Ever wish you could build a sales team that you could trust to sell the job as well as you do every time? One way to make that dream a reality is by using call recording software to ensure that sales calls are being handled uniformly and efficiently.

Recorded sales calls can be used during coaching sessions with your salespeople as a springboard for a concrete discussion about what can be improved upon and, just as importantly, what's being done well.

Access to such data is also valuable when training new salespeople, especially if they need to be brought up to speed on procedures very quickly. And of course, the information you collect from these calls can be invaluable in developing scripts and checklists for salespeople to follow — as well as making sure they're adhered to once you have them in place.

This is one of the most valuable things that call monitoring does, according to Brent Trethewey of Conversion Associates (www.conversionassociates.com), an Allston, Mass., lead-management company. “It's vital that you're able to make sure your sales pitch goes the same way each time — no matter who is giving it,” Trethewey says.

For a monthly fee, Conversion Associates will record and monitor your company's sales calls and evaluate the salesperson's performance on each call. “A lot of contractors are so busy that they don't have time to do this, so we do it for them,” Trethewey adds. The call monitoring service can be purchased by itself or in conjunction with lead-generation and media-tracking services, the latter of which allows contractors to track which forms of advertising bring in the most calls.

For smaller companies, a more cost-effective option may be a system that records calls directly to a PC, making them instantly available for evaluation. RecordNow from Coordinated Systems (www.csiworld.com) lets you record and archive all calls to your PC, and costs just $300 per PC/phone installation.

Comvurgent's XTR Desktop (www.usbcallrecord.com) is a similar product, but it allows users the option of recording to a local PC or centrally on a network server.

As for legal concerns, most states allow call recording as long as there is one-party consent. However, 12 states require two-party consent. To be on the safe side, only record incoming calls and include an operator message such as, “This call may be monitored for quality assurance.” If you still want to record outgoing calls, only record your own side of the conversation.