(Disclaimer: This post has nothing to do with Vikings and fire-breathing mythical serpentines.)
In building a B2B lead generation team, one of the crucial tasks is to gather, train and develop telemarketers who would represent the business when interacting with prospects. The quality of training that goes into this stage is a major factor in determining a campaign’s success.
There are lots of training materials and syllabi that serve as references for general training drills, but a lot of trainers in the sales and marketing industry use agent-focused approaches in molding their telemarketers to become competent conversationalists. Whatever the main priority may be, it is important to remember the following principles:
Basics first – Just like in any other career that requires training, a telemarketer’s development is determined by the depth of his or her foundation. Additional skills and knowledge becomes easier to absorb if a trainee has undergone solid basic training.
Gauge their skills – It’s helpful to conduct a “test run” so the trainer could see the strengths and weaknesses of a trainee. This will be an early basis as to what aspects the training program will focus on as it progresses. It could take extra time and energy to do this, but if this phase is skipped, it would still need to be dealt with in the future.
Bank on listening and questioning abilities – These are the two most important skills a trainee must develop in order to be effective. Once he becomes an active listener and a good prober, everything else will follow.
Have them set their own skill objectives – The key is to let the trainees realize what their assets are and what areas they need to improve on. They should have a clear goal of what they want to achieve in a given time, and this goal must be measurable.
Allow them to share input – Sometimes, a business’s established telemarketing traditions don’t suit a person’s style, personality or skills. In such cases, forcing them into a system they’re not comfortable with can be counterproductive to the whole team. One good start is to ask for their creative input on certain aspects of the program so they could work effectively.
Develop a customized feedback system – People’s way of receiving feedback varies from person to person, so it is the responsibility of the trainer (or any other support staff) to identify how each trainee responds to criticism and calibration.