Telemarketing Software Featured Article

Understanding the "Three Bears" of Auto-Dialers to Improve Inside Sales Metrics

September 26, 2016
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Telemarketing Software Contributor

In inside sales, the number of calls per hour is an important metric that is often used to measure the success of a campaign as well as the individual performance of sales people. The amount of time that is often wasted in manually dialing calls is enormous, and it can seriously depress the calls per hour metric.

Most inside sales or telemarketing functions use some kind of software in their daily quest for leads, appointments and sales closures. The sheer variety of options can be confusing, but inside sales experts generally agree that auto-dialing capability – whether predictive, preview or progressive – is vital for the success of a sales campaign. But the three capabilities (VanillaSoft’s Genie Parker calls them “The Three Bears”) can lead to very different results, so it’s vital that companies know what they’re getting when they choose a telemarketing software solution.

Predictive dialing, which involves a system that calls many numbers at once and connects to a live agent if someone picks up the phone, is not a well-loved technology by Americans. (It’s what leads to the pause at the beginning of a telemarketing call.) Preview dialing, notes Parker, is simply a better option as it eliminates answer delays and the nonprofessional approach.

“The sales rep controls when the call is made by previewing the contact information first,” she wrote. “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.”

Sales departments looking for an even more professional approach may ultimately want to look at progressive dialing, which automatically dials the next contact in the queue the moment the current call is complete. This technology takes the advantages of preview dialing and adds queue-based, next-best-call logic, which can save even more time in two ways, according to Parker.

“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,” she wrote. “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.”

Preview and progressive dialing can lead to improvements in call quality as well as speed. They allow inside sales personnel to review customer information before the call is connected, which takes some of the “cold” out of cold-calling, all while improving the vital calls per hour metric. The software-based nature of these solutions makes them affordable today, even for smaller organizations, and they are important tool for sales managers who wish to improve both speed AND quality metrics. 

Edited by Alicia Young