Last Updated on April 26, 2021
What are the top features to look for in an outbound calling software?
How should you identify the right one for your team?
It’s important to note that not all call center systems are equal. This is why you can’t just settle on a software based on price alone. Take a good hard look at the software’s feature sets, and decide which one best meets your team’s unique needs.
For example, if your primary focus is on outbound calls, your team needs a calling system that drives quality conversations. That includes the ability to make dozens of calls per hour quickly and efficiently. However it also means making the most of those calls, for example, by using software that doesn’t produce an awkward pause at the start of each call.
Affordability and compatibility both matter. You don’t need to purchase a calling software with lots of bells and whistles if you won’t use them. Instead, you need a software that increases efficiency, reduces frustration, and helps your team meet key business objectives.
Make no mistake about it: Your outbound calling software will directly impact your ability to grow your business. It will also help to improve employee morale and productivity.
In this post, we’ll discuss the most important features to look for in a calling software for your outbound call center. Let’s get started.
What features should you look for in an outbound calling software?
1. Power Dialing
Every outbound call center can benefit from a phone system with a power dialer. In a nutshell, a power dialer helps you dial through lead lists at a pace of up to 80 contacts per hour. However, unlike predictive and auto dialers that have an awkward “telemarketer’s delay” after a contact answers, a power dialer is seamless – no dropped calls, and no hanging calls. A hanging call is likely to turn into a hang up. With a power dialer, the agent is on the line when the contact answers, so the experience is exactly as if the agent dialed them by hand.
No dropped calls and instant connections means more conversations, and more importantly, higher quality conversations.
A power dialer also streamlines your sales agent’s repetitive tasks. They can participate in live conversations and send emails or drop voicemails without skipping a beat. Contacts can also be tagged for follow-up and based on the call outcome, automatically. This is an important tool for outbound call centers because it makes the most of your agent’s time before, during, and after a call. When set to “pause and preview” mode, the power dialer doesn’t dial until the agent is ready. So, if your agent needs to make notes or research a contact prior to a call, they’re free to do so without feeling rushed by the phone system.
Apart from higher efficiency, a power dialer also tracks productivity and performance. With call activities and outcomes logged automatically, custom reports give admins all of the visibility they need over their team. With the self-updating leaderboard feature, managers can either privately watch stats in real-time, or even broadcast leaderboards within the platform or in the office to motivate the team. Let agents compete daily for calls made, talk time, “interested” prospects and other metrics, and watch their productivity soar.
2. Workflow Automation
If there’s one thing that robs your sales team of productivity and progress, it’s the list of tedious tasks they must complete before or after a call.
But there’s a way around that.
With the ideal outbound calling system, you can streamline the repetitive tasks that keep your agents busy instead of productive, and free up their time for higher-value tasks.
At the very least, your outbound phone system should:
- Helps agents and managers define ‘who’ to call to ensure efficiency
- Automatically distribute or create lead pools for agents
- Eliminate the need to manually dial numbers
- Enable agents to pre-record and drop voicemails in one click
- Eliminate the need to wait for the beep to do so
- Store multiple pre-recorded voicemails for different call campaigns (such as follow-up call or appointment confirmation)
- Allow you to build and store emails to send to prospects/customers
- Enable agents to send these emails instantly based on call outcome
- Facilitate follow-up calls and cadence building
- Update notes about a prospective customer in one click
- Track whenever a prospective customer opens your emails
- Track agent productivity and performance KPIs
It’s the little tasks, like adding notes, scheduling follow-ups and sending emails, that add up to a lot of wasted minutes during the day. To ensure that your team is meeting and exceeding the important goals that you’ve set, automate the repetitive but necessary tasks that slow them down.
3. Local caller ID
In a time when we’re more connected than ever, people are increasingly strict about answering the phone. If you’re calling from an area code prospects don’t recognize, they’re not likely answer. This is even more true of toll-free numbers.
To tip the odds in your favor, and ensure more answered calls and conversations, choose an outbound calling software that includes a local ID service. While it may seem like a small detail, it can have a huge impact on your ability to generate new leads. On average, PhoneBurner clients get 56% more calls answered when using a local ID.
Getting local phone numbers is simple with PhoneBurner. Just choose the local area codes you need. In addition to the system automatically choosing a local number to dial from as your team moves through calls, it can even rotate several numbers at a time, thereby decreasing the number of calls placed from any one number. As call quantity is one of the factors carriers consider in flagging numbers as “Spam Likely”, this feature can be a major advantage ensuring more live answers and quality conversations.
How do you use outbound calling software with teams?
Once upon a time, you needed to have enough space to store ‘bulky’, high maintenance, expensive phone and server equipment. In fact, mammoth phone systems often needed their own climate-controlled room. But, thanks to leaps in technology, you can now set up virtual call centers.
Virtual call centers are an affordable and convenient way for businesses of all sizes to coordinate call campaigns regardless of staff location. You can set up your call center for a purely remote team who can simply access their apps in the cloud with just an internet connection. Your team members will log into the web based system and be ready to call your future customers.
With an intelligent lead distribution system managers can create lead pools that logged in agents can call from, or leads can be distributed according to specific, highly customized rules. Either way, agents can log in and start dialing immediately.
This level of convenience means that you don’t need to worry about troubleshooting hardware issues or dealing with incompatibility across your team. Your system just works, with nothing to add to your existing infrastructure.
What are virtual collaboration tools?
In addition to your outbound calling software, consider investing in virtual collaboration tools. Doing so will boost team connectivity and productivity and ensure everyone is empowered to meet individual and group goals.
Virtual collaboration tools are useful for all sales teams, but becomes even more important for teams working remotely. And whether you and your agents are collaborating in a real-time environment, or you’re looking for an asynchronous set-up, there’s a virtual tool out there to meet your needs.
Virtual tools enable both remote and in-house sales teams to have productive conversations, quickly hand over tasks, and stay on schedule. Instead of relying on email alone, you can use a virtual collaboration tool to stay connected.
When shopping for an outbound calling software, look at its integrations. The ideal phone software will work seamlessly with your current collaboration tools. For example, if you currently use Help Scout to manage customer experience, you can continue to use it with PhoneBurner. The same goes for Zoom. You can continue to use Zoom for internal team meetings as well as to quickly pivot from phone call to live meeting should the need for a demo or screenshare arise.
Live leaderboards help managers track and motivate their team virtually as well. Users can see where they stand compared to other dialing agents – based on calls, talk time, demos set, sales made, and other important metrics – even if they are across the country from each other.
How does outbound calling software improve productivity?
The right outbound calling software will boost the effectiveness of your workforce. PhoneBurner customers regularly experience a hike in productivity of up to 4x. After setting up the PhoneBurner system, agents have gone from making 10-20 calls per hour to an explosive 60-80 calls per hour.
Why the drastic change?
The PhoneBurner system does the repetitive work that robs agents of their productivity. So, instead of dialing numbers, waiting for someone to answer, typing up follow-up emails and repeating the same voicemail every time a prospective customer doesn’t answer, agents can press a button and move on to the next caller. That means less slog, and more time engaging with customers live on the phone. With an average time-savings of 30-90 seconds per call, that wasted time can add up to hours over the course of a week.
It’s also a big win for your agents’ sanity and sales numbers. Taking the stress and repetition out of outbound calling leaves them fresher and more focused on the activities that drive revenue higher. That’s a win-win.
Bottom line, the best outbound calling software ensures that you make the most of your agents’ time and attention. And it makes them happier too.
Looking for a great outbound calling software?
To grow your business, you need a quality call center software that empowers your team to succeed.
We offer a free trial of our outbound calling software which includes full access to our award-winning team. Sign up today and start dialing.