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The Problem with Predictive Dialers

4 min readJuly 17, 2018

Don’t you hate it when you answer the phone and there’s a long pause before someone on the other end speaks? Not only is it confusing, but the lengthy silence followed by a rep launching into a scripted dialogue can be quite irritating and impersonal. This is a common occurrence when sales teams use predictive dialers. They may work for certain types of businesses, but inside sales teams looking to provide a great customer experience through empathetic selling would prefer another solution.

Here are the problems with a predictive dialer:

It focuses on quantity not quality

The goal of a predictive dialer is to connect as many prospects with as many reps as possible. This can be a good thing for companies who are selling simple, low-value products to individuals, but when it comes to high-value, complex enterprise sales, not so much. In this instance, the quality of the call and conversation is more important.

It’s impersonal

The very nature of predictive dialers means reps lack the context they need on a call. Even if it increases the call to connection ratio, are reps able to have effective and meaningful conversations without context? They inherently won’t have advance notice of who they’re going to be speaking with, in addition to the prospect’s company, position, industry, challenges, or previous history with your organization. This conversation, in turn, lacks empathy, because the rep doesn’t have any way of “walking in their prospect’s shoes” prior to the call. Plus, while predictive dialers can work for the first call in a sales cycle, reps can’t rely on this for subsequent calls once the prospect moves forward in the sales process.

It’s costly

Revenue.io Predictive DialersDialing multiple numbers at a time burns through a list of quality leads very quickly, increasing the odds of call abandonment when prospects actually answer and there isn’t a rep on the line yet. It potentially wastes valuable leads by damaging their impression of your company and brand, or alienating them to the point that they won’t even consider doing business with you. This can be a huge waste of your company’s marketing efforts.

Short-term results

Predictive dialers may help your reps hit quota in the short-term, but at what cost? This lack of preparation, context, and empathy all boil down to a poor customer experience. Since these dialers are often used for prospecting, these calls result in a bad first impression for your prospects. Either they get no response when they answer the call or they end up speaking to someone who, at the very least, knows little about them.  The rep they speak with may know your product, and potentially their industry, but your team members don’t know anything else that might enable them to start a viable relationship that could ultimately lead to a sale.

It frustrates reps and reduces their actual productivity

Your reps will become frustrated by speaking with prospects where they aren’t able to offer them the value they’re seeking. Without the proper background information, it’s nearly impossible for your team members to know what is needed without asking numerous questions while trying to engage prospects. This will be understandably upsetting to today’s busy buyers, who don’t have time to waste with small talk and unnecessary questioning. This may result in less qualified prospects, less sales, or the necessity to overcome a poor first impression.

So after all that, what’s the solution?

With the rise of inside sales teams, reps need to be empowered to talk to more sales-ready prospects in a single day and have more successful conversations. Predictive dialers simply won’t do this. They may be fine for telemarketing, but inside sales is not telemarketing.

With Revenue.io’s Intelligent Dialer, reps can strategically call prospects and still hit (or exceed) quotas without sacrificing effective, quality conversations. They have complete control over the prospecting process and can prepare themselves for calls with a 1:1 approach. They’ll be able to see an entire history of activities, meaning reps are empowered with the context they need to best help prospects. It’s intentional selling, the way sales should be. Plus, every call and activity is automatically logged in Salesforce so reps don’t waste a moment on administrative tasks. And when those conversations do happen, reps and managers can easily listen back to call recordings for immediate sales coaching. This is just barely scratching the surface, though.