The Truth About Productivity

There are many ways to measure performance including but not limited to quality, results and volume.  Each is important in its own right.  High volume with poor results and poor quality is unacceptable; good quality with low results and low volume is also typically unacceptable.  Generally speaking, an organization is aiming for high scores on all three metrics.

In this article I’ll suggest ways to achieve all three:  High volume, high quality and strong results.  For illustration purposes, I’m going to focus on a particular sales function which most organizations can relate to – Prospecting Calls.

Let’s start by describing the task and objective.  We are going to assume that a sales rep or telemarketer is expected to make 30-50 calls a day.  We’ll also assume that the rep is expected to document their calls in a CRM system and to capture enough detail about each call so that the following two things are possible:

  1. The results of every call are accessible in your CRM system under each record
  2. Management call roll-up and report on each rep’s activity (calls)

Now I’d like to propose a list of ways for the rep to be more productive and successful:

  • Identify in advance the target list you’ll be prospecting to.
  • Schedule all the calls in the system with an activity reference and purpose that is descriptive for later reporting.  The caller should be able to work from a list of the scheduled calls.
  • Prepare a drop down list of possible call outcomes that the rep can select from in your CRM system in order to indicate quickly the results of their call (e.g. Left Message, Not Interested, Requested Info, etc.).
  • Call notes, the narrative of the call, should be clear, useful and succinct.
  • Anticipate requests for information/materials and prepare them in advance – fulfilling such requests when it is appropriate should be simple and fast either during or after a call.
  • Prepare and simple call guide* to help the rep with “quick speak” content.  Anticipate questions, reactions and objections so the rep can handle likely situations more effectively and smoothly.  I’m NOT describing a “script” – rather more of a general outline for the call.  It is very important that the call sound natural and friendly.  The caller must be given some flexibility to go with the flow so that they do not start sounding like a robot.  It is perfectly OK and even preferable to deviate from the call guide and even engage in some friendly conversation if the situation is right.  As much as anything, the objective is to create some rapport.  This will have a big impact on results!
  • Stay focused on the task at hand.  Block out distractions. Even if you are only dedicating 30 minutes to prospecting calls, don’t jump around to other tasks in your day.  Stay on track and work diligently on your list.

As callers repeat the steps in each call, including the act of completing their calls in the CRM system, the rep will become more efficient.  Reflexes develop, mentally and on the computer, which will greatly enhance speed.  Nothing is lost in terms of quality, and in fact, as the sales rep becomes more fluid with entering the data into the system they will have more time to think about all the other aspects which effect the quality and results of their calls, such as:

  • Vocal quality
  • Ability to address questions and handle objections
  • Completing fulfillment and updating other details in the CRM record

The principles I’ve described above all amount to having a process.  Processes  lead to consistency, speed and better results.  That is the truth about productivity.

First Direct offers CRM applications that are excellent for the purposes described above.  We will work with you to apply your system’s features to the specific needs of your organization.  Speak with us!

* There are many good references for how to prepare a “Call Guide” on the internet.  Here is an example of one that I googled.  How to Develop a Telemarketing Call Guide.