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5 reasons not to hire more telesales staff

By Victoria Dyke on Fri 31 October 2014 in Sales

It is no secret that telesales is an expensive exercise. Recruiting, managing and employing people is time consuming and costly – there is no getting away from it.


The trouble is that in most cases, telesales teams are used for transactional tasks. Order processing and quoting often spring to mind.

I recently met with a client who are now taking more than 60% of their orders through their website. With this volume of orders they would have had to employ 2, or more likely 3, more administrative staff just to rekey these orders into their accounts system. A costly resource, without taking into account the errors that inevitably happen in manual processes. Luckily they had invested in a solution integrated to their accounts system so never had to face that cost.

Let’s take a look at why else you might want to consider an alternative route to hiring more telesales staff

1. There are only 8 working hours in a day.
If each order takes 10 minutes to process then you are looking at a maximum of 6 orders an hour and 48 orders a day… And don’t forget lunch, that takes you down to 42 orders a day max.

2. The average rekeying error rate according to Experianis 1.3%
This means based on the above at least 3 of your orders will be wrong potentially costing you not only money but the relationship with your customer.

3. Underselling, or worse overselling stock
Telesales rely on real time data to know what stock is available – and quite often you will find they undersell stock to avoid the risk of overselling.

4. 80% of telesales teams time is spent on admin
Of your teams 7 hours working, 5.6 are spent on admin. This means that 8 of those 10 minutes spent on order processing is made up of admin. Take away this time spent on admin (that realistically can be done by a piece of software) and each of your orders would only take 2 minutes – that’s an additional 162 orders per day or an order growth of 337.5%.

5. When your telesales team is working so are your customers
Your customers are busy running their own businesses – they ideally want to re-order stock at a time convenient to them, a time that your telesales team are otherwise busy.

Despite the points above, I am not suggested you get rid of your telesales team. Simply take away the hum drum repetitive activities (such as order taking, checking stock or calculating discounts) and free up the time they spent on error prone manual tasks to be spent on pro-active customer advice.

The easiest way to do this is by extending your business online.

Through integration with Access Dimensions, Exchequer, Pegasus Opera & Sage 50 you can provide customers with valuable account information. Open your business hours to 24/7 ordering whilst providing customers with special pricing, repeat orders, past purchase information and stock availability. And have orders confirmed directly into your accounts system, removing the elements of cost and error in your order processing.