Consultant Zone

Audits can improve sales results

With so much attention now being focused on advised sales processes, particularly when applying for a product by phone via a call centre, a compliant audit procedure is essential. But that audit procedure itself can also help improve sales results, if utilised correctly.

First, ensuring that sales staff provide information in a way that is clear, fair and not misleading and without putting the customer under undue pressure to buy is of paramount importance. Second, without proper explanation or by the omission of key information, a customer can be put at risk when they make a decision on purchasing a product.

The recording of incoming and outgoing telephone calls is essential to give the customer and the product provider a reference point from a compliance perspective, but it can also help ensure that a company’s internal standards are maintained by making sure that sales guidelines are being followed. But this must be backed up by call monitoring to help identify potential inappropriate behaviours and to act as a deterrent to sales staff.

If used properly, the resultant analysis of patterns of individual sales staff activity should identify trends or spikes in behaviours that can indicate an increased risk of mis-selling. On the positive side, they can help identify good, compliant performers to use as examples for improvement in techniques and sales conversion rates.

As always, early identification of issues enables a firm to take appropriate action quickly and to put an audit trail in place. Monitoring should be carried out by competent, knowledgeable people who are independent of the sales function to avoid undue influence by sales staff or managers. It is entirely appropriate to have challenging internal checking procedures but working in partnership with an independent external supplier adds credibility.

We have been providing this service in the UK and Ireland for 3 years, with significant success. If you are looking for compliance support in this area, whatever the product line, we have the systems and infrastructure to help.