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How to reduce turnover and retain your internal telephone ‘sales’ staff

Blog post image - staff turnoverStaff turnover is notoriously high in the internal telephone sales industry, and with good reason; without the right support, training and systems in place, making a stream of constant cold calls and working from poor quality lists can be boring, un-motivating and downright soul destroying for your employees.

So how you can reduce turnover and retain your internal telephone ‘sales’ staff?

I’ve trained thousands of internal telephone staff in the UK and when it comes to the most successful ones – the ones with the best results, the most motivated teams and the lowest staff turnover figures – there’s often a clear pattern of structure and behaviour.

So, it’s come the time when I have to speak out to all those managers who tell me they try and employ the right internal telesales and business development staff, but they ‘keep leaving’.

Of course your first step should be to examine your recruitment processes and ensure that you’re hiring the right people – I’ll save that for a future blog. For now, let’s assume that you are employing the right people and focus on how to keep them.

Three ways to reduce turnover and motivate your telesales staff

  1. Value quality over quantity

The old saying ‘quality over quantity’ is SO true. I’d rather an individual make 10 quality calls in one day talking to the right people, than 70 calls talking to gatekeepers or people who don’t fit the ideal buyer criteria. Scolding your staff for not making ‘enough calls’ is the quickest way to demotivate them. The best way to encourage quality calls is to ensure that your staff pre-qualify contacts by asking the right questions before they move on with the conversation. It’s also essential to ensure that your list is full of quality leads and that it ‘fits the exact criteria’ of the type of organisations you want to do business with.

  1. Regularly feedback on how well a person has done and provide advice and guidance on any improvements that need to be made

Every individual in your team needs regular feedback. Regardless of how busy you might feel you are, everyone likes to know how they are doing and indeed, shouldn’t be expected to take steps to improve their performance if they have no idea they aren’t making ‘the grade’. Taking time out to give ‘positive’ feedback and to communicate positive outcomes from calls made by a member of your team will inspire and motivate them no end. Equally, if an individual isn’t doing well on a call or struggles to convert leads to positive outcomes, take the time to explain why. Better still, give them clear ideas on how they could improve. Individuals need to know that what they are doing is making a difference.

  1. Ensure that the right support systems are in place

There really is nothing more unattractive than going to work for an organisation who clearly doesn’t have any form of direction or has failed to think things through.

Do you have clear guidance, systems and processes in place for the following?

  • Who are your staff calling?
  • Why are they calling them?
  • What are they promoting?
  • Have you briefed them properly?
  • Do they know what success looks like?
  • Do they know what failure looks like?
  • What happens when someone says yes?
  • What system do you have in place to record the information?
  • Where are you getting your list from?
  • Who else will be involved in interactions with prospects or actions requested by prospects? Have they been briefed too?

If you find yourself saying ‘no’ to more than two of these questions, then you need to plan out a detailed framework that individuals can follow. Without it you’ll just create chaos.

Motivated internal telephone, telesales, and business development staff work better and harder. Provide a great environment to work in and look after your staff the way you expect them to look after your customers. Inspire your team to work hard and strive for success, provide them with the skills they need to succeed through clear frameworks and training opportunities and reward success.

>>  Download my free report: 5 ways to get great results when prospecting by phone. Visit the website to get the report: