PhoneBurner Review–The Good and Bad

0


PhoneBurner is a virtual phone service specifically for high-volume outbound calling. It works best for sales teams that want to leverage PhoneBurner’s power dialer software, which automates the dialing process. It’s powerful, but the software is expensive and lacks basic inbound call-handling capabilities that we typically see from other phone and call center platforms. 

PhoneBurner offers dialer software that makes outreach more profitable. It empowers reps an can drive up to 4x more calls.

How PhoneBurner Compares to its Closest Competitors

Compared to other cloud-based phone solutions, PhoneBurner definitely has the edge for outbound dialing. If all you need is a way for your sales reps or outreach team to make more calls with less manual effort, PhoneBurner is worth a closer look.

But it’s not as well-rounded as other platforms and you’ll end up paying a lot more for an inbound calling number and the ability to send or receive texts than you will with other providers.

For example, Nextiva’s contact center comes with inbound and outbound calling capabilities with every plan, plus omnichannel communications that include SMS messaging, email, social, web forms, and more—all for less money than PhoneBurner.

While PhoneBurner’s power dialer is arguably the best outbound dialer in this industry, Nextiva still gives you a built-in auto dialer that delivers a similar result. This makes Nextiva a better fit and a better value for most contact centers, as PhoneBurner is just too niche-specific. 

For larger teams that have more advanced needs, RingCentral has an enterprise-level contact center solution that’s flexible enough to support sales, support, and other types of call centers. 

They also have a new platform called RingCX, which is an entry-level contact center plan designed for sales teams. It’s about half the price of PhoneBurner and supports both inbound and outbound calling out-of-the-box. RingCentral also has preview, predictive, and progressive dialers available for an extra cost. We have a guide that breaks down the key differences between power dialing and predictive dialing if this interests you. 

You can also get a power dialer from Dialpad’s contact center software. Dialpad’s plans are cheaper than PhoneBurner and support both inbound and outbound calling needs as well. There are also sales-specific call center plans, plus robust AI coaching tools that you won’t get with PhoneBurner. 

If PhoneBurner is too advanced or expensive for your needs, you could also go with an entry-level contact center solution like CloudTalk.

It’s one of the most affordable ways to get a power dialer, although it’s not great for high-volume calling because outbound dialing is billed based on usage. 

Check out our in-depth reviews of the best call center software to learn more. You can also refer to our Nextiva review, RingCentral review, Cloudtalk review, or Dialpad review for a closer look.

PhoneBurner: The Good

PhoneBurner’s really good at what it does, but what it does is limited compared to other phone and call center systems out there. Here’s a closer look at what it does well and where it’s lacking.

The Good

Unlimited outbound calling: Every PhoneBurner plan comes with unlimited outbound minutes. This is one of the many reasons why it’s such an excellent choice for high-volume outbound sales reps. Your entire team can make hundreds of calls per day and you’ll never have to worry about getting an expensive per-minute based bill. Most call center solutions on the market charge based on usage. While this could potentially work for low-volume dialing, PhoneBurner is a much better value if you need tons of outbound minutes. 

Power dialing with every plan: PhoneBurner’s power dialer is its shining star. So much so that it’s typically branded as power dialer software instead of a call center solution or business phone system. 

This feature makes it easy for reps to dial anywhere from 60 to 80 contacts per hour, with zero connection delays between each call. Your reps will be able to respond instantly as opposed to other tools that have an awkward pause after the recipient answers. Your team will benefit from fewer hang ups and ultimately have higher-quality conversations with people who answer the phone. 

Built-in CRM: PhoneBurner has its own integrated call center CRM built directly into the software. It’s more of a lightweight version compared to a standalone CRM, but it still gets the job done and works great for new teams that don’t yet have a separate CRM.

It covers all of the basics you need to manage your contact lists and align notes with your outbound call campaigns. You can quickly see where a contact’s at in your sales pipeline and the steps they took to get there. Plus you’ll have access to each contact’s entire call history, recent call recordings, any text exchanges, related documents, and other interactions they’ve had with your team.

Local presence dialing: To increase the chances of leads picking up the phone, PhoneBurner has a local presence dialing feature that automatically matches the area code of your outbound number with the recipient’s own area code. A sales rep in Boston can call people in Miami, Los Angeles, and Phoenix, and each time a different local area code will appear on the recipient’s screen. It does cost extra to set this up, as you’ll need to purchase additional numbers in those locations that you’re trying to reach. But this is an important feature, and it’s not something that’s always offered from other call center plans. While other providers let you purchase additional numbers, they don’t all dynamically match the correct area code to the number you’re dialing. 

90-day free trial: Free trials aren’t common in the contact center software space. We see them more with traditional business phone systems. But for contact centers, you can usually get a free demo or a quick chance to make sure the software works for your setup. For instances where trials are available, PhoneBurner blows the competition away with its 90-day free trial.

The trial includes free dialing minutes that you can use at your own pace throughout the 90 days. You could run out of them sooner depending on your call volume, but you can take your time if you choose to. The trial also includes PhoneBurner’s power dialer and CRM—so they aren’t holding back the best features until you pay. 

Reduced risk of getting flagged as spam: Modern sales teams know that it’s tough to get people to answer the phone, especially for cold calls. But PhoneBurner leverages a mix of technology paired with human touch to ensure more people actually answer. As a Tier 1 carrier, PhoneBurner’s network alone reduces the chances that your number will be flagged as spam. 

They can also register your business phone numbers directly with all major carriers to ensure your reputation is high and your calls are marked as legitimate numbers. It’s also compliant with the FCC’s STIR/SHAKEN standards to help certify your calls as legitimate and trustworthy. You’ll even benefit from real-time spam monitoring alerts, which gives you a chance to stop using certain numbers or adjust your profile until you can remedy the situation. 

Automation and team productivity tools: It’s clear that PhoneBurner eliminates the need to manually dial phone numbers. But they also have additional automation tools to help boost your team’s productivity. One cool feature is the ability to leave pre-recorded voicemails with a single click, which can help save your sales reps anywhere from 30-60 seconds for each call that goes unanswered. You can also set up results-based triggers to email callers based on a specific scenario. These messages can be personalized and quickly sent to ensure your team spends more time on the phone and less time on admin tasks. Maybe you want to ensure that a bad phone number is automatically removed from your contact list or that a busy signal gets put back into the pipeline—all of these actions and more can be set up with PhoneBurner. 

Streamlined onboarding and deployment: For such a powerful tool, PhoneBurner is surprisingly easy to set up. All plans come with complimentary one-on-one onboarding, which is normally worth $1,500 (according to PhoneBurner). 

PhoneBurner’s onboarding process is collaborative, so your whole team can get training at the same time. You’ll also have complimentary access to PhoneBurner’s webinars for tips and best practices using the software. All of this really helps reduce the learning curve and sets your team up for success with the new software. 

Sequential sales cadence flows: Your team can build customized multi-step follow-ups directly within PhoneBurner to help maximize the value of every lead. For example, you put your hot leads into a different group than people who don’t want to be contacted again. PhoneBurner also creates smart lists that update automatically based on your custom parameters, so your most important calls are always prioritized. If you’re on a specific PhoneBurner plan, you can even add SMS follow-ups to your sales cadence. 

Over 100 pre-built integrations: Even though PhoneBurner has its own CRM, most businesses want to use their own. You can seamlessly sync the software with Salesforce, HubSpot, Zoho CRM, and more. Beyond that, the software has over 100 pre-built integrations to other third-party tools your team might already be using—from Airtable to Wave Accounting, Facebook Lead Ads, Marketo, and more. You can really expand the way you use PhoneBurner.

It also connects with Zapier which makes it easy to set up custom connections and automation triggers with other tools that aren’t pre-built from PhoneBurner. With Zapier, you’ll have access to more than 2,000 integration possibilities. So there’s a good chance that most of what you’re already using is on that list. 

Potential Brand Drawbacks

No softphone on entry-level plan: It’s hard to believe that you can’t make calls from PhoneBurner without physical hardware at the entry-level tier. For the vast majority of contact center solutions and business phone systems, softphone access is a basic feature and available on plans that start between $15 and $25 per month. With PhoneBurner, you have to pay over $150 per user to get it. We sometimes see the desktop app withheld until you reach a certain plan tier, but that’s almost never the case at this price point. 

Expensive: Some businesses will automatically disqualify PhoneBurner based on price alone. With rates starting at $127 per user per month billed annually, it will cost you over $30,000 today to get PhoneBurner for a team of 20 people. Month-to-month pricing is available, which can help reduce your upfront costs. But it’s still too expensive for many companies to justify when there are so many cheaper and more versatile phone systems out there. 

Limited inbound call-handling features: Receiving inbound calls is not an option with all but one of PhoneBurner’s plans. Even if you sign up for this top-tier plan, the inbound calling features are really limited. You can set up custom routing, voicemail, and call forwarding. But you’re not getting a cloud IVR system or other inbound handling tools that we typically see offered by other providers. 

No live chat support and limited phone support: Unfortunately, PhoneBurner does not offer 24/7 support. So if you’re stuck and need help, you’ll need to search the PhoneBurner knowledge base, open a ticket, or send them an email. Live chat support is not an option, and live phone support is only available on weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm Eastern. 

Branded caller ID costs extra: With branded caller ID, mobile users will see the name of your business appear on their smartphone whenever you call them—even if they haven’t saved your phone number in their contact list. This helps increase the chances of them answering and adds a level of both trust and professionalism to your brand. While this is a great feature to have, we wish that PhoneBurner included it with at least one of the plan tiers. It’s a bit frustrating that you could already be paying nearly $200 per month per user and still have to pay extra for something that’s so important.

Lack of internal communication tools: PhoneBurner is not an all-in-one communication platform. While it works really well for outbound sales teams, your sales reps still need to use something else to connect internally. You won’t be able to chat with your team, share files, start a conference call, or join a video chat with teammates via PhoneBurner. While these aren’t always standard features in contact center plans, we’d like to see team chat at an absolute minimum here. 

SMS messaging only available at the highest plan tier: Again, PhoneBurner is great for outbound dialing—with emphasis dialing. You need to sign up for the most expensive plan to access text-based communication. And even at this level, you’re limited to just 1,000 outbound texts per month before usage-based pricing kicks in. There are plenty of cheaper solutions on the market that offer unlimited calling and unlimited texting. 

PhoneBurner’s Plans and Pricing

PhoneBurner has three different plans to choose from, with a 15% discount applied for paying annually vs. month-to-month. 

  • Standard — Starts at $127 per user per month
  • Professional — Starts at $ 152 per user per month
  • Premium — $169 per user per month

Inbound calling and SMS texting are only available with the top-tier Premium plan. Otherwise, you’ll be limited to just outbound dialing. 

It’s also worth noting that using PhoneBurner with a softphone is only available at the mid-tier Professional plan or higher. This is one of the only products at this price point that doesn’t let you handle calls from your computer or smartphone with every plan, so you’ll need to have IP-enabled desk phones to use PhoneBurner’s Standard plan. 

Nextiva’s new AI-powered contact center starts at $99, which includes both inbound and outbound dialing capabilities. If you go up just one tier, you’ll unlock access to texting and omnichannel communications starting at $119. These plans are more feature-packed than PhoneBurner and support additional use cases—perfect for scaling teams of all sizes.

RingCentral’s contact center plans start at $65 per agent per month, and the added cost of adding outbound dialers brings it closer to PhoneBurner’s starting price. 

In comparing Dialpad’s pricing to PhoneBurner, the entry-level plan starts at $60 per user per month and comes with live monitoring, whisper, and barge. You’ll have to pay over $150 to access these features from PhoneBurner. But you don’t get power dialing until you reach Dialpad’s mid-tier plan—although at $95 per month, it still costs less than PhoneBurner.

Try PhoneBurner for free to see if it’s right for you, today!



Source link

You might also like