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Sinem Ünal

Sinem Ünal

Business Development Representative @Spiky.ai. Dog mom, love being surrounded by nature.

Sales Engagement Platforms streamline workflows and provide valuable data insights for informed decisions.

28 Sep 2022

Understand the Reasons Behind Quiet Quitting

What is your daily work routine? Do you have time for your social life beyond your tasks?

From mid-2022, these questions appeared in the minds of many employees. Especially during the rise of remote and hybrid work models after the pandemic opened the gates to rethinking career choices and being the decision maker of workflow plans. First, this quiet awakening got onto the stage. Next, people started to question subscribing to the hustle-culture mentality. Following this trend, quiet awakening started to shape into quiet quitting.

What is “quiet quitting”?

The shortest definition of quiet quitting is doing the tasks involved with your assigned role at work, no more, no less; doing your job without completing any tasks not explicitly stated in the job description.

Quiet quitting is different from great resignation – a trend of employees leaving their jobs that starts in early 2021, as a response to a consistent rise in the cost of living without an equal increase in wages to balance it out, safety concerns involving COVID-19, and ongoing job dissatisfaction. So, as quiet quitters, people are not quitting their jobs; they are quitting the idea of going above and beyond.

How does quiet quitting spread?

Quiet quitting is a new term for an old behavior, namely disengagement. Companies and employees have suffered similar conditions for years; however, the quiet quitting term became widespread after 2021. Three points that accelerate the global spread of this term are listed below:

  1. The roots of quiet quitting go back to April 2021 on Chinese social media. A social protest movement - rejecting the culture of overwork - called 'Tang Ping' (lying flat). The entire generation of Chinese youth rejected the pressures of hustle culture by lying flat.
  2. This phrase reached true popularity on TikTok in July 2022 with Zaid Khan's video, which went viral with 3 million views in just 2 weeks
  3. August 2022 Google Trends shows that "quiet quitting" hits a peak on Google.

According to 2022 Gallup surveys, quiet quitters make up at least 50% of the U.S. workforce, and one-third of employees are engaged at work. In Europe, the situation is even worse – just 14% of European workers are engaged at their workplaces.

What causes quiet quitting?

People are demanding flexibility in their jobs, willing to focus on family, travel, and hobbies equally. Under these listed conditions, they are more likely to quit quietly:

  • Feel burnout at work
  • Lack of communication
  • Undervalued at work
  • Being underpaid and overworked
  • Lack of sense of belonging
  • Disinterest with work

Managers' impact on quiet quitting

In a workplace study by HBR, more than 13,000 employees rated 2,801 managers who "balance getting results with a concern for others' needs" and that their "work environment is where people want to go the extra mile." Results show that managers rated highest on balancing relationships, with 62% of their employees willing to give extra effort and only 3% quietly quitting.

These studies point to employers creating an environment where quiet quitting happens. These are the main issues that help create this environment for employers:

  • Setting boundaries surrounding work hours – no-contact policy around out-of-office times.
  • Having regular 1-on-1s
  • Giving value and appreciation for work
  • Empowering them to say no to projects that aren't aligned with their goals
  • Asking for candid feedback and indicating that you value their opinions

What can be done instead of quiet quitting?

Quiet quitting seems to not solve the situations employees get into; it is more so delaying it. To solve the case, these can be done:

  • Decide on what makes you consider quiet quitting.
  • Try defining boundaries and setting expectations with others.
  • Speak to your manager about your concerns.
  • Push for the possible changes instead of disengaging from your role.

Spiky is here

It is possible to prevent burnout before quite quitting takes place by understanding yourself, your teammates, employees, and real responses to your actions. During hybrid or online working, Spiky can provide analysis at the level of sentiment, interest, and inclusivity to empower engagement and let every individual voice be heard.

Sources

Sinem Ünal

Sinem Ünal

Sales rep at work with laptop and computer screen on desk. Remembering essential qualities of a good sales rep.

19 Dec 2022

Developing a Good Sales Rep Profile

What is the definition of a good sales rep? This definition may vary according to the company, culture, product, and market. Some experts describe the meaning in conjunction with work experience or performance; others are firm with character and communication skills. In brief, a good sales rep can be defined both using qualitative and quantitative skills. The key is understanding the essential points of improving these skills to achieve a successful sales experience. Let’s examine some of the crucial traits and skills every salesperson should cover.

Know your product or service

Put yourself in the position of buyer in the sales process. Suppose the seller does not give off a knowledgeable impression about the product or service you will soon buy. Wouldn't you hesitate to buy it? Furthermore, let's examine the sales reps' side; understanding what they sell and every detail about the product helps them provide value to their customers. Another benefit is; since the sales rep knows the weaknesses and strengths very closely, this person will be prepared for any questions and objections coming from the customers.

Listen more than you talk

We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” This quote is attributed to Epictetus

Good sales reps treat prospect calls as a chance to understand the needs of their customers and find critical pain points for their company before trying to sell anything. Calls should be more relevant to the customer and more solution-focused. When sales reps listen to their prospects, aligning their needs with the offer becomes easier. When analyzing the top performers from 25,537 conversationsGong.io discovered that the top closers never spoke more than they listened. While average performers spoke over 50% of the time, they determined that the ideal talk-to-listen ratio is 43:57 in favor of listening.

Be curious

Curiosity is the desire to learn, explore and investigate a topic more deeply. Curiosity about other people - specifically their needs and situations - is crucial to a salesperson's success. According to HBR research, 82% of top salespeople scored extremely high curiosity levels on tests. Curiosity leads salespeople to ask questions and arouses the need to understand their customers more deeply. For example, reps that asked 11 to 14 discovery call questions had a 74% success rate - considerably higher than the other reps that asked fewer questions.

Show empathy

Empathy in sales refers to prioritizing the emotions and feelings of your customers, which builds a solid and long-lasting relationship. Reps with compassion can focus more clearly on how to solve a customer's business problems. When customers experience an established bond, they are most likely to continue to purchase products/services and spread the word to others. A 2019 study by Gartner proves that; customers are most motivated toward growth purchases when they see the sales rep as a trusted adviser. Especially one who boosts their confidence in their purchase decisions.

Boost optimism

Recently, a study, "Applying Learned Optimism to Increase Sales Productivity," conducted on over 1 million participants over 30 years, uncovered a new predictor of achievement — optimism.

Working in sales can be challenging because many say no to buying your product. Customers might not reply to your calls or messages and might even go as far as swearing you out. In the face of failure, the sales reps who know that customers' refusal is not about themselves and keep their positive view of the process are the ones that reach success. Optimism is what allows you to continue. Always keep this in mind and trust the process.

Start to develop good sales reps

We have listed some of the essential qualities that make a sales rep a great sales rep above. Who is responsible when it comes to developing good sales reps? The answer is; sales managers and sales reps personally.

Sales managers should;

  • encourage continuous training
  • understand their team's weaknesses and strengths
  • give feedback early and often
  • place a high priority on coaching

Sales reps should:

  • stay open to coaching and development
  • improve self-learning
  • track your progress
  • practice people skills

Sources:

Sinem Ünal

Sinem Ünal

A cartoon man confidently holds a clipboard and check mark, symbolizing successful online customer meetings and enhanced relationships.

24 Apr 2023

The Science of Trust-Building: Using Nonverbal Cues in Online Customer Meetings

As we endeavor to cultivate robust client relationships, it is essential to consider the evolution of our key touchpoints with clients over time. Amidst these changes, one constant that remains paramount is trust. The process of establishing trust is a critical component of customer meetings, as it is a pivotal step towards building long-lasting relationships, boosting customer satisfaction, and fostering unwavering loyalty. In fact, studies show that a whopping 81% of customers are inclined to transact with a company that they perceive as trustworthy.

How trust affects customer decision-making processes?

Effective trust-building practices can have a profound impact on a salesperson's success. Consider the following benefits:

  • Closing sales: A salesperson who inspires confidence in their customers can establish a foundation of trust that encourages comfortable purchasing decisions.
  • Customer retention: By providing an exemplary customer experience, salespeople can cultivate a relationship that fosters return business.
  • Reputation: Trustworthiness is a rare and valuable commodity in today's crowded marketplace. Salespeople known for their dependability can attract new customers and generate positive word-of-mouth.
  • Differentiation: Establishing a reputation as a trustworthy salesperson can set you apart from the competition. In an industry where honesty is often hard to come by, a trustworthy salesperson can become a sought-after commodity.
  • Long-term partnerships: Trust is the cornerstone of long-term business relationships. A salesperson who can consistently demonstrate their trustworthiness has the potential to cultivate ongoing business relationships and generate new client referrals.

How to build trust in online customer meetings?

In our current digital era, where physical interactions have become less common, the mastery of nonverbal communication during online customer meetings has become a crucial factor in establishing trust. Research has revealed that as much as 93% of communication is nonverbal, highlighting the significant impact of factors such as body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions on how a salesperson is perceived by their customers. Salespeople who have a firm grasp of how nonverbal cues influence trust are better positioned to foster stronger customer relationships and close more deals. By exploring the role of trust in customer decision-making processes and analyzing the impact of nonverbal communication on trust-building, salespeople can gain valuable insights into enhancing their sales effectiveness.

Use nonverbal communication to build trust

In the current digital era, it has become increasingly necessary to adapt to the new norms of online meetings and hone personal skills to ensure effective communication. A salesperson's proficiency in holding virtual meetings and mastering nonverbal communication skills are now integral components of managing customer relationships online.

When conveying messages through verbal communication is insufficient, nonverbal communication takes center stage. Nonverbal cues such as facial expressions, eye contact, active listening, and body language are vital because they convey genuine emotions and intentions, establishing trust between individuals. In online customer meetings, nonverbal communication is crucial as it allows participants to interpret reactions and comprehend emotions, often before any words are spoken.

The renowned UCLA professor Albert Mehrabian developed a 7-38-55 formula to elucidate the significance of nonverbal communication in effective communication. He categorized communication into three fundamental components:

  • 7% spoken words
  • 38% tone of voice
  • 55% body language

Tips for using nonverbal communication in online meetings

To enhance your online customer meetings, paying close attention to nonverbal communication cues is essential. Here are some helpful tips for mastering the art of nonverbal communication:

  1. Camera presence: Ensure that your camera angle is appropriate and you are fully visible on-screen to create a sense of presence and connection with your customers.
  2. Eye contact: Maintain eye contact by looking directly into the camera, conveying confidence and attentiveness.
  3. Gestures and expressions: Use hand gestures and facial expressions to communicate enthusiasm, interest, and empathy.
  4. Posture: Demonstrate engagement and attentiveness through good posture, which conveys professionalism and confidence.
  5. Tone of voice: Speak clearly and with intention to convey your message effectively without being too monotone or robotic.
  6. Nod and smile: Show that you are engaged and actively listening by nodding and smiling, which helps create a positive and comfortable atmosphere.
  7. Virtual background: Choose a virtual background that is professional and non-distracting to avoid any visual distractions during the meeting.

Remember to be authentic and let your personality shine through, as customers appreciate genuine interactions that help build trust and strong relationships.

Spiky's Nonverbal Cues

Spiky's advanced nonverbal analysis capabilities allow for a comprehensive analysis of customer interactions, incorporating a range of factors such as tone of voice, talking ratio, patience, facial expressions, and emotions. By combining these nonverbal cues with the verbal content of customer conversations, Spiky can provide in-depth insights into customers' underlying emotions, attitudes, and intentions, empowering sales reps to communicate more effectively and increase their sales effectiveness.

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https://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1688093/FULLTEXT01.pdf

https://hbr.org/2012/10/how-to-build-trust-in-virtual

https://tigerhall.com/resources/learning-and-development/client-meetings-make-them-trust-you

https://www.lifesize.com/blog/speaking-without-words/#:~:text=These studies led Dr.,is “nonverbal” in nature.

https://voip.review/2021/02/08/importance-nonverbal-communication-virtual-environment/

https://hbr.org/2022/06/3-ways-marketers-can-earn-and-keep-customer-trust

Sinem Ünal

Sinem Ünal

The picture depicts people sitting at a table with laptops and a light bulb and discovering sales skills with expert conversation tips.

Turn Conversations into Conversions: Tips for Sales Success

In the realm of sales, conversations are the lifeblood of success. Every interaction with a prospect is an opportunity to build rapport, understand their needs, and ultimately guide them towards purchasing. While starting your sales journey, mastering the art of effective communication at each deal stage is essential. Your ability to navigate conversations in the stages below can significantly impact your sales outcomes.

  • Initial qualification stage: determine if the prospect is a good fit
  • Persuasion stage: convince the prospect of the value offered
  • Negotiation stage: forge terms and agreements
  • Closing stage: finalize the outcome of the sales.

We will explore conversation tips for each deal stage, including qualification, persuasion and negotiation. By mastering these tips, you can enhance your sales conversations and increase your chances of success.

Qualification

Sales qualification involves assessing whether a potential lead satisfies the requirements to become a paying customer. This assessment typically considers factors such as budget, authority, need, timing (BANT), or other relevant factors to your product or service. To have productive conversations during this stage, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Ask open-ended questions to gather information about the prospect's needs, pain points, and budget.
  • Actively listen to the prospect's responses and take notes to demonstrate your interest and attention. Pay close attention to what the prospect is saying, verbally and non-verbally.
  • Use qualifying statements to summarize key points discussed during the meeting and confirm your understanding of the prospect's requirements.
  • Be honest and transparent about your product's capabilities and limitations.
  • After the meeting, send a follow-up email or message to express gratitude for their time and reiterate the main points discussed. Address any outstanding questions or action items promptly.

Persuasion

Once you have qualified a prospect, the persuasion stage begins. Here are some conversation tips to influence the prospect's decision-making process:

  • Highlight the unique value proposition of your product or service, focusing on how it solves the prospect's specific pain points.
  • Tailor your message to resonate with the prospect's goals, challenges, and values.
  • Use storytelling techniques to engage the prospect emotionally and make your pitch memorable.
  • Build credibility and trust with concrete evidence and statistics, such as case studies or testimonials.
  • Address objections and concerns proactively by providing relevant information and reassuring the prospect of your commitment to their success.

Negotiation

It is a crucial stage where both parties engage in discussions and exchanges to find a middle ground that satisfies their needs and objectives. Negotiation aims to create a win-win situation where both the buyer and the seller feel that they have gained value from the agreement. Here are some conversation tips to navigate this stage effectively:

  • Be prepared by collecting all the information you've gathered in the other sales process stages.
  • Set clear negotiation goals and know your boundaries. Be able to gauge when a deal is no longer worth pursuing.
  • Focus on the value of your solution rather than getting caught up in price alone.
  • Collaborate with the prospect to find win-win solutions that satisfy both parties.

In conclusion, effective communication is the backbone of successful sales conversations. From the initial qualification stage to persuasion and negotiation, each interaction presents an opportunity to build rapport, understand customer needs, and guide them towards a buying decision.

Sources:

https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/essential-negotiation-skills-for-salespeople

https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/how-to-negotiate-sales

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/art-persuasion-techniques-closing-more-sales-new-space-stroud-/

https://hbr.org/2010/10/persuasion-tactics-of-effectiv

McGuigan, C.J. (2005) The World's Best Sales Tips: How to Go from Zero to Hero. https://books.google.com.tr/books?id=_wOue1fcWPQC&printsec=frontcover&hl=tr&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

Sinem Ünal

Sinem Ünal

Customer support representative managing inquiries, troubleshooting, and providing solutions in a dynamic workday.

28 Nov 2023

A Day in the Life of a Customer Support Representative

Behind the scenes of every successful company, there's a team of dedicated individuals committed to ensuring customers receive the assistance they need. Who are they, and how does it all work?

Customer support representatives are secret heroes of the business world, handling many inquiries, troubleshooting issues, and offering solutions while keeping their smiles on. Let's dive into a typical day in the life of a customer support representative.

Morning: Preparing for the day ahead

The day typically starts with a cup of coffee, usually with a glance at their calendars. They're on the lookout for scheduled meetings or calls with customers. This way, they can figure out how much time they've already set aside and organize their tasks for the rest of the day.

After that, they quickly review any updates and new product features. The team huddles for a briefing, discussing the previous day's challenges and sharing insights on common customer issues. Depending on their place of work, some customer service representatives may check a customer relationship management (CRM) system for assigned queries. Then, they prioritize these queries based on urgency and schedule some time on their daily calendar to complete them. This is crucial for staying updated and ready to tackle the day's inquiries.

Mid-morning: Engaging with customers

As the day kicks off, the first task is to check emails, messages, and tickets that have arrived overnight. Each inquiry is unique; some customers require technical assistance, others seek clarification on services, and some may express dissatisfaction with their experience.

Addressing these requires a blend of patience, empathy, and technical knowledge. It's not just about solving problems but ensuring customers feel heard and valued throughout the interaction.

Mid-morning often brings a surge in inquiries. Phones ring continuously; live chat windows pop up, and the ticketing system floods with requests. Handling multiple channels simultaneously requires multitasking skills par excellence. Prioritizing urgent cases while maintaining a personal touch in each conversation is a delicate balance.

Afternoon: Continuous learning

The tech world evolves rapidly, and staying updated is crucial. The afternoon might involve training sessions, workshops, or diving into new product features. These training programs cater to various activities aimed at enhancing different skills. Sharpening skills ensure that support reps are equipped to handle even the most intricate customer queries.

Before wrap-up: Collaboration

The support team not only resolves customer issues promptly but also collaborates with various departments to prevent future problems. They share feedback with product and tech teams to fix issues and exchange insights with sales and marketing to better understand customer needs. They employ various tools and methods to facilitate this, including:

  1. Ticketing systems: They often utilize ticketing systems like Zendesk, Freshdesk, or Intercom to log and track customer issues or inquiries. These systems allow them to categorize and prioritize issues and share relevant tickets with other teams for further action or input.
  2. CRM systems: CRM software such as Salesforce or HubSpot often integrates support-related data. This allows support reps to share customer insights directly within the CRM platform, providing sales and marketing teams with valuable information for their strategies.
  3. Scheduled meetings and workshops: Customer support reps organize regular meetings, workshops, or training sessions with other teams. These meetings serve as forums to discuss customer feedback, address concerns, and align strategies across departments.

End of the day: Wrap up

As the shift of a customer support representative winds down, they finalize responses to emails or tickets, document unresolved issues, and share critical information with the next shift for a smooth transition. Additionally, they take proactive measures to categorize and prioritize unresolved issues, creating detailed reports or summaries for future follow-ups, thus laying the groundwork for continued problem-solving.

At the end of their shift, customer support representatives often convene with their managers for a wrap-up session. These sessions foster a collaborative environment, allowing representatives to seek advice, clarify doubts, and receive feedback from their managers.

How to facilitate support reps' multitasking days?

A day in the life of a customer support representative is a rollercoaster of emotions, challenges, and victories. It's not just about troubleshooting; it's about creating positive experiences for every customer, fostering trust, and leaving a lasting impression.

Spiky stands as a powerful ally in customer support, offering multifaceted assistance to representatives. Through seamless CRM integration, it centralizes and streamlines customer data. Its meeting analysis capabilities profoundly understand customer pain points, facilitating proactive solutions. Moreover, by providing shareable insights, Spiky nurtures a symbiotic relationship among support, product, sales, and marketing teams. Sign up today to experience firsthand how Spiky consolidates these diverse functions into one powerful platform.

Sinem Ünal

Sinem Ünal

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