During this time my career excelled. I started in sales, move up to sales management, did a little brand management, and a whole lot of sales training.
It was a great job and a great company to work for. We always hit our numbers and we grew like a weed.
Then something funny happened… I started a family and the road started getting tough.
By 1999 I had enough of flying every single week to a new location. I loved the job and the company but I wanted to sleep in my own bed for at least a decade.
Here’s what I did: I made an amazing jump to an inside sales position. I went back to being an account representative making outbound cold calls for a local Internet company. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I may never go back on the road again.
What has led me to believe that I will never go back on the road again?
My 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest sales have been made to people who I have never met face to face! That’s right I have learned that people will give you money right over the telephone!
Inside sales, telephone sales, telesales, call center sales, what ever you want to call it, it works. People buy from people they trust. You can build that trust without physically meeting them.
Telephone sales is extremely cost efficient. You can make more sales calls from one telephone in one day than you can make in a week using your car. Add in the cost of fuel, insurance, meals, hotels and other travel expenses and you can see why so many corporations have turned to telephone sales to at least produce leads or set solid appointments.
Once you move beyond lead production and appointment setting you will need to conduct formal telephone sales training to get the telesales process down.
Formal telephone sales training is needed for your representatives so they can learn the new skills that will allow them to perform at a high level. It’s not enough to just smile and dial.
Your representatives will need to be formally trained. Here are just a few items that they will need instruction on:
- New listening skills
- Painting the virtual picture
- Anticipating and delivering trial closes
- “Reading” the customer’s emotional state
- Identifying time frames, budgets and decision makers
- Lead tracking
All of those items will have to be explored as well as training on the standard sales process.
Telephone sales can be extremely profitable, rewarding and a very fun job. But to get started on the right foot please send your sales representative to a formal telephone sales training class in your area.
Failure to do so will probably result in a lot of “pissed” off prospects and a huge ongoing turnover in your sales force. Train them right when they start. Don’t let them develope bad habits.
David Peterson – President: Atlanta Sales and Consulting