Predictive Dialer Software vs. Power Dialing Systems

John Greene

April 25, 2024

7 min

Table of Contents


  • Power dialers like PhoneBurner allow sales professionals to reach more contacts per hour by streamlining dialing and post-call tasks, while predictive dialers dial multiple contacts simultaneously and connect live answers to available agents.
  • Power dialers focus on high-quality, individual interactions, ensuring an agent is always ready to speak as soon as a contact answers, eliminating awkward delays.
  • Predictive dialers prioritize volume over quality, potentially leading to dropped calls and less personal engagement due to the delay resulting from automated call transfers.
  • Predictive dialers can also create legal risks. Federal law in the USA prohibits more than 3% dropped calls, leading to potential fines.
  • Power dialers like PhoneBurner offer more control over the sales process, fostering better connections with prospects.

Before dialing technology emerged, every number had to be dialed one at a time. The idea of making 80 calls in just an hour without dialing even one digit seemed impossible—but luckily, new technology makes the process much more efficient and has changed the game for sales professionals.

However, there are several types of dialing technologies—and in order to maximize your results and leave the best impression on prospects, you need to choose the right one.

Today, we’ll cover two of the most popular dialing technologies: Power Dialers and Predictive Dialers.‍

Overview of Power & Predictive Dialer Phone Systems

Power Dialers

A Power Dialer eliminates the need for manual dialing. It uses software to handle repetitive tasks such as dialing, listening to and leaving voicemails, sending customized emails, logging calls, and managing contacts and workflows.

Power dialers like PhoneBurner maximize live interactions. They move from one contact to the next as soon as each call is completed, and let reps automate predetermined actions depending on the outcome of the call (ie. no answer, prospect is interested, appointment set, etc.).

Related:  How Unishippers Quadrupled Call Volume Productivity With a Power Dialer Without Hiring More Reps

Predictive Dialers

A Predictive Dialer calls large lists of contacts on multiple lines at the same time. As calls are answered by a human, they are transferred to live agents who are available. They can reach a very high number of prospects in a short period of time.

However, predictive dialers come with drawbacks as well—like the awkward “telemarketer delay” and the potential to incur TSR fines by dropping too many calls. We’ll go into detail about those risks in the next section—but first, let’s review:

Power Dialers vs Predictive Dialers at a Glance

Power Dialers

Predictive Dialers

Main Function

Streamlines dialing processes and automates post-call workflows. Calls are human-initiated and connections are 1-to-1.

Calls multiple contacts on different lines simultaneously and connects answered calls to available agents.

Ideal Use

Suitable for focused, high-quality interactions with high-value leads and contacts.

Ideal for reaching a large volume of contacts quickly.

Customization and Automation

Enables immediate custom follow-up actions based on call outcomes (such as leaving one-touch voicemails, sending emails, and categorizing leads)

Automatically transfers calls to agents when answered by humans. Less personalized, focuses on volume over quality contact engagement.

CRM Integration

Yes (PhoneBurner integrates with 200+ CRMs)


Call Quality

Maximizes live interactions and maintains a steady call flow.

Can create a delay before connecting with an agent, potentially impacting customer experience. Agents are less prepared as they don’t know who they are speaking with until after they are on the line.


Power dialers like PhoneBurner support compliance with TSR and TCPA regulations.

Can incur regulatory fines for dropping too many calls.

Best For

Sales professionals aiming for high-quality engagement on calls and personalized follow-up.

Campaigns that need to reach a high volume of people when personalization and experience are less important.

How Power Dialers Avoid the Risks of Predictive Dialing Software

Prospect frustrated by telemarketer delay on phone call

No Awkward Delay

Have you ever answered a call from a random number, and said “Hello,” only for there to be a small delay or beep before you hear a human response? You probably assumed it was a telemarketer, and either hung up, or put your guard up by the time you heard a response.

This is one of the dangers of using Predictive Dialer software.

The technology “listens” and has to make a determination as to whether the phone is answered by a person or by voicemail. If answered by a person, it will transfer the call to an available agent, and send information about the contact to the agent’s screen. But since no agent is present when the contact says “Hello,” they experience an audible delay as an agent comes on the line and is able to respond.

In some cases, the person answering the phone may have to say “Hello” multiple times before they get an answer. That kind of interaction can negatively impact the success of the call, especially when the goal of the campaign is to generate sales.

One of the benefits of Power Dialer Systems for sales teams is that the agent is always there, so contacts are unaware that technology is being used. The agent hears each prospect say “Hello” and can respond immediately with no awkward delay or pause.

Sales rep using predictive dialer that drops calls and leads to regulatory risks

Avoids Penalties for Dropped Calls

Predictive software uses an algorithm to predict how many calls it should make at once—but it’s not a perfect system. Sometimes a human answers the phone and there is no agent available to take the call. This results in a dropped call.

Did you know that it’s a violation of federal law to have more than 3% dropped calls in the USA? This legal issue poses another risk for users of Predictive Dialer phone systems, with the TSR imposing fines of up to $43,762 per violation.

Worse still, these fines are levied not only on large call centers, but also on small and medium-sized businesses who are often unaware of the regulations.

Since a Power Dialer is not a multi-line dialer, and an agent is always available and on the line when a prospect answers, there is no risk of TCPA fines and penalties for dropped calls.

Further, you can implement specific tactics and strategies with PhoneBurner's power dialer software that help improve live answer rates, resulting in more calls that get answered and higher quality conversations.

Better Prepared Agents

With a predictive dialer, calls are transferred to agents after someone has answered the call. In other words, they have about enough time to read the contact’s name before speaking, but nothing more.

That means they are unable to review notes, previous call activities or outcomes, or other information that they can use to make the call feel personalized.

Accordingly, predictive dialers tend to make agents feel rushed and less prepared.

With a power dialer, however, agents can see who they are calling and can quickly review notes while the call is ringing, leaving them more prepared when a contact answers. 

PhoneBurner also has a “pause and preview” mode that gives agents time to review notes and even conduct pre-call research, if needed, prior to initiating the call.

Bottom line? Agents are better prepared and can deliver a more personalized experience to improve the quality and outcome of their interactions.

Which Dialer System is Right for You?

Both kinds of dialer software dramatically improve sales calling efficiency. In terms of sheer volume, a Predictive Dialer may seem to give you the edge. However, this advantage can quickly evaporate as live answers hear that telltale delay and hang up—or get dropped and put your business at risk of fines.

A Power Dialer offers sales professionals more control and results in better connections with prospects. It also blends phone and email follow-up, and presents greater opportunities to build relationships and convert sales.

PhoneBurner does even more to accelerate your prospecting and cold-calling success. Our power dialer software can help you reach up to 80 contacts per hour with a powerful suite of features that help you build a bigger, happier, more engaged sales pipeline.

Try our software for free—no credit card required! We’ll be happy to show you how you can make your sales team more efficient while supporting compliance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are predictive dialers illegal?

No. Predictive dialers are not illegal. They are subject to additional scrutiny, however, and their tendency to drop calls can result in violations and hefty fines. Learn more about how PhoneBurner’s Responsible Communications™ initiative helps you dial with confidence, not fear.

Does PhoneBurner dial multiple lines at once?

No. PhoneBurner is a single line power dialer that ensures every connection is a human-centric 1-to-1 engagement. By streamlining tasks like leaving voicemails, and automating call logging and post-call workflows and follow-up, agents save large amounts of time and have more quality conversations

Can dialing software decrease the risk of my calls getting flagged as spam?

Dialer selection can significantly impact your call answer rates and risk of spam flags. PhoneBurner is engineered for high call engagement and blends smart technology with human expertise to help businesses improve call deliverability. We can also help you build a reputation for your business numbers, as well as remediate numbers that have been flagged.

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