Personality and Telesales
Does a great cold caller always produce great results?
VSA serves as the inside telesales team for many clients across the country, acting as appointment setters and identifying qualified opportunities.
We’ve been doing this for years.
So, you would think that a great caller for one client would also produce excellent results for other clients. You would think that callers could essentially be interchangeable. Not so fast!
VSA has learned that a great producer on one program is not always the best caller for another program. Additionally, it’s almost impossible to know in advance who the best callers will be.
We work hard to select the right personality to fit each program, even from among seasoned and proven appointment setters.
Here are two examples:
• IT Consulting
VSA has a long-time IT Consulting client. We can be successful only if we reach decision makers at exactly the time they have a need, AND if we are able to convert a huge % of these conversations into appointments. That’s a lot of performance pressure on the call center.
Many times, we have thought that we would not produce a sufficient quantity of results for the client to realize a positive ROI. But, we kept refining the program.
Finding the right calling team took the most work. VSA trained over 10 people on the program, compared results across callers and eliminated the callers who could not contribute. In the end, we landed on a small team of three callers who all have quite similar “driver” personalities.
The calling style used by the current team works well for this program. But for softer-sell programs this style would absolutely turn decision makers off. Now, with this team in place, we are producing at the level of results we targeted from the onset.
• Healthcare Billing
VSA’s Medical Billing client has been with us for several years, week after week, month after month. We call hospitals, private practices and health centers – trying to find decision makers and set appointments.
Callers assigned to this program have detective-like qualities, and a huge capacity for deferred gratification. These are not attributes normally possessed by great cold callers, and therefore there is a degree of frustration among the team.
There have been many times when we feared that we would burn the callers out on this program, and VSA would no longer be able to support this client.
So, here’s what we did. We spread the efforts out over a large team of 6-10 callers – to avoid burn-out. If a caller says they are getting weary, we lighten his/her load for a while. We also allow callers to leave the team.
Most importantly, VSA acknowledges the challenges of this program and have created an internal non-monetary reward system. We make a great deal of hoopla every time an appointment is set – to celebrate and recognize success. And, we foster a great sense of camaraderie among the team members.
In the end, we have produced some amazing results for this client!
Not one caller on the IT Consulting program could be successful on the Medical Billing program and vice versa. The required personalities are absolutely contradictory. But, try as we might, we can never accurately predict the required personality until we implement a pilot cold calling program. Hind-sight is 20/20.
So, what does this mean to you? Try to assess the personality required for a program upfront, and continue to assess it on an ongoing basis. Assign the callers you think have the right fit, and then measure their success. Never assume that a successful caller on a prior program will also be a high producer on your program. Do not be afraid to move people off and on your call center teams. Continue to work your team until you have the desired telesales results!