- February 9, 2018
Each individual agent brings a different personality and level of expertise to a contact centre, and the challenge for managers is to be able to identify strengths and weaknesses, so they can help each person reach their full potential. But what does this actually involve? Is coaching the same as managing a team? From a management perspective, it’s easy to let the high performers just get on with it, while giving feedback to the low performers more often than others, but is this really the right approach? Could there be a way to coach more effectively so that all team members are actively contributing to sales revenues?
Where and what to coach?
Sales performance figures tell you who is making the sale and driving revenue but they don’t tell you how some agents consistently make sales where others fail. Manual listening can help managers identify if certain soft skills are used more by high performing agents. For example: if the agent is more successful because they can be heard to be actively building rapport with customers and earning their trust. However, manual listening will only cover a few calls per agent. Supported by speech analytics, it is possible to automatically identify how frequently an agent makes a sales pitch during all of their customer interactions and you can uncover why some people are more successful than others.
Equipping managers with the right coaching tools
As we have established, it’s not possible for managers to manually listen to every call from every agent. However, speech analytics can analyse 100% of calls, which makes the data statistically significant and robust. An example of what analytics can produce is the sales pitch rate to sale conversation matrix as seen below, highlighting each individual agent’s performance:
Speech analytics is used to flag keywords and phrases, in this case, when a customer provides a buying cue or when an agent makes a sales pitch. This information can then be used to identify coaching opportunities relating to sales success.
If a contact centre has a toolkit for customer retention or sales, analytics can track how often agents use the toolkit, and how many times each item from the toolkit is used. This too can be mapped to correlate to successful sales.
This data can be mapped on a matrix, showing individual results. This then provides a clear overview of coaching needs within the team. It will highlight the top performers and you can identify what they are doing differently from a group of agents who are underperforming performing.
Coaching to success
As we know, there is always room for improvement. Top performing agents can increase their sales performance as well as the underperformers. One approach we advocate is learning through mentoring. Top performing agents can be paired with underperforming agents so that they can pass on their knowledge and skills and help the other agents gain a level of confidence.
Managers can also tap into analytics to identify key phrases and positioning that top performers may use on a regular basis and incorporate these into coaching sessions.
Keeping performance high
It’s important to repeat the analysis on a regular basis so that any changes in performance can be identified and coaching can be adapted accordingly. The real value in analytics is that it provides very specific information on the individuals in a team. It can highlight strengths and weaknesses and determine where coaching and training opportunities lie. Most importantly, it provides managers and coaches with the insights they need to accurately pinpoint areas for improvement and then be able to track progress once a coaching programme has successfully been rolled out. Simply put, analytics helps steer you on track and keeps you on track so that the most is made of every sales opportunity.