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64 Cold Calling Statistics You Must Learn: 2021/2022 Challenges & Data Analysis

Time and again we’ve heard experts say “Cold calling is dead” and that inbound is where the money is. However, is this really the case? After all, with omnichannel being a go-to strategy for sales professionals, utilizing calls is a must. To help you find out whether or not cold calling is still lucrative, we have compiled the most critical cold calling statistics that you must learn this 2021.

In this article, we will be providing you with answers to questions like “What is the success rate of cold calling?” and “Does cold calling still work in 2021?” We’ve also included some data on how solutions for sales and CRM tools can reinforce cold calling. This way, you can get a better perspective as to how you can leverage this traditional sales method for modern selling initiatives.

key cold calling statistics

General Cold Calling Statistics

Cold calling has become a dying art, especially with success rates dwindling over the past few years. However, many salespeople still swear by it, claiming that it’s still as effective now as it was then. True enough, as you’ll see in the cold calling statistics below, organizations that still used this method experienced more growth than those who didn’t.

This can be attributed to the fact that many customer interactions still happen on the phone and many consumers are still receptive to cold calls.

  • Cold calling has a 2% success rate. (Charlie Cook’s Marketing Success)
  • Sales professionals report that calling existing customers is the most effective prospecting strategy. Rain Group)
  • 41.2% of sales professionals believe that their phone is their most effective tool for the job. (Sales Insights Lab, 2020)
  • A sales representative makes an average of 33 cold calls every day. (Zety, 2021)
  • It takes an average of 8 call attempts to reach a prospect. (The Brevet Group, 2020)
  • Organizations who believed that cold calling is no longer effective experienced 42% less growth than those who believed otherwise. (Medina, Altschuler, and Kosoglow)
  • 69% of shoppers have accepted a cold call from sales representatives over the past year. (Rain Group)

shoppers who accepted a cold call in the past year

Cold Calling Best Practices Statistics

The art of cold calling is difficult to master. However, it is not impossible. A great place to start would be getting a good idea of which individuals can benefit the most from your products and services. After that, you’ll just have to put a little more effort into knowing what your prospects want to hear.

In the statistics below, you can see that more and more prospects are looking to sales reps for substantial information. They don’t just want to know more about your product; they want to know how it can help them. Meaning, it is important that you know the ins and outs of your offerings as well as a good grasp of the demands of your prospects’ industry.

Moreover, by applying the best practices we’ll be mentioning below, you can greatly improve your sales revenue.

  • Sales representatives that have a prioritized list of prospects are 19% more likely to call leads within 5 minutes and 26% more likely to make the first call within an hour. (Velocify)
  • By having a way to prioritize leads, sales representatives can make 49% more contact attempts and extend their discussion time by 88%. (Velocify)
  • The factors that influence a buyers’ ultimate purchase decisions are the value that you can deliver to them (96%), your ability to collaborate with them (93%) and the level to which you have educated them with new ideas (92%). Lastly, consumers also make decisions based on the valuable insights you can provide about their industry (92%). (Rain Group)
  • 30.9% of salespeople open their calls by asking “Is this a good time?” (Sales Insights Lab, 2020)
  • Salespeople have to dial 18 or more times on average to connect with a prospect. (TOPO HQ)
  • 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls. (Invesp, 2020)
  • 42% of customers are more likely to make a purchase if the salespeople called them back on the time they both agreed upon. (Invesp, 2020)

How Do You Make Good Cold Call?

There’s no one way to make a good cold call. However, there are several proven techniques that you can apply to help you interact with clients better. Take a look at these data, for example:

  • Sales professionals only have 5 to10 minutes to convince prospects via cold calling. (Rain Group)
  • 7.5 minutes is the average length of cold calls that successfully move to the next stage–meeting. (Chorus, 2019)
  • 93% of the potential success of your cold call is attributed to the tone of your voice during the conversation. (Close, 2021)
  • Asking prospects about their pain points and business objectives can lead to closing a deal. (Gong.io)
  • Some words that can harm cold calling success rates are “Show you how” (13%), “Discount” (17%), “Contract” (7%), and “Free trial” (5%). In addition, mentioning your company’s name more than four times in a call can hurt close rates by 14%. (Gong.io)
  • Using the phrase “we provide” more than four times in a call can reduce close rates by 22%. (Sales Hacker)
  • Successful sales reps use words such as “definitely,” “certainly,” and “absolutely” 5 times more than low performers. (Chorus; Ulan Group)
  • Top sales representatives are 10 times more likely to use collaborative words instead of “you,” “I,” and “me.” (Chorus; Ulan Group)
  • Opening a cold call with “How have you been?” has a success rate of 10.01%. (Gong.io)
  • Stating a reason for your cold outreach can boost success rates by 2.1 times. (Gong.io)

When to Make Cold Calls

Timing is everything. So, you should plan ahead to make sure that you are calling your prospects at the most opportune time. Below, we have listed down some statistics that can help you guide when to schedule your calls. This way, you can engage your leads more effectively and ensure a better chance at conversion.

  • Calling prospects during the recommended times can increase the average gain in conversion by 49%. (Velocify)
  • Cold calling data shows that you can increase the likelihood of converting a prospect by almost 400% if you contact them within the minute they were tagged as a lead. (Velocify)
  • Cold calling research shows that the best response time to customer inquiries is within an hour. Beyond that, the chances of engaging a lead decreases by 8 times. (Call Hippo)
  • According to cold call conversion statistics, waiting 30 minutes to make the first call can reduce the chances of conversion down to 62%. Meanwhile, waiting 24 hours can dramatically reduce this to 17%. (Velocify)
  • The best time to make cold calls is between 4:00 PM and 5:00 PM. Meanwhile, the worst time to call is between 7:00 AM and 11:00 AM as most prospects are busy at the office. (Call Hippo)
  • You are 46% more likely to engage a lead if you call them on a Wednesday. (Call Hippo)
  • The ideal time to make a cold call is from Wednesday to Thursday at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Meanwhile, the worst time to call is on Mondays between 6:00 AM and noon. (Ring Lead)

How Often to Make Cold Calls

There’s a slim chance that you’ll be able to make a sale during a cold call. After all, the prospect probably has no idea your company even existed before the contact. That said, it is pertinent that you follow-up on prospects after a cold call. Unfortunately, not all salespeople do this. In fact, many don’t even call a second time.

If you want to set yourself apart from other cold callers, it is important that you follow up on a lead multiple times. This way, you can show them that you remember them. You may even use these calls as a chance to learn more about their business needs and build rapport with them to increase the possibility of a sale.

  • Making at least 6 cold calls can increase contact rates by 70%. (Call Hippo)
  • 93% of converted leads are often reached only by the 6th cold call attempt. (Velocify)
  • Prospects that are reached after 7 or more calls are 45% less likely to be converted compared to leads whose initial contact took place after 6 or fewer calls. (Velocify)
  • 48% of salespeople do not make a follow-up call. (Invesp, 2020)
  • 44% of salespeople do not make a second follow-up call. (Invesp, 2020)

Source: Invesp 2020

Cold Calling from the Customers’ Perspective

Closing a sale is the ultimate goal whether the sale is with new or existing customers, and what better way to find out how to get on the potential buyers’ side than to learn about their preferences when it comes to receiving calls from sales representatives.

  • 82% of buyers have booked meetings with salespeople after a series of contacts that started with sales cold calls. (SmallBiz Genius)
  • 60% of customers reject offers four times before they say yes. (Invesp, 2020)
  • 75% of buyers online would like to receive 2-4 phone calls before sales stop calling them. (Invesp, 2020)
  • 12% of customers want salespeople to contact them as much as they can. (Invesp, 2020)
  • Customers find 58% of sales meetings not valuable. (Rain Group, 2020)
  • 49% of buyers prefer to be contacted through phone calls. (Rain Group, 2020)

buyers who prefer phone calls

Impact of Data on Cold Calling Statistics

Data is invaluable in the digital age. Simply put, businesses can’t afford to use them incorrectly because it can cost them a lot of money. The same goes for sales representatives.

Cold calling market research shows that inaccurate, incomplete, or outdated customer information can drastically reduce the effectiveness of your cold calls. These can cause you to contact the wrong prospects or be unprepared to talk to leads. Thus, it can drain your productive hours.

If you want to avoid this, you should update your contacts regularly and collect information on prospects as best as you can. This way, it is easier for you to connect with them and you can get a higher chance of actually converting them.

One way to help you keep tabs on your data is customer relationship management software. If you don’t have one yet, you might want to take a look at this list of CRM tools.

  • Poor data costs businesses in the U.S. $3.1 trillion per year. (IBM Big Data Hub)
  • Inaccurate data causes sales representatives 27.3% of their productive hours. All in all, this amounts to 546 hours per year per representative. (Zoom Info)
  • 62% of companies rely on customer data that is at least 20% inaccurate or incomplete. (Zoom Info)
  • CEO changes—by Q3 of 2019, a total of 1,160 CEOs left their positions, which is 13% higher than the previous year. (Challenger, Gray, & Christmas, Inc.)

wasted per year per sales rep due to inaccurate data

Most Popular Sales Software

  1. xSellco Repricer. Repricer is one of the three business modules of xSellco, which enables real-time repricing and competitor and margin pricing. Learn what more it can do in our xSellco Repricer review.
  2. Copper. Copper is a cloud-based CRM that integrates the Google family of products, designed to be easy to use. Our Copper review provides more insight into its features.
  3. InfoFlo. InfoFlo is a sales software that allows you to integrate and manage business contacts and leads. Let’s show you it works in our InfoFlo review.
  4. Yotpo. A marketing software tailored for ecommerce, Yotpo helps online stores generate reviews for their products and use these reviews to boost sales. We walk you through how it works in our Yotpo review.
  5. LeadSquared Sales + Mobile CRM. This solution optimizes customer relationship management and streamlines the sales process. Our LeadSquared Sales + Mobile CRM review has more details.

B2B Cold Calling Statistics

When it comes to B2B selling, you have to exhaust all options for communication. So, it’s only right that you include cold calling in your current sales playbook. After all, there are many executives out there who are fine with accepting cold calls as well as scheduling meetings with sellers on the first call, especially if you have an interesting offer.

However, it is best to note that many B2B buyers have had bad experiences with sales reps who seem unprepared to talk to them. So, expect that there’s also a good chunk of these executives who would not respond to cold calls.

With that said, if you don’t want to be the kind of cold caller who wastes the time of your prospects, it is best that you do your due diligence and research your prospects before contacting them. By doing so, you can understand their business needs better and prepare a more useful and personalized sales pitch for your first call.

  • B2B cold calling statistics show that 57% of C-level executives prefer being contacted by phone. managers. (Rain Group, 2020)
  • 82% of B2B buyers are okay with accepting meetings with sellers. (Rain Group)
  • 55% of high-growing companies utilize cold calling as one of their main strategies. (Chorus, 2019)

Percentage of B2B Buyers Who Want to Be Contacted via Phone

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Source: Rain Group 2020

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Statistics on Cold Calling Challenges

Cold calling is perhaps one of the most frustrating tasks among sales professionals. For starters, most people would simply reject what cold callers have to offer on the first call. In some cases, they’d just hang up before the sales rep could even start their pitch.

In fact, only a small fraction of cold calls actually succeed in securing prospects. Moreover, many sales representatives tend to waste a good chunk of their work hours leaving voicemails because they couldn’t get in touch with their lead. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that cold calling is the problem.

As you may have already seen in the research data we’ve detailed earlier, many sales teams still don’t know how to utilize this strategy effectively. Some of the common mistakes they make include having ineffective cold call scripts, storing inaccurate or incomplete customer information, or making ill-timed calls.

That said, if you truly want to maximize this strategy for your business, you will have to be more proactive in understanding your customers to know when to get in touch with them and how to interact with them.

  • 209 calls are what it takes to get one appointment. (Zety, 2021)
  • Only 18% of high-quality leads are generated through outbound practices such as cold calling. (HubSpot)
  • Sales professionals spend 15% of their productive hours leaving voicemails. (Ring Lead)
  • 46% of survey respondents state that they rarely ask for referrals from clients. (Sales Insights Lab, 2020)
  • Sales representatives leave an average of 70 voicemails each per day. (Ring Lead)
  • 30%-40% is the average no-show and/or cancellation rates on pre-scheduled meetings (Wingman, 2020)
  • A team of 50 sales representatives spends 1,250 hours a month on leaving voicemails. (Ring Lead)

calls that end in voicemails

What Do These Cold Calling Statistics Mean for Your Business?

The statistics don’t lie: cold calling is still very much alive, contrary to popular belief. However, many salespeople struggle to make the most out of it. Consequently, they fail to meet their targets and opt not to utilize this traditional sales method instead.

However, as we have tackled in this list of cold calling statistics, you are missing out if you opt not to use cold calling. For starters, with the popularity of omnichannel strategies, it is crucial that you leverage phone calls as this is one of the most common communication channels available today. Furthermore, through cold calling, you are able to provide a more personable approach to customer interactions, allowing you to foster stronger and lasting relationships with them.

The only thing to note here is that you can only reap the benefits of this method if you do it right. Meaning, you have to go out of your way to learn about your prospects, pinpoint the most opportune time to contact them, and understand how you can interact with them as efficiently as possible. Better yet, you should try to partner with sales software providers that can give you systems through which you can plan your cold calling strategies. This way, you’ll have a better shot at closing deals.

In case you are looking for more insights regarding sales methodologies, feel free to check out our compilation of sales statistics. This should give you a better overview of the trends shaping the industry.

 

References:

  1. Assemi, R. (2021). 36 B2B cold calling tips for sales success in 2021. Retrieved from Close
  2. Chorus.ai (n.d.). Chorus Resources Hub. Retrieved from Chorus.ai
  3. Gerencer, T. (2021). 200+ Sales Statistics [Cold Calling, Follow-up, Closing Rates]. Retrieved from Zety
  4. Gong.io (n.d.). The Cold Call Chat Sheet. Retrieved from Gong.io
  5. Gong.io (2017). The 7 Best Discovery Call Tips For Sales You’ll Ever Read. Retrieved from Gong.io
  6. Hadfield, R. (2018). Cure for the Common Cold Call [Infographic]. Retrieved from Zoom Info
  7. IBM Big Data Hub (n.d.). Journey to AI Blog. Retrieved from
  8. Invesp (2020). The Importance of Sale Follow Ups – Statistics and Trends. Retrieved from Invesp
  9. Jovic, D. (2020). Do Cold Calls Still Work? — 33 Cold Calling Statistics. Retrieved from SmallBiz Genius
  10. Medina M., Altschuler, M., and Kosoglow, M. (n.d.). Sales Engagement. Retrieved from Sales Engagement
  11. Parrotte, S. (2019). 21 Cold Calling Secrets (From the Sales Masters). Retrieved from Chorus
  12. Rain Group (n.d.). Discover what it takes to break through to executives, fill your pipeline, and win more sales.. Retrieved from Rain Group
  13. Rain Group (2020). 30 Must-Knonw Sales Prospecting Stats and What They Mean for Sellers. Retrieved from Rain Group
  14. RingLead (n.d.). 9 Voicemail Tips to Dramatically Improve Return Calls. Retrieved from RingLead
  15. Sales Hacker (n.d.). Nine Secret Elements of Highly Effective Sales Conversations. Retrieved from Sales Hacker
  16. Sales Insights Lab (2020). 18 New Sales Statistics for 2020 from Our Groundbreaking Study!. Retrieved from Sales Insights Lab
  17. The Brevet Group (2020). SALES TRAINING: 21 Mind-Blowing Sales Stats. Retrieved from The Brevet Group
  18. ULAN Group (2019). 75 Key Sales Statistics That’ll Help You Sell Smarter in 2019. Retrieved from ULAN Group
  19. Vasita, K. (n.d.). Infographic – The Best Day And Time To Make A Business Call. Retrieved from CallHippo
  20. Velocify (n.d.). Ultimate Contact Strategy. Retrieved from Velocify
  21. Velocify (n.d.). The Power of Prioritization. Retrieved from Velocify
Allan Jay

By Allan Jay

Allan Jay is FinancesOnline’s resident B2B expert with over a decade of experience in the SaaS space. He has worked with vendors primarily as a consultant in the UX analysis and design stages, lending to his reviews a strong user-centric angle. A management professional by training, he adds the business perspective to software development. He likes validating a product against workflows and business goals, two metrics, he believes, by which software is ultimately measured.

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