A good set of predictive dialer strategies can make all the difference in your conversion rates.
What’s the ideal number of calls to convert a prospect through outbound calling? Well…unfortunately, there’s no such magic number (trust us, we wish there were).
In reality, the “ideal” number of calls in order to convert a prospect through outbound calling depends on a number of factors:
- Your vertical
- Data quality
- Pre-qualifying SMS
- Post-call actions (SMS, voicemail)
- Operating costs
Most of the time, it’ll take a number of calls from your call center representatives to successfully create demand, prove a product’s value, and sell to the customer. For example, since the average successful cold call lasts a minimum of 5 minutes and 50 seconds, your sales reps could easily spend at least 40 minutes over a series of calls per consumer before winning one conversion.
You can maximize that time by streamlining your outbound call strategy with a predictive dialer.
Today, we will look at what a predictive dialer is, how it differs from an auto dialer, and ten outbound campaign strategies to improve your calling success.
What is a Dialer Strategy?
A dialer strategy is an actionable plan for handling inbound calls and outbound calls in a call center. A successful outbound calls strategy will help you cut back on downtime between calls while increasing the number of leads your representatives contact each hour.
Dialer strategies have two main components:
- Creating a quality list of leads and organizing it to maximize your efficiency in calling those leads. This step involves your business collecting and analyzing caller data so you can connect with the highest-quality leads first.
- Leveraging technology and automation to eliminate tedious tasks so your reps can focus on connecting one-on-one with each lead during outbound sales calls.
How Does an Outbound Dialer Work?
An outbound dialer is a dialing technology you use to reach your leads. There are four main types of outbound dialers you can add to your call center software.
- Auto dialing
- Preview dialing
- Power dialing
- Predictive dialing
An auto dialer is the umbrella term for automated dialers that dials phone numbers so your call center agents can skip that repetitive manual task.
Preview dialing gives your agents more control over the cold call because they see a lead’s information to understand who they will be speaking with and decide whether to continue with the outbound call.
Power dialing will automatically dial the next lead in line so your agents can seamlessly transition from one call to the next without entering a phone number. In addition, it can call multiple numbers at once but only connects your agent if a consumer picks up the phone – saving your agent’s time.
Predictive dialing uses a complex algorithm to predict the length of each outbound call, so there is always a new call ready for reps when they finish each previous call.
Today we will focus on that last form of auto dialer and how it can help you improve your cold calls strategies.
How Does a Predictive Dialer Work?
A predictive dialer is one of the most evolved types of outbound dialers because of the extent of automated processes it performs. If your call center uses it correctly in your predictive dialer strategies, you can save hours that are often lost on busy signals, voicemails, and hang-ups.
A predictive dialer analyzes the average length of outbound calls and how many agents are available, then uses that data to predict when your agents will be ready for the next call. This way, it can begin the dialing process and have a live call ready as soon as a rep hangs up with the previous customer.
The software will often contact more consumer numbers than available agents because it uses previous statistics to predict the hang-up rate of consumers, so no agent experiences a lag between calls.
Suppose your agents are delayed due to a previous call. In that case, the predictive dialer can help avoid the caller abandoning the conversation by playing a prerecorded cookie-cutter message instead of forwarding the call to a live agent.
What is the Purpose of a Predictive Dialer?
Companies that use predictive dialers increased their revenue by making more calls to customers every hour with less downtime in between outbound calls. Because the predictive dialer weeds out voicemail, no answers, and disconnected numbers, agents only spend time on active callers.
You can also configure your predictive dialer with your CRM, so it uses customer data to make better predictions. For example, you can record the consumer’s response, such as voicemail, no answer, or disinterested. It can also mark any customer that abandoned a call before an agent arrived so that a live agent can prioritize those consumers in their next contact.
What is the Difference Between a Predictive Dialer and an Auto Dialer?
The main difference between a predictive dialer and regular auto dialers is the capability of a predictive dialer to contact a customer ahead of time, based on average outbound call length instead of waiting for an available representative.
An auto dialer will automatically call a phone number, play a message, or connect an agent. Unfortunately, it has a low call connection rate because most auto dialer software doesn’t analyze whether you are connected to a caller or to their answering machine.
An auto dialer is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses. It gives the agents more control over their calls as it won’t automatically contact the next lead until a representative is ready. Therefore, each agent can invest more time in calls and connect personally with their outbound sales leads.
Contrarily, a predictive dialer works best for large businesses with an extensive sales team and a large daily outbound calling volume. The automated call waiting system allows your center to process more outbound calls back-to-back in a shorter period. In these cases, each outbound call is often straightforward with a simple script, so your agents don’t need to spend as much time having conversations with each customer. Therefore, the predictive dialer has an easier time accurately predicting when your agents will be ready for the next outbound or inbound call.
Is a Predictive Dialer Illegal?
In 1991, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) came into play to protect customers from a bombardment of spam, marketing calls, or nuisance calls. The only outbound calls that are an exception are certain debt collections calls and payment reminders.
The law restricts auto dialers and prerecorded messages when marketers make outbound sales calls. In addition, this act cuts back on systems using a list of random or sequential numbers to contact a prospective customer with little to no connection to the company.
However, an auto dialer, like a predictive dialer, is legal to use if you make an outbound call to customers that gave you written permission to contact them. Often this consent comes in the form of a checked box on a website that allows the business to use and share the customer’s information. You also need to keep track of customers that requested you remove their number from your call list.
10 Predictive Dialer Outbound Calling Strategies for 2022
Here are ten strategies to help your contact center create a successful outbound campaign.
1. Invest in Quality Data
Why you buy them or generate them, your leads are the foundation for building an effective outbound calling strategy in call centers. Poor quality data = poor conversions. High-quality data meets the following criteria:
- Each number adheres to TCPA permission regulations
- The customers fall within your marketing demographic
- You organized numbers by their position in the sales funnel
When you organize and manage your contact list, you avoid wasting time on leads that aren’t interested while focusing on that first call with quality customers. One survey showed that sales reps with a prioritized list make 49% more contact attempts and can extend their discussions by 88%.
When your business regularly goes through the list, you can delete old or inactive numbers to save your call center time. Incorporating a CRM with your predictive dialer will help you manage the list and keep it active, legal, and updated to avoid mistakes.
2. Use Strategic Caller ID Numbers
Eight out of every ten Americans don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. However, surveys show that people are four times more likely to answer the first call from a business if it is calling with a local area code.
You can increase your call pick-up rate and make more sales by strategically choosing phone numbers that resonate with your intended audience. For example, a local number shows your target audience that you are more relevant to them and their needs.
3. Unify Your Teams
Unifying your company CRM with a predictive dialer helps call centers offer targeted sales pitches to their customers. Some of the data you should collect during your outbound calls strategy includes:
- The demographics of the person you are calling
- Any past contact with your company
- Their purchase history and actions within the sales funnel
- Whether they asked to be on a no-call list
- What their response was to any past calls (voicemail, disconnected, responded favorably)
You can use that data in your outbound calls strategy to prioritize the numbers of customers who are most likely to purchase. Additionally, suppose your predictive dialer dropped a call or sent a lead an automatic message. In that case, you can place that number on a specific list that ensures the following outreach comes from a live agent to increase your conversion rate.
4. Incorporate Extra Training in Your Outbound Calls Strategy
Predictive dialers require different training than other auto dialers. The training helps agents to have a clear idea of how to make a successful outbound call quickly, decreasing the number of dropped calls. They should also practice keeping their messages within an average handle time to stay on track with the predictive dialer.
One of the best resources for training is analyzing your previously recorded outbound calls. Agents can go back and listen to their most effective calls, so they know what to replicate in the future to achieve the same results and keep their prospect’s enthusiasm. Your call center can also share some of the best calls with other sales reps within the company who might have poor closing skills to teach them how to keep their calls short but effective to improve their agent performance.
5. Smoothly Transition Between Calls
The average wait time for customers is 20 seconds. But call centers can vary in their wait time. So you should choose your own business’s target wait time based on your maximum abandonment rate.
For example, many businesses keep their maximum abandonment rate in their outbound calls strategy between 3% and 5%. You can use a graph to track the abandonment rate during wait times to identify at which point your rate rises above the high percentage of 5%.
That point marks the maximum amount of time an agent should allow customers to wait in an outbound call before they take the call from the dialer, so they create a seamless transition.
Predictive dialers can decrease a customer’s wait time during outbound calls by using algorithms to predict when an agent is available and dial numbers accordingly. But agents are still responsible for moving quickly between calls instead of leaving a prolonged pause before beginning their pitch.
6. Establish a Set Dialing Strategy
Every agent should have a set process they always follow in their outbound campaigns for selling efficiently. This process will help keep them on track, so they remain within the average call time and ready when the predictive dialer pulls up the next call. About 60% of salespeople struggle because there is little organization or consistency in the outreach process.
For example, if you have six different agents reaching out to a single buyer – each giving a different message – you will hurt your chances of converting that lead because you will lose your prospect’s trust in the business. But, with an organized process and consistent messaging, every agent will put forth a united and powerful front for customers to rely on.
7. Know Current Regulations for Outbound Calls
While TCPA outlines national rules, every state also has its own specific regulations on sales calls. In addition to the previously mentioned rules about consent before using someone’s number, there are several other regulations in place.
For example, you can only call between 8:00 am and 9:00 pm in local time. Your agents must also identify themselves when making a call, so customers know from the start who you are and why you are contacting them.
Your business must stay on top of those laws in order to steer clear of litigation. To keep current, you should regularly run your list of prospective customers against the National Do Not Call (DNC) List.
When you adhere to these rules in your contact centers, you increase the possibility of leaving a positive impression during your outbound campaign as customers see that you respect them and their time. This positive impression can lead to increased conversion rates. At the very least, you avoid burning leads by not contacting them under dubious consent.
8. Invest in the Right Technology
Are you taking advantage of the full capabilities of your predictive dialer?
Investing in the best supporting software and technology will help your call centers run smoothly and avoid downtime with your dialer’s communication. You shouldn’t just stick with solutions that handle your current needs but rather find scalable options that grow with your company so you can continue to expand without losing leads.
9. Properly Manage Your Automation
A predictive dialer is much more complex than a regular dialing process, so you will need an expert to help with installation and dialer operations. A professional will program your dialer with the best algorithms for your business goals, so it matches the ideal call time of your agents and routes leads appropriately.
Even after the initial setup, IT support should be available to help keep your call center systems up and running. They can promptly respond to any outages or issues so your agents can focus on connecting with customers instead of losing valuable time due to technological errors.
10. Establish KPIs and Analyze Daily Activity
Your automated systems will track your dialer performance. This data is a valuable resource for measuring agent performance and identifying potential weaknesses.
For example, if you notice your agents regularly exceed the average call time during outbound calls and your abandonment rate is high, you can either reconfigure your dialing process or retrain your agents to help them shorten their calls.
Create Your Own Effective Outbound Dialer Strategy
Managing a call center can easily feel overwhelming. You have many aspects to juggle, like training your agents, using a unified script for outbound calls, qualifying leads, and analyzing key performance indicators.
Thankfully you don’t have to do all these tasks alone.
Book a demo with Pipes.ai to see how we come alongside you to improve your workflow so you can focus on what matters the most: your customers.