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52 Cold Calling Statistics You Must Learn: 2020 Challenges & Data Analysis

Category: B2B News

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 2019.

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 2019?” 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. [1]
  • Sales professionals report that calling existing customers is the most effective prospecting strategy. [2]
  • A cold calling report revealed that 27% of sales representatives believe that cold calling is still extremely effective. [2]
  • 41.2% of sales professionals believe that their phone is their most effective tool for the job. [3]
  • 3 out of 4 managers say they can take action from a cold call alone. [4]
  • A sales representative makes an average of 33 cold calls every day. [5]
  • Salespeople have 6.6 conversations per day. [5]
  • Organizations who believed that cold calling is no longer effective experienced 42% less growth than those who believed otherwise. [6]
  • 92% of customer interactions happen over the phone. [7]
  • 69% of shoppers have accepted a cold call from sales representatives over the past year. [2]

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. [8]
  • By having a way to prioritize leads, sales representatives can make 49% more contact attempts and extend their discussion time by 88%. [8]
  • 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%). [2]

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. [2]
  • Successful cold calls often have a 55:45 talk-to-listen ratio. [9]
  • 93% of the potential success of your cold call is attributed to the tone of your voice during the conversation. [10]
  • There is a direct correlation between cold call success and the number of questions you ask. Experts revealed that a good number to aim for is between 11 and 14 questions. [11]
  • Asking prospects about their pain points and business objectives can lead to closing a deal. [11]
  • 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%. [12]
  • Asking “did I catch you at a bad time” can reduce the likelihood of booking a meeting by 40%. [13]
  • Using the phrase “we provide” more than four times in a call can reduce close rates by 22%. [14]
  • Successful sales reps use words such as “definitely,” “certainly,” and “absolutely” 5 times more than low performers.
  • Top sales representatives are 10 times more likely to use collaborative words instead of “you,” “I,” and “me”.
  • Opening a cold call with “how have you been?” has a success rate of 10.01%. [9]
  • Stating a reason for your cold outreach can boost success rates by 2.1 times. [9]

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%. [15]
  • 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. [15]
  • 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. [16]
  • 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%. [15]
  • The best time to make cold calls is between 4 P.M. and 5 P.M. Meanwhile, the worst time to call is between 7 A.M. and 11 A.M. as most prospects are busy at the office. [16]
  • You are 46% more likely to engage a lead if you call them on a Wednesday. [16]
  • The ideal time to make a cold call is from Wednesday to Thursday at 4:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. Meanwhile, the worst time to call is on Mondays between 6:00 A.M. and noon. [17]

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%. [16]
  • 93% of converted leads are often reached only by the 6th cold call attempt. [15]
  • 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. [15]
  • Half of the buyers don’t receive a second cold call from salespeople. [8]
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What Buyers Want from Sellers in 2018

The top factors that influence purchase decisions

What Buyers Want from Sellers in 2018
They want sellers to specify the value that they can deliver: 96

They want sellers to specify the value that they can deliver

What Buyers Want from Sellers in 2018
They want sellers to collaborate with them: 93

They want sellers to collaborate with them

What Buyers Want from Sellers in 2018
They want sellers to educate them with new ideas: 92

They want sellers to educate them with new ideas

What Buyers Want from Sellers in 2018
They want sellers to have valuable insights about their industry: 92

They want sellers to have valuable insights about their industry


Source: RAIN Group

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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. [18]
  • Inaccurate data causes sales representatives 27.3% of their productive hours. All in all, this amounts to 546 hours per year per representative. [19]
  • 62% of companies rely on customer data that is at least 20% inaccurate or incomplete. [19]
  • An average of 18% of telephone numbers changes annually. [20]
  • Roughly 21% of company CEOs are changed each year. [20]
  • Annually, up to 33% of email addresses worldwide become outdated. [20]

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. The same goes for 51% of directors and 47% of managers. [2]
  • 82% of B2B buyers are okay with accepting meetings with sellers. [2]
  • 82% of B2B top guns feel that most sales representatives today are unprepared. [21]
  • 90% of B2B buyers don’t respond to cold calls. [22]
  • Top sellers spend an average of 6 hours every week on LinkedIn to research their prospects. [23]

Percentage of B2B Buyers Who Want to Be Contacted via Phone

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Source: RAIN Group 2018 Study

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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.

  • Only 1% of cold calls result in face-to-face meetings. [22]
  • A mere 2% of cold outreach actually end with sales reps securing an appointment with a prospect. [24]
  • Only 18% of high-quality leads are generated through outbound practices such as cold calling. [25]
  • Sales professionals spend 15% of their productive hours leaving voicemails. [17]
  • Sales representatives leave an average of 70 voicemails per day. [17]

cold calling opportunities

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.



  1. ^Should You Give Up On Cold Calling as a Small Business Marketing Tool?
  2. ^Top Performance in Sales Prospecting
  3. ^18 New Sales Statistics for 2019 from Our Groundbreaking Study!
  5. ^Bridge Group 2015 SaaS Inside Sales Survey Report
  6. ^Sales Engagement
  7. ^The Sales Hierarchy of Lead Data Needs
  9. ^Cold Call Guide
  10. ^36 B2B cold calling tips for sales success in 2020
  11. ^The 7 Best Discovery Call Tips For Sales You’ll Ever Read
  12. ^These Are The Worst 13 Words To Use During Sales Calls, According To New Data
  13. ^Cold Calling Tips: 17 Proven Techniques To Master Your Cold Calls
  14. ^Nine Secret Elements of Highly Effective Sales Conversations
  16. ^The Best Day And Time To Make A Business Call
  17. ^9 Voicemail Tips to Dramatically Improve Return Calls
  18. ^The Four V’s of Big Data
  19. ^Cure for the Common Cold Call
  20. ^KissMetrics
  21. ^I Should Have Used Social Selling
  22. ^The Death Of Cold Calling: 16 Stats That Prove It
  23. ^LinkedIn Sales Secrets Revealed by Jill Konrath
  24. ^Cold Calling Tips: Turn Cold Calls Into Warm Leads
  25. ^State of Inbound 2018


Louie Andre

By Louie Andre

B2B & SaaS market analyst and senior writer for FinancesOnline. He is most interested in project management solutions, believing all businesses are a work in progress. From pitch deck to exit strategy, he is no stranger to project business hiccups and essentials. He has been involved in a few internet startups including a digital route planner for a triple A affiliate. His advice to vendors and users alike? "Think of benefits, not features."

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