Call Agent Best Practices: How to Optimize Lead Gen & Get the Sale

By Hanna SmolanJune 29, 2015

Welcome back to Ytel’s Lead Generation Series! Thanks for following along with us.

One of the most important qualities a contact center sales agent can offer is a high level of customer service. According to the IBISWorld Report (2014), the industry’s second largest source of revenue (26.1%) is providing customer service support for its clients. More than half of this segment’s revenue is related to answering calls and relaying messages to clients. With such a high percentage in mind, it is crucial that contact center managers understand the importance of training their agents to be mindful of the customers they’re speaking with, and in turn, being lead-focused!

Agent Responsibilities
As a contact center agent, the responsibilities vary from outbound and inbound calls to troubleshooting problems, handling complaints, providing information, soliciting orders and conducting follow-ups. Each agent has a particular set of responsibilities, the most important of these being successfully nurturing and closing the lead. Your customers and leads rely on their call agents to provide the know-how, and to guide them through the sales process smoothly and efficiently, while remaining an advocate for their needs and not pushing a hard sell before the lead is ready. In this post, we will focus on some tried and true strategies that provide levels of focus and guidance for call agents in order to garner a higher close rate with less time spent maneuvering through the muddy waters of cold calling.

Create Accessibility (24/7/365)
Maintaining a sales pipeline and schedule of sales agents and support services who work cohesively around the clock means never losing a potential customer to a competitor. Ensure that your leads are able to connect with someone at all times, which fosters a feeling of trust that is invaluable when protecting and growing your business.

Instant Gratification
The quicker you connect with a lead, the faster you can expedite the sales process. A prompt reply to a lead has been proven to result in a speedy close. Train your sales team in the art of thorough yet eager conversations that are centered around your product or service. Ensure that your agents are contacting their leads quickly so you don’t lose a sale due to lost interest.

Be a Know-It-All (Its a good thing!)
Coach your agents with a script template that prepares them and educates them down to the most minute details of the product or service they’re selling, while still remaining interesting and conversational. An overly-informative or automated script is likely to lose a fair amount of leads. Which leads us to our next point…

Encourage Authenticity (Be Yourself)
Nobody appreciates being pitched to over the phone from a wordy script. It’s impersonal and boring. Promoting authentic conversations and relationships increases the likelihood of winning a lead. Providing lead conversion templates for sales agents is a comprehensive way to follow these guidelines, while still maintaining a personal conversation. This way, everybody wins.

Follow-Up (And Follow-Up Some More!)
Conducting a follow-up phone call is vital in lead generation to ensure that sales efforts are being acknowledged. The agent must convey the value of the service to the lead, through a process called lead nurturing. Providing additional information, materials, and demos are an integral part of nurturing. Simultaneously, however, the agent must be able to read the situation and comprehend if the caller is annoyed or being oversold.

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So there you have it! In a multi-faceted industry like telecommunication, sales agents must prioritize these actions to successfully convert more leads to buyers. A few lessons in customer service and best practices will have your agents converting happy and well-informed leads in no time. 

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