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Many call center leaders who implemented a service-to-sales transition acknowledged retrospectively that they failed to involve managers and supervisors adequately from the start in the conversion process and neglected to prepare them fully for their roles in the implementation efforts. Ensuring that managers and supervisors buy into the strategic shift for the organization is crucial to any successful service-to-sales initiative, as they are responsible for driving change through word and action on a daily basis.
This study stresses the importance of ensuring that managers and supervisors understand, support and actively convey the transformational leadership messages as part of their job functions. The research details how call center leaders can equip customer service managers and supervisors with the skills, tools and training they need to manage and motivate frontline representatives effectively through a successful service-to-sales change initiative.
Key Topic Areas:
- Manager and Supervisor Influence on the Change Process
- Managing Managers and Supervisors
- Transactional Leadership: Managers’ Roles and Responsibilities in a Service-to-Sales Tranformation
Sample Best Practices:
*“Line managers and supervisors significantly impact sales performance, they have to have the skills and product knowledge to effectively engage – walk the floor – and lead by example,” said a senior call center executive stated. On average training involves about 40 hours.
- Train customer service managers and supervisors before commencing the transition to a sales-oriented system.
*One call center executive noted, “All of your progress, successes and failures fall squarely on the shoulders of the managers’ and supervisors’ ability to execute…you have to get supervisors very comfortable and successful. As fast as they go, that is as fast as your growth will go.”
- Work to achieve buy-in from managers and supervisors as a top priority for the service-to-sales transition.
*One company found that as its service-to-sales implementation progressed, some managers and supervisors “found” reasons to remove themselves from the floor and disengaged themselves from call center representatives.
- Designate “time on the floor” as a primary duty for managers and supervisors to ensure growth of sales capabilities and achievement of sales goals.
This research originated from a Best Practices, LLC consulting project. It was conducted for a client and was based on interviews and surveys with executives and senior managers in the telecommunications, financial services, computer software and other industries.