How To Increase Sales Performance at an Inbound Service Center

We love talking about sales performance.inbound service center

So when we received an interesting question during a recent webinar about building a high- performance sales team, we couldn’t resist bringing it up in conversations that followed.

Here’s the question:

“When you are an inbound service center and then expected to sell solutions — what do you think is critical to success?”

What this traditionally looks like is an inbound center where representatives take service calls and provide resolutions, but are also expected to sell solutions to the caller.  

And here’s what happened when we took the question to these 5 experts:

How to Increase Sales Performance at an Inbound Service Center:

1. “Add value before anything else. The customer called you, they need something and that expectation is already set.  Before asking for anything, understand the goal or problem, and resolve it. You have then earned the right to ask the questions that will lead toward ‘selling the solution.’ This is non-negotiable.” – Jeff Dolan

2. “Sales and service are closely linked when customers know you care about them and the solutions that match their needs. Think of yourself as a consultant there to help solve problems and meet challenges. Ask questions that let your customer know you are very interested in their critical success factors — questions like ‘what keeps you up at night?’ or ‘what does success look like for you unit?’ Delivering great service to customers always opens the door to their being welcome to explore a product or service for sale.” – Chip R. Bell

3. “All representatives need to be well-versed in each and every product they have occasion to sell or support, specifically on the features, applications and benefits associated with each product and service. Each representative and supervisor needs to be fluent in the problem the products and services solve.” – Hank Boyer

4. “Know your product matrix. Inbound service centers typically focus on cross-selling. The rep must understand how the customers’ current product, mixes with the new ‘solutions’ the rep is trying to add. The value from multiple products has to outweigh the additional cost.  Know stories on how customers in their same boat  have benefited from adding the new solutions.” – Jeff Dolan

5. “It’s incumbent upon the selling organization or the service people to really get clear about how to position that product as a solution to a problem. That’s where the work is. The easy way to get out of that mindset is to be a problem finder and a problem solver.” – Bill Caskey

6. “Compensation programs are needed that reward people for achieving the specific sales goals the organization deems necessary to its success.  The psyche of most salespeople is that they will do whatever maximizes their income opportunity … so employers get the behaviors they compensate.  Thus comp plan design is an essential element to align sales efforts with the sales results that are desired.” – Hank Boyer

7. “Call resolution is critical. The rep needs to be able to resolve the issue with one touch. Handling time is important, too — the amount of time they’re spending on a call for someone with a brief question.” Brendan Hartt

8. “Leaders need to be engaged, observing performance moment-by-moment and providing feedback and coaching to encourage right behaviors. The principal objective of all managers is to develop people to achieve their potential. In the call centers I’ve overseen that have been successful, 60% of supervisory hours need to field/floor-focused, not administrative.” – Hank Boyer

9. “Your service delivery questions should inform you much about the best sales approach! And, always end the call with ‘what else can help you learn more about?’ rather than ‘is there anything else I can help you with?’ Closed questions stop conversations.” – Chip R. Bell

10. “Empathy. The importance of empathy is often debated in outbound scenarios but it is impossible to ignore in an inbound environment. Again, the customer called you because they need something, they probably did not take time out of their day to call and tell you they love you. Understand the situation and the prospect’s goal, and map the new solution toward an even more valuable end state.“ – Jeff Dolan

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How To Increase Sales Performance at an Inbound Service Center
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