Cold calling remains a powerful sales technique, even in today’s digital age. Nothing beats the human connection that happens when you hear a friendly voice on the other end of a call.
Every week, our team connects with thousands of sales professionals who make cold calls daily. They’re sharing with us firsthand what’s working, what’s not, and what new challenges sales professionals face as we look ahead into 2024 and beyond. We’ve compiled a list of the most exciting, research-backed, key cold-calling statistics that shed light on the current sales landscape. These statistics can help you plan your new year accordingly.
The statistics we have to share with you today reveal:
- Why buyers love to connect over the phone
- How your social media presence could impact your cold calling results
- The best time of the week and day to make cold calls
- The power of AI to boost cold calling success
Read on to discover all of this and more!
Understand Your Clients Preferences With These Cold Calling Statistics
Buyers love to connect. Let’s kick off our cold calling statistics list with some of the best news we have about cold calling coming out of 2023.
1. On average, 49% of buyers prefer that initial contact be made via cold call (Zippia). This means prospects may be more receptive than you imagine to cold calls.
2. This statistic increases to 50% for buyers in professional services and 54% for technology buyers (Zippia).
3. 57% of C-level executives and VPs list cold calling as their preferred method of being contacted. (RAIN Group).
4. This is compared to 51% of directors and 47% of managers (RAIN Group).
Powerful Cold Calling Statistics to Leverage for Success
These statistics are important when considering the impact of cold-calling on your company.
5. It takes an average of 8 cold calls to reach a prospect and book a meeting (Outplay). That means most calls aren’t answered and might be seen as ‘unsuccessful calls’. However, the results of individual calls can’t measure success in a cold-calling strategy; it’s a long game! Cold calling requires commitment and comfort with delayed gratification from your sales representatives.
Before we discuss how to improve your sales reps’ cold calling, let’s discuss effective marketing strategies.
7. 82% of buyers believe a company is more trustworthy if it’s active on social media (BrandFog). It’s less work for a buyer to confirm your trustworthiness through this social proof than to call you back and try to discern firsthand. Start considering your social media strategy as part of your sales process.
8. Additionally, 77% of buyers are more likely to buy from a company if the CEO is active on social media (BrandFog), so get your leaders involved, too!
Stats to Help Improve Your Cold Calling Results
Following industry best practices are a great start to successful sales prospecting calls. These cold calling statistics reveal ways to get more answered calls, callbacks, and closed sales.
9. To succeed, the average salesperson must make 52-60 cold calls per day (The Bridge Group). How many calls are your reps making daily? If you have team members who struggle to hit their targets, or refuse to make cold calls altogether, check out our blog here on the topic.
10. Customers who are referred are about 24% more profitable than other customers (Wharton School of Business). Are your sales reps making referrals a part of their cold-calling sales strategy?
11. When it comes to timing cold calls, the best time of day to call is between 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm in the prospect’s time zone. This time has 71% more conversions than the second best time, which is between 11:00 am and 12:00 pm (Outplay).
12. The worst time to make a cold call is around 1:00 pm (Revenue.io).
13. Wednesdays are the best day of the week to make cold calls, followed by Thursdays (InsideSales.com). In addition, we always recommend avoiding Monday mornings and Friday afternoons when professionals are busy starting or wrapping up their work week.
14. Successful cold calls include 65% more “we” statements (Gong). What’s the power of we? This language is used in sales to make the sales rep and prospect feel like partners. It also signals that the rep is speaking on behalf of your organization.
Statistics That Reveal Your Cold Calling Mistakes
Many easy-to-fix mistakes prohibit sales representatives from closing successful sales prospecting calls daily. Let’s cover what those are, as well as a few tips on addressing them with your team.
15. On average, salespeople don’t follow up on half of marketing leads (Dreamforce). The solution to this mistake is clear: make more follow-up phone calls. However, there are complex reasons why your sales professionals might make this mistake. For instance…
16. 44% of sales representatives stop the sale after receiving negative feedback from their first call (SmallBiz Genius). Review your sales statistics to see if your sales reps are following up on all marketing leads. Next, consider ways to train, empower, coach, or offer incentives for better follow-up.
17. After reaching a prospect, salespeople must make an average of 5 additional follow-up calls to close the deal (SmallBiz Genius). Setting your sales team up for success may also mean adjusting their expectations and increasing the number of follow-ups they see as standard in the sales process.
18. If sales reps fail to discuss follow-up steps on their first call, the close rate will drop by 71% (Gong.io). A resilient sales mindset not only serves your company but also your clients. Prospects want to know when and how your team will follow up. Being clear about your process begins to build trust early on.
Of course, how your prospects conduct themselves on a cold call dramatically impacts your cold calling results. But did you know five words can decrease your sales reps’ chances of success by 40%?
19. If your sales reps kick off a call by asking, “Is now a bad time?” they decrease their chance of booking a meeting with the prospect by 40% (Gong.io). Ask your reps to consider more confident and engaging ways to kick off their cold calls.
20. The success rate of a cold call drops by 61% if the call exceeds 5 minutes in length (Zipdo). Brevity is critical when connecting with a new prospect since your rep hasn’t earned much trust with their prospect yet. Keep calls short to qualify leads and follow up!
21. Sales representatives who talk for over 55% of a cold call are less likely to close a deal (Zippia). When you listen (almost) as much as you talk, prospects feel like their problems matter. This is a powerful way to make a positive first impression.
Stats That Expose Cold Calling Challenges
While B2B cold calling statistics might look dismal at times, it’s all a numbers game you can get the ‘upper hand’ in. Let’s consider how many cold calls go to voicemail. Your sales representatives can increase callbacks with one simple step.
22. 92% of people believe calls from an unknown number are a scam and, therefore, won’t answer (Market Splash). This makes cold calling particularly challenging since so many calls need to be made before making contact is actually possible.
23. Since so many sales calls are ignored, 80% of cold calls go to voicemail (Market Splash). A voicemail script can help your sales professionals leave voice messages that pack a punch. However, how many of those voicemails are listened to?
24. Only 15% of customers listen to voicemails left from a cold call (Market Splash). But, there are two simple things your sales professionals can do to increase their chances of a reply — other than just calling back.
25. Using local area codes can increase the likelihood of a callback by 57% (Zipdo).
26. And while 90% of buyers won’t return a cold call if the sales rep only leaves a voicemail (Smith.ai), a follow-up email, or, in some industries, a text message sent immediately after a voicemail can encourage a reply. This creates multiple touchpoints and opportunities for the client to recognize who you are — and call back or reply.
27. A sales rep’s chance of getting that reply increases when other forms of communication are used because 80% of prospects would rather talk to a salesperson over email than over the phone (Salesmate).
Getting just anyone at a company to answer your cold calls won’t always cut it. Another cold-calling challenge is getting the right person — a top decision-maker or makers— on the phone.
28. If your sales representatives are calling offices with 50-100 people in them, there will be, on average, seven people involved in that office’s purchasing decisions (Selling Signals). So, even if your rep contacts someone in the office, they may have to leverage their contact as their internal champion or quickly build rapport so that the person contacted will make the necessary introduction(s).
29. There’s also the issue of the ‘right person’ being difficult to pin down in the first place. In one year, 30% of people change jobs, 66% change job titles or functions, 43% change their work number, and 37% change their email address (ZoomInfo Study). With prospect contact information becoming so quickly dated, thorough research is essential. There may be value in employing AI in your data collection as well.
The Impact of Artificial Intelligence Revealed by Cold Calling Statistics
Has your sales team hopped on the AI bandwagon yet? Early adopters have set a new tech trajectory, and those who remain skeptical will soon be left in the dust. To maximize your sales team’s chances of the most efficient, effective, and successful sales prospecting calls — consider adding an AI component to your cold calling strategy.
30. High-performing sales teams are 4.9 times more likely to be using AI than underperforming teams (Salesforce).
31. Sales professionals who have adopted AI have increased leads and appointments by 50% (McKinsey).
32. By 2025, 75% of B2B companies will use AI to elevate traditional cold calls (Airgram), so there’s never been a better time to start with AI to get ahead of the crowd.
33. 70% of sales professionals say using AI helps them save time (Airgram).
34. Using AI to automate manual tasks has allowed sales reps to have 2-3x more daily conversations (Koncert). And, of course, the more calls, the more chances your sales reps have to close a sale.
35. AI can even be employed to phone-verify numbers so that sales reps aren’t calling incorrect numbers. This process can ensure about 98% accuracy (Outplay).
As you prepare your sales team for the end of 2023 and the start of the new year, we’d love to help. Our network of professionals is full of cold-calling experts who could be just the fit for your team. Contact us today to discuss your hiring needs and learn how Peak Sales can help you meet your sales goals.
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