By Angela Garfinkel
When it comes to telesales best practices, evaluating your training program is typically at the top of the to-do list. Telesales training can be painful, both for the trainees and for the trainer. Why is this? Primarily because the training is typically not that effective.
Here are three ideas that will immediately improve your telesales training.
1. Intersperse Classroom Training with Hands-On Practice
Telesales training should not be jammed into a condensed schedule, racing from one module to the next. Telesales training is best conducted with a thoughtful blend of classroom training and hands-on experience. When it comes to telesales best practices, I’m an advocate for training 20 percent of the product knowledge and then giving the team some practice with some low value leads. People will not successfully retain all the product knowledge, market positioning, and benefits of your product or service when they don’t get a chance to practice and use what they have learned.
Ideally, training follows a schedule like this:
- Day 1: Classroom training on the first 20 percent of the training curriculum.
- Day 2: Practice with live leads. Pair trainers to cut down on burning through your list with unskilled sales presentations. One sales rep does the talking, and the other sales rep does the call guide navigation and data entry.
- Day 3: Classroom training on the next 20 percent of the training curriculum.
- Day 4: Practice with live leads and set some realistic stair-step goals to master and implement the first 40 percent of the information trained.
- Day 5: Classroom training for half the day with the next 20 percent of the training curriculum. Then spend the second half of the day with live calls.
- Day 6: Classroom training for half the day with the next 20 percent of the training curriculum. Then spend the second half of the day with live calls.
- Day 7: Classroom training for half the day with the final 20 percent of the training curriculum and tying it all together.
- Day 8: Graduation from training.
2. Implement a Training Graduation Bonus
Pay a reward after finishing training and completing a skills assessment certification. This is particularly important if the team is comprised of new hires. Telesales representatives are motivated by money. Pay them a smaller hourly wage for training hours and then offer a bonus for successful completion of training. This includes perfect attendance and skills assessments tests.
By pairing the training compensation to an end goal—as opposed to just a flat compensation for their hours—the telesales team members will be motivated to attend all training sessions and prepare for the required certifications. This will also cut down on the people that say, “I’ll try this job, and if it doesn’t work out, I don’t have anything to lose.”
When it comes to telesales best practices, you want people to opt-in for the opportunity to have a high chance of earning the bonus. I recommend the bonus should be 30 to 50 percent of the minimum hourly rate you pay for a training class hour.
3. Integrate the “Why” into the Training
Why do we say the things we say? What is the psychology behind the words? How does the product or service make the world a better place? What is the potential customer missing out on by saying “no” to our call?
As a telesales best practice, I recommend that you do the deep work to identify the “why” in your training curriculum. Start with answering these questions.
- Why does the client and product exist?
- Why do we pitch the product/solution the way we do?
- Why does this product or service matter?
- Why should a prospect take our call and listen to us?
- Why should a gatekeeper provide us with access to the decision-maker?
Put these three training tips into practice to produce better telesales results.
Angela Garfinkel is the president and founder of Quality Contact Solutions, a leading outsourced telemarketing services organization. She leads a talented team that runs thousands of outbound telemarketing program hours daily. Angela can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 516-656-5118.