Telesales Success: Begin with the End in Mind

You may remember the following excerpt from Steven Covey’s book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: “Clients often ask me, ‘how can we get our inside telesales team to talk to more prospects?’ Sure…threats, begging, yelling, low level torture, coercion, and brut force entice reps to make more calls as long as the manager is there with his whip, but productivity plunges when the manager isn’t around. I believe the motivation to expose yourself to rejection multiple times per day has to come from within.”

For telesales people with the potential to be motivated “from within”, I have used the following exercise that beings with these two questions:

What do you want to earn in the next year? How much do you need to sell in order to earn that sum?

Then together, we calculate the daily level of activity needed to accomplish that earning goal.

While everyone says they want to make $100,000+ per year, most folks aren’t willing to put in the necessary effort. The difference between success and failure in goal-setting is the participants’ acknowledgement that they REALLY want to earn six figures and not just fantasize about it.

If sales are lacking, we examine why deals are being lost to competitors and then develop a closing strategy for the other deals in the pipeline. If the pipeline is thin, usually the reason is insufficient activity (calls and contacts).

My motivational conversations with sales executives generally go something like this, “I want to help you hit your goal, and I’m concerned you will come up short if something doesn’t change.” If after a few sessions, I don’t see increased activity, it is generally because the person has concluded that they can’t or won’t meet expectations.

Of course, exceptions occur. For instance, some people have seemingly lower activity but a higher close rate or a higher average sale. As long as the sales targets are being exceeded, I’m OK with this….if not, sales management could turn into a painful process for all involved.

The following worksheet is an example of what I’ve used to help sales people determine their needed activity. GREEN highlights are calculation fields.

Monthly 2006
Sales Goal $100,000 $1,200,000
Average Sale $5,000 $5,000
Sales Needed 20 240
Estimated Close Rate 50% 50%
Number of NEW Deals Added to Pipeline 40 480
Value of NEW Deals Added to Pipeline $200,000 $2,400,000
Contact Hit Rate (% interested of those contacted) 20% 20%
Needed Monthly Contacts 200 2400
Dials to Contacts 20% 20%
Needed Dials 1000 12000
Number of NEW Deals Added To Pipeline Daily 2
Value of NEW Deals Added to Pipeline Daily $10,000
Approx. Contacts per day 10
Approx. Dials per day 50

So, by beginning with the end in mind and working backwards through the steps necessary to achieving certain telesales goals, your inside sales team will have a road map for greater success. And that’s a win-win for everyone involved, especially your organization.

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