Simplicity in your inbound call center will improve sales performance
I was just at NextCon in Phoenix, a great show put on by the cloud-communication company; Nextiva. At the convention Steve Wozniak spoke about his life and time at Apple. When asked about his recommendation for creating innovative products, he said that the number one thing was to create elegant simplicity. We have heard this before but how do you make an inbound call center sales process so simple a kid could do it? Apple has made it so that my five year old understands how to use an iPad, probably better than I do.
How does this carry over to the world of Sales?
Great question and here is the answer: During his presentation I remembered back to a time when I visited my first inbound call center. I was astounded by the complexity that the inbound call center salespeople were consumed with. With each visit to a new inbound call center or sales team I saw the same theme, over and over again. I witnessed inside salespeople being tasked with managing multiple inbound call center software applications. Wouldn’t it be great if your sales team was focused on just a couple of core competencies and utilizing just one solution?
Taking something that is complex and making it simple is not easy
In fact, it is just the opposite. It is much easier to create complexity than it is to simplify and remove complexity. Look around you. Do you notice more products like the iPhone or more products that remind you of your automobiles user manual? Every time I get a new car I have to attempt to read the user manual, and it usually ends with me wanting to drive the car off a cliff. Have you ever had to use a help guide for your iPhone? I haven’t, maybe I should, but to utilize the critical components such as email, text, apps, downloads, I don’t have to.
What if we could create that same user experience in your sales department? Maybe it would look something like a process where there were easy steps to completion in between each task. Let the inbound call center software do the heavy lifting and the salespeople do what they do best, talk to potential customers. In order to pull this off you will need a few things, the first is to understand the complex things you need to simplify.
1. Inbound Calls – Are they routed to queues where calls are intelligently provided to available sales agents, based on skill, territory, or licensing? What kind of call center metrics are you able to view in real-time?
2. Outbound Calls – Are they generated by outbound call center software and the salesperson when they are not taking an inbound call?
3. Emails and Texts – Are they delivered to prospects based on interest, time on a website, or activity?
4. Offline Leads – Are they delivered to your inbound call center software and then to salespeople based on skill and territory?
5. Daily Activities – Are they determined by the outbound call center software or does the salesperson have to determine what they do next?
The salesperson in a non-complex sales process is either on an inbound call or working on requesting an outbound call. There is no guesswork or letting the salesperson decide who needs to be called next. To start your complexity project you first need to document the processes that are way too complex.
Next, let’s look at potential inbound call center software solutions to help you automate the things that are creating complexity
1. Routing Inbound Calls – You can use an IVR solution that will allow you to create 800 or local phone numbers to be used in your marketing campaigns. This will help you streamline inbound calls.
2. Outbound Calls – Utilize an outbound call center software that specifically allows your salespeople to make outbound dials on a queue of leads. There are many inbound call center software solutions for this available on the market.
3. Emails and Texts – There are tons of solutions on the market to help you here as well. Most of these solutions will integrate with an outbound or inbound phone routing solution built specifically for call centers and inside sales teams.
These are the first complex items to tackle. The next step is to understand how these solutions managed properly, can reduce complexity and improve efficiency. I will provide follow up articles on this topic with specific instructions. Stay tuned.