to do this:
Build relationships with existing buyers: Use your inbound team to reach out to your existing business buyers. A simple thank you lets them know you value their business, but at the same time you can gather information about their future buying needs. Since these customers are already familiar with your business, it’s not as intimidating for your team members to contact them.
Develop outbound call schedules: Develop an outbound call schedule for your inbound team based on previous buying habits and information gathered about the future needs of your existing customers.
Fairytale Brownies created a CRM in-house – called “Sales Stage” — specifically for the inbound team, which is a simple system where the team members can create and manage their call lists. The supervisors have visibility of all the current sales campaigns and they can easily monitor progress. An example of a campaign might be business buyers who purchased last year at this time, but have not yet purchased this year. So during idle time, instead of having the inbound team surfing the Internet or reading magazines, they can actively call existing buyers to help drive sales.
Post goals and achievements: Always have a goal in mind. For the inbound team it could be as simple as completing its specific call campaign for the month. Be sure to post their goals and achievements somewhere visible so they can monitor their own progress, along with their teammates’ progress. This motivates the team, especially when goals are achieved. You may also want to host a monthly meeting where the team can celebrate its successes – this is especially important when dealing with team members who are not natural sales people, it helps to build their confidence.
Reward achievements: Have a reward system in place. We started out by rewarding the team with gift cards. We developed a tier system and when they reached a specific sales goal they were able to select the gift card of choice for the reward amount associated with that tier. Keep it simple because your inbound team is not accustomed to complicated commission structures that an experienced outbound sales person might be more familiar with.
Typically, an outbound sales team concentrates on obtaining new business, so use your inbound team to help maintain and grow existing business. It creates a win-win situation for your business, your team members, and your customers!
Kim Silva is operations team leader for Fairytale Brownies.