photo of vintage telephone booths red

Debate rages between sales experts that advocate cold calling is “dead” or “dying”, and those who see it as  “rising from the dead”, “not dead”, or only “semantically dead.” The truth is, sales tactics traditionally referred to as cold calling are still very much alive and is an important strategy utilized by sales management in high-growth companies (Profit Guide, June 2013). (In fact, within a day of downloading one of the studies mentioned below we received a call from a sales rep!)

To help you keep up to date, we’ve hand-picked the most recent, credible and key statistics about cold calling, buyers, salespeople and the buying process. Understanding these modern factors and harnessing the new technologies available is critical to you and your sales team’s cold calling success in 2015 and beyond.

Statistics About The Buyer’s Changing Journey

1) 67% of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally. (SiriusDecisions, July 2013)

2) In a typical firm with 100-500 employees, an average of 7 people are involved in most buying decisions. (Gartner Group)

3) Many buying teams will include people that “own” and need to be convinced of different things, including the business buyer, financial buyer, technical buyer, risk buyer, and user buyer. (Gartner Group, September 2014)

4) Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (The Annuitas Group)

Statistics About The Influence Of Social Media

5) Business buyers reported the greatest benefit of social media as gaining greater confidence and comfort in their decisions. (IDC, February 2014)

6) You are 70 percent more likely to get an appointment with someone on an “unexpected sales call” if you are in a common LinkedIn group than if you aren’t. (Vorsight)

7) 71% of the 100 companies surveyed using sales gamification reported an 11%-50% increase in measured sales performance. (Salesforce, August 2013)

Statistics About Sales Performance

8) 75% of the more than 1,000 senior executives surveyed by DiscoverOrg said they have taken an appointment or attended an event that came from a cold call or email. (DiscoverOrg)

9) 42% of sales reps feel they do not have the right information before making a sales call. (Lattice Engines, March 2013)

10) Teleprospectors make between 100 and 500 calls for every lead they qualify. (SiriusDecisions, June 2014)

11) In 2007 it took an average of 3.68 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. Today it takes 8 attempts. (Telenet and Ovation Sales Group)

12) The average salesperson only makes 2 attempts to reach a prospect. (SiriusDecisions)

13) 87% of employees are not actively engaged in their jobs. (Gallup, March 2014)

It’s clear the telephone is still an essential tool in the sales dialogue, and the preceding findings can help you formulate an effective outreach strategy going forward.

*Photo creative commons via Pixabay


Eliot Burdett

CEO at Peak Sales Recruiting
Before Peak, Eliot spent more than 20 years building and leading companies, where he took the lead in recruiting and managing high performance sales teams. He co-founded Ventrada Systems (mobile applications) and GlobalX (e-commerce software). He was also Vice President of Sales for PointShot Wireless.

Eliot received his B. Comm. from Carleton University and has been honored as a Top 40 Under 40 Award winner.

He co-authored Sales Recruiting 2.0, How to Find Top Performing Sales People, Fast and provides regular insights on sales team management and hiring on the Peak Sales Recruiting Blog.

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