The Three Bears of Auto Dialing: Which One’s is Just Right for You?

auto dialingDo you know which call center software is right for your inside sales team? Which one will give you the most dials per hour with the best quality? If you want to know the scoop on the different types of call center software, then let’s talk. There are three main types of auto dialing software currently available for live agents in today’s market: predictive, preview and progressive. We’ll call them the three bears, because each one has unique, yet powerful characteristics that may be just right for your call center. Here’s a breakdown of the calling systems and how they can work for your inside sales team.

Predictive Dialing

Predictive dialing is a platform where multiple lines are dialed at one time per agent. Answering machines are screened, and live answers are routed to available reps. Most people are not fond of receiving a predictive call. Your phone rings, you answer and say hello, and at first it seems as if there is no one there, then a sales rep beeps in and tries to figure out who just got connected to her. Because of the delay, it is very impersonal, very annoying, and very unprofessional. Predictive dialing sends hundreds of thousands of people running for the phone, only to answer and wait in silence and confusion.

Consumers know when they are being called by a predictive dialer and often hang up before the dialer technology realizes that it has a live answer. When consumers do stay on, they are often frustrated at the beginning of the call, realizing that they are being targeted by a telemarketer, as the agent struggles to figure out who the dialer has connected to him. Additionally, companies that use predictive dialing have a variety of FTC regulations to adhere to. Different counties have different rules as to how to handle abandoned calls. Abandoned calls are those where someone answers the phone at a time when no agent is available to transfer the call to in a specified amount of time.

Predictive dialing does not work for today’s business. Low-end B2C, cold telemarketing calls were once successful and had their place in the past before abusing the marketplace and voice-over IP, but today’s sophisticated consumers are more aware and guarded when hearing a delay after answering the phone. With the advent of databases, well-qualified targeted lists, social media, and tough federal regulations that govern the practice of using predictive dialers, trends indicate that the time for predictive dialing has passed.

Preview Dialing

Preview dialing eliminates answer delays and the nonprofessional approach. The sales rep controls when the call is made by previewing the contact information first. This is often used for more complex sales calls where prior contact may have been made. Valuable insight can be gained from a review of the record that will enhance the sales call, or research on social media connections prior to the dial. Additionally, preview dialing is used as part of most progressive dialing platforms to handle callbacks. When a callback is routed, it will not autodial until the rep has reviewed his other notes.

Progressive Dialing

Progressive dialing can deliver big results. This type of dialing streamlines the calling process by automatically dialing the next contact in the queue the moment the current call is complete. This gives you the most speed coupled with the professionalism of preview dialing. When powered by queue- based, next-best call logic, it takes advantage of two very important time savers. First, it frees salespeople from searching through a call list and cherry picking, when they could’ve already called the next lead in the queue based on priority. Secondly, managers can specify, route and distribute the most important leads with queue-based routing. The next-best lead to call is ranked in the call queue by predetermined criteria, and automatically routed to the sales rep, ensuring that priority leads, such as web leads, are called first. 

Which One is Right?

So which one of the three bears is right for your business? This depends on your business characteristics, who you are calling, how often, and how much knowledge your reps need prior to the connection. Below are some guidelines.

If you are calling different types of businesses, predictive dialing won’t work. It will not do you any good because it can’t navigate the voice prompts. If your brand is important and you are not simply dialing anyone who will answer and hoping for the best, then rule out predictive; choose progressive or preview dialing. When you want sales reps to review information before making a call, then preview dialing is the right choice, and lastly, if you need sales reps to make a high volume of calls based on queue-based, next-best lead priority, you’ll be interested in progressive calling.

Above all, evaluate your business needs and monitor everything before and after selecting your dialing software. What results do you expect, and which dialer will help take you where you want to go? Without knowing what you want to accomplish, it will be difficult to detect when you get there. For more information on progressive and preview dialing visit VanillaSoft.