Hiring a Strong Telesales Team
Some companies wonder how to build a staff of great cold callers who can set qualified appointments for the sales team. Here are some valuable tips we’ve learned at VSA over the years, focusing on the telesales hiring process. Hiring a great team can be a lengthy, expensive, and frustrating process, and firms like VSA can take this burden from you. However, if your company wants to build your inside sales team, we welcome you to adopt some of our best practices.
First, when promoting the position, make sure candidates know you’re looking for a “sales” assistant. Most – but not all – candidates will self-select away from your job posting if they have an aversion to sales. You want to find those who actually WANT to sell.
Next, schedule a telephone interview. Listen carefully over the phone, since this is how future employees will be communicating. Ask yourself, can this candidate represent my company?
Afterwards, ask candidates to send you an email. Review it. Do they write grammatically correctly? Are there errors with capitalization and punctuation?
Use the face to face interview mainly to see if the potential employee is a fit and to answer any questions she or he may have. It’s almost impossible to identify someone’s capabilities on the phone when you’re sitting across a conference room table.
The next assessment is an “on the phone” interview. Schedule about 30 minutes for candidates to spend on the phones. Ask the potential employees to briefly review a script, and then to get right on the phone. You should not expect perfection, and make sure they know this, too.
• Initially listen for any semblance of “caller reluctance.”
• Also listen to the conversations. Does the candidate sound confidant. Is she able to converse with ease?
• Next listen for grammar and pronunciation. Do you have a candidate that can speak correctly to executives?
• Pay attention to the tone and manner in which the candidate addresses gatekeepers and decision makers. Is he sufficiently polite, but also persuasive?
• Lastly, can the candidate use the computer? Can she update notes in your CRM system, and schedule a future call-back or appointment?
Hire the individual for a trial period of roughly 30 days. During this time, be prepared to perform coaching. Most cold callers become better once they are comfortable with the talking points and the potential questions that prospects will ask them. That’s why it’s good to give some time before making any decisions. Be prepared to let individuals go if they are not producing sufficiently or setting qualified appointments.
It’s true that creating a good telesales team takes time and effort. It all begins with the recruitment, selection and hiring process.