You’ve heard it said that cold calling is a numbers game. And it’s true, to a point. If you call 50 prospects, you might book a few meetings. If you call 500 prospects, you’ll book a whole lot of meetings. The more prospects you call, the better your chances of landing a deal.
If your cold calling methods are working, then you can scale up your numbers to see exponential results. But if your methods aren’t working, you can waste A LOT of time, or scorch loads of great prospects (even a whole sector!), or even burn yourself out and quit sales entirely. Trust me, I’ve seen it happen.
Needless to say, having the numbers on your side is a secret to sales success. So today I’m going to highlight dozens of cold calling statistics. I’m also going to bolt on a lesson to each stat, giving you better context and some practical sales coaching. So let’s dive right in.
17 Cold Calling Statistics + Pro Tips and Takeaways
48% of SDRs are afraid of cold calling.
There’s nothing to be afraid of. Remember, cold calling is just a conversation with another person. So don’t quit in the early stages. Instead, remind yourself that rejection is part of the process in sales, and keep going, build momentum, and soon you’ll be a cold calling master.
28% of cold calls are answered. 55% are not answered. And 17% are non-working numbers.
If you’re calling C-level executives (and you should be), then try dialing between 7-9 am or after hours between 5-7 pm for the best results. You’ll bump that 28% up to 40% or more.
57% of C-level buyers prefer to be contacted by phone.
Many high-profile executives conduct business almost exclusively over the phone. So meet them where they’re at! Don’t think that prospects hate getting phone calls. They love it.
69% of buyers accepted a cold call in the last year.
Cold calling is far from dead. If someone called you and 1) knew your name, 2) knew your business and your struggles, and 3) were “cordially confident” and spoke with energy and passion, wouldn’t you hear them out? Absolutely. That’s why 7 out of 10 buyers take cold calls!
It takes an average of 8 cold call attempts to reach a prospect.
There’s a story in Napoleon Hill’s book Think and Grow Rich about a miner digging for gold. He followed a vein for thousands of feet, before giving up just 3 feet from gold. Always remember that you’re 3 feet from gold, or 3 calls from a “Yes.” The lesson here is be persistent.
80% of calls end up going to voicemail.
I never leave voicemails. Voicemails simply don’t work in sales. Instead, I take that 80% of prospects that don’t pick up and I call them again, and again. I want to speak to a human who can hear my tonality and catch the vision I have for them and their company. So for me, 0% of calls go to voicemail.
Only 1-3% of cold calls ultimately lead to appointments.
That’s 1-3 appointments you didn’t have yesterday! Enough said. But I’ll say one more thing… as you get better at cold calling, you’ll increase your meetings-booked rate to 10%+ depending on your industry.
42% of salespeople feel they don’t have enough info before making a call.
Sounds like an excuse to me. A full name and a phone number is all you need to start. Use this to find all the info you could ever want on a prospect. Start with Google, look at LinkedIn, the company website, social channels, etc. If you feel your company isn’t giving you enough info, then why not fill in the gaps yourself? Your paycheck is on the line. You’ve got this.
Saying “we” instead of “I” can boost success rates by 35%. For example, “We help companies…”
Saying “we” instead of “I” creates an aura of professionalism. People want to do business with reputable companies, not their neighbor’s kid down the street. Use more “we’s” in your cold calls to capture more business.
The tone of your voice determines 93% of whether your cold call will succeed.
Tonality in sales is a true game-changer. The cold caller with a monotone voice gets hung up on. The cold caller with a confident and passionate tone wins the meeting. Fluctuate your tone and pitch, speak fast and then slow, soft and then louder. Draw your prospect into a captivating experience. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling, if you master tonality, you can master sales.
Asking “how are you” boosts your likelihood of booking an appointment by 3.4 times.
Be nice. It’s that easy. There’s no reason to be an arrogant you-know-what on the phones. If you’re calling C-Level executives, they have standards they hold people to, including you!
91% of buyers said they would give referrals, but only 11% of salespeople ask for one.
This is a huge missed opportunity I see all the time. Commit to asking for one referral from every new client (yes, even before there’s ink on paper). People desire to help others, especially when they see value in the offer. So don’t miss this.
In a company of 50-100 people, there’s an average of seven people involved in the purchasing decision.
You’ll get tossed around to “see more” executives if you don’t qualify your buyer upfront. If you go straight to the CEO, there’s an average of ONE person involved in the purchasing decision. So I recommend calling only founders and the c-suite (CEO, CFO, CMO, etc.) for the best results. And during your first meeting, ask the prospect if anyone else needs to be brought in for the next meeting… and don’t hold that meeting until you have that decision-maker there.
82% of buyers look up providers on LinkedIn before they respond to outreach efforts.
Discerning buyers even look at your LinkedIn profile while you’re still on the call. This is good news, because your LinkedIn should showcase who you are, what you do, and the results you’re capable of driving. Take a few hours tonight to get your LinkedIn squared away.
Mention a common connection and you’re 70% more likely to attain a meeting.
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. The psychology here is simple: people buy from people they trust. And if you know someone the prospect knows and trusts, then you’ve already been vetted (in a way). Name drop, and the sooner the better. Even sneak it in your opening line if possible.
Asking “Is now a bad time?” makes you 40% less likely to book a meeting.
News flash – it’s usually a bad time (CEOs are busy people). But even if it is a good time, which also happens, this question gives them an easy out. That said, I do like permission-based openings where a question is asked of the prospect. Just not that question.
B2B reps average 35 calls per day (I’ve also seen this avg. stat as high as 52)
35 calls? We put away 35 calls in a couple hours! Honestly though, 35 calls per day isn’t terrible for a new salesperson. But if you’ve been in the game for a while, and you’re using an auto-dialer with a headset and calling down a lead list, there’s no reason you can’t put in 50-100 calls every day. Do this and you can double your sales starting now.
So there you have it, 17 cold calling statistics to inspire you, motivate you, and keep you hungry for more. Remember, so much of sales is about numbers. But thankfully sales is also about PEOPLE. It’s about building relationships and helping people solve their problems. Get these statistics working for you and there will be no limit to your success in sales.
Until next time…
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