Assessment centers and sales exercises

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Recruitment Coordinator

The Listening Company

Assessment centers and sales exercises

I am trying to come up with some new ideas for assessment centers focusing on sale roleplays.
Can you recommend any websites or literature on this topic.

Call Centre Manager


Hi Atanas.

Try for general stuff on recruitment. You should find stuff on this forum if you search the archives too.

Hope this helps




Assessment centres and sales exercises

I've conducted and designed no end of these. The overriding factor is to make it fair, measurable and consistent.

Here are some thoughts in no particular order.

Products that work well and are quite popular at the moment include; mobile phones, utilities, telecoms/internet packages, credit cards, estate agencies, etc. Ideas that don't work well are negotiable sales, products with too many visuals, products that are too complex and cutting edge.

You may find it difficult getting specifics from the web or here as actual examples are valuable information and often subject to corporate copyright/IP.

Assess all candidates from the perspective that they have no product knowledge.
List some features and benefits, its sometime helpful to use actual products and product brochures. Have a couple of your own objections figured out. Decide which competencies you are assessing and if the role play actually hits those competencies. Ensure all assessors score the same.

For a simple o/b telesales call of 3-10 minutes the role play should last about the same and this time factor should be carefully monitored.

Give the assessors a well thought out brief, listing all the candidate brief, plus objections, style issues and key client specific areas to focus on.
Always try and conduct the role over the phone.

Allow room for creativity and imagination, whilst salespeople should not be dishonest or stray from the brief, the creative but accurate use of language, influencing techniques and benefits are a bonus. Charm does sell.

There is often debate about the fact that you should let the candidate get the sale so's not to throw them off course and disadvantage them for the rest of the assessment centre. However most assessors seem to be of the mind that you don't agree to buy for every candidate as this isn't reality.....this debate rages.

Is an appointment a sale? Not if the brief explicitly says you should sign the customer up over the phone.

Always ask 2 or 3 meaningful questions at the end of the role play as this seems to relax candidates and seems to reassure them their efforts didn't go unnoticed. Questions such as "How do you feel that went?" don't really help you judge their demonstrable sales skills - just their subjective recall of a situtation. Never feedback immediately if asked, your judgement and recall may be based upon emotional reaction rather than observable evidence.

Lastly always use experienced assessors conversant with employment law candidate reactions and the implications of the Data Protection Act, that way you cover yourself and can cope with the unexpected. I've had candidates literally break down (the previous role play she encountered involved a death on the railway!!), freeze, disappear, communication issues, dyslexia, disability issues you name it.

call centre agent

cell c pty limited

Assessment centers and sales exercises
i am in need of information regarding the rights of call centre agents.
i need info that can help me to understand who is allowed to assess calls , can they listen in on live calls and does the agents permission have to be asked in order for the calls to be listended to



UK perspective

>>i am in need of information regarding the rights of call centre agents.

Ashley you don't specify which country you are looking for, as far as the UK goes this is covered under your normal UK employment rights and may even be specified in your contract. Under the Data Protection Act you have the right to see (and hear) any data that has been recorded. This includes actual recordings, notes, scores and monitoring forms.

>>i need info that can help me to understand who is allowed to assess calls ,

Anyone including clients

>>can they listen in on live calls


>>and does the agent's permission have to be asked in order for the calls to be listened to


Phone calls in a call centre are an integral task within your job role and as such it is reasonable for any employer to listen to calls (without notice) and train and develop you on their improvement and compliance.
It is quite normal for you to have been informed when you joined the company but no further notification is required. If you have ISO9001 or IIP you should definitely have been informed.

This link contains more detail. As regards the Human Rights Act I am given to understand that the Human Rights Act article 8 only covers private correspondence.

The most frequent complaint is  that the person listening in is not able to provide meaningful or constructive criticism, for development purposes especially if its a client listening in.

[Edited to make link clickable, JTC, 12/7/2004 0735]

Call Centre Manager



This website has info on the legality of recoring if that's any help too.


Account Manager

Business Systems UK

Hi There

This is something we send out to our customers who have this question hope it is of some help
Guidelines on Legalities of Recording Calls

Kind Regards


Recording Employees
Earlier in 2003 there were some major amendments to the Data Protection Act**, in particular, in relation to the monitoring of employees and recording of information, be it data, video or voice. Organisations doing this must now let employees know they are being recorded before doing so. Legally you must make available telephone lines, which are not recorded, available for employees to make private telephone calls (these can be pay phones). Good practice guidelines advise that you tell employees why you are recording them.

Recording Customers
The organisation must put in place a process whereby every customer is notified that his or her call may be recorded and what the purpose for recording is, prior to the telephone conversation is taking place.

For incoming enquiries, many organisations insert a notification into the IVR system, as this ensures that every caller is notified. The phrase: "Your call may be recorded for training or monitoring purposes" is most commonly used, because it notifies the caller that they may be recorded and tells them for what purpose. Equally, recipients of outbound calling must also be notified at the beginning of every conversation, to give the person opportunity to object.

Some organisations notify customers through adverts and literature. This is not required or ideal, as it cannot guarantee that every caller will see it before calling.

The same principal, the agent must advise the customer that they are about to be recorded, before hitting the record-on-demand button. They should not record any call without notifying the customer first, no matter what the circumstances (i.e. if the customer is irate).

**Recording guidelines are detailed in the 1st Principal of the Data Protection Act, entitled:
Fair and Lawful Processing.

For further details about any of the above or information relating to FSA Regulations or Insurance Obudsman Guidelines contact Business Systems UK Ltd on 020 8326 8200

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