Telemarketing Motivation

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How do we motivate our staff?

A motivated and happy staff member can outperform an unhappy, demotivated staff member by 100%. Therefore for a telemarketing team to remain profitable it is important that your staff are kept both motivated and happy. Techniques to achieve this fall into three categories: environment and work requirements, fostering inter-staff competition and applying “carrots” and “sticks”.

  • Environment and work requirements.  Research has shown that staff who feel supported and valued by their employer are happier and more productive. If a staff member is given too little to do they will grow bored. If a staff member is given too much to do they will become stressed. Work environments should be clean, comfortable and well lit. Breaks should be given every two hours and should last for at least 15 minutes. Given that telemarketing is a very repetitive task some leeway should be given as to what is permitted whilst working. For instance, doodling should not be penalised (and paper should be provided for the doodles or else the computer and phone hardware will suffer!). Regular meetings should be held with managers including one-to-ones where the needs of the staff member are addressed and praise given if deserved.
  • Fostering inter-staff competition.  If staff members know how well their fellow staff are performing then they will naturally compete even if no reward is given to the best performing candidates. Fostering competition is therefore a very cost effective way to improve productivity. Making the relative performance clear can include team leaders announcing the best performers and displaying the room’s scores on strategically placed displays. The latter can be especially effective as it provides a live comparison of all the scores.
  • Applying “carrots” and “sticks”.  Providing an incentive for your staff to improve their performance can have a significant effect on productivity. Examples of such “carrots” include being allowed to go home early if a certain number of leads have been generated and winning money or presents if individuals or the team achieve a certain target. Only very rarely should “sticks” be applied. For instance, if a staff member is being disruptive to other staff then they should be warned about their behaviour. If the behaviour continues disciplinary procedures should be followed.

How do we avoid burn out in our staff?

Telemarketing is often repetitive and by its nature requires a lot of talking. Therefore it is easy for your staff to “burn out” because they can grow tired and lose focus and motivation. A general rule of thumb is to ensure that your staff spend no more than three quarters of their time speaking to potential customers whilst working. Breaks should be given every two hours and be of at least 15 minutes. Plenty of water should be provided and your staff should be encouraged to take a sip of water every 10 minutes to aid voice delivery.

How can we eliminate boredom from the telesales process?

Telemarketing is often quite repetitive because the same questions are asked of potential customers again and again. Therefore eliminating boredom is very important if staff productivity is to be maintained.

One way to reduce staff boredom is to place them on different telemarketing campaigns during the day so that the monotony is broken. Also, please see above for motivational techniques.

How can we stop our telesales staff slacking?

Some staff members are harder to motivate than others. Having given assistance and encouragement, don’t be afraid to remove staff members who nevertheless seem determined to do as little work as possible. Once the “bad apples” are removed from the team, various motivational techniques can be used to ensure the rest are happy and have reason to perform well. Please see above for more information.

How should I reward my top performing staff?

Rewards can either be emotional or financial. Top performing staff should be highlighted to the rest of the team and regularly praised. This will provide an emotional incentive to further work as well as letting them know that their efforts have not gone unnoticed.

Financial rewards include cash, prizes or time off. It is not uncommon for telemarketing teams to give presents such as £100, a flat-screen television or a pamper day. Similarly, top performing staff can occasionally be allowed the afternoon off if they have reached their target early.

Whilst such techniques can greatly improve the motivation and happiness of individual staff, there is a danger that other staff may start to feel that favouritism is being applied to certain staff. This can cause them to leave or, worse, become disruptive to other staff members. Therefore it is important that financial incentives are also applied to the entire team. For instance, the team could go for a meal as a present for achieving a group goal. Our experience has shown that such group incentives can have a greater overall percentage effect on performance than individual staff incentives.