In a culture of self-management, the boss looking over your shoulder is you. Self-management is the ability to plan, direct and control your own efforts. There are many work environments in which the ability to self-manage is vital to success, and our work from home job is a good example. In our virtual call center, you are the boss looking over your shoulder. You set the pace at which you work. You decide your own goals. You decide how much time you devote to developing or honing your skills.
Working from home in our outbound virtual call center is the opposite work environment from a traditional, physical call center where people are plugged into a headset in a cubicle with the phone being dialed for you in a very structured workspace. It’s hard to imagine a less flexible work environment than the classic call center. There is not a lot of freedom in that work environment, however, that structure does serve a purpose and some people prefer to have that structure. Working from home is still not for everybody, with or without COVID-19.
There is a catch. Our virtual call center is a significant departure from the traditional call center. Our model relies on the right people rather than the structure. Our virtual environment and pay system allow us to provide higher pay to our Lead Generation Specialists and the freedom of working from home, however, there is a catch. The phone does not dial by itself and there is nobody looking over your shoulder. You decide what you put into the job. How many dials you make is directly corelated to how much money you make.
The good news is that there are ways within the same job to make more money. Performance-based pay rewards productivity and results. Any small improvements in any step of the process add up over a day, a week or a year—the power of multiplication kicks in.
Make more money without getting a second job. Making more money within our performance-based pay job boils down to three basic categories; 1) work more, 2) work smarter and 3) work faster. Or of course, do all three. If you work in an hourly pay environment, the way to make more money is to get a second or a third job. With our performance-based pay job, there is an option to increase earnings without having to look for a side hustle or additional job.
- Work more. One straightforward way to increase income is simply to increase the hours you work. There are 12 daytime work hours available from which to choose. The option is there to start early and stay late. You decide how many or how few hours you work as long as minimum requirements are met. One way to get more dials in is simply to dial for more hours.
- Work smarter. Some people have very consistently high conversion rates compared to others. You can improve your conversion rate in several ways. Even if you work the same amount of hours, it is possible to convert more conversations to leads by improving your skill in several areas; 1) lead management, 2) delivery of the value proposition, 3) overcoming universal objections that occur on all accounts, 4) overcoming specific objections unique to each client account, and 5) getting through to more decision makers.
Being more prepared to overcome each type of objection can lead to a higher conversion rate. Having a good lead management system will make sure you don’t miss any call backs and that you call decision makers back at the right time. Reaching more decision makers can come from a combination of skills such as being effective in getting through voice mail, gatekeepers, and getting more return phone calls. One other point about working smarter, getting it right the first time eliminates the need to have to call back because you forgot something or made a typo in an email address.
- Work faster. You can accelerate getting more done in the same amount of time worked in several ways; 1) increase your dials per hour, 2) streamline your notetaking, 3) spend less time in between calls by not sitting on hold too long and then getting to the point when you reach a decision maker. Too much chattiness takes time away from dialing the next call.
We have a shorthand system for note taking on each record called standardized comments, however, some people still choose to spend time writing a novel on each record. One record doesn’t matter that much, but when you add up how many records we touch in an hour and in a day, that extra time really racks up over a week.
When I used to jog over at Memorial Park, there was a guy running the same three-mile track as all the rest of us, but he would lap most other people, including me. I didn’t clock him but he was probably running six-minute miles. We have people who are the dialing equivalent of that guy who laps most other people on the track. There are people who work six hours and make 90 dials and there are people who work six hours and make over 200 dials because they average more dials per hour.
Learning new skills takes time and effort. Yes, it is uncomfortable to push yourself to work at a faster pace. It is uncomfortable to challenge yourself to learn new skills or to hone existing skills, however, there are rewards for those who do. Any improvement in any part of the process that leads to more total time talking, ringing and dialing also leads to making more money. The resources are there. The mentors are there. The rewards are there. Knowing they are there is not enough. In a culture of self-management, you are both a manager and a leader of your own time. Some people thrive in a culture of self-management where the boss looking over your shoulder is you. If you are reading this, maybe that person is you.
About the Author
Tracie Chancellor, CEO and Founder of TeleReach Corporate, national business to business call center specializing in sales appointment setting and lead generation, based in Houston, Texas. Chancellor is an MBA graduate of the University of Houston with over 20 years hands-on sales and marketing experience, working with privately-held businesses, universities, non-profit organizations, as well as Fortune businesses in the business to business marketing space.