Outbound Call Center Glossary

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Telemarketing Terminology

Purchasing telemarketing services from a call center can be a daunting prospect if you don’t know the vocabulary of the industry. However, if you can “talk the talk” of the telemarketers, you will be able to communicate more effectively with service providers about your telemarketing needs and truly get what you want. Know this: it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Once you understand the basics, you can pretty much get by and sound like you know what you’re talking about!


Abandoned Call
A call that ends before conversation occurs.

A call center employee that answers customers’ calls; also known as a service representative.

Average Handling Time (AHT)
A call center metric that measures time from the beginning of an agent’s interaction with a customer; this includes hold time, talk time and tasks related to the conversation.

Average Talk Time
The time an agent spends speaking to a customer. It does not include the time a customer spends on hold or the time an agent does any other work during the call or after the call.

Blended Agent
A service rep who is able to handle both inbound and outbound calls.

Call Blending
Used in a consolidated call center; a method of mixing inbound and outbound calls to smooth out demand patterns.

Call Center
The physical location where telemarketing calls are handled.

Call Center Manager
The person responsible for the overall management of the call center including budget execution, operation, and business performance.

call center

Call Flow
A basic tenet that a TSR or CSR must follow with every call; call flow is often scripted.

Call Logging
Listening to, recording, and assessing conversations between a call center agent and the customer; also known as call recording or call monitoring.

Consolidated Call Center
A call center that handles both inbound and outbound (telemarketing) calls.

The customer service representative (also known as a TSR or telephone sales representative).

Dedicated Agent
A telemarketer who is solely dedicated to representing one client; they tend to be well versed in your company and your product.

“Do Not Call” registries exist at both the national and state levels.

A telemarketing service or campaign completed within your company or organization.


A potential customer.

Multiple numbers of potential customers that you would like to call.

List Source
The place where a telemarketing firm obtains a list of numbers to call.

A method for clients to ensure proper handling of their telemarketing campaign. Listening in on actual calls, either live or recorded.

Multilingual Marketing
Telemarketing conducted in more than one language. If you think that you need multilingual telemarketing, look for a firm that specializes in the language you need.

A call center that is located in a different country.

Outbound Call
A call initiated by a call center agent to a customer on behalf of a client.

Outbound Call Center
A telemarketing company that works on your behalf. An outbound call center implements your business goals via the telemarketing campaign.

Hiring an outside company to handle telemarketing services.

Payment Options

  • Dedicated Payment
    Flat fee for a representative solely dedicated to your account.
  • Hourly Pay
    Hourly fee for a TSR’s time rather than performance.
  • Pay for Performance
    Payment that compensates telemarketing agents based on sales performance; commission based pay.

payment options

Power Dialer
This dials numbers in succession ONLY when an agent is available to handle the call. It bypasses busy numbers and dropped calls.

Predictive Dialer
A telephone system that automatically calls a list of numbers and screens out no-answers, busy signals, answering machines and disconnected numbers while also predicting when a customer will be able to handle the next call.

Remote Agents
Agents that work in a location other than a traditional call center–usually from home.

Important information such as total sales and revenue, call duration, calls per minute, handling time, etc.

The manuscript that telemarketers follow to reach out to customers on your behalf. A good script will represent your offer and brand in the best possible light.

Service Level Agreement (SLA)
The contractual agreement between the outbound call center and the client that lays out the boundaries of service.

Shared Agent
A telemarketer who works on more than one client account; they must have a diversified skill set.


The process of making mass sales or service calls. Outbound calls are made by agents to complete sales, generate leads, conduct research or surveys, or verify information.

A telephone sales representative, also known as a CSR or customer service representative.

Wrap Time
The time it takes an agent to complete work for a customer after the call has ended. Also known as ACW – after call work.

Learn more

Find out more about outbound telemarketing call centers by reading our Telemarketing Services Buyer’s Guide.

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