Call Center Phone Sales Training: Tips, Techniques, Exercises to Close More Sales

Call Center Phone Sales Training: Tips, Techniques, Exercises to Close More Sales

June 2, 2023 | Convoso

In phone sales, success so often comes down to those individual moments that make or break a sale: the right opening pitch, the best rebuttal, the interaction that makes an impression within a limited window of opportunity. 

But those moments don’t just come from nowhere. They’re the products of preparation, hard work, and understanding. They’re the results of proper phone sales training.

Want to earn more of these moments? Dive into this guide to call center sales training that’s packed with tips, techniques, and practice exercises to help you steer your team of agents to more sales.

Table of Contents

What to Teach in Phone Sales Training

As a sales team manager, one of the—if not the—most important jobs you have is training your reps. Without the tools and skills for the job, your agents will not be equipped to accomplish what they were brought in to do: close sales. But what do you teach them to get them up to speed?

Product and Industry Knowledge

Knowledge about the products or services being sold forms the foundation of any salesperson’s arsenal. Anchor your initial phone sales training in product training. Ensure that sales agents have a thorough understanding of the products they’re selling, as well as the industry in which they operate. This knowledge will help them become fluent in order to address customer queries and objections, plus position your offerings more effectively.

Who Are Your Customers?

To go along with that product and industry knowledge, your call center sales agents need to be turned into experts about your customers. Develop detailed personas of customers in your target audience—agents need to know pain points, motivations, goals, and more in order to make more sales.

Communication Is Everything

To match the needs of different customers, agents need to understand effective communication techniques. This includes crafting phone sales training that tackles both practical and emotional skills. Agents need to develop their abilities to listen actively, respond empathetically, and handle objections fluidly. 

Handling the Negative

An often overlooked aspect of any sales training, agents need to be taught from day one how to handle the negative parts of their job. Because as any experienced salesperson knows: down days (or weeks), rejection, easy customers—it’s all part of the job. It’s just as much your job as a leader to set realistic expectations about failures as it is to teach agents how to achieve success.

How to Use Their Tools

Hopefully your outbound dialer software makes it as easy as possible for agents to get their jobs done efficiently, eliminating extra clicks and mind-numbing idle time. But they still need to be educated in the tool’s features and functions. Be sure that your sales training includes lessons on how to make the most of your software.

Using a Mix of Call Center Sales Training Techniques

So, we’ve covered some of the what of call center phone sales training. But what about the how?

To accommodate the different ways that individual reps learn best, as well as bring your reps together as a team, try to design your training to include a variety of training formats. That means incorporating: 

  • One-on-one training: 1-on-1s, whether with new hires or more experienced agents, are key to delivering individualized coaching and feedback.
  • Partner exercises: Pair up agents to run through new scripts, practice pitches and rebuttals, and role play entire conversations using your customer personas.
  • Group sessions: Team-wide “classroom sessions” can be useful when trying to keep sales agents up-to-date on product information, upcoming campaigns, and more. Try crafting workshops on specific, digestible topics to drive improvements. 
  • Live training: Using call monitoring tools like Call Whisper will enable you to offer real-time guidance and feedback when a rep is on the phone with a customer. Leverage live training to hammer home the lessons you’ve gone over in training and mentoring sessions.
  • E-learning: Whether you’re able to create virtual training modules yourself or need to lean on outside services, online training modules are another effective way to train phone sales reps. Modules and tutorials can be completed at an agent’s own pace, can include testing to assess learning, and can cover a wide variety of topics.

Create the right environment for agents to thrive

Every sales agent learns differently. By using a mix of call center sales training techniques like those above, you can create an inclusive environment that supports agents’ growth. However, sales training—and sales work, for that matter—doesn’t need to be bland. 

Look to create situations that drive improved engagement and help bring out the best in your team members. Fostering a little friendly competition with regular sales competitions and motivating agents with an incentive program are great options. A properly structured sales incentive program can increase employee performance by as much as 44%.

How to Practice Cold Calling and Sales Calls

There’s much more to phone sales training than overall structure, of course. To practice cold calling and sales in a way that drives the best results in real-world situations, you need to utilize the right tools and the right cold calling practice exercises.

Role-playing Objections and Personas

Handling sales objections and effectively deploying the right rebuttals is one of the most important skills for sales reps. Zero in on these crucial moments of customer calls by walking your team through your best rebuttals for common cases. 

Dig into the reasoning behind each carefully crafted rebuttal. Then, pair off agents in order to role-play these scenarios using information from your customer personas and profiles. However, agents role-playing as customers shouldn’t just give into rebuttals. Encourage agents to game out the rest of the conversation—have them consider all the places a conversation can go after a given rebuttal is made.

Related Content

Learn the 5 Keys to Handling Sales Objections and see rebuttals you can use to respond to customers.

“Next Best Question”

During this training exercise, the facilitator assumes the role of a prospective customer whom the sales representatives aim to qualify. In a simulated setting, the sales reps take turns asking questions, strategically gathering all of the information necessary to advance in the sales process. 

The objective is to equip the sales team with the essential skills and knowledge to effectively engage with prospects and progress towards successful sales outcomes—and do so as efficiently as possible.

Team Call Reviews

Getting sales team members together to review and analyze call recording can be a great way to deliver feedback and insights to many reps at once. Work with your QA team to assemble a sequence of particularly instructive calls. This can include both successful calls that led to a conversion and calls that could have been improved. Encourage reps who were not involved in the call being discussed to offer their own opinions on where calls went wrong (or right).

Tips for More Effective Phone Sales Training

With the right content, structure, and exercises, you might think you’re all set. But just like being a sales rep, there’s always room for more improvement. Incorporate these call center sales training tips that we’ve culled from some of our favorite experts over the years and you’ll be even better positioned to deliver the best training sessions possible.

  • Leverage Data and Automation to Improve: Sales managers can’t have their eyes on all agents at all times. Today’s latest call center and sales QA tools can greatly improve not just visibility into call activity but offer their own powerful data-driven analysis of performance. Use integrated QA software to identify patterns, streamline coaching and feedback delivery, and more.
  • Educate About Your Company Culture, Too: At the end of the day, it’s not just successful sales that are going to keep an agent coming back into work and giving it their all. As sales expert Jason Cutter puts it, it’s crucial for agents to feel like they’re truly a part of something bigger than themselves. Be sure that your company culture—your mission, your vision, and your core values—is a core part of your agent onboarding process.
  • Use Call Scripts to Simplify Training: Not everything in your sales and cold calls needs to be scripted. But a well-crafted outbound call script can help your agents stay on message and navigate key points of the call. It can also help new members of the team get on the phones faster. Look for a dynamic scripting software that integrates with your dialer software and responds in real time according to your agent and their customer’s responses.

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