After spending a combined 40+ years in the call center, telemarketing, and sales development space, our team got together to discuss ways to increase productivity and results while reducing employee churn. The solution clearly comes down to one simple thing: You have to hire the right people to begin with.
Here's a breakdown of the 5 most important things to look for when hiring for an inside sales position, especially one that revolves primarily around phone-based sales:
More than anything, an employee has to be willing and able to not only hear "No' over and over again on a daily basis, but to do so without losing the smile in their voice on the next call. It's easy to make 10 calls with a smile on your face, even if you're hearing a lot of objection on the other end of the phone. New day, fresh coffee, new leads; anyone can have a strong first hour. The real all-stars are the ones who can be just as strong in the late-afternoon.
The best sales teams focus heavily on coaching. When hiring a new class of Sales Development Representatives (SDRs), look for individuals who actively and intentionally seek out ways to improve and then implement the feedback they're given. The ones who succeed and stand out are the ones who take suggestions on how to get better and do them.
Go hire athletes. This goes right along with the first two, but adds a bit of an edge. Those who know how to compete, to sprint when the other guy wants to coast, to want it more than the other team, can make all the difference between whether your team achieves your weekly sales goals or misses them.
Gatekeepers don't keep their jobs by letting everyone who calls through to the boss. If you want your team to reach the right decision-makers, they need to be assertive, aggressive, and ask for what they want. If they want to talk to the VP, they have to ask for it. If they want to capture the email address, they have to ask for it. If they want to schedule an appointment, they have to ask for it. If they want to close the sale… you get it.
Sales teams vary in their level of process and complexity. Your future rockstars are the ones who have a track record of improving processes, creatively overcoming obstacles, and navigating complex situations in order to achieve the desired outcome. This could be anything from new tactics to get around gatekeepers, to how to aggregate and report the team's sales numbers at the end of the day.