Time is critical in sales professions. Namely, teams are always striving to make the most of the time they’re given. Many tools have been introduced that claim to increase efficiency, but few are as battle-proven as the power dialer.
Why Use a Power Dialer?
The end goal of a power dialer is more calls made with less effort. The software compiles a list of numbers, then automatically dials each one in succession, eliminating almost all manual labor for the outbound caller.
Small differences exist between products, but in general, these power dialer tips will ensure your experience is effective and enjoyable.
1. Use the Pomodoro Method to Stay Focused
Frustrated by his poor study habits and inability to focus, Francesco Cirillo set a tomato-shaped kitchen timer to 10 minutes (this was the 1980s) and challenged himself to stay 100% on-task until the alarm sounded. This initial effort wasn’t successful, but after many iterations, it resulted in the Pomodoro Method.
Here’s the basic formula: A 25-minute work sprint is followed by a 5-minute break. After four sprints, a longer break of 15-30 minutes is awarded. The method aims to limit distractions and promote targeted purpose in one’s work.
Sales representatives using a power dialer for outbound calling know that mental fatigue is a real adversary. Breaking up long call lists into smaller segments could help keep agents alert and articulate throughout the workday.
Once distractions take hold, your agents may find themselves forgetting routine tasks and sounding less inspired. A solid time-management technique — Pomodoro or not — can prevent this from happening.
2. Segment Lists of Related Phone Numbers
A power dialer can be a bit of a blunt object. But when your strategy is refined — even a little bit — the likelihood of creating qualified leads increases greatly.
Oftentimes, power dialers will scrape a webpage to compile a list of phone numbers. If these contacts aren’t related though, agents will need to context-switch with every new call. Creating lists of similar numbers means sales reps can develop a strategy and stay in a single mindset as they dial out.
For example, if you’re selling point-of-service payment software, you may want to build separate call lists for restaurants and retail contacts since their businesses will inherently have different pain points.W
Depending on the amount of pre-work you’re willing to designate, lists can be segmented according to:
- Type of business
- Size of business
- Geographic location
- Seniority level
Once these numbers have been grouped, make sure your agents have their segmented scripts, notes, and/or statistics ready. When a contact answers the phone, your agents should be well-equipped to convey relevant information in a personable and effective manner.
3. Take Notes or Connect a CRM
Unless your sales reps have Darth Vader levels of persuasion, it’s unlikely that prospects will turn into clients after a single phone conversation.
The reality is it usually takes 8 cold-calling attempts to finally get a specific prospect on the phone. Furthermore, 80% of deals are won only after a lead has said “no” four previous times. If your agents don’t keep accurate records of these interactions, every call — essentially — becomes the first contact.
Taking notes while on a call can be distracting, and pausing to jot down your thoughts afterward counteracts the efficiency of a power dialer. To expedite the process, use categories and checkboxes to ensure basic information is accounted for.
These can include interest indicators:
- Maybe Later < 3 months
- Maybe Later > 3 months
- Not Interested
Or even a simple call-result metric:
- Number Disconnected
- No Answer – Follow Up
- No Answer – Left Voicemail
When manually taking notes, these quick observations can go a long way for improving future interactions and eventually winning the deal. However, mistakes and manual labor can both be avoided if the power dialer and phone system are integrated with your sales CRM.
When all your tools are tied together, dialing new numbers will automatically create a corresponding lead profile — a place for all future call data to live. Furthermore, basic info like call duration (plus a complete call recording) will generate instantly. Notes, outcomes, and other manually recorded information will still require small amounts of additional work, but any actions taken in your phone app will also be synced to the CRM.
Plus, this information will aggregate within the CRM profile. Any future inbound or outbound calls, by you or your teammates, will prompt the CRM to open the correct lead profile. Agents can get up to speed in a matter of seconds.
4. Practice Good Phone Etiquette
When using a power dialer, a decent portion of outbound dials will end in missed calls or a voicemail inbox. This makes every successful connection all the more important. Take advantage of these opportunities by keeping the recipient on the phone — ask questions.
Despite stereotypes portraying a fast-talking representative, the best sales professionals are natural listeners. They spend approximately 43% of their conversations speaking, asking questions designed to avoid one-word answers.
Furthermore, you’ll want to form a quick assessment of what type of buyer persona you’re speaking to. Are they speaking in declarative sentences? Are they emotive or stoic? Do they care about hard metrics and productivity? Do they seem receptive to humor and small talk?
These types of judgments will help you tailor your pitch in the moment and engage the prospect on their preferred terms.
Final Tip: Take it to Email
When power dialing through a list of numbers, everyone who answers has at least one thing in common: they probably weren’t expecting a call from you.
So unless you’ve managed to reach a prospect exactly 5 minutes after finishing a delicious mid-afternoon frozen yogurt, they won’t be in the mindset to talk the rest of the day away. Follow-up questions, additional statistics, case studies, and scheduling logistics are a great way to collect an email address and take the conversation to another channel.
Power dialing is an excellent tool for first-stage interactions, but once you’ve established a courteous, direct way of reaching out — well, this is where the selling really begins.