Evaluating the Right Call Center Software to Improve Your Sales Prospecting

Call center software for sales teams requires these features and functions
by
Nicholas Price

The right call center software helps to build confidence in salespeople from sales prospecting to closing the deal. Sales call centers dedicate their work hours to fine-tuning their scripts and sales processes with the aim of generating quality leads to pass on to salespeople who can close the deal. Shorter sales cycles give salespeople additional time to make more sales. The more information call center representatives have, the easier it is to personalize sales calls so they don’t sound canned or disingenuous.

Prospecting is a numbers game where the quality of the sales calls counts as much as the volume. The key to optimizing your sales calls is to use software that’s intuitive and actionable. A cloud-based phone system or VoIP phone system, along with integrated software tools arms users with all the information they need so they can handle calls efficiently and set the lead up successfully for the next step in the sales cycle.

The Pros & Cons for Sales Call Centers

A call center for sales is an arrangement where a dedicated team of people make outbound calls to generate leads, keep leads engaged, or finalize sales. The managers of the call center accept responsibility for hiring the employees and training them. They also maintain the call center software and the call center operations. Call centers for sales work well for large companies, but should be evaluated for small, mid-sized operations as well.

The following pros and cons should give you an idea of whether a call center for sales is right for your sales organization.

Pros

  • The cost of labor is sometimes lower, depending on the location of your call center and whether you employ distributed teams.
  • The call center managers control all staffing issues including hiring, scheduling, training, and monitoring.
  • There is less overhead for software and the infrastructure.
  • If your team is fully remote, you can hire call representatives in various time zones which opens up sales globally.
  • It’s easier to handle call volume if you have the option to use a call center to handle overflow during peak periods.

Cons

  • Call centers, when separate from the other business functions, may lack a personalized or knowledgable feel if onboarded poorly.
  • Call representatives that are poorly trained may lack knowledge of the company, products, and services.
  • Special measures must be taken to ensure employee wellness. Initiating conversations all day requires excellent social skills and empathy, which when overstressed can lead to attrition.
  • Employees must be trained to handle sensitive information and know how to comply with various state and/or federal laws regarding call center work.
  • Call center representatives don’t always work in the same building making it difficult for teams to communicate and collaborate.

Evaluating Call Center Software to Support Sales Prospecting

The right call center software lends support to call center representatives to help them reach their sales goals more efficiently. It also helps to bring in the highest quality leads.

Here’s a list of features that will assist your call representatives. 

  • CRM Integration. When combined with a phone system, users can make outbound calls directly from their CRM system.
  • iPhone and Android applications. Allows salespeople to make outbound calls from their CRM system from their mobile phones.
  • Call tagging. Tag calls with different colors to customize activities, so salespeople know the context of any followup calls or related tickets. If your CRM is set up with your phone system, your call tags can follow into your CRM.
  • Click to dial. users can simply click on a phone number to place a phone call. This feature is also called click to talk, click to call, and it may also be use chat or text.
  • Call recordings. calls are recorded and can be shared for coaching purposes for metrics like talk-to-listen ratio, length of script, number of questions asked, etc.
  • Transcription. helps supervisors analyze sales conversations to train staff in how top performers close deals, problem-solve, and handle challenging calls, etc.
  • Automatic call logging. Software that automatically logs calls as they come in and label them as inbound, outbound, answered, unanswered, call duration, and call disposition (notes, follow-ups, etc.).
  • Caller ID. Displays the caller’s name, phone number, notes, and other contextual information. Automatically updates the system with new numbers into all integrated databases.
  • Analytics. Understanding your call volume and distribution to each representative will help you better manage for seasonality, not to mention recognize top performers and identify areas for improvement.

What Call Center Integrations Are Important?

Software integrations enhance the capability of a cloud-based phone system. Certain categories of integrations provide sales tools that shorten the sales cycle. The best call center integrations for sales are CRM and sales automation, AI and transcription, productivity, and data and reporting. The following list describes some of the available integrations for each category. 

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CRM & Sales Automation

  • Zendesk Sell
  • Salesloft
  • Fresh Sales
  • noCRM.io
  • Outreach
  • Pipedrive

AI & Transcription

  • Avoma
  • Chorus.ai
  • ExecVision
  • Gong
  • Refract

Productivity

  • PieSync
  • Callingly
  • Typeform

Data & Reporting

  • OneUp Sales
  • Plecto
  • Zapier

You can also enhance your sales capabilities even further by integrating your phone system with tools like OneUp Sales to centralize your performance data into one place. With Aircall and OneUp, data is synced from your CRM system so you can access reports with multiple data sets in one clear format with just one click. This integration provides an efficient way to recognize sales performances. It has the capability to replace cumbersome manual spreadsheets with TV leaderboards and automated sales competitions.

Sales Prospecting Best Practices

For many salespeople, prospecting is a time-consuming task, and can sometimes feel fruitless. Top performers get excited about prospecting. They know how to attract lots of prospects and glean higher quality prospects from their call lists.

Best practices for sales have evolved as software has enabled call centers to access richer call metrics. Top performers use the following five best practices regularly to keep their sales quotas high.   

  1. 1. Know your target market and create personas. The top salespeople have a description in their minds about who their ideal customer is. Not all leads will meet that definition. Know the common objections and have a strategy to overcome them.
  2. 2. Your customers are your best resource for referrals, so ask for them. An analysis by Harvard Business Review showed that 84% of B2B buyers start their sales process with referrals. Referrals help to shorten your sales cycle, net higher quality leads, and close larger sales.
  3. 3. Allocate the time you spend prospecting equally every month. Don’t make the mistake of putting off prospecting at the beginning of the quarter and rushing to meet call quotas in the weeks before the end of the quarter.  
  4. 4. Automate time-consuming manual processes. With the right software, automated data entry saves huge amounts of time compared with manual entry. VentureBeat reports that 80% of salespeople that use at least one form of marketing automation net a 77% increase in conversions.
  5. 5. Review the prospects’ information and talk to them on the phone. It’s easier to build a relationship with a prospect when they can hear a human voice. By preparing well before the call, salespeople will be ready to push prospects to the next layer in the sales funnel.

Call Center Software Metrics to Measure Sales Performance

Aircall provides an excellent example of call center software metrics for measuring sales performance.

With advanced analytics, any Aircall administrator user can get a detailed view of how a sales team is performing.

Using Aircall analytics, you can see the number of outbound calls, as well as inbound calls, and the total time your salespeople spent on each. Also, the details show the average number of calls per user, which is the total number of calls for all users for a certain period divided by the number of users calling during that time.

Aircall’s cloud-based phone system allows you to use filters to narrow the criteria even further to get the most detailed information to train and manage your sales team. Whether you’re focused on B2C sales or B2B sales, the right digital tools can set you ahead of your competition.

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