Archive for January, 2009|Monthly archive page

Why Don’t My Call Center Agents Cross-Sell?

There are four main inhibitors that typically prevent service reps from becoming successful sales reps, but there is a way to address each one.

1. Service-oriented reps do not feel sales should be part of their job.

Solution: Communicate how selling can enhance service if you can offer something that the customer needs and/or wants.

2. The reps lack the skills and/or behaviors to sell.

Solution: Recruit and hire reps with sales competencies. Then train and coach the reps to successfully identify customer needs and match them to your products and services.

3. The reps view selling as not worth the effort

Solution: Put in place carefully constructed, consistent and fair incentive programs that not only rewards reps for getting results, but also displaying the correct sales behaviors.

4. The company makes selling difficult on the reps. (constant product changes, pressure to meet service levels, inconsistent QA evaluations, etc)

Solution: Simplify the expectation of the reps and develop on-the-job tools that make it easy for them to execute the “ideal call’

Pressure for Marketing ROI

According to an article, by Kenneth Hein at Brandweek magazine, marketers are feeling intense pressure to reduce their spending and prove ROI. “89 percent of marketers said they are under more intense scrutiny than ever before…”

How are marketers reacting?

“Sixty percent of CMO Council respondents said better segmentation, profiling and targeting strategies were the top ways they were trying to better engage core audiences…”

I think the answer is much simpler. Most, if not all, marketing organizations have all the right pieces in place already. The problem is they are not leveraging them to their full potential.

Below are 3 ways markers can capitalize on what they already do;

1. Leverage technology to create efficiencies. Everyone has a digital asset management (DAM) system, but few use it correctly and see the results they were promised when they purchased them. The problem is the companies that sell the DAM systems are not marketers. These companies know the technology side and leave it up to the marketers to figure out how use it effectively. Now is the time to figure out the DAM system! Make the user interface as easy to use as your external Web site; ensure only the newest and most used items are on the system; and create templates to enable quick customization and increase speed to market. If done correctly, you should see huge decreases in development and print costs.

2. Implement a discipled end-to-end process. Marketers hate to admit it, but they are guilty of creating silos. They have the branding department, creative department, copywriting department, legal department and so on. Then they engage the IT and training departments and it’s no wonder it takes so long to get stuff done. The problem is everyone works to improve their silo and rarely look across the entire process to find efficiencies. The solution is to sit down with someone from each of the silos and map out the entire process and then go back and look for redundancies and possible efficiencies. If done correctly, you should see a significant increase in speed to market.

3. Make your segmentation usable. Don’t waste time and money trying to come up with new segments just because you’re not seeing results from your current segments. The problem usually isn’t the segments; it’s the application of them. Customer segments are typically defined in marketing terms (i.e. demographics and psycho graphics), which mean nothing to the sales people who try to use them. The solution is to make the segments applicable to the sales force. First, give them clues and questions to ask to help identify which segment a customer is in. Second, provide examples of the typical needs of each segment and the products that match them. Finally, arm the sales force with clear and compelling value propositions for each of the products that tie back to the customer need. If done correctly, you should see increased sales results.

Essentially, I think the problem is not the strategy, but the execution. Do you agree?


As Featured On Ezine Articles