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How To Know Youre On A Winner

The catchword today for business is flexibility.

With changes in suppliers, customers, and the processes connecting them altering almost daily (or so it seems) the future clearly belongs to the organisations which can adjust to change quickly and effectively.

The good news for Call Centres is that, unlike more traditional sales organisations, the modern Call Centre has the equipment in place to measure this easily.

Instead of doing a sales training course and then waiting some weeks or months before you can reasonably evaluate the effectiveness of the course, the Call Centre can institute any change regarding CRMs and measure its effect on sales on a frequent, regular basis.

In the traditional face-to-face small-scale operation, the manager can make the change but not be sure of its effectiveness or whether the change is due to the changes instituted as things change anyway.

How do you know the improvement in sales is due to the new processes or due to something else? Or what if it is successful - how long does it last?

And what does this mean in practice?

At CustomCall, in line with its company Core Value of Continuous Innovation, this issue was dealt with in the following way: 6 CRMs from 4 different teams were brought together for 2 hrs for a workshop to improve their sales.

Then the sales conversion rates were measured over a one month, two month and three month period.

These results were compared with their results for one two and three months preceding the workshop.

This produced an improvement of

one month + 11.43%
two months +22.04%
three months +22.66%

Looks good but maybe everyone else changed too without any training.

So the same comparison was done with the whole campaign. Comparing Campaign After-workshop-date to Before-workshop-date sales gave the figures:

one month –1.37%
two months +05.80%
three months +05.71%

Removing the changes which happened anyway for the whole Campaign, the final difference for the effect of the workshop on the training group was:

one month +12.80%
two months +16.24%
three months +16.95%

Over three months the workshop produced a 16.95% increase in sales conversion rates.

Then the workshop was repeated for another 6 CRMs and after only one month the change (minus Campaign change) was 16.30% improvement in sales conversion rates.

Getting CRMs from different teams means the change is not due to one Team Leader for some reason bringing about a special improvement. Comparing the test group with the whole Campaign means they're not undergoing an improvement which is happening anyway, as the full Campaign serves as a control group for the test group.

This makes measurement a no-brainer.

Interestingly when I told one of the CRMs his sales had gone up 45% over the three months he said "Oh I didn’t realise". So even those who benefit from change are not necessarily the best judge of the value of that change, Luckily with mechanisms in place to keep track we can make an informed objective judgment.

That was just one example but since all modern Call Centres have the equipment in place to do the same, it's a waste of resources if they’re not doing some research like this at this very moment. Maybe giving a group of CRMs an apple a day would result in increased sales. Maybe giving them an extra 10 min break would do that too. Maybe oranges would be better. Who knows?

The key is to try something and then measure it.

(c) Jon Lonergan 2005

Jon Lonergan NLP Consulting
PO Box 12 Beverly Hills
NSW Australia 2209
Ph +61 2 9867 2445 Mob 0401 856 057

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