Have you ever answered your phone to a long pause followed by what appears to be a scripted sales pitch? Before the person on the other end even finishes speaking, you hang up feeling irritated that you’ve received another telemarketing call? Then you wonder how that company even got your cellphone number in the first place. Well, this is the work of a predictive dialer.
What is a Predictive Dialer?
A predictive dialer is a calling system that companies use to automatically dial phone numbers. Predictive dialers are commonly used by telemarketers and business development reps.
What sets predictive dialers apart from standard auto dialers is the prediction factor. Predictive dialers estimate when exactly a call will end so that the next call is initiated as soon as possible. This unique call system can also dial multiple numbers at once and then transfer concurrent calls to available call agents. So you can imagine that this technology is favored at call centers but it doesn’t really make sense for individual sales reps making calls.
That being said, there are benefits to predictive dialers. Salespeople save a substantial amount of time by cutting down on manually hanging up and dialing new numbers, a task that could take up to 30 seconds. A study showed that call agent productivity increased by 200 to 300%. Salespeople and telemarketers are also able to contact far more people in a given day with these simultaneous calls.
Shortcomings with Predictive Dialers
Predictive dialers allow salespeople to reach more potential customers in a shorter time span but there is a trade off – they sacrifice quality for quantity. In order to ensure you and your sales team are using predictive dialers without sacrificing quality, here are some common issues you should be aware of:
- The Call Agent is Unprepared: Before a rep begins a script, he or she has no context as to who is on the other line. They don’t have the chance to complete prior research. Calling a potential lead with no preparation often results in a mechanical conversation with little to no impact on the prospect. One of the most important skills for a salesperson to have is building a relationship with a prospect. If you use predictive dialers, a tool like Staccato can help you understand the social structure of an organization and make sure you are prepared.
- The Caller Can’t Prioritize Leads: Another major challenge for predictive dialers is not being able to prioritize leads. Predictive dialers are essentially calling a list of phone numbers but reps are unable to control who the predictive dialer calls first versus last. When reps are connected with a prospect, they have a split second to see who they are speaking with and leads to a potentially awkward start to your conversation.
- Predictive Dialers Can Cost You Leads: Predictive dialers can do the work of calling more leads faster in a shorter time frame. While this may seem more cost effective, it can actually produce negative results. Many people are put off by the stereotypical telemarketing phone call and hang up even before hearing about a product or service. Prospects are wise to the technology so it’s critical that you make your call as personal as possible. Staccato’s Call Simulator can help prepare you for more personalized calls.
Alternatives to Predictive Dialers
There are many types of auto-dialers (or power dialers). But if you are considering such a solution, a simple ‘click-to-call’ solution is often the best solution for business development reps. This technology eliminates the actually dialing of a phone number, but allows reps complete control over the conversation from start to finish.
Sometimes, an old-fashioned sales call without automation is the best route to go. Staccato’s Call Simulator will train your sales team on how to handle every type of sales call. The system can be customized to every prospecting scenario your reps face, so they can practice how to execute calls and best handle objections. It’s important to learn what to say, but with the Call Simulator’s emotion analyzer, reps are measured on ‘how they say it’. Then our Staccato sales technology will help you navigate through an organization, providing a roadmap on how to uncover possible decision-makers and get from the first contact to that all-important first conversation.