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Telemarketing operators are important members of a company’s sales team. To ensure that they can do their job effectively, call center managers organize training to develop key telemarketing skills and build understanding of the company’s products, markets and policies. Managers deliver training through call center supervisors, internal training personnel or external training firms. By analyzing call center metrics, managers can assess the effectiveness of training and identify operators who require additional work.
To develop training programs, trainers identify the needs of individual operators and the telemarketing team. They assess the interpersonal skills that operators need to communicate effectively with their contacts. They review operators’ knowledge of the company’s products and services to see if they can present benefits and answer queries confidently, with or without the aid of scripts. They assess operators’ awareness of company sales and customer service policies, and any legislation that applies to the business.
Induction programs help new operators quickly move into a productive role. Trainers introduce the company and its products and markets. They explain the structure of the call center and its relationship with marketing and sales teams. They outline the range of products offered, give detailed product training and explain the company’s customer service policies.
Product training can contribute to increased revenue and profitability. Comprehensive product training ensures that operators have the knowledge to explain features and benefits to customers and prospects, handle any queries or complaints to identify opportunities to cross-sell related products or services. Trainers also explain the use of sales aids, such as scripts, prompt sheets and lists of frequently asked questions. This type of training is important when companies launch new products or want to boost sales of existing products.
Training telemarketing operators to use call center technology effectively can improve productivity and increase sales opportunities. Operators must be able to use a sales database to generate and update lists of contacts. If the company operates a customer relationship management system, operators must understand how to obtain information on customers and their preferences. Trainers must also ensure that operators are able to deal with other types of communication that customers use, including e-mail, web chat, instant messaging and social media
Trainers must focus on improving operators’ telephone skills. Operators must be able to build rapport with customers and prospects before beginning a sales pitch. They must aim to build relationships by focusing on customers’ needs and preferences, rather than attempting to sell using high-pressure techniques. Operators must also be able to deal with prospects who may be upset at being disturbed by an unsolicited call. Trainers use role plays and coaching to develop these soft skills.
Based in the United Kingdom, Ian Linton has been a professional writer since 1990. His articles on marketing, technology and distance running have appeared in magazines such as “Marketing” and “Runner's World.” Linton has also authored more than 20 published books and is a copywriter for global companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and economics from Bristol University.