As a man­ag­er, your respon­si­bil­i­ties are spread far and wide but keep­ing team per­for­mance high is a pri­or­i­ty. So how do you devel­op a high per­form­ing tele­sales team with­out dra­mat­i­cal­ly increas­ing your work­load and decreas­ing efficiency?

This blog out­lines 6 tips for tele­sales man­agers to help you improve coach­ing deliv­ery and imple­ment strate­gies to improve team per­for­mance and decrease time pressures. 

1. Pro­vide best prac­tice examples

A com­mon prac­tice with tele­sales teams is call record­ing. How­ev­er, often this is used for com­pli­ance, qual­i­ty assur­ance and one on one cri­tique. Your team can learn a lot from lis­ten­ing to oth­er calls.  A form of mod­el­ling, so to speak. Save your gold­en calls to pro­vide tan­gi­ble best prac­tice goals for your team. This will let your team know what they are striv­ing for and how best prac­tice can be achieved.

Get your team to high­light best prac­tice calls and dis­cuss their rea­son­ing behind it. Whether this is team lead­ers, peer men­tors, or indi­vid­u­als, it will empow­er your team to take pride in their per­for­mance and be more engaged with train­ing activ­i­ties sur­round­ing best practice.

2. Coach continuously

Feed­back and coach­ing should be a con­tin­u­ous process. Are coach­ing ses­sions fol­lowed up? Has behav­ior changed? What progress has been made? If you are not fol­low­ing up after coach­ing, or pro­vid­ing an ongo­ing coach­ing dia­logue, then it is high­ly unlike­ly that effec­tive behav­iour change will take place. 

Now you’re prob­a­bly think­ing, how will pro­vid­ing my team with more coach­ing free up my time?
Well, coach­ing is linked to increased work per­for­mance, improved com­mu­ni­ca­tion and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, and reduced reliance on man­ag­er sup­port due to a boost in team effec­tive­ness. So pro­vid­ing your team with the coach­ing sup­port they need now will save you time later. 

3. Peer coaching

Your team are on the front line every day. They make the calls and they take the calls. They deal with objec­tions, praise and the peo­ple that are just hav­ing a hard day. They are your main point of con­tact with cus­tomers and gain more expe­ri­ence and more direct feed­back than any oth­er area of the busi­ness on a dai­ly basis. 
Use this! Get your team to coach and men­tor each oth­er, how did they deal with a par­tic­u­lar objec­tion, has one of your agents found some­thing that works par­tic­u­lar­ly well? Share it. By encour­ag­ing peer coach­ing, your team will not only be more engaged in the coach­ing, they will buy into it more and lessen the strain on their managers.

Set up team tri­ads and get them to work on a par­tic­u­lar goal, whether this is cus­tomer ser­vice or sales get them to focus on one objec­tive and see how they col­lab­o­rate. Pro­vide them with exam­ple calls to dis­cuss, devel­op an action plan and then eval­u­ate the outcomes.

4. Offer objec­tive con­tex­tu­alised feedback

Feed­back is great, but con­tex­tu­alised and objec­tive feed­back is even better!

  • Objec­tive feed­back con­sists of spe­cif­ic and mea­sur­able data points about performance. 
  • Con­tex­tu­alised feed­back is giv­ing feed­back in con­junc­tion with performance.

By doing both, you can pin­point spe­cif­ic areas that need extra support. 

If the agent is com­mit­ted to the goal of improv­ing their per­for­mance, con­tex­tu­alised and objec­tive feed­back enables them to see the dif­fer­ence between their goal and their cur­rent per­for­mance. This allows you and your team mem­ber to agree on areas for improve­ment and work towards cor­rec­tive action togeth­er, collaboratively.

5. Self-reflec­tion

Giv­ing your team the oppor­tu­ni­ty to reflect on their own calls will let your team draw their own con­clu­sions and self-eval­u­ate their cur­rent per­for­mance. When paired with shar­ing best prac­tice and mod­el­ling, they will be more than capa­ble of high­light­ing their improve­ment areas and what changes to make. This allows for a greater col­lab­o­ra­tive coach­ing expe­ri­ence and also removes pres­sure from managers.

Encour­age agents to check in on their own calls at least once a week so that they remain focused on their goals. This makes them account­able for their own learn­ing and makes them aware of the impor­tance of con­tin­u­ous learning.

6. Col­lab­o­rate over goals

As a slight con­tin­u­a­tion of above, it is impor­tant that the coach and coachee have an agree­ment on per­for­mance goals and aims. This does not mean the coach pre­scrib­ing goals, but work­ing togeth­er to iden­ti­fy areas that the coachee would like to devel­op. Again, this cre­ates a larg­er buy-in from the agent and makes them much more like­ly to put their learn­ing into prac­tice. If not, coach­ing becomes a form of qual­i­ty and per­for­mance man­age­ment rather than a col­lab­o­ra­tive dia­logue for improvement. 
To learn how iCon­nect can improve con­ver­sion rates in your sales team, coach your team, get in touch

6 time sav­ing coach­ing tips for tele­sales managers