11 Ways to Increase Sales Call Center Conversions

John Greene

April 25, 2024

14 min

Table of Contents


  • Prioritize hiring for empathy, enthusiasm, and listening skills to connect with customers effectively.
  • Train your team to focus on solving customer problems rather than just selling products.
  • Use high-quality dialers to eliminate the telemarketer delay, improving call connection rates.
  • Call from local numbers to increase pick-up rates by building immediate rapport.
  • Empower team members to cross-sell by training them on the full product catalog and active listening.
  • Motivate your agents with rewards and recognition to prevent burnout and encourage performance.
  • Make continuous sales training a priority to keep your team informed and prepared.
  • Follow up on emails persistently, using tools to track prospect engagement for tailored responses.
  • Implement strategies to recover lost sales, such as contacting prospects who abandon their online checkout.
  • Invest in noise-cancelling equipment to reduce background noise and enhance call clarity.
  • Monitor calls for quality assurance, offering coaching and feedback to improve agent performance.

Did you know that only 3% of people trust sales reps? Ouch! No wonder outbound sales can be so rough.

Even if your call center has all the right components to make sales and increase your revenue: a quality sales team, a product that you know will be useful to your target audience, and you and your team are motivated to close more deals, you’re still likely struggling with a dismal conversion rate.

As a VP or Director of Sales, what can you do to stack the deck in your favor?

In this post, we’ll help you identify the possible causes of your low sales conversion rate, and we’ll also give you 11 tips on how to improve the efficacy of your sales calls.

  • Hire With Sales in Mind
  • Focus on Solving Problems
  • Eliminate the “Telemarketer Delay”
  • Use Local & Branded Numbers
  • Train Your Team Members to Cross Sell
  • Encourage Your Agents
  • Make Training a Priority
  • Follow Up After Emails
  • Recover Lost Sales
  • Reduce Background Noise
  • Monitor Calls

Let’s get started!

#1 - Hire With Sales in Mind

The first step to improving your conversion rate is to ensure that you’re hiring with that goal in mind. While you can always train new agents on product features and sales call etiquette, soft skills such as empathy, enthusiasm, and reflective listening cannot be taught in an employee handbook. Look for and hire people who already possess these people skills so that they can easily connect with your prospective customers.

While it may be tempting to only hire extroverts, remember that introverts have an incredible capacity to connect with others one-on-one, especially if they believe in what they’re selling. Instead of hiring the most outgoing and sociable, look for people who are natural problem solvers and have an honest desire to help others.

#2 - Focus on Solving Problems

To reiterate the last point, it’s key that your sales team focuses on solving the customer’s problem. Too often, businesses are in sales mode, i.e. pushing a product without paying attention to the customer’s individual pain points. 

Ensure that your team listens carefully to how the customer describes their problem. They probably won’t use the right words or understand the problem fully. But that’s where your team comes in. Act as an expert guide instead of a salesperson. This shift changes the way that you approach your prospective customer’s problem. Instead of selling, you’re listening and guiding the prospect to the right solution. 

This strategy also gains trust because your prospective customer won’t feel like you’re just trying to push them to a solution that may not work for their needs.

#3 - Eliminate the “Telemarketer Delay”

Someone answers the phone, says hello, and then there’s a delay and a click and finally someone comes on the line. We’ve all experienced this, and we’ve all probably hung up right after. This telemarketer delay is a surefire way to tank your outbound call center conversion rate!

How do you eliminate it? By using a high quality hosted power dialer, which eliminates dropped calls and offers 100% delay-free connections. Most dialing software doesn’t do this, and having this feature is a HUGE advantage to an outbound sales team.

More connections + fewer hangups = more deals closed. Winning!

#4 - Use Local & Branded Numbers

Call From a Local Number

People are far less likely to answer the phone if they don't know who is calling. An area code they don't recognize (or a toll-free number) is likely to give a consumer pause as well.

“603. New Hampshire. I don’t know anyone in New Hampshire.”

With this in mind, it's important for call centers to do what they can "on-device" to boost trust and increase the chances of a live answer. Local presence dialing, for example, can help you dynamically display a local caller ID wherever you have a business presence. With the right dialing solution, this matching of a Caller ID to your contact's location happens automatically.

Branded Caller ID can also give your call center an edge. This service gives your call center control over the business name that displays on each of your phone numbers when calling over 250 million mobile devices across major carriers. Unlike CNAM, this option is fast, flexible, and seamless. Instead of contacts seeing a number they may or may not recognize, your business name displays to reduce skepticism and improve the number and quality of your call center interactions.

#5 - Train Your Team Members to Cross Sell

Upselling (i.e., convincing the customer to purchase a higher-priced product) gets a lot of attention, but don’t forget the benefits of cross selling. When you cross sell, you sell additional products. Cross selling can increase your revenue even more than upselling, especially if you train your team to solve problems through active listening. By listening to the prospect’s pain problems, your agents will find more opportunities to sell additional products.

Be sure that your team knows your entire product catalog and empower each agent with the ability to sell more than just one type of product. This is crucial because, if your agent has developed a rapport with a customer, transferring to a different department could jeopardize the sale.

#6 - Encourage Your Agents

It's easy for sales team members to get burned out when they’re dealing with one “no, thank you” after another. 

Look for ways to encourage and motivate your team. Reassure your team that they’re doing a good job and celebrate every win as a win for the entire team. 

Consider creating a rewards program that incentivizes success. Set goals for the day, week, month, quarter, or year, and give real prizes when your team meets those goals. Prizes may include gift cards, paid time off, team parties, and more. Separate your sales group into smaller teams and use a leaderboard to keep score and spark friendly competition and naturally encourage their fellow team members.

#7 - Make Training a Priority

Make Sales Training a Priority

Training isn’t just nice to have, it’s a must-have. While you should hire people who are naturally talented in selling, you should also provide ongoing training to equip them for the task. In other words, it shouldn’t be a one-time-only event for new team members.

If you make any changes to your products or release new features, don’t forget to give your sales team a hands-on demonstration. It will be easier for your team to sell a product that they’ve used before.

It can also be great to role play sales scenarios with your team, tackling different objections and questions that are likely to come up, so that your sales team is prepared for the curveballs that will inevitably be thrown their way.

#8 - Follow Up After Emails

Do you send emails to your prospective customers? It’s rare for the first outreach email to get a hit. It can often take 5, 6, 7 or more follow-ups before you book a call or get a sale, so persistence is key!

Luckily you can use PhoneBurner to get notified when prospects open emails, click on links, view documents, or watch a video. Your agent can track the prospect’s engagement and then tailor their response accordingly. This feature also gives your team an active list of people to reach out to each day.

Learn more about our activity tracker feature here.

#9 - Recover Lost Sales

If you run a business that sells online (and who doesn’t nowadays), it’s absolutely essential that you have a plan to call back prospects who’ve abandoned their sign-up or checkout process. You have a tiny window of approximately one hour to recover the sale, but the sooner you call, the better. If you don’t reach out within 10 minutes on average, most buyers will have gotten distracted, lost interest in the product, or started the process of buying from someone else. 

A best practice for any ecommerce shop is to capture contact information early in the buying process, a long time before getting their payment information. This allows your team to reach out to the buyer if the purchase doesn’t take place due to an issue with your website or buyer hesitation due to an unexpected charge.

#10 - Reduce Background Noise

Reduce Background Noise

If you have a busy call center, background noise could be the cause of your poor conversion rate. Not only is background noise considered unprofessional, it can lead to a negative customer experience when they can’t hear your agent clearly or, worse, they can hear your other agents socializing with each other too clearly. 

By investing in dialer software with built-in noise cancellation, you can help ensure that noise doesn't get in the way of quality conversations. Furthermore, you give reps peace of mind and allow prospects to focus on the sales message, not what’s happening in the background. Noise cancellation technology improves productivity and performance so it's well worth your attention.

#11 - Monitor Calls

Monitor and Coach Live via a Live Calls Dashboard

Running a sales team is hard, but without being able to listen in on live calls to provide coaching and support to your sales team, it’s easily 10x harder.

Did you know that PhoneBurner allows you to record phone calls? Better yet, you can pull up your "Live Calls" dashboard to oversee your entire team - and silently monitor live calls, whisper in your reps ear, or join a call live. These features help you improve performance and outcomes in real-time so reps can continually improve their skills.

Final Thoughts on Call Center Conversions

To effectively sell over the phone, implement as many of the above tips as you can.

Not only will these strategies improve your revenue, but they’ll also boost team confidence and ensure that you’re building trust with all prospective customers. Each of these tips can significantly boost your sales call center conversions...and of course, those lovely performance bonuses!

Before you go, check out these additional resources to help get the most from your outbound sales efforts:

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