A woman talking on the phone.

Power Dialer vs Auto Dialer vs Predictive Dialer

16 min read
folder icon Telemarketing

Looking to streamline the efforts of your call center? With the help of automation, your agents can help avoid downtime between conversations, forego all the manual preparation, and spend more time actually making meaningful connections with interested leads. However, it's not always easy to figure out how to achieve this seemingly elusive efficiency.

One thing that seems to trip many businesses up is the use of terminology in the world of call center software. For instance, both power dialers and predictive dialers are described as auto-dialing systems, but an auto-dialer in and of itself is a solution you might be looking into. To help clear up any confusion and steer you in the right direction, let's take a closer look at the options. 

Meanwhile, if you want to jump right into an advanced solution that can unlock all of these features for you, it's time to check out FiveCRM. Click here to get started!

Key Takeaways:

  1. Both predictive and power dialers are often referred to as "auto dialers," but an auto dialer is also the name of a specific type of software.
  2. Power dialers work by helping agents dial a new lead as soon as they wrap up a call, giving them more control and streamlining the workflow.
  3. Predictive dialers try to estimate how many calls will be answered and how many agents are available. They dial many numbers simultaneously and connect those who answer to agents.
  4. Auto dialers call multiple leads at a time and deliver a recorded message. When a person indicates they're interested, they're connected to a live agent.
  5. Predictive dialers can help your agents speak with more leads, while auto dialers help you get a message to more people. Meanwhile, power dialers offer the most personalized experience for leads. 

Table of Contents


What Is A Power Dialer?

A power dialer helps empower your agents by cutting out manual work but keeping them in total control over the conversation. These systems work by creating a calling workflow where a new number is dialed as soon as an agent completes the post-call checklist (i.e., takes notes). The agent waits for an answer and can start talking as soon as a prospect picks up the phone. 

In the event that a call isn't answered, a power dialer can help the agent drop a voicemail or send an email with just a single click. Then, the power dialer will simply move on to the next lead on that agent's list, allowing them to get through their list of prospects much faster than if they had to handle everything manually. 

Advantages of A Power Dialer

  • Agents are in complete control of the workflow thanks to a pre-selected lead list and features that help them improve call outcomes. 

  • Prospects always speak directly to a live agent from the very beginning of the call, which can increase the number of conversations agents actually have. 

  • When the phone call isn't answered, agents can drop a pre-recorded voicemail or record a new one for each prospect. 

While a power dialer is not the fastest system on the market, it can help improve the experience of the recipient and substantially speed up the calling workflow for your agents. In fact, power dialers are considered the fastest solution when you want a live agent on the phone from the start. Using a power dialer, you could average up to 70 calls per hour, per agent. 

Disadvantages of A Power Dialer

  • Because a live agent needs to be on the phone from the beginning of the call all the way to the end, power dialers are not as efficient as some other systems.

  • Since power dialers put agents on the phone with anyone who answers, agents will end up speaking to more recipients who have no interest. 

  • There is only one prospect being dialed per agent at a time, which means you will ultimately reach fewer prospects in a day. 

If you're looking to reach as many prospects in a day as possible, a power dialer is probably not quite the solution you're looking for. However, if you're willing to have agents invest more time per call in hopes of improving the outcome and experience for the recipient, a power dialer is the only solution that keeps a live agent on the line the whole time. 

What Is An Auto Dialer?

An auto dialer is a system that calls numbers on its own, without any input from an agent. Once someone answers, an automated voice responds to them. If that person expresses interest and stays on the line, they are then connected to a live agent. As you can imagine, the automated voice can cause many people to hang up the phone right away.

The purpose of an auto dialer is to only connect live agents with prospects who actually want to talk. Plus, since the auto dialer calls numbers with no human input and can drop voicemail messages when they miss someone, it saves agents a ton of time. Hopefully, that means your agents will spend less time dealing with disgruntled callers and more time in meaningful conversations.

Advantages of an Auto Dialer

  • An auto dialer can reach a long list of prospects and deliver an automated message or drop a voicemail with no human input.

  • Since only interested callers are put through to agents, agents spend less time speaking with disgruntled callers or leads that won't move forward.

  • If you just need to get a pre-recorded message out, like weather, news, or political announcements, it's a low-cost way to do it that requires no human input.

With these things in mind, the best use for an auto dialer is getting a message out to as many people as possible, while reserving your agents for the callers that actually express interest and wait to be connected. 

Disadvantages of an Auto Dialer

  • Because all callers are met with a recorded greeting, many people will simply hang up, even if they would be willing to talk to one of your agents.

  • A recording can make a sales call feel very cold and impersonal, as it makes it obvious that you're trying to reach as many people as possible.

  • There's no way to personalize the greeting or initial recording that recipients hear, which can impact the recipient's perception and experience moving forward. 

By far, the biggest disadvantage of using an auto dialer is that it can come across as very impersonal. Even with just the short delay between a person answering and the recorded message playing, people can pick up on the fact that it's a sales call and may hang up. The automated message can lead to you missing a connection with prospects who would otherwise be interested. 

What Is A Predictive Dialer?

A predictive dialer works to maximize call volume by trying to guess how many agents will be available and how many callers will answer to determine how many numbers to dial at once. For instance, a predictive dialer may call 180 people even though you only have 80 agents available. It assumes only half of those calls will be answered, and that more agents will become available as they end their current calls. 

If more calls are answered than you have agents available, callers will be met with an automated voice recording, similar to an auto dialer. However, assuming an agent is available when a caller picks up, there will simply be a short delay before they're connected with the next available agent. 

Advantages of a Predictive Dialer

  • By ensuring that agents always have a call to answer, you will greatly improve the number of people you reach with the help of a predictive dialer. 

  • You can set a predictive dialer to drop pre-recorded voicemails automatically when leads don't answer calls. 

  • There is no downtime between calls — as soon as an agent hangs up, a new call is routed to them.

The speed at which a predictive dialer can get your call center working is definitely its greatest asset. You will see far less downtime among your agents once you have a predictive dialer in place. 

Disadvantages Of A Predictive Dialer

  • Agents have no information about a caller in advance of answering the phone, which means they need to pull up information on the fly.

  • If more calls are answered than expected, or agents take longer to get off the phone, leads will hear an automated message. 

  • These systems prioritize volume, which can put agents under pressure to end calls quickly if you don't keep your call center focused on the right metrics.

While a predictive dialer can stand in the way of personalizing a call from the start, most leads are directly connected to a live agent, which means your team can work efficiently without losing leads to a recorded message.

Key Differences Between Power Dialing vs. Auto Dialing vs. Predictive Dialing

Now that you understand how these three types of dialing systems work, choosing the right solution for your call center truly only requires you to think about your priorities. Generally, it comes down to an equation of volume versus experience. A higher volume of calls means you'll reach more people, but a better experience means your agents are more likely to close more deals. In the end, it's a delicate balance. 

If you want to reach as many people as possible, go ahead and narrow your choices down between an auto dialer and a predictive dialer. The former requires minimal human input, which greatly reduces costs, but the latter tends to get better engagement. A predictive dialer is often the ideal choice for efficiency when you still want a live person on the line. 

On the other hand, if you want to make sure your agents have the opportunity to personalize each interaction, it's wise to opt for a power dialer. While your agents may not complete as many calls per hour, they'll spend more time building relationships with leads, which can improve your overall outcomes.

Ultimately, there's no one-size-fits-all solution, just the solution that works for your business. To help you decide, here's a handy comparison chart: 

Feature Power Dialer Auto Dialer Predictive Dialer
Calling Ratio One call for each available agent Constant rate of calls, set manually Variable rate of calls determined by system
Voicemail Drop Agent can drop a pre-recorded message or record a personal one A pre-recorded message can be dropped automatically A pre-recorded message can be dropped automatically
Personalization  High capacity to personalize calls  Limited capacity to personalize calls Limited capacity to personalize calls 
Calls per hour Up to 70 calls per agent per hour Up to 110 calls per agent per hour Up to 90 calls per agent per hour
Best for... Personalizing the lead's experience at the cost of efficiency Getting a message to as many people as possible Connecting with as many people as possible


With so many types of dialing systems available, it can be tough to decide what's best for your business. A power dialer may be just what you need to speed up manual processes but maintain that special human touch. On the other hand, an auto dialer could be what you're looking for to get your message out far and wide.

So, which dialing system is right for your call center? Here's a recap:

  • Power dialers give agents maximum control, allowing them to decide when they're ready to start a conversation. They're on the line from start-to-finish, which allows them to personalize the experience, but it stands in the way of high-volume efficiency. 
  • Auto dialers give agents minimal control as they dial as many numbers as possible and answer calls with a pre-recorded message. Only leads that answer and stay on the line can speak with a live agent, but that means a higher chance of closing a deal.
  • Predictive dialers aim to connect calls directly to live agents, but those agents know nothing about the caller before they pick up the phone. This can harm personalization, but it's a great option for high-volume efficiency. 

No matter what dialing system you choose, it's important to remember that the underlying infrastructure is really what counts. In other words, don't bother chasing down leads unless you have a robust, reliable CRM with call management tools to help your agents through each call and close more deals.

If you're looking for the perfect solution, it's time to try FiveCRM. With all these dialing options and advanced features for lead, list, agent, and data management, FiveCRM is your all-in-one call center solution. Want to see for yourself? Get started today!

FAQ Section 

Power Dialer FAQ

  • How do I set up a power dialer?

    • A power dialer requires each agent to pre-select a list of leads they will call throughout the shift. Once you have those leads selected, the dialing system guides you through the workflow, dialing a new lead as you complete the notes for the previous call. 

  • How much does a power dialer cost? 

    • The cost of a power dialer depends on the software solution you choose. For a complete CRM solution with a power dialer included, expect to pay about $70 per user per month. 

  • How many types of dialers are there?

    • There are four types of auto dialers, including auto, predictive, progressive, and power dialers. All of them have good features but are suited for different goals (e.g., efficiency vs. personalization).

  • Is power dialer software illegal?

    • Power dialers are not illegal as long as the company abides by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). 

Auto Dialer FAQ

  • How many calls can an auto dialer make? 

    • Predictive dialers are considered the most efficient type of auto dialer and can help you achieve up to 110 calls per agent per hour. Other systems range from 60 to 90 calls per agent per hour.

  • Are automatic dialers illegal? 

    • Auto dialers are not illegal as long as the company abides by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). 

  • How much does an auto dialer cost?

    • The cost of an auto dialer depends on the provider. For a complete CRM solution with a power dialer included without usage fees, you can expect to pay about $70 per user per month.

  • Are auto dialers TCPA compliant?

    • An auto dialer should be TCPA compliant, but it's up to the company that puts leads/numbers into the system to make sure they don't call anyone they shouldn't.

Predictive Dialer FAQ

  • What's the difference between a predictive dialer and a progressive dialer?

    • A predictive dialer places more calls than there are agents available, assuming that not all calls will be answered and that more agents will become available in the coming minutes. Meanwhile, a progressive dialer places only one call per agent, placing a new call for them as soon as their previous call ends. 

  • Are predictive dialers illegal?

    • Predictive dialers are not illegal as long as the company abides by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

  • What is the best predictive dialer?

    • The best predictive dialer is a software solution bundled with a complete CRM with list, call, and agent management tools. FiveCRM checks all these boxes and offers a variety of auto dialing features. 

  • Should I use a predictive dialer?

    • A predictive dialer is best for call centers that wish to achieve high-volume efficiency without using automated messages. Predictive dialers always try to connect people straight to a live agent as soon as they answer.

Michael King says...

"I can’t think of a time where a client has requested something that we weren’t able to do with FiveCRM. Unlike most systems, it has a lot of flexibility."

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Managing Director, Senior Response


“Each client, and each of their campaigns, has its own unique specifications. We essentially needed to set up mini CRMs on one platform to meet those requirements.”

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Operations Director, Team Telemarketing

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