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The Outcome: Finding Out About the Team

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This week John Copeman finds out more about the sales team he will be coaching. JC is also offering a free coaching by email service. The series involves 15 emails that will help you become your own life coach. To take part or if you have any questions for JC send an email to [email protected].


When I got to the telesales area, Nitesh was busy on the photocopier. "Hi JC," he said, as he saw me enter the room. "Are you ok if I spend an hour or so in the area?" I asked him. "Sure, in fact, why don't you come with me first thing, I am just about to run last week's stats," he said.

"Ok, deal" I said, "but I want to just say hi to the team first if that's ok?"

Nitesh left the copier running, and motioned me to follow him to the call area. We waited a few minutes while current calls were finished and Nitesh introduced me to the team. I noticed there was an empty desk, and Nitesh told me that Tina Pearson was off ill. "She has a touch of flu," he said, but the tone of his voice told me there was more to that story. I made a mental note to check it out later. I said that I would be back in 30 minutes, and if it was ok, I would ask them a few questions about them and their work. The team nodded their approval, and got back to hitting the phones.

We went back to the copier, collected a bundle of documents and headed into Nitesh's office. "Before we do the stats Nitesh," I said as I sat down at the side of his desk on the chair he had made ready for me. "Can I just ask you some general questions to get a feel for how the section runs?"

Nitesh put the pile of papers on his desk, which was full of files and paper, in no order I could personally see. "Would you like a coffee before we get started? I know I could do with one," he smiled.

Nitesh placed the coffee on the table as he shuffled behind my seat and back to his desk. "Am I right that you have 12 people in the team including yourself?" I asked. "Yes", said Nitesh, "just down to 10 on the phones at the moment, with Tina being off." I then asked him to tell me how the team was structured for inbound, outbound, and appointment making.

He gave me a sheet of paper, which broke down the team's focus: All Filter International - UK Telesales Section.

All Filter International - UK Telesales Section.

Name

Inbound

Outbound

Appt Making

Sales Exec

Christian Pleet

x

Terry McNaughton

Vin Mistry

x

Peter Farrow

Paul Crossley

x

David Grewl

Sally Jefferson

x

Barry Chard

Tina Pearson

x

Trisha Barrett

Rachel Warwick

x

Keith Price

Trisha Bradley

x

Sean Cormac

Sue Croft

x

Simon Cope

x

Becky Bell

x

Tom Saunders

x

"So, do the appointment makers do that only, or do they take other calls?" I asked. "Their priority is to work with the sales exec they are teamed with, and to make appointments in their area. But, they do cover for the inbound calls in between, and with absences and holidays," Nitesh replied. I also asked about outbound and whether two people were enough to cover that all the time. "Mostly yes," he replied. "Mainly they are working on fresh leads UK wide, and they make the first introduction, qualify interest and prospect relevance, and then pass the lead to the appointments makers geographically."

This system had been in place for around six months and despite a few teething problems, Nitesh felt it was working quite well. I asked Nitesh if they had designed the system this way, or whether it was a model from one of the other group companies. "I don't think it is as far as I know, it seemed more to change as the needs changed," he replied.

I noticed that Tina, who was off work ill, made appointments for Trisha Barrett in the South-West. "What happens during her absence for appointments?" I asked. Nitesh admitted that this did cause difficulties. "Although the other guys try to help where they can, they don't have the relationship with Trisha, or know her client base the way Tina does. So it mostly falls on Trisha to make her own appointments while Tina is off," he said. When I asked how Trisha felt about that situation, Nitesh gave a slightly raised eyebrow. "Not exactly over the moon, but in fairness to Trisha, this is Tina's third day off and the sales team's targets are demanding, so I can understand her frustration," he said.

I thanked Nitesh for the information on the team and we settled down to look at the stats.

Key Points: * Gather operating information basics and layout before targets.

* Listen for unsaid opinions of people (such as Tina), and prepare to examine.

* Examine Tina's absence record, performance and relationships in the team and with Trisha Barrett (and Trisha's with Tina).

* Assess feelings from the rest of the team about Tina when talking with them.

* Find out about how area information and client information is recorded and shared among telesales team (ask Trudy her opinion).

* Read all of John Copeman's articles here.

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