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Service-to-Sales Transformation at Contact Centers Hinges on Soft Skills
Date:9/18/2007

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., Sept. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Contact centers have been transformed into sales centers as part of the Service-to-Sales movement that has reps selling while conducting ongoing customer service. Across industries, companies are in agreement that soft skills are critical for converting service reps to sales producers, according to a study by benchmarking leader Best Practices, LLC.

Ninety-eight percent of the 57 companies in the study reported that the two categories most frequently taught to service-sales reps are fact- finding/probing skills and soft skills (relationship building, stress tolerance and assertiveness), according to the research. Ninety-four percent of participating companies also rated the soft skill of active listening as the most important success factor for service-sales reps, according to the research.

The study, "Transforming Contact Centers into High-Performing Sales Channels: Building Service that Sustains Sales," showcases key learnings from a detailed benchmark survey of 57 companies and in-depth interviews with contact center executives. A complimentary summary of the research is available online at http://www3.best-in-class.com/rr856.htm .

Contact center executives and managers across multiple industries can use this research to compare their center's services and sales readiness, training programs and staff management approaches. The study probes four broad areas: Staff Selection Practices, Training and Development Practices, Process Management Insights and Process and Performance Management Factors.

The report delivers almost 100 innovative and effective practices and 341 metrics. Some of the findings to emerge from the study include:

-- Interviewed executives identified clear benefits to staffing with

incumbent employees. For example, a senior vice president in operations

at a financial service company n
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SOURCE Best Practices, LLC
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