[028] Creating Efficiencies and Success With Your Sales Team, with Alec Thompson from CallShaper

Episode 28 October 11, 2021 00:44:19
[028] Creating Efficiencies and Success With Your Sales Team, with Alec Thompson from CallShaper
Scalable Call Center Sales
[028] Creating Efficiencies and Success With Your Sales Team, with Alec Thompson from CallShaper

Oct 11 2021 | 00:44:19

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Show Notes

Have you ever been caught up doing the same thing, the same way all the time? Where does technology play a role in providing a solution?

A lot of businesses seek to implement technology and sales enablement solutions. All of these things are necessary for efficiency, but we still need people. You want to give people the best opportunity and pitches available and yet not spoiling them by giving them too much.

In this episode, Alec Thompson from Call Shaper and I talk about his experiences in helping businesses work smarter through technology. Alec is an award-winning executive with extensive experience in technologies, security, and software.

Learn more about creating efficiencies and success with your sales team.


Find out if your Sales Operation in Scalable

Buy Selling With Authentic Persuasion: Transform from Order Taker to Quota Breaker

Get help with your sales team

Connect with Jason on LinkedIn

Or go to Jason’s HUB – www.JasonCutter.com

Connect with Alec on LinkedIn.

Alec‘s Bio
Alec is an award-winning Executive with a 20+ year proven track record achieving quantifiable results creating and implementing sales training, new sales strategies, marketing, and new product strategies. Alec has extensive experience in the Technology, Security, Software Hospitality, Health, and Education fields and is uniquely positioned to help businesses work smarter through technology.


Alec’s Links
https://www.callshaper.com/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIhZt-qpCfU
https://www.linkedin.com/company/9237067/


Jason: Hey, what’s going on, everybody. Welcome to another special episode of the scalable call center sales podcast. I have another amazing guest and it’s fun because I’ve done some collaborative work with him, which we’ll, we’ll talk about some of the stuff that we’ve done, which has been fun, but I have Mr.

[00:00:16] Alec Thompson from call shaper on the podcast today with me. And so he is an award-winning executive with 20 plus years, a proven track record. And getting results, implementing sales, training, new sales strategies, marketing, new product strategies, all of that. With his extensive experience in the technologies, security, software, hospitality health, I’m going to guess to everything he’s, he’s done it all.

[00:00:45] Uh, he focuses now with call shaper in helping businesses work smarter through technology, especially phones. This is a call center podcast. He’s in the dialer software technology phone side of the business. So it makes only sense for him to be on here. Alec, welcome to the scalable call center sales.

[00:01:06]

Alec: Thanks, Jason, it’s great to be with you today. I’m excited for this. Yeah. So

[00:01:10]

Jason: to set the stage of where we’re going to go with this, or however many tangents, we’re probably going to take in, in, in providing some value to everybody, let’s start with what’s your main focus. Right now, or with call shaper. And with your experience for call center leaders, what are you focused on these days?

[00:01:34]

Alec: Well, I think the biggest thing really for me, is efficiencies, right? And helping call center leaders have an understanding of how technology can create more efficiencies in their business. And we all get caught up and kind of doing the same thing the same way all the time. And sometimes we, you know, it’s the old forest for the trees type of thing.

[00:01:52] We just keep doing things and bumping our head into the same problem. And, and sometimes, especially with stir shaken, right, there are all kinds of solutions out there, whether it’s with call shaper or, uh, you know, five, nine VG convos. Everybody has some kinds of solutions from a technology standpoint to help make things easier for these business leaders.

[00:02:15] I think that sometimes people just are like, oh, more legislation. I’m scared. I don’t really want to deal with that. Let’s figure out a way to work around it rather than work within the parameters. And, you know, we, we call shape are pretty well focused on helping people to find efficiencies and create efficiencies using the software.

[00:02:35] But we also like to help them, you know, with providing ideas and concepts that they may not have thought about before that are well above and beyond just what we kind of do. So I think that kind of answers your question.

[00:02:48]

Jason: All right. So efficiencies technology, legislation, regulations compliance. You mentioned stir shaken, which I don’t want assume, you know, everyone listening to this show has heard other shows or they’re well aware of it.

[00:03:02] What’s the brief summary of what stir shaken is and how that affects, let’s say a telesales call center inviting.

[00:03:11]

Alec: Well, I think the biggest thing that it’s doing is it’s, if organizations don’t have their phone numbers look, um, logged or, um, made, so that. Well, they look like it’s not spam, even if they would, might be considered spam by some people they’re going to start getting blocked.

[00:03:32] And, and I think that the biggest thing about stir shaken is that the, the actual, um, phone providers don’t really even know what they have to do. You know, when you have laws and legislation that are written, but then bureaucrats get in and actually create how it’s. The poor telecoms. I mean, all of us in the call center industry don’t like them because they block calls because they get in the way of doing business.

[00:03:57] And because they charge us gobs and gobs of money to do it, however they’re kind of rock and a hard place too. Right. They don’t really know what the rules are. So they’re kind of making them up as they go along and you get the companies like T-Mobile that’ll block and spam any call just because they’d rather be safe than sorry.

[00:04:17] And then at, at, and T and Verizon that are more likely like, well, let’s see what this really is before we just jump off and start blocking it. And a lot of that comes from, you know, T-Mobile is part of Deutsche telecom. So they’re heavily regulated German company. They’re used to this. They’re used to heavy regulation, whereas at and T and Verizon are kind of like, Ooh, government involved in our business all over the place.

[00:04:40] But I think that the biggest thing for people to be aware of with stir shaken is that it won’t go away. There’s going to be more and more regulations on the call center industry. So you have to be able to kind of roll with the punches, but more importantly, I think you have to be able to find ways to be efficient and effective in spite of new regulations.

[00:04:59] And don’t let those be an excuse or like a crutch as to why you’re not be having success. Your contact rates are dropping. That’s probably some of it, but there are probably some other things to look at. Right? What are you, where are you? What are your lead files looking like? What’s your actual penetration rate in your lead files from three years ago versus a year ago versus today?

[00:05:22] Not just contact rate, right? And then are you, what are you doing for your reps to get them to be better prepared to be in front of that live person when they get the connected phone call? Right? Cause you need to be able to close more calls because the agents are getting less calls. You have to be able to close more of them to be able to make up the devastate of the number of calls they’re going out.

[00:05:44] So, you know, like I said, stir shaken, it’s not going away, but making excuses about searching and isn’t going to help your business.

[00:05:52]

Jason: Well, and I think it’s interesting too, is to look at the. Uh, where companies fall in, let’s say opposite ends of that spectrum and the, and the different camps. You know, the we’re not gonna abide by these rules because that’s going to impact us.

[00:06:07] And we’d rather, you know, have money set aside to pay for the fines or deal with the issues. And I’ve had a couple of people on the podcast, Eric Troutman and Michelle Schuster, you know, talking about being proactive and trying to help yourself. Being reactive and getting into trouble. How do you set yourself up, especially in a defensible position.

[00:06:25] Um, and so you have that side there where it’s like, Hey, you know, um, uh, oh, what is that? It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission and they just want to ignore it and put their head in the sand and just keep going. And then there’s the other end, which you said, which is the, okay. If I have to abide by this, then it means I can’t be effective and I can’t be profitable.

[00:06:44] And we can’t run a successful business because of. You know, uh, it’s too restrictive and it just cripples my chances. Right? So, same thing with being compliant. Well, I can either sell or I can be compliant, but I can’t do both. Uh, which is an attitude in organizations sometimes at the salesperson level.

[00:07:04] They’re like, well, if you want me to be compliant, then good luck. Cause I’m not going to close any deals. Right.

[00:07:09]

Alec: And it’s that mindset, whether it’s top down or bottom up, it doesn’t matter. Right. Can’t never could. And I think that a lot of people that say, well, Well, you never will. Right? You have to have the mindset of like, we will find a way.

[00:07:24] Right. And you know, that there’s that old adage. What would you do if you knew you could not fail? Right? It’s not to say that at times that you’re not going to go Boston through walls and having to ask for forgiveness rather than permission, that’s going to happen. Right. You’re going to make mistakes, especially with new legislation and new bureaucracies coming up with new things that you have to try to follow.

[00:07:45] And it’s okay to screw up from time to time. That’s why you should have a, like a kitty for paying fines in case. However, you know, you want to be able to take the best of what is happening in the, in this crazy world and be able to turn it to your advantage, right? Your competitors are likely going to be slow to it.

[00:08:06] And they’re going to be the ones I’d say probably 50%, if not 80% of competitors are going to be really, really down on themselves. And whoa, the future woe is me. Everything’s awful. So if you’re one of that 20% that are like, I see opportunity, you’re going to be able to crush it. Right. You’re going to come up with new and innovative ways and find other technologies that might help you be faster and more.

[00:08:31] Right. You sitting around in wine and about it, ain’t going to get the job done. You can either find a way or you can get out of the business. I mean, I don’t know what, you know, what’s Dell people, but I think that it’s a lot easier to find a way and use your team. If you’ve got a great. Enable them, you know, give them the power to go to bat and find unique ways.

[00:08:53] And it doesn’t hurt to try stuff if it fails. So what, you know, it’s not the end of the world. You’re going to bang your head against the wall, worrying about these regulations all the time. It, it, you’re going to have to find a way around them and find a way to work with.

[00:09:10]

Jason: Well, and I think it was great.

[00:09:11] What you said was they’re not going away if I, I’m not a legal or a history expert. Uh, that’s not my, my side, but I can pretty much guess that most of the regulations and legislations that come in, especially against businesses to help protect consumers, they don’t undo those. If it doesn’t seem to be effective, they don’t go back and get.

[00:09:37]

Alec: Uh,

[00:09:38]

Jason: you know, these rules, ah, you know, we’ll just undo it, right. Can spam, you know, I think everyone got the lesson. Let’s just go back to, you know, not worrying about spam emails or robocalls or things like that. Right. And so TCPA is not going anywhere. In fact, it’s only getting mess over and harder because each state is now making their own thing.

[00:09:57] Right. Florida has, what’s called the mini TCPA. So it’s putting your head in the sand and expecting things to just go back to the way. Isn’t going to happen. Um, the other part that you said that I absolutely love, obviously from my own interest in how I help companies is the fact that, okay, so you might have less opportunities.

[00:10:17] There might be less phone calls getting through because of the rules of the regulations and the compliance around making sure you have opt-in data, right? So your salespeople might have less at bats, which means if you want to succeed, they just have to. Better at converting each one of those at-bats right.

[00:10:35] Like if you’re a baseball player and you can’t control how many pitches you’re going to get, you gotta get better at hitting any opportunity that you can out of the

[00:10:42]

Alec: park. And I think something else that’s, that’s important around that too. Jason is. You’re also having an opportunity where you may not need as many heads in your business, right?

[00:10:54] If you have a better train Salesforce and they’re really good at what they do. And you know that the number of calls you’re actually connecting to were low. You know, it may sound kind of archaic to say it, but at the same time, you may not need, you know, another 10% of the workforce. You just don’t need those people that are right on the cusp of being just okay.

[00:11:14] If they’re not going to learn and get better and be actively trying to become really great salespeople. Stop beating your head against the wall as a business owner. Let those people go and find the, you know, the champions within your organization that will take this on and be like, I need to get better.

[00:11:31] I want to make more money. I want to be, I want to be the best at what I do. And those salespeople will really surprise you in how much they can close when you get, when they get live people. So it’s not the old school days where we just use the mirror test and figure out who’s going to fit. Right. You got to use tools like PI and things like that to determine who is really a good fit.

[00:11:56] And then when they get in, you gotta make sure you’re using quality assurance methods and coaching and training to keep them performing. And if they’re not going to be, you know, going on the upswing at some point, You know, cut your losses, man. But there is an opportunity for those businesses that look at it as an opportunity to be able to cut some costs in the human resources side, by spending money on training and developing your people and find out who were the best learners and the people that are going to take the most out of it.

[00:12:30] And then go to bat more times and swing harder every time they’re at.

[00:12:38]

Jason: Yeah, I think it’s important to, for organizations to realize the buyers have changed no matter what you’re selling, it could be direct to consumers. It could be to businesses. You’re still dealing with a human, with a person who is making that decision.

[00:12:52] And the buyers have changed where you’re talking about that whole, like, can you fog up a mirror hiring strategy with high rate of turnover might have been okay. 5, 10, 20 years ago. When consumers had a low expectation, they didn’t have any knowledge or information. They were desperate for help or guidance or data.

[00:13:13] Now everyone has access to all of the world’s information in arms reach. And so they have a very high expectation. Take the risk of talking to a salesperson it’s because they need help. And if your people are still fogging up mirrors and that’s how effective they are, that consumer’s literally going to go somewhere else and fill out another form to talk to a different company or go somewhere else.

[00:13:36] And, you know, they, they won’t have a tolerance like they used to for substandard. So

[00:13:43]

Alec: we’re really good point. You know, that’s something I think we all kind of forget from time to time is that the consumer is so much different, whether it’s B2B B to C, it doesn’t matter, right? That those businesses that are looking are buying they’re buying habits.

[00:13:58] In many cases, mirror their consumer buying habits doesn’t make sense from a business to business, personal. But that’s the way they do it, because that’s what they know. There’s not there aren’t classes that you go to, to learn, to be the best corporate buyer in the world. Right. You’re you’re typically buying based on price and the solution based on those different departments.

[00:14:20] ABC was the best product C had the best reporting D really had great pricing. And then we would suggest we go with D because it had the best pricing and the buyer’s like, okay, then that’s what we do. And, you know, again, it just depends, but I think you’re right. It’s really very important for people to recognize.

[00:14:43] With it, there’s an information overload and you’ve gotta be able to get to brass tacks as a salesperson so that, you know, really what’s important and why they need it and when they need it so that you can make promises that you can. Over instead of over promising, under delivering, you can under promise from the start and really, really over-deliver.

[00:15:03] And that gets that, that goes into the other part of the buyers these days, these days, right, where they’re, they’re able to look online and see, my wife is a great example. Anything we, she buys online. She’ll read through like 40 different reviews. Me I’ll look at it. I see like a overall review, four stars.

[00:15:22] That’s good enough. I don’t care. It’s only 10 bucks. What do I care? My wife will spend an hour reading reviews on that same $10 item and say, well, we’re not buying this right. I’m going to keep looking for a different one. Well, I look at that, that that’s an hour of her life that she just lost. Right. But she looks at.

[00:15:39] That I’m going to make a more informed decision and that’s, what’s happened to the buyers just because they can look at this device and see everything right. They know, or they think they know. So what they’re getting and what they’re trying to be.

[00:15:57]

Jason: Yeah. And then when they interact with a salesperson it’s for something different than information, it’s for guidance.

[00:16:03] It’s for wisdom. So let’s talk about, so we talked about the efficiency, you know, where the technology fits in, obviously to getting people on the phone more, uh, you know, we talked about, uh, uh, what it needs to be done on the sales side. So training, helping them be more successful. What are you seeing now as trends?

[00:16:25] And is the trend for the followup process still the same that I have always seen, which is salesperson makes an attempt or two, and then that lead just dies off in the CRM or somewhere else. Like what trend are you seeing? And then what ways are you seeing companies who are successful maximizing their leads and data without abusing their leads and

[00:16:49]

Alec: data?

[00:16:51] Well, so I think that there are two different ways to look at this, right? The first is going to be in a B to C environment where your typical call center is just plugging away. And whether they’re selling medical devices or they’re trying to set an appointment for vacation ownership or timeshare, it doesn’t really matter.

[00:17:07] Those organizations are, are really trying to go at it from the well from, I think the starting point, it hasn’t really changed. Right. You’re buying a bank. You’re targeting, you’re going after it. And you’re making as many calls as possible, hoping to connect to people. But the followup with those people is it.

[00:17:27] I don’t believe that it’s always as good as it could be. Now. I know from some of our clients that do a bunch of stuff in medical device and pharmaceutical and things like that. That follow-up is actually critical to their business and how I’ve seen them use their follow-up is pretty fascinating. So one company, for example, they typically have about an eight step process.

[00:17:51] Now, I don’t know all of them. They do a lot of different things for their customers. They start with their first contact with the customer who’s calling in maybe for the first time. Typically it is for the first time and they go through a sales process where they’re really flushing out what the needs of the customer are and making certain that they can meet their needs.

[00:18:09] If they can’t, they tell them straight upfront, I can’t do everything. But they can almost always meet the customer’s needs for one, whether it’s a pharmaceutical product or a C-PAP or something like that. But then they get in deeper about like, tell me about habits, tell me about what you’re doing. And they build trust and confidence with the people after that initial call.

[00:18:31] And maybe typically it’s an initial sale cause their salespeople are pretty strong. The next step is a followup call by that same agent the next day to say, Hey, I just wanted to thank you for your time. And it’s a simple thing. And most of the time they just get a voicemail. But the fact that they’re following up and just saying, I just wanted to thank then once everything is shipped, they make another call saying, Hey, your C-PAP stuff has shipped.

[00:18:57] I wanted to make sure you knew here’s, what’s going to be in the box. Here’s what you can expect. It’s still set to be delivered on ABC day. Then the day that it’s delivered, the same rep is calling back earlier in the day to make sure that they know it’s going to be delivered. And the reason that they’ve set all these up is because they found that while the delivery has happened, sometimes the people are really home-bound and they don’t go.

[00:19:22] Side very often. And that a lot of these, the delivery, people don’t even ring a doorbell anymore. Right. An Amazon truck will pop up, drop it off. We’ve well, that’s great if you’re mobile, that PR guy or gal, but if you’re not, if you’re like pretty well home bound and can barely meet. It’s not really helpful, right?

[00:19:42] The ups driver or the FedEx driver will typically knock or ring a bell, Amazon type drivers and delivery like that. Won’t always, so they realized like it’s better to be on top of it and make sure their customers are taken care of and they go above and beyond and constantly do follow up. How did it, how is it working like about three weeks in and then about a month and a half in, is everything still working?

[00:20:05] So it’s those kinds of consistent follow-up. They keep their, like their customers don’t leave them and you can see why, you know, why, you know what you’re going to get. And yeah, they may pay a little bit more for the, for the product, but they’re treated with just gold plated gloves, then it’s a great thing.

[00:20:25] And then I’ve heard of other customers that are literally turning bird. Right. And you know, if, if I’m selling some widget that you’re only using one time. Okay. Who cares? But if I really want to build a long-term relationship and I’m doing a business to consumer platform where I’m trying to build a brand, I need to have that follow-up and it could be as simple as sending out a text.

[00:20:50] No, during the phone call to say, Hey, I just want to confirm your cell phone number so I can reach you. Should I meet too about your shipment? Right. Little things like that can make a huge deal. And a lot of companies do it, but quite a few don’t. And I know of one customer that they’re losing clients because they’ve, they’ve kind of maintained.

[00:21:12] I guess lazy is the best way to put it. They’ve been lazy about it. They haven’t wanted to upgrade or update the way that they do things. They don’t want to send out emails. They don’t want to give their agents any authority to be able to send out emails in their case. They just recently decided to even give email accounts and extensions to their rep.

[00:21:32] They just don’t trust their people and you know, that is going to hurt them and their competitors are taking advantage. They’re eating their lunch and it happens right in a business to business scenario. The, the follow-up that, that I see from, you know, people that I’m working with or trying to work with.

[00:21:54] I w my team is consistently chasing however, customers aren’t really, you know, too open about getting back to you. And a lot of this goes back to that consumer mentality as a buyer, right? So I’m looking at it from the. I’m going to buy a car, but I don’t want to talk to that car salesman ever again. You took two hours of my life and people still equate any business to business relationships sometimes in the same way.

[00:22:21] Like, ah, God, I don’t want to talk to that guy. Call shaper again. He calls me every four days he leaves me a voicemail and then he sends an email like right afterwards, and then he texts me hatch, leave me alone. Well, most of us would, if you said I’m just not going to buy from you and I’m not in. I mean, it it’s as simple as that, but people are, have that mentality, like a car dealer where they, they’re almost afraid of the salesperson.

[00:22:48] And I noticed that that happens with us from time to time. I mean, my team is closing in about 30 to 35% of all deal, all leads that we get. But I know from past experience and the tech. When I had teams of a hundred, 150 people, their biggest struggle is salespeople was getting someone to respond at all right.

[00:23:10] They could make 150 phone calls in a day and get not a single belie person, but they could send 400 emails and get 10 responses. And the bad news for, for me as sales leader is too many of those reps were like, well, why should I even call people in. Well, because they’re going to pick up eventually found and you’ve been sending emails, you’re getting responses, follow that email up with an email and then call them the next day and then call them and call them and call them.

[00:23:40] And then change the days that you’re calling them and change the times of you’re calling, you know, it just it’s, it’s patience, it’s persistence. And it’s being consistent with your methodology and. It really isn’t rocket science, right? It’s just a matter of going after it and knowing what you want and not giving up until you.

[00:23:59] Um, you know, I had one of my greatest sales leaders that I ever worked for. He’s the one that taught me the can’t never could, but he also, he also had this expression that, you know, if you want to win, you got to lose a lot first and every loss get you closer to a win. Now what’s the worst thing that can happen to you at the end of the day, if you had heard no all day, really?

[00:24:25] That, that the word that is the worst thing. Yeah. The best thing about hearing that all day is that you just turn the odds in your favor for getting a yes tomorrow. So people forget that and they forget that there is this, you know, the law of averages and numbers that play into this. And, you know, people get discouraged too easily.

[00:24:43] Life has become so easy for us, uh, in the west that we sometimes forget, you know, you and I were talking earlier about first world problems, right. Having too many clothes and too much stuff, total first world problems. Another first world problem is that we’ve gotten complacent and lazy about just working hard and being diligent.

[00:25:06] That’s why immigrants do so great when they get here because they had to work hard to get here. Now they see how lazy people are and that some people can still get ahead. So. It’s a wonderful thing. When you get people that just, all they want to do is put their head down and work hard and they will find a way and they always do.

[00:25:26] Right. You know, what is the story of the ant in the grasshopper where the aunt is working? I think it’s, the aunt is working furiously, saving stuff all year and the grasshoppers playing. It might be the opposite. But winter comes and one of them doesn’t have any food and comes to the, the other one you say, Hey, can you, can you help me out?

[00:25:45] You know, the other one goes, no, man. I’ve been working like crazy all year to provide for myself. And I think that too many people who’ve gotten that, that first world problem of, uh, I can find something. I can do something else. This doesn’t matter whether you win. Right. And I think that when it comes to businesses, Business leaders have let that happen.

[00:26:05] And they got complacent and they’re not constantly working and finding a new way. I do know that too many organizations and leaders don’t focus on developing their people. They focus so much on, well, this, this process, this process, this way that we do at follow the process and input stuff into the CRM and yada yada yada putting stuff in a CRM, doesn’t make.

[00:26:32] Right. It never has. And never will. It’s important to document things and keep track of stuff, but it ain’t all that important. What’s important is being on the phone and talking to people and writing really powerful emails to get people’s attention and following up and making sure that you don’t forget about people.

[00:26:47] And I think the too many businesses forget about the development and training of their people to. Because, you know, there’s a thing now that I’m living back in new England, after being in Colorado in the west for so long, there are a lot of like swamps. And the thing about swamps is, you know, there’s, there’s very little water, fresh water coming in and the water usually doesn’t leave these things.

[00:27:11] So all of these swamps end up having Lily pads grow in algae and they’re really disgusting. So there’s just, there’s a nice, fresh water coming in, but it gets into the pond and the pond is disgusting. And you’re probably wondering where the hell is he going with this? Well, that’s what happens to businesses, right?

[00:27:29] You get these people that are super excited and enthusiastic coming in there, the fresh water coming into that pond. And then they get into the pond. It’s so overrun with algae and disgusting, garbage and goo from the organization that hasn’t decided to be able to change. And all the organization that needs to do in the case of that pond is open addiction on the other side, so that the water can flow through and things won’t grow and be nasty.

[00:27:56] And what that means is yet. There are some people that need to be let go, but there needs to also be a flow of ideas in and out. Good ideas coming in and bad ideas that are the past leaving too. And there’s not a lot of that in too many businesses, right? You get these small mid-sized businesses where Jimmy at the top just says, boo, and should jump.

[00:28:17] But that’s not really how you’re going to make a long-term successful business. And again, the training and development of people is so critical and I just don’t see it happening. Like it should.

[00:28:28]

Jason: Yeah, and I think. That is so important because obviously there’s a lot of companies who want to bring in technology and sales enablement tools to essentially babysit their kids for them.

[00:28:40] And tools and technology are important, a certain level. That’s the business that you’re in, there’s things to weigh, like you said, early on about making it efficient and effective, but we still need the people. And I think where you said how people just don’t do their follow-ups are not putting in the effort.

[00:28:56] And there’s the people who do, and the people that are. I think that’s historically been my experience at the challenge of any organization that’s providing any kinds of leads or data is I’ve literally seen salespeople sit with their feet up, waiting for the next inbound lead or phone call instead of putting in the efforts to.

[00:29:15] Reach out to their other ones or work harder or be more effective at the conversations they’re having. And it’s always that delicate balance. I mean, you want to provide people the best opportunities, the best pitches possible to hit, uh, at the same time, not spoiling them by giving them too much. And so then there’s that balance.

[00:29:34] So. Obviously, we want to have good people. People who are working hard, they know what they need to do. They’re planting seeds and they’re, they’re putting in the effort, like you said, we’ve got the technology around them. Let’s shift a little bit and look at what’s currently going on in the world. And one of the things, one of the projects that you and I did together was we co-hosted a paid workshop and it was for sales executives for sales leaders who were looking at and dealing with how do they effectively leave and run a hybrid.

[00:30:10] Sales environment. I mean, prior to the pandemic happening, I know from everybody I’ve ever seen or spoken with that, it was. An unfathomable to have a call center or a sales team that worked from home, they had to be in the office. You had to be able to look at them, walk up and down the aisles, answer their questions, you know, do whatever, right?

[00:30:32] Managing micromanaging, leading something like that. You needed everyone in place and or there’s the benefit of everyone being in one place because they can share ideas. There’s the energy, there’s the overhearing. What worked for this person? Let me try that on my phone call. Like there’s a lot of positives with it as well.

[00:30:49] Pandemic happens. Everyone gets scattered. They don’t have a choice. Some are still there. Some are back to work. Then there’s this messy hybrid, right? Like work from home is challenge. Work in the office could be challenging. And then you’ve got people in hybrid, which sometimes they’re at home sometimes at work.

[00:31:04] Where are your leaders? Where should your managers be? When do they work from home? Should they be in the office and all of that since that time, when we did that workshop earlier this year, what have you seen in the work from home hybrid in the office? Just kind of messy spectrum that companies are dealing

[00:31:23]

Alec: with.

[00:31:23] And I think I, you know, I think a lot of companies were desperate to get back to normal quote unquote, by having people come back into the office. Um, I know quite a few did, uh, just they, they just pulled the bandaid off and said, come on back in. Um, that hasn’t worked too well for a lot of. Right. And so they, they’re kind of working with a hybrid now, and most of those that are doing a hybrid or doing a, you come into the office three days in your home today.

[00:31:52] And they, you work with your manager to kind of determine what are those days that you’re in the office versus when you’re in home. But there’s a minimum number of people that have to be in the office every day. And it’s from, you know, my experience with the couple of companies that are doing it that way it’s working pretty well because the three days in the office gives people a chance to have the comradery back there’s face-to-face, they, they can have fun.

[00:32:17] But they, this one company I know of, they would’ve gone out of their way by offering really big spiffs for people that make sales in the office and then good spiffs when you’re at home making a sale, but not like if you’re in the office, so what’s happened. And this is the downside to it is that people are trying to close more deals in the office.

[00:32:41] Then when they’re at home, just cause there’s more money on it, is that what they’re doing? Well, in some cases, yes. But you know the thing about that and this, this company, and it’s hard for them to sandbag deals because it’s just the way that businesses, but they do, you know, of course they do because there’s more money in it, but it’s working generally pretty well for them because what they’ve done is created enthusiasm about being in the office.

[00:33:10] But also a feeling of, Hey, we’re not going to push you away from working from home. We actually would love it. If you work from home a couple of days a week, um, they do have some people that have kind of created a lifestyle with their kids and stuff that they need to be home. More than three days or two days a week.

[00:33:29] So some of them may need to be home four days a week that this company is working with them because they don’t want to lose their good people, but they are requiring that you got to come in at least one day of the week for no matter what. And it may just be for team meetings for, you know, team building activities that may be, you know, that you’ve whatever they just want.

[00:33:51] They want people to see each other and to work with each other. Which is a great thing. And in the call center industry, you know, we know how hard that is when you’re used to being in, whether it’s a giant call center or just a little, you know, call center with 10 agents where people are walking around and run it around and they’re on the phone and they’re standing at their desk and they’re up and down and they’ve got the emotions going and ringing a bell when you close a deal, et cetera, like all those cool things that happen.

[00:34:21] I kind of, they’re the kind of things that we all miss a little bit, even though. We didn’t want to say we missed it. Right. I know of other there’s one business to business company that I used to work for a number of years ago, and they were getting ready to come back full time until the CEO said, well, let me actually do a poll of the organization and see who actually wants to come back to the office.

[00:34:46] And probably 40%. I don’t remember the exact number of that 40% really wanted to come to. The other 60 where like, no, no, no, no. I don’t want to go back. I mean, I don’t mind coming in once in a while, but I don’t want to be forced to come back full time. And so that company is created kind of a unique hybrid work environment, but they’ve also found that I think something like five or six of their employees have sold their homes, bought RVs and work on the.

[00:35:16] Huh. So what are you going to do with those people? These are great employees like sales, engineers, and developers. Are you going to tell a developer that’s been digging on a camper and having his wifi on a satellite phone for so that you can work anywhere. You’re going to tell him now that yeah, Billy, you got to come back in and sit in a cube again.

[00:35:38] That’s not going to work. You’re going to lose that guy. Right. So, you know, there’s a lot of that going on, but I think. We’re going to find that it’s going to go back to kind of a 50, 50, right? I don’t think sales, um, salespeople are going to be, it’s going to be really hard to get, especially if it’s any type of a field sales role where you’re on the phone five days of the week, but mostly that’s on a cell phone while you’re on the road.

[00:36:07] Right. And then you’ve got the inside sales folks that are pounding, you know, 200, 400,000 calls a day. They’re more likely to be the ones that are getting dragged back into the office. Um, those field, those road warriors, probably won’t and the call centers that are doing customer service, quite frankly.

[00:36:28] Why wouldn’t you let people work from home if they’re doing what they need to do? Right. I mean, in a lot of cases, that’s a real efficient way to be, and you can have more people doing more and have really flexible schedules with people that are working from home. There’s some huge benefits to just the work from home and, you know, giving someone that has, you know, three kids and can’t get daycare.

[00:36:53] The opportunity to work from say 6:00 PM. When his or her spouse or partner gets home, they can work from like six till midnight. And then they get to sleep for midnight to seven or something when they got to take care of the kids in the morning. You know, there are a lot of, there are a lot of options for companies to get creative, to keep the best employees and not worry about if you’re going to have to lose some, not so great employees.

[00:37:21]

Jason: Well, and I, I think the real key with that is, is companies who can do that successfully a have a corporate culture. That’s strong where people understand why they’re working for that company and what the mission and vision and the core values are and they’re aligned. Uh, and then also the company is very clear on the KPIs and the metrics for success for each individual role.

[00:37:46] And that person is working towards those key metrics. Um, that way, whether they’re in the cubicle and you can stare at them or they’re at home and you have less visibility. If they’re getting it done and they’re achieving those metrics, it’s then they’re successful. And again, the right people who are right fit for the company, whether they’re at home or in the office.

[00:38:09] Could be managed the same way and led the same way now, of course, there’s the part you said where there’s some people they want to be around others. They really want to be in some people, they either don’t need that or their priorities are different other ways, but they will get it done either way. And I think, you know, kind of going to something you’ve said a few times throughout our conversation, We’re not going back.

[00:38:32] There’s no old ways. Like all companies are not going to all go back and then everyone’s going to be in an office. There will be some variation. And I think one of the things that companies need to keep in mind is. Obviously you have to have the right culture and then the right metrics. But understand if you draw the line in the sand and make people come back, if they don’t want to, they will find another job that is desperate to hire somebody and who is going to let them work from home.

[00:38:59] Right. So you just got to understand what happens. You draw that line, you know, what, what are people going to decide? Yeah.

[00:39:07]

Alec: Well, most of it, you know, you mentioned a lot of things around company culture. Trust is going to be really, really critical. Right? You gotta have people that you can trust from a leadership standpoint.

[00:39:19] So I know that Matt, when he is at home is working just as hard as he would be in the office. And quite frankly, he probably has a way better at it. Then he did when he was in the office. Cause then, you know, he had someone come and tell him that his deal fell through and now we’re clawing back his commission.

[00:39:39] And so Matt’s all ticked off about all. Yeah, but Matt said home mats, Matt, we’ll get over it a little bit easier and Matt’s not going to storm through the office being angry, like going to his boss, what the heck is going on and creating havoc for other people. He’s going to call his boss and give his boss heck what’s going on.

[00:39:57] So there’s some, there are some ways that it can really, uh, that, that trust factor can really work in everybody’s.

[00:40:06]

Jason: Well, and I think to tie it back here, as we finish up is with the technology piece, right? So again, wanting and having humans do what companies need humans to do, right. Which is to interact with other humans, whether they’re prospective customers or actual paying customers, you need that.

[00:40:26] And so you need. Lead them effectively and ensure that everyone is on the right bus, going in the right direction for the right reasons and then bring in the technology and everything else to facilitate it. Because fundamentally going from I can walk out and look at you and if you’re not making enough calls, I can come over there and see it.

[00:40:46] Or I can crank something up or down to you’re at home. How do I monitor that? How do I ensure. The machine is running without any visibility, more on autopilot. That’s where the technology and the efficiency comes in. You mentioned, you know, potentially being effective with less people, which is one avenue.

[00:41:03] One is technology. The things that we talked about to help companies just be as effective with the people they have no matter where those people are. And I, and I think that’s the key. So for people listening or watching this, they want to reach out to you. I know that you’re very active on LinkedIn. So Alec, Alec Thompson on, uh, LinkedIn also call shaper has a business page on LinkedIn.

[00:41:26] People want to check out the website, call shape. Dot com. So you’ve got that there. I know you guys also have YouTube videos and things on that. What other ways, if somebody is listening or watching this, they want to either find out more or something new or interesting coming up that, uh, you know, they may want to find out more.

[00:41:46]

Alec: Well, if any way, if you’re, if anybody’s going to be, at least gone, hit us up at our booth, I think it’s booth 5 24. It’s going to be a great time. We’re launching that new product that I mentioned earlier, the, uh, uh, caller ID autopilot to kind of take over, um, the, the manual side of dealing with numbers that have been marked as spam and being able to flip those out automatically for you.

[00:42:07] So, uh, it’s pretty slick product, and it’s going to make a huge difference for a lot of our customers. So. That’s something cool. And then of course leads gone, but you know, you can always come to our website called dot com. You can give us a call two at (888) 276-1370. Happy to help with anything. And quite frankly, even if it’s just, Hey, I have a question, you know, we’ll help you.

[00:42:31] That’s one of the cool things. And what’s one of our differentiators as an organization. We do just like to answer questions too, even if it’s not about our product. So we’re more than willing to help because my prop, my, uh, philosophy is if I can earn your business today, maybe I can earn it tomorrow. So

[00:42:49]

Jason: that’s awesome.

[00:42:50] I love it, Alex. Thanks for coming on the show and sharing all this.

[00:42:55]

Alec: Right on. Thank you, Jason. It’s been a blast as always. It’s fun to just sit and talk with you.

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