The Quality Assurance department is a staple in all Sales Agencies, with QA analysts as an integral part of the team. Listening for compliance, client guidelines, as well as sales skills, the QA analyst’s job is to ensure that a small sample of calls taken from the sales agency are solid calls, and if not, coach accordingly.
QA analysts not only need to know product knowledge, but the sales skills needed for the calls they are listening to, as well as what guidelines are required from the client and industry. In most cases, the client requires that forms be completed to show the progress of the program, team, and/or an account executive.
These forms will have an overall score made up by what the account executive did well and what the account executive needs to improve. The account executive is provided with feedback on the call being evaluated and signs off on the form, and everyone moves on and so continues the cycle.
5 Tips to 10X-ing Your Quality
But what if we can break the monotonous cycle? What can we do to ensure that we are actually developing the best sales people we can? How can we make an impact on our performance and ensure clients are satisfied?
1. Quality vs Quantity – Stop focusing on compliance
So many times we do a form just to do a form. We choose a call, listen, score, coach, and then move on. We don’t really even hear the call, or focus on the development of the employee. It’s a check off on our to-do list, a tally on the report, something to show the boss what we we’re working on.
This is also why you find yourself talking to the same person about the same thing the very next week. We are so focused on making sure that we get X amount of forms done, however just completing the form to complete it doesn’t matter.
The interaction with the employee is what matters.
2. Different Types of Forms
In my previous experiences, there was one form for all programs. When I started working at Infinity, we moved to program specific forms and created a standard form for each program. This made it easier to choose specific call basics and guidelines for each program.
Recently, as we started breaking up the calls and focusing on just one part, we started to create forms just focusing on a particular part of the call. For example, focus only on the “product demonstration”. This allows us to focus on more specific areas of the call flow and coach the account executive accordingly.
The end result is a collaboration of working towards the goal of better quality together.
3. Follow up
This may not be considered 10X but it should be a standard in all sales agencies. Unfortunately more often than not, this step is overlooked. If follow up is done correctly it can have a major impact on the overall performance. Once the coaching is complete, how do we ensure that there is practical application and understanding?
Listening to a call immediately after the coaching session and then again later in the employee’s shift, not only ensures that the account executive is applying the feedback, but also sends the message to them that we expect the behavior to be changed.
Taking this one step farther and creating a form to implement follow up is a great way to incorporate this and ensure this step is not left out.
4. Coaching Forms on Management
Who says that forms can only be completed on account executives? How do we measure the feedback that is coming from the managers? At Infinity, we use the 10 step coaching method (as previously shared by Ryan McDonald). However, how can we ensure that everyone is delivering feedback in that manner? And if they are, is it effective feedback? By observing, coaching, and documenting, this process can help develop the Manager or Assistant Manager, and the account executive.
As managers, we listen to calls every day and provide feedback to employees. It becomes second nature; we know what to look for and what we want to hear in certain calls. However, does the employee understand what we are looking for and why we want to hear that?
By doing a self-assessment, employees get a chance to calibrate with the Manager to get a better understanding of why we monitor and when to listen to different things based on certain performance. This helps develop the employee even further.
Listening to and developing employees is one of the most important (if not the most important) jobs in a Sales Agency. If the employee has good quality and strives for excellence, the sales will follow. As with all areas of a premier sales agency, change is inevitable. However, with continuous focus on improvement and thinking outside the box to improve performance, we can ensure quality standards and increased sales.