What Is a Progressive Dialer and How to Find the Best One for You?

Tired of seeing your sales team’s time and efforts wasted by manual errors, unproductive calls or generic interactions?

We feel you.

As do the inventers of the progressive dialer.

This automated calling system streamlines the process of making outbound calls and ensures that each customer interaction is handled with care and precision. But is it the right choice for your business?

Here’s all the information you need to figure it out – what progressive dialers are, what are their ideal applications, the benefits and drawbacks they offer, essential features to look for and common mistakes to avoid when looking for the perfect one.

Sounds like a lot? No worries, we’ll brake everything down. Let’s start with the basics.

What Is a Progressive Dialer?

Progressive dialing is an automated outbound calling system that improves efficiency and productivity. It strikes a balance between maximizing agent performance, a high level of engagement and personalized customer experience.

A progressive dialer automatically dials the next number on a predefined list as soon as the current call ends. When the recipient picks up, the dialer transfers them to the now available agent, minimizing idle time and the risk of calls being answered when no agent is ready to talk.

Progressive dialers consider other factors, like time zones and lead priority. This helps you make calls at the right moment, improving your chances of closing the deal.

With a progressive dialer and depending on the relevant telemarketing regulation, your sales reps can make between 60 and 80 calls per hour. The lower dialing speed compared to other dialing systems makes it less suited for very high-volume campaigns where efficiency is priority.

What Is a Progressive Dialer Best For?

Progressive dialing are great for efficient and targeted outreach that doesn’t sacrifice the quality of individual custom interaction. It allows agents a brief time between calls to review customer information and prepare for more tailored interactions. This makes progressive dialers ideal for targeted outbound campaigns where detailed records or personalized information are crucial. The blend of automation and control makes your outreach more strategic compared to other dialing systems.

Who Is Progressive Dialing Best For?

The progressive dialer is a versatile and adaptive tool that fits a wide range of business sizes and industries where the quality of each interaction matters more than the overall call volume. This includes sectors where agents need detailed customer records, provide technical support, handle sensitive information, handle high-value leads or have complex processes.

Progressive dialing also greatly benefit outbound campaigns with a more consultative approach, like B2B software sales, real estate listings, subscription service upgrades, high-ticket retail items, tech gadget launches and more.

Because progressive dialers adjust dialing based on predefined rules, they are the right choice for precise-timed calls, like event promotions and reminders, flash sales, subscription renewals or cut-offs, etc.

Customer service follow-ups that need more detailed conversations make good use of progressive dialing for post-purchase product support, complex issue resolution follow-ups, customer satisfaction surveys and more.

What Are Progressive Dialer's Benefits?

Automated Dialing Process

Progressive dialers automate the entire outbound calling process by systematically calling the next number on a list when an agent becomes available. This eliminates the need for your staff to manually dial numbers, reducing errors and speeding up the process. It also allows them to focus entirely on the conversation, improve the quality of interactions and better prepare between calls.

Increased Efficiency

By ensuring that calls are made only when an agent is available, progressive dialers optimize the time spend on the phone. The dialer filters out busy signals, disconnected numbers and voicemails, connecting your staff only to live leads. The direct consequences are a higher contact rate per hour worked, better and faster campaign outcomes and boosted overall productivity.

Strategic Call Placement

Progressive dialers can be configured to dial numbers based on specific strategies, like calling at the most optimal times based on previous successful contacts or demographic factors. This increases the likelihood of calls being answered and engaged with.

Enhanced Customer Experience

Prospects are immediately connected to a live person without long waits or dealing with dropped calls due to no available agents. This improves their experience and can lead to higher customer satisfaction and increased loyalty. The brief pause between calls allows agents to review relevant customer data, so they can provide more personalized interactions.

Minimized Idle Time

By automatically dialing the next number as soon as an employee becomes available, the system keeps agents in productive conversations and eliminates long gaps between calls. This helps them maintain a steady workflow, better manage their time and reduce boredom or disengagement.

Reduced Agent Fatigue

Progressive dialers reduce the manual tasks and repetitive actions typically associated with outbound calling. Less physical and mental fatigue helps agents maintain higher energy levels throughout their shifts, reduce burnout and lowers turnover rates.

Regulatory Compliance

Progressive dialers can be programmed to comply with various local and international telemarketing laws, like the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and do-not-call lists. The built-in compliance helps protect your businesses from legal issues, costly fines and tarnished brand name. It also creates trust with customers who appreciate you respecting their preferences.

What Are Progressive Dialer's Drawbacks?

Progressive Dialer Compered to Other Dialing Systems

Progressive Dialer vs. Auto Dialer

Progressive and auto dialers have contrasting functionality, efficiency and user experience. Auto dialing is pretty straightforward: the system rings a number and if the recipient answers, the dialer tries to connect them to an available representative. It operates independently of agent status, which can lead to the long wait times for agent connection and compromised customer experience progressive dialers specifically avoid.

Auto dialing’s focus on volume makes it better for campaigns where the quantity of your outreach is more important than the quality and efficiency of each interaction.

Progressive Dialer vs. Power Dialer

A progressive dialer is a power dialer with a twist.

Power dialers prioritize keeping your staff consistently on the phone with minimal downtime between interactions, while still maintaining a one-to-one relationship between agents and calls. This sets them apart from progressive dialers, which allow for more personalized communication at the cost of some efficiency.

Despite their automated nature, power dialers also give agents more control over when to initiate the next call.

As with everything else in life and business, the best solution depends on your goals – increased call volumes or a more seamless customer experience.

Progressive dialers have lower overall dialing rate than predictive dialers. This, however, leads to fewer abandoned or dropped calls, as they are only connected when an agent is available.

Predictive dialing, on the other hand, focuses on efficiently handling high volumes of outbound calls. The system automatically calls several numbers at once and connect them to an agent on a first-come-first-serve basis.

While progressive dialers may not match the raw speed of the predictive ones, they offer a more controlled and targeted approach that is better for consultative-type campaigns.

Progressive Dialer vs. Automated Predictive Dialer

Automated predictive dialers have a more aggressive approach, predicting agent availability and reaching to multiple contacts simultaneously based on it. This strategy may sometimes result in more calls answered than there are available agents, leading to dropped calls or customer frustration.

With progressive dialers, on the other hand, each call is likely to be handled well, but significantly slower. The immediate agent connection and time to prepare between interactions provide more personalized customer experience. Automated predictive dialers, on the other hand, can compromise the customer interactions due to the risk of delays and dropped calls.

The drastically different dialing approaches also create contrasting agent experiences. Progressive dialers provide a more manageable pace, potentially leading to better job satisfaction and lower turnover. Automated predictive dialers push for maximum efficiency, which can be beneficial for your bottom line, but stressful for your staff, and therefore lead to burnout if not managed carefully.

Progressive Dialer vs. AI Predictive Dialer

AI predictive dialers maximize the number of calls agents can handle by predicting agent availability and adjusting calling rates in real time. They are ideal for large-scale operations where high volume and efficiency are critical. Progressive dialers can’t match their call-per-hour rates and better fit organizations that prioritize quality interactions with customers over sheer call volume.

AI predictive dialers, with their advanced technologies, are more complex and expensive. Progressive dialers are simpler and typically less costly, making them accessible for smaller operations or those with more focused campaigns.

Another notable difference is in their flexibility. AI predictive dialers constantly learn and improve efficiency over time. Progressive dialers don’t adapt so easily but instead offer stability and predictability in your call handling.

What to Look for in a Progressive Dialer?

Mistakes When Choosing a Progressive Dialer

Final Words

By automating the calling process, progressive dialers allow your agents to focus on what truly matters – engaging with customers, delivering exceptional service and hitting their targets. Its ability to increase efficiency, reduce abandoned call rates and personalize interactions can lead to significant improvements in key metrics like talk time, conversion rates and customer satisfaction.

But progressive dialing is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

When considering adding it to your operations, remember to analyze your needs carefully, so you choose an adaptable system that integrates seamlessly with your existing tech stack. Finding a progressive dialer with the right set of features will set your team up for success, ultimately improving customer communication and boosting your bottom line.


What is an progressive dialer?

A progressive dialer is an automated calling system used in contact centers. It dials numbers from a list only when an agent becomes available at a 1:1 ratio. That way a call is immediately handled after it’s picked up, minimizing wait times and call abandonment rates. Progressive dialers only connect agents when a live person answers, filtering out busy signals, voicemails and disconnected numbers.

Progressive dialers are great for outbound contact centers that want to balance agent productivity with high-quality, personalized customer experience. 

They work well for small to mid-sized contact centers that prioritize low call abandoned rates or for targeted campaigns with in-depth discussions, where maintaining good client relations is crucial or sales reps need time to prepare between calls.

Industries that benefit the most from progressive dialing include:

  • Telemarketing and sales
  • Market research and surveys
  • Debt collection
  • Fundraising and nonprofits
  • Customer service and support
  • Appointment scheduling and reminders
  • Political campaigns and polling

It reduces idle time, expands call handling capacity, enhances customer satisfaction, improves agent experience, enables more personalization, boosts connection rates, reduces call abandonment and helps maintaine regulatory compliance.

  • Lower overall dialing speed and volume compared to some other dialers
  • Not ideal for very large, high-volume calling campaigns
  • Initial setup and maintenance costs can be higher than simpler systems
  • Less control for agents over the dial rates
  • Potential for technical issues

Search for features like seamless integration with your existing systems, real-time monitoring and reporting, compliance management, scalability, customization settings and more.

Yes, most progressive dialer solutions are designed to integrate seamlessly with popular CRM platforms and customer databases.

Progressive dialers are designed to automatically screen unproductive calls like voicemails, busy signals and disconnected numbers. When the dialer encounters any of them, it quickly moves on to the next number on the list without connecting the call to an agent. The system can be set up to retry unanswered calls after a set time period, so that potential leads or important contacts are not overlooked.

Yes, but you should consider the additional costs for international dialing and ensure the system is configured to comply with the telecommunications regulations and laws of the countries you are going to call.

Yes, by reducing the wait time for customers and ensuring that each call is quickly handles by an agent. This immediate response can increase customer engagement and satisfaction, making it more likely for leads to convert.

  • Not considering CRM integration capabilities
  • Overlooking compliance features
  • Failing to evaluate scalability
  • Focusing solely on price instead of total cost of ownership and feature needs
  • Neglecting user experience
  • Not thoroughly testing the dialer
Share this post with your network:
Subscribe to our newsletter
Actionable tips and tactics to skyrocket your cloud communications

Get a Free Growth Session and Demo

Experience a live demo customized around your unique business goals, workflows, pain points and challenges, and find out why Squaretalk is the perfect call center solution for organizations like yours.