Mats Rennstam, MD of Bright Index takes a look at increasing upsales in your contact centre.
Most organisations would like to increase their sales on inbound calls but are wary of recent PPI scandals and Ofcom fines for high pressure sales methods. In this paper we look at increasing sales without treating customers unfairly, how to optimise the chances for your advisors to upsell and how to create a self-improving sales organisation.
IVR & Sales
Having focused on trying to automate as many calls as possible, many companies wanting to sell more to their customers now feel they’ve shot themselves in the foot. In the Banking sector the average number of calls handled by IVR is as high as 70% and the figure is going up for all other sectors as well.
Advisors ratio graph
Graph 1: Green; handled by agents, red by automated solution. Value e.g. average conversion rate and order value.
At the same time though we see that customers actually like efficient IVR solutions and of course; the cost per handled call is very low. The key is to take an overall view on the calls you handle; which ones are the most valuable, the simplest, the most difficult etc. and then decide on different approaches to different type of calls. And get a balance between the cost saving automation and the (potential) revenue generating live call handling. A simplified model might look like the graph on the left.
Hygiene Factors First Training Later
A common scenario when a decision has been made that something radical has to be made to increase sales, is that RFPs immediately go out to training providers for them to wave their magic wands. Training might be what is needed but let’s first look at agents’ potential to sell to the caller.
In the graph to the right, we show metrics taken from the Bright Index benchmarking showing that out of 100 customers, 20 of them don’t get through, 12 of the ones that do have to wait for an unacceptable long time and another 18 do not get their query solved. This leaves 50% of the original calls where agents can even begin to try and upsell.
Mixing C-Sat and Sales
Voice of customer solutions are great for finding out what and who drives CSAT. In the “Bright Navigator” V.O.C. solution we take this a step further by clients uploading their productivity and sales metrics as well. This enables them to see who the true best agents are, i.e. the ones that are both productive and generates good customer satisfaction. Or as per the example below, generates better sales results but not to the cost of unhappy customers. For Financial Services companies this additional layer of monitoring is encouraged by the FCA.
Segmentation; Who do we manage to sell to?
The next step is to not treat all the calls the same. The bigger companies have great CRM systems that, if actually utilised, can support the agent with different prompts for different customers etc. But even without this you can come a long way by just doing a simple exercise as t
Have the agents log three simple facts;
- Did the customer have an intention to buy
- Did they in fact order and
- Was it an existing customer.
These three simple questions help you segment your calls in 18 different groups and create a strategy. You will see that you have very different results in different groups and can save time in some by not trying to upsell, and increase AHT in others. By doing so one of our clients increased their sales by 42% in one month.
Remuneration on Total Sales Warning
u get what you measure is an old contact centre truth, another one is you get what you remunerate. So if you remunerate on total sales per agent all is well because that optimise total sales for the campaign? Wrong. You could have agents churning through the calls just looking for the low hanging fruit and wasting your opportunities.
It looks like you’re paying less for those sales but if you look at what you are going to get out of your prospect universe over a month, it’s a different story.
The Right Coach to Agent Ratio
Bright took a look at all contact centres we have analysed over the last years and compared coach to agent ratio with how well they performed on service levels, FCR, sales etc.
We found a distinct better performance amongst the centres that had an agent to coach ratio between 8 and 15. Above that the performance dropped dramatically and below there was no additional benefit. These are admittedly correlational findings and not necessarily casual, but the difference in performance was significant that in combination with what we have seen on the floor, we now strongly recommend clients to keep within this ratio. There should be movement within the ratio tough, depending on if it is business as usual or you are for example introducing new services or products.
Mats Rennstam is managing Director at Bright UK Ltd
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