Life in Outbound Telesales

Deb Cabrera

Outbound Telesales Manager

April 27, 2021

We sat down for a (socially distanced!) cuppa with three of our Sales leadership team. Deb, our Outbound Telesales Manager, Jo, Head of Customer Services and Katie Todd our Head of Network Expansion Sales who all started their careers with Virgin Media as part of our Outbound Telesales team.
We wanted to find out about life in Telesales and how this has helped shape their career development journey here at Virgin Media!

Deb, you lead our team here in Manchester. Tell us about what it’s like to work in outbound telesales?

It’s great! The atmosphere is brilliant because of the diverse culture within Telesales. We’re very team-orientated here, so it’s easy to build connections and friendships that can last a lifetime. There are a lot of people that have been here for quite a while who love having new people join the team. They happily take them under their wing, giving them great hints and tips to help get them up to speed.  That’s on top of the amazing induction programme new joiners go through.   It’s a fast-paced and ever-changing department. If you like change, it’s an ideal job. It’s competitive – but all friendly competition.


That sounds great.  So, you all started your Virgin Media career in this department. What does it take to be successful in Telesales?

Katie – Resilience. Outbound Telesales is competitive – you make call after call, so you need to be interested in people and resilient.

Deb – I think having a great attitude sets you apart as one of the best.  A great attitude and you’ll reap the rewards!

Jo – You have to be driven and self-motivated as you have to make the same volume of calls each day, saying the same things on each call. There’s a lot of money to be made through commission, but it’s got to be driven by you. Your peers will listen to your calls and give you feedback to help you improve, so it’s great if you are the type of person who can absorb feedback well, as you’ll really thrive.


Sounds like a great role to earn fantastic money!

For those that want to know more about career development, what are the development programmes at Virgin Media?

Deb – Our Evolution Programme is second to none!  It’s a programme for aspiring managers that focuses on the skills needed to become an effective leader at Virgin Media.  Think customer experience, project management, commercial awareness, influencing skills.  Everything that you need to know to help you with future career opportunities whether that’s managing people or projects.  It really sets you up for success!

All employees also have access to LinkedIn Learning which has thousands of courses for our people to continually broaden their knowledge and learn new skills.  Whether it’s formal programmes like the Evolution Programme,  self-lead training on LinkedIn Learning or  learning from your peers and managers there are so may opportunities to become better at what you do and have a flourishing career!


Our Belonging strategy leads the way here at Virgin Media.  What does belonging mean to you?

Deb – Our Belonging strategy is really important. It’s about accepting and fully appreciating people for who they are. It’s so vital that people can come in to work and be their whole self. It’s really helping us to shift the dial and it’s really clear to see the positive change it makes, as people feel comfortable and happy in their working environment.

Katie – I head up the Gender Equality Network along with my colleague Dave Hodson and we also have other network leads that help support our business make change to ensure that all of our employees feel that they bring their authentic self to work. An example of some of the things that we’re launching and reviewing is our menopause policy and understanding how gender equality can affect employees in their career progression.  We’re serious about making change and creating an Inclusive environment for all.


Deb, what do you love about leading Outbound telesales?

Deb – It’s the vibrancy of our brilliant people. I love working with people and being responsible for making people smile. It’s important that I’m honest and authentic with my leadership style and I know this helps the team flourish and be the best that they can.


Jo, you spent a long time in Telesales and have recently moved over to lead our Customer Care department.  What have you learnt in Telesales that you have been able to apply to your new role?

Jo – I think Telesales gives you strength, motivation, and the belief to succeed. Telesales is also really good at recognising talent. I’ve always felt that I’ve had the support in whatever I wanted to do. I mastered the job I was in and had the backing of the team around me to step out of an environment I was comfortable in and to move into a new challenge where I didn’t know anyone. But it’s taking what I’ve learnt – all that motivation and drive and stepping into the new world and believing in myself to go and do it. The support is immense.


Katie, you’ve been in a variety of different roles and environments. What skills have you learnt that have helped you develop?

Katie – Telesales is a great start to a career. I learnt all my skills in the Telesales Manager role that I did. I learnt how to manage people, set targets and be resilient. It was just a great all-round basis to start your career in and that gave me the boost to then look outside of Telesales. The skills I learnt were to believe in myself, competitiveness… The support in Telesales in brilliant. It really helps your confidence. I think women can lack self-confidence sometimes, but we were consistently praised and recognised for our performance, which really helped!


You’ve all had successful careers here, so what makes Virgin Media unique?

Jo – It’s a fantastic company who have continued to support me, invest in me and allow me to be myself. It was already an inclusive environment 27 years ago when I joined and it’s continuing to go from strength to strength. Here, you can have a career where you are truly looked after.

Katie – The fun element. Incentives, holidays… We have an amazing lifestyle off the back of this career. Virgin media is a work family – it genuinely does feel like that.

Deb – I like the fact that people look out for you and you look out for them. People are willing you to succeed and wishing you well. Me, Jo and Katie have worked together for many years and I know I can reach out to them whenever I want, and I am here for them too.

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