Think of the top 5 best places to work: Cisco, Hilton, Wegmans, Salesforce, and NVIDIA. Each has a strong mission, clear vision for success, and they all provide exceptional service.
Most importantly, each is powered by the hard work and dedication of people. People like you and me who market, sell, provide support, engineer, and so much more.
The health of an organization is its people.
Without people, a company’s culture decays. In the absence of a rich and robust culture, the entire company atrophies and diminishes.
What happens if your company is forced to lay off employees, eliminate vital positions, or freeze hiring altogether? The health of your company deteriorates.
Our landmark Spam and Scam Call Economic Impact Report shows that many American businesses, ones who rely on the phone as their primary form of connecting to their customers, are facing this very issue. And it’s a direct result of having their legitimate calls incorrectly or unfairly flagged as spam or scam.
How are they supposed to ensure their company stays healthy and doesn’t fail? It’s a sobering question, but not one without hope or an answer.
In fact, organizations that suffer job loss as a result of incorrect spam and scam call flags have many strategies to maintain success, and even grow. Namely, they can:
- Retain top tier talent
- Focus energy on KPIs that matter most
- Run leaner, more agile operations
- Hire quality employees over quantity
- Partner with the right tech and tools
These are also smart best practices for organizations who aren’t faced with job loss as a result of incorrect flags on their outbound calls.
But before we dig into the details, let’s quickly review the data from our Spam and Scam Call Economic Impact Report so you have the full scope of the issue.
Job Loss Due to Spam and Scam Call Flags
To create the Spam and Scam Call Economic Impact Report, we surveyed U.S.-based sales managers, directors, VPs, and C-suite executives. One major area of focus for us was around lost jobs.
Specifically, we asked our survey respondents how many positions have been negatively affected—employees laid off, jobs eliminated, or crucial roles not hired for—due to incorrect spam and scam call flags.
There were even some—3% of our entire respondent group—who said that more than 200 positions had been negatively affected.
On the flip side of the coin, there were 17% who said no positions had been affected, and 4% were unsure.
Incorrect spam and scam call flags don’t discriminate based on company size either. While companies of all sizes feel pain from these flags, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) feel that pain the most.
The reality is that the issue of incorrect or unfair spam and scam flags on your outbound calls isn’t going to be solved overnight. It’s going to take time.
So, when you take that realization and all these data points, it can be distilled into a clear charge for you and your team.
Protect your jobs, the people who work those jobs, and your culture at all costs. Protect the most most valuable assets in your organization.
Protect Your Most Valuable Asset
Losing jobs is always bad. It’s indicative of company problems, your staff morale is damaged, and progress on vital projects is upended.
However, we’re eternal optimists here at PhoneBurner and we think there’s a silver lining to be found in job loss if you can look past the surface-level negatives. It can help you to reevaluate your operations and find ways to be a more agile, lean, and efficient organization.
Optimize your operations with new tech stack or tools. Implement better hiring practices based on quality over quantity. Retain valuable employees at all costs. Track the KPIs that matter most.
Even if your outbound calls never get incorrectly flagged spam or scam, and you’re not facing imminent job loss, it’s never a bad idea to optimize your business.
Whether you’re trying to recover from potential job loss or looking to protect the employees you currently have, here are some strategies you can implement.
1. Retain Top Tier Talent
It’s always more cost-effective to retain employees instead of hiring new. That’s an important axiom to remember whether your business is doing well or not. You don’t want high employee turnover.
When you lose employees, it can cost anywhere from 6 to 9 months of their base salary to replace them. If someone makes $100,000 a year, that means you could spend $50,000 to $75,000 getting a new employee up and running in their position.
If you’re in a situation where you’re forced to lay off good employees, eliminate important positions, or freeze hiring, the stakes are even higher. In those moments, it becomes a necessity to retain the remaining employees on staff that provide value every day.
Their hard work and support are paramount to continued success as an. Here are some retention tactics you can use:
Keep Open Lines of Communication
As a manager or leader, try to always be available if your employees want to talk with you. This is doubly important when facing a forced reduction in staff. Consider hosting an office hours session each week where everyone can join you to chat, voice concerns, or get updates on the company’s future.
Build a strong foundation of trust, transparency, and open communications. It will unify your team, help avoid missteps, and ensure everyone feels aligned on their overall progress towards goals. Most importantly, it gives everyone the opportunity to have their voices heard.
Recognize and Appreciate Work
Hard work deserves to be recognized, especially if you’ve lost staff and team members are pulling double duty. When major milestones are hit, big projects completed, or goals crushed, take time to stop and celebrate.
Start at the team level, thanking them as a group for their work. Then, get more specific and recognize the individual contributors who went above and beyond. Consider doing public shout outs, posting lists of quota-crushers, or thanking someone one-on-one for their effort.
Provide Non-Monetary Incentives
Money is often the go-to incentive to drive employee performance. There’s nothing wrong with that—it definitely works. However, don’t ignore other ways to motivate a sales team without money though. Consider some of these as an option:
- Empower top performers with more leadership roles and opportunities
- Provide monthly, quarterly, or annual wellbeing stipends
- Offer professional development and growth opportunities
- Reimburse for education opportunities related to the job
- Cover the costs of employees to attend industry conferences
Prioritize Work-Life Balance
People burn out. It happens. It’s common in almost all work environments, but especially ones that are stressed by forced job loss as well. If your team is at risk of burning out, they’re more likely to look for different jobs. Worse, they might become apathetic and tune out entirely.
Foster a healthy sense of work-life balance for everyone on your team and at your company. Encourage the team to use their PTO, remain completely “unplugged” outside of work hours, and adhere to strict start and stop times to their workday.
Connect Outside Work Hours
I’ve heard this many times in my career: “I love this job, and I’m going to stay here for a very long time, because the people I work with are amazing.”
This sense of camaraderie is built through bonding opportunities, and it’s a foundational pillar of a powerful company culture. Being in the trenches every day fortifies these team bonds, but to cement them in stone you need to bring everyone together outside of work.
Whether you do a virtual event or in-person, it’s important for people to blow off some steam and get to know each other outside of a business capacity. For example, we recently held a virtual improv session with the marketing team here at PhoneBurner that let us flex our creativity, helped us all destress, and made us laugh a lot. I highly recommend it.
2. Assess and Rethink KPIs
Any outbound sales teams and business that uses the phone as their primary means of communication with customers is going to track a standard array of calling and sales metrics. Often, these are things like monthly and annual revenue, closed-won and lost deals, and cost of new customer acquisition.
What happens if you have to lay off the people responsible for tracking a portion of your metrics?
What if you’re suddenly unable to hire for a position that would track the bulk of your metrics in the future?
What if you’re not facing and kind of job loss, but your team seems to be stuck in a growth rut?
No matter what situation you’re in, it can be smart to take one giant step back and asses your current tracked metrics. Ask yourself and your team: are these the right metrics to track for our success?
For example, you might only want to focus on closed-won deals, the length of your deal cycle, customer acquisition cost, and churn rate. And with those North Star metrics, your team may want to deprioritize number of weekly inbound calls, percentage of leads being worked, or total calls made each day.
I’m not saying that the metrics you’d deprioritize aren’t important. But if your organization is laying off employees, eliminating jobs, and freezing hiring because of spam and scam call flags, you might want to reprioritize your efforts into metrics that are going to deliver powerful results.
To that end, there may be metrics you need to start tracking that you’re not currently focused on, or even aware of. At PhoneBurner, we see successful sales and outbound teams track things like live answers on their calls and overall quality of conversations.
They’re important because they both give insight into how you’re maximizing your lead value. And leads are hard assets your business likely pays a lot of money for. Your focus is purely on ROI here.
3. Run Lean
Running a lean operation doesn’t mean squeezing the life out of every employee who’s left. You don’t want your teams to burn out. Instead, think of this as cutting needless waste and reallocating that effort to activities that will move the needle.
This is a practice that applies to both successful businesses who want to adopt a lean mentality and those force into being lean as a result of job loss. And the benefits are far-reaching:
- Focus on higher quality leads to better product, customer service, and work output
- Higher visibility and transparency on projects for teams and key stakeholders
- Increased productivity, which can boost team morale
- Less politicking and in-fighting, more focusing on value
- Lower operating costs through more efficient processes
Take your time as you work to build in a lean mindset and adapt your company. It won’t change immediately overnight. Remember, slow is smooth and smooth is fast.
4. Hire Quality Over Quantity
When the time comes to bring new talent on to your team, it may be best to create job descriptions that are hyper-personalized for a very specific skill set. You’ll probably get fewer applicants, but the ones you get will be much more aligned with what you want.
It also might take longer, and it might feel frustrating at times. But think for a second: would you rather sift through applicants who are an 80% fit at best, or hold out for that 99% to 100% perfect fit candidate?
Be patient and remember that your time spent looking for quality will net quality in the long run. Plus, you’ll avoid wasting time with unqualified job seekers—your time is the most valuable resource you have.
Last, focusing on quality over quantity ensures that whoever you hire won’t leave quickly. The last thing your team needs is for operations, projects, and morale to be even more disrupted by someone leaving in less than a year.
Here are some hiring tactics you can employ to help screen candidate and filter out the best of the best:
- Tightly align expectations, wants, and needs with hiring managers
- Write hyper-targeted, detailed, and accurate job descriptions
- Develop an ideal hire profile of your dream candidate
- Publish the job posting in targeted industry publications
- Give more weight to employee referrals over cold applicants
5. Get the Right Tech
Automation, reporting, CRM software, and power dialers are incredibly helpful, especially if you’ve been forced to eliminate jobs and lay off team members. And if you aren’t able to hire new employees, the right tech platform can help cover those important gaps until you are.
Plus, the right tool can extend the reach and productivity of your current team. Take PhoneBurner and our power dialer software, for example. When your team uses it, one user can make four times the number of calls they could previously.
“With this tool, we're able to reach a greater number of prospects in less time. I can now do the work of 2 to 3 other reps myself and generate more revenue.”—Dennis Huergo, PhoneBurner user in Financial Services with 51 to 200 employees
Whether you choose to use PhoneBurner, or any other product, the key to success is being able to get more out of your current staff without burning them out. Make sure they’re armed with the right tools needed to be effective.
When your team is more effective, you can start climbing back towards profitability, ROI, and hiring more employees. The right tools can open you back up to a growth mindset and a path to victory but remember that it takes time.
The Most Valuable Asset In an Organization Is People
Any business needs to protect it's most valuable assets. Too often though, we might get caught up in thinking about assets in a purely financial or material way. Always remember that people are the most valuable asset in an organization.
For sales organizations and outbound teams that use the phone as their primary form of connection to customers, there's a very real threat of job loss due to incorrect or unfair spam and scam call flags. Do everything in your power to protect the people who power your business every day. Retain their talent, appreciate their contributions, make the right hiring decisions, cut waste, and choose the right tech partners.
If you want to see how PhoneBurner can help you mitigate your risk of spam and scam likely call flags, sign up for a free trial today.