Understanding Call Center Productivity: Part 3 of 3

Productive time is time that is focused directly on generating income. So what percentage of the time are you productive?

When you consider your role and what you are paid to do, how much productive time do you really invest in income generation?

Productive time does not simply magically happen; you have to be focused and disciplined and consciously create it! How much of your week last week was spent on maintenance or looking busy or administrative work rather than on generating profitable income?

As a call center leader or agent, you are a business owner, you are the individual charged with the responsibility for generating sales revenue, the most productive thing that you can do at any one time is: Increase the profitable sales revenue generation of the sales team. Even if you are in a support role in a call center, your most productive time is helping those agents actually generate revenue.

You may well be a critical component of the team, but as a business leader (that’s you Mr. or Mrs. Agent) the most productive thing that you should be doing with your time is to “Increase the Profitable Sales Revenue Generation of the YOUR business.” So let’s discuss you and the number of truly productive hours you put into a day. Do you have an hour of productive time a day? 2 hours? What’s your most conservative estimate at this point? Unless you have really focused on maximizing your productive time before, my best guess would be that you currently work no more than 2 hours of productive time a day. Remember, we are talking about time invested to Increase the Profitable Sales Revenue Generation of YOUR Business only!

So we are not talking here about writing a report that your boss needs for his executive meeting, nor are we talking about reading e-mail, observing another agent, attending training, meeting with other team members, surfing the web, planning a contest, chatting with a friend, handling customer complaints, or anything else which is not 100% focused on increasing the “Profitable Sales Revenue Generation of the YOUR business.”

So as an exercise let’s review all that you do through this window of MOST PRODUCTIVE THING time.

Consider your activities from the last 3 days. Looking at all the time you spent working, how much real time was invested in doing the MOST PRODUCTIVE THING…Increasing the Profitable Sales Revenue Generation of the YOUR business?

You need to be really self-critical in your estimate. Imagine that someone was there with you questioning every little detail. Imagine that someone was scrutinizing everything that you did, through the window of MOST PRODUCTIVE THING! Imagine that whatever you presented, we peeled it back, dug down deep asking you the tough and searching questions, all with a view to checking what you did against the productive measure of “Increasing the Profitable Sales Revenue Generation of YOUR Business.”

So be tough on yourself. Stop what you are doing right now and do this exercise. Let’s see how many truly productive hours you have worked in the last 3 days!

Remember, we are not suggesting all the other things that you had on your plate are not important and should not be done. That’s not what we are looking at here. We are simply looking at your last 3 days of work, as an average, and the amount of time you actually invest in doing the Most Productive thing possible!

By the way, the small number of productive hours that you have come up with is more than likely very indicative of the way you operate most of the time. So, if you have been super critical about where you currently invest your time, you have more than likely concluded that your productive time score is far too low. Looking at that number, is it any wonder that you are behind on your financial goals, when most of your time is spent working on things other than Increasing the Profitable Sales Revenue Generation of YOUR Business?

If your current “Main Thing” score is anything like the average, then you are most likely thinking to yourself, well that’s all very well, but with everything I have to do in a day, just how am I possibly expected to work on my “Main Thing?” There are only so many hours in a day and how am I supposed to get it all done? I am time poor as it is.

The answer lies in Self leadership. Self Leadership can be viewed as the ability to lead yourself by clearly defining what you want from life. Your vision of what success looks like for you and how you intend to get it. This means that for you to accomplish your goals you must mobilize all the resources that you have at your disposal. Your resources include your time, people, budget, talents etc. All of your resources must be put to use PRODUCTIVELY to ensure your best chance of successfully achieving your vision. This is all about maximizing your own output!

Recognizing that for the majority of us, it is very difficult to go from “Saul to Paul” overnight, how do you suddenly change your work life to reflect the call to do the most productive thing? How do you abruptly go from averaging 1 or 2 hours of “main thing- productive time” to 3 or 4 or 5 when you consider all you currently have on your plate?

It’s all very easy to say that you need to invest your time keeping “the main thing the main thing”, but how does one actually move from where one is right now to where it is that you want to be?

How do you move your business from where you are right now to where you want to be?

How do you move your current income state to earning the kind of income you really want?

How do you move your career from where it is now to where you want it to be?

It all starts with Self Leadership. Self Leadership requires you to know what motivates you to create your MOST PRODUCTIVE time. Our Values are those things which motivate us to create behaviors. Jay Niblick, author of What’s Your Genius?, has developed a diagnostic tool to help us determine our motivational values. As an example, here is a snapshot of my Values:

Values Index

The seven motivational values are:

  1. Aesthetic
  2. Economic
  3. Individualistic
  4. Political
  5. Altruist
  6. Regulatory
  7. Theoretical

Each of us are motivated uniquely by these Values. Do you know your motivational values? In order to take the next step in self leadership, you must understand yourself first. Use the link below and receive a FREE ADVanced Insights Profile which will allow you to understand your natural talents, how you are motivated to use them, and how you prefer to use them.


For more information about doing the MOST PRODUCTIVE thing, contact me at Dave.Gregory@inspiredperformancesolutions.com.


About davegregory

Dave Gregory, Chief Learning Officer for Inspired Performance Solutions, Inc., believes in the power of the strengths movement. During the past 15 years, Dave managed the Learning Solutions activities of Qwest’s Mass Markets Group, including call centers, retail stores, indirect retail, e-business, collections, alternative markets and the small business teams. Mr. Gregory graduated from Creighton University’s School of Law in 1993 earning a Juris Doctor. He completed his undergraduate education receiving a BSBA with an emphasis in marketing from the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 1990. Mr. Gregory has more than 25 years experience in business development and consulting.

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