My Life as an Outbound Sales Agent

Monday, 21 July 2014

Posted by: Audrey McMillan, Sales Agent, Stellar Europe

So let me set the scene on how I came to be a contact centre sales agent.....
It was summer of ’77 (not ’69!), Alice said “School’s Out for Summer”, Bowie was Alladin Sane, Rod was singing about his Maggie May, Mott was in the charts, and me and All the Young Dudes were just loving our music! It was August, and the world was a sadder place having lost Elvis at just age 42.

As a music fanatic, I spent my early career working for a major high street retailer for 19 years selling records, never thinking that I would do anything else. However, the retail sector hit on hard times, and became more demanding of my time having to work 7 days a week, so I decided to find a new challenge in the form of Electronics Manufacturing which was seeing the start of a boom period in the UK, and Scotland in particular. I found myself a job at a circuit board manufacturer based in Ayrshire, before making another change in direction ending up at a health sector company making medical textiles which were exported across the globe. In 2004, I unexpectedly lost my mother, which caused me to seek a job based closer to my father. That’s where I found contact centre business Stellar, based on my doorstep in Irvine, Ayrshire, which was operating under the brand of Excell at that time.

Surprisingly, I took to the contact centre sales environment like a duck to water. Managers and fellow Agents were very friendly, and I really enjoyed the competition between sales teams on who could be the top performer. After the first 3 months, I found that I could earn good money with my sales bonus, and was very happy in my job. I worked hard for the rest of the year and was absolutely delighted to receive the company’s Agent of the Year award for 2004. I was very proud and I know that my dear mum would have been so proud of me as well. The award was made all the sweeter as it also came with a monetary reward which I received monthly for a full year. Things were starting to look up.

As Stellar won new clients, I was frequently selected as part of each new trial team, which was a great privilege. As the years passed by, I was awarded Agent of the Year again in 2008, which was a first at Stellar for the same person to win twice. That was a real honour.

During my many years at Stellar, who support major UK and global brands from the Financial Services sector as well as other sectors, I have worked on numerous client sales campaigns that involved both insurance and non-insurance products. Stellar always make sure that you receive full product knowledge training, and you always receive good support from your Team Manager, which is great as life in outbound sales can be really enjoyable, but also frustrating at times!

2014 arrived with a bang as I was celebrating my 10 year anniversary working for Stellar. How time had flown by, and I can honestly say that I have really enjoyed working on over 21 different client campaigns during that time, each bringing their own challenges and special moments to remember when I’m old and grey. (Keep the sarcasm to yourself please!). Hopefully there’s time left for just one more Agent of the Year award, as a hat trick would be unbelievable.....so watch this space!

For those who don’t know what to expect when working in a call / contact centre, the first thing I do is meet and greet my “special friends” – my team members. Before the shift starts, we have a team brief where we review the previous days’ results such as number of sales achieved, monthly performance updates etc which also gives us the chance to discuss issues or celebrate successes with my team and our Team Manager. As Stellar operates on behalf of some major brands, I can honestly say that Treating Customers Fairly really is important to Stellar, and we also have our own in-house Quality Assurance Department called the ListeningCentre who monitor calls throughout the day to ensure that we are selling our clients’ products and services in a compliant way.

Every sales person has their own style, but for me, I treat every call as my first call of the day, and I like to focus on building rapport with each customer as early as possible in the call, paying close attention to any questions or objections they have so that I can provide them with the best answer possible. Let’s be honest, people buy from people! Obviously I need to make sure that what I’m saying is accurate, as quality & compliance is also a big focus for Stellar given that we are ambassadors for our client’s brand.

On a personal level, I really enjoy helping my team members whenever I can, and I am frequently used by my Team Manager to help with performance coaching by “buddying up” with new team members to help show them ways to improve their selling skills or just to give them some reassurance. There are lots of opportunities in Stellar to advance your career, but I have never wanted to become a Team Manager as I genuinely enjoy the rewards and competition of working in a team, and of course we are all just players in The Big Team.

Many people think of working in a contact / call centre as just a short term job, and not a long term career option. Well at Stellar, we have loads of employees with over ten years service, and the company takes them out each year for a free slap up meal by way of thanks. Not many companies do that these days, so if you’re thinking about a career change, or are just starting out on the big bad world of employment, why not give Stellar a try, you might be pleasantly surprised.

If you are interested in working for Stellar, you can visit our website at www.stellarbpo.co.uk or contact our Recruitment Hotline on 0845 658 5970. We are also on Facebook and Twitter.

If you are a business and are considering outsourcing your customer management, why not give Stellar a call:

Brian McKee (Marketing Manager)
Stellar Europe
4 Symington Place
i3 (formerly Riverside Business Park)
Irvine, Ayrshire
KA11 5DE
T: 01294 225337 / 07957818678
Email: bmckee@stellarbpo.co.uk