Get a grip on reality – a call center fail


I was just in a meeting with a very nice old woman who has an online tutoring business. The professional side of the business is handled very well. She has teachers working from her offices (something that can save her a lot of migraine in the future). The one thing that doesn’t make sense is her sales department.

Her sales department consists of two people (from what I saw) and she’s trying to recruit salesmen aggressively. But something in her pitch doesn’t make sense.

She claims to have so many leads that a full call center of 12 will always have leads to call. She said the leads are never more than three days old, and she said that she pays more than $50 commission per sale. I don’t get how her call center is not packed with salesmen making millions of dollars.

When I asked her how this happened she explained that she doesn’t accept anyone for the job. She expects that a salesman will close two out of three leads. That will never happen! I don’t care how good he is. 

Understand that when you’re talking to a lead he might just want to get more information, he might be asking for a relative or a friend, and he might be one of those people with way too much time on their hands and nothing better to do with it.

In addition, the leads that will buy won’t all buy right now.

Potential problems

She’s clearly paying a lot for each lead and she doesn’t have a lot of wiggle room. Meaning that if leads are not handled properly she can’t afford the loss. She also sounds like she doesn’t have a lot of sales experience even though she said she has been in sales for 20 years. Even worse there has to be something else I can’t see right away, otherwise, that call center would be crawling with salespeople.

How can you avoid this issue?

When first starting out try to do everything yourself. When you start hiring employees you have to know the business like the back of your hand. You have to understand where the root of the problem is before you can fix it. And never put the future of your business in the hands of your employees (at least till you get to know them).

I hope you found this post helpful, if so like it and share it with your friends. And while you’re at it, check out my ebook ‘level up your business’ a guide to starting your own business the right way.

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