Generating leads is one of the most challenging activities a business can face, with managing conversions one of the difficult aspects of this practice.
But despite the digital age, phone calls provide some of the highest quality leads and they play a crucial role in generating online sales and enquires too, as a group of online retailers discovered.
According to a case study recently published by web analytics and call tracking software company, Mediahawk, telephone conversations play a significant role in hastening the path to conversion. Their research into the telephone calls of a group of online retailers revealed that of those who called their online stores “converted much more quickly than those who did not”.
So not only is a telephone number on a website imperative, but the handling of those telephone enquiries also plays a significant role in converting leads to sales, whether they be converted online or offline.
Here are five tips to follow to maximise the efficiency of your sales team.
1. Set clear goals
The first step in generating leads for your business is to identify clear goals that your call handlers can work towards. These goals may be as simple as ensuring all calls are answered within three rings or, more sales based target such as an X% conversion rate. Communicate these targets to your staff and offer incentives based on what targets they reach or when they exceed company expectations.
For performance measurement, make sure you have the right tools in place. A call centre will benefit from call tracking, which can help you define realistic performance goals by showing which offline and online advert engagements, campaigns, backlinks and web keywords are generating the most phone calls.
2. Prioritize customer calls
If you are advertising one or more offers, or even businesses, the use of call prioritising is key to making the biggest sales. Identify and prioritise customer contact based on the type so that your most-important inbound calls are dealt with first. A call whisper function can be used to pre-announce the call source, so you can qualify the call and focus on urgent or VIP communications.
3. Manage staff during peak periods
Get your staffing levels right for the busiest periods of the day, week, month, or year. Monitor your calls by time and date so you can keep track of the peak periods and adjust your staff levels for the future. If adjusting your staff levels is not realistic, you can route calls to queues or mailboxes. When you know what your peak periods are, you can also target your marketing for the quieter spans.
4. Invest in staff training
Make sure you don’t neglect the customer experience that you offer over the telephone. Staff training is essential if you wish to make the most of potential leads. Use call recordings to assess your current level of service and to personalize training to suit your staff and help build stronger relationships with your customers. Listen to both previous inbound and outbound calls to make sure your team are finding every opportunity to convert leads into sales via the telephone.
It’s also a good idea to share your company call handling best practice and reinforce the behaviour you wish your staff to strive towards; this way any untrained staff to can learn from the rest and, everyone can aim for the same standards.
5. Empower your call handlers
As a customer, there’s nothing more infuriating than being passed from call-handler to call-handler in the search for an answer to your query. Make sure your staff are cross-trained to answer the most-common cross-departmental issues, this will give your agents the power to make decisions and promptly assist your callers – in turn empowering all members of the team to contribute to the bottom line.
To sum up
It’s important to remember how many inquiries and leads come through traditional channels as well as online mediums. Whilst we have endless amounts of analytics and data for online activities, using call tracking software can help you to implement key operational practices to improve your handling of all telephone leads and ultimately drive more sales.