53 Cold Calling Statistics - Do Cold Calls Still Work?

Find up-to-date cold calling statistics in this roundup. Did you know: the average B2B salesperson makes about 35 calls a day?

Daniel Ternyak
January 31, 2023

Key Cold Calling Statistics

  1. The average B2B salesperson makes about 35 calls a day, while some report as many as 100 calls a day for phone bank workers.
  2. 82% of buyers accept meetings when salespeople reach out to them.
  3. 69% of buyers accepted one or mold cold calls from a salesperson in the last year.
  4. On average, it takes 8 cold call attempts to reach a prospect.
  5. 80% of cold calls end up going to Voicemail.
  6. Just 1% of cold calls lead to appointments.
  7. 90% of top-level B2B decision makers report they do not respond to cold outreach anymore.
shoppers who accepted a cold call in the past year
Sources: Financesonline.com

B2B Cold Calling Statistics

  1. 82% of buyers accept meetings with sellers who cold call. (RAIN Group)
  2. 57% of C-Level buyers prefer to be contacted by phone. (Crunchbase)
  3. 92% of consumers believe unidentified calls might be fraud. (Hiya)
  4. More than 30% of leads never receive a follow-up cal after initial contact. (Call Hippo)
  5. Salespeople who state their reason for calling have a 2.1x higher success rate. (Gang.io)
  6. Successful cold calls include 65% more "we" statements.
  7. The last hour of the workday is a good time to reach prospects. (Call Hippo)

Crucial Cold Calling Statistics & Trends

Cold calling is also called outbound calling. This is where a sales team calls potential customers from their homes or workplace in an attempt to sell them a product or service.

Cold calling is the opposite of inbound calling, where the person calls into the sales team to request more information or make a purchase of a product or service. Potential customers can be individuals or companies in a B2B transaction.

Here are the most important cold calling statistics:

  1. Not all cold calls are truly cold. Sometimes leads are generated by referrals or because the person requested more information by filling out an online form. Sales team members who seek out referrals earn four to five times more than those who do not.
  2. Cold calling has changed through the years, and now, social media plays a key role in its success. In a study of the effects of social media on sales, it was found that 82% of all buyers said that a company was more trustworthy if it had a social media profile, and 77% said they were more likely to buy from a company whose CEO is on social media.
  3. In the past, personal referrals were the most coveted type of contact by professionals. Now, managing the company’s social media reputation has replaced face-to-face referrals. In a study by Zendesk, 90% of all customers said positive reviews influenced their purchase decision, and 86% said negative reviews influenced their decision not to buy.
  4. Social media not only plays a key role in the purchase decisions of individuals, but 84% of B2B buyers said that social media plays a key role in their decision to purchase from a company or not.
  5. According to the same Zendesk survey, of customers who make a purchase, 45% are making posts about their experiences on social media, and 35% will make comments on product review sites. The value of social media continues to increase when it comes to successful cold calling.
  6. One of the best marketing tips is to start with a referral and not a sales call. Nearly 73% of all executives say they would be more willing to purchase from salespeople when they were referred by someone they trust.
  7. Nearly 91% of all customers said they would be willing to give a referral, but only 11% of salespeople actually asked for a referral from them.
  8. Asking for referrals from a happy customer and using these as a conversation starter could make a big difference in the results you get. Companies that have formal referral programs experience 86 times more revenue growth over two years than those that do not have a referral program. Referral programs pay off, and giving back a little to those who tell others can have big results.
  9. When you do gain a customer through a referral, they are a valuable asset. According to the Wharton School of Business, they are 16% more valuable of the lifetime of the relationship than those who were not referred. The value of the referral continues beyond the initial sale.

Key Takeaway: Cold calling has changed, but one thing that has not changed is the value of word-of-mouth and referrals. Gaining customer trust is still the most important component of a successful cold calling campaign.

Technology plays a key role and cold calling, and one of the most important factors is the power of social media to boost or devalue the brand. Managing the social media reputation of the company is one of the most important things that you can do to increase the success of your sales force.

How Often To Make Cold Calls

  1. Making at least 6 cold calls can increase your contact rates by 70%, according to research conducted by Call Hippo.
  2. According to Velocify, 93% of converted leads are often reached only by the 6th cold call attempt.
  3. Almost half (48%) of salespeople don't make a follow-up call.
  4. 44% of salespeople do not make a second follow-up call.

Frequently Asked Questions

The world of cold calling has changed, and with people exposed to an increasing number of advertisements every day, the world of cold calling or telemarketing, has received some bad press.

In many cases, if you do not identify yourself through the caller ID, or the person recognizes the call as a sales call, and they will simply not answer. Also, software is available in the way of robocall screeners that might not even allow the phone to ring.

Today's world is not a friendly place for cold calling, and you might be asking yourself if it is still something you should consider in your advertising budget.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that people have about whether cold calling is still good for their business in today’s world.

Does cold calling still work?

One of the first questions you might have is if cold calling still works. If it does not work, it seems like companies are spending quite a bit on equipment and staff. Let’s take a look at some statistics.

  1. The most common news that you hear is about individuals who want to eliminate telemarketers from calling them, but on a corporate level, nearly 57% of all executives said they prefer sales representatives to call them.
  2. In another study, it was found that 51% of all business owners said they would rather hear from a sales representative over the phone than by fax, email, drop-in visits, or other media channels.
  3. Nearly 69% of all buyers said they had accepted a call from a new salesperson within the past 12 months of this study.
  4. The same Rain Group study found that 82% of all buyers were willing to accept a meeting when a salesperson reached out to them personally. In an industry-specific study by Zoominfo, nearly 75% of all prospects attended an event or scheduled meeting based on a cold call or email.
  5. Corporate decision-makers welcome sales calls, but sales representatives have a different view on the effectiveness of cold calling. Nearly 51% of outbound sales professionals say their efforts are ineffective. Yet, companies continue to spend money to make outbound calls, so this represents a considerable mismatch of perceptions of whether cold calling works or not.
  6. According to Hubspot, approximately 16% of all salespeople said that outbound sales provide quality leads.
most buyers accept calls from a salesperson

Key Takeaway: These statistics show an apparent mismatch between the perceptions of corporate executives and sales teams when it comes to making outbound calls.

It is not known if the same holds when the receivers are individuals, but when it comes to B2B customers, it seems that these calls are a welcome part of the business day. Those making the calls do not feel that they are successful. For them, it is likely because they still get more rejections than successes.

What is the success rate of cold calling?

When you explore the raw numbers of calls made to the number of sales, it paints a grim picture for the outlook of cold calling.

These statistics revealed that quality seems to count more than quantity. Let's explore some real numbers on the success rate of cold calling.

  1. In an earlier section, we discussed results for referrals for B2B customers, but Nielson asked some of the same questions to individuals. They found that 4% of buyers were influenced by recommendations from close friends and family. The results are not as robust as in the B2B world, but referrals still increase sales among retail customers.
  2. The Wharton School of Business found that customers who were gained through referrals were 24% more valuable than those not gained through referrals. This is significantly higher than the same results found for B2B customers. It seems that social influences have a significant impact on building long-term relationships among retail customers. The conclusion is the same. Customers who are referrals are more valuable and loyal than others.
  3. The average call success rate is around 1-2% which might lead you to believe that this is no longer a profitable way to search for new customers, but cold calling is still a valid way to gain sales growth, especially with the technology that can make calling and customer tracking more efficient.
  4. Around 28% of people actually pick up the phone when a salesperson cold calls them.
  5. According to Zoominfo, the biggest challenge sales professionals face is receiving outdated information from the lists they purchase. An average of 20% of the information on these lists is outdated.

Key Takeaway: It seems that cold calling is still a valid way to grow your business, but it was also found that quality and good information can improve the numbers and give you better results for your efforts.

Referrals are the most valuable tool that cold calling professionals can use to increase their average sales rate for the number of calls.

What is the best time to cold call?

best time to cold call prospects

Every piece of information that you can use to maximize the efficiency of your cold calling efforts is valuable.

It seems that there is the best time to cold call so that you can increase your sales for the number of calls made.

Here are some facts on the best days and times to plan your cold calling campaign.

  • According to CallHippo, it seems that the weekend puts people out of the mood for receiving sales calls. The best days for outbound calls are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Nearly 40% more sales are made on Wednesdays as compared to Mondays.
  • In addition, the survey found that between the hours of 4 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. were the best times to call prospective customers. The second-best time was between 11:00 a.m. and noon. If you want the absolute best chances for success, you should plan your day to make calls during these hours on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
  • Regardless of the day of the week or time of the day, the absolute most important factor in sales conversions was that the representative makes a call within an hour of a customer inquiring, whether it is from a website, earlier sales call, or email. Calling customers back within one hour of their inquiry has a market effect on the effectiveness of the sales call, and nurturing leads was found to be one of the most important things you can do.
  • It seems that customers agree. When they inquire, 71% said that calling them back earlier is better, especially when they are in the information-gathering stage of a new project. They like to receive a call back at the time when they need it, not after they have already made your decision to use someone else.
  • Some studies disagree, but some say that the best time to call  is between 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. If you call during this time, there is a 16% chance someone will pick up. The second-best time was right at 2 p.m. with a 15% chance of call success. Calling on a Wednesday increased your chances of someone answering by about 48%.
percent of cold calls ending without a close

Key Takeaway: It seems that cold calling still works and that planning your day when people are more likely to answer can give you an advantage. Of course, your ability to control when you make calls may be limited by the type of environment in which you work.

If you are in a B2B environment where each prospective customer requires research, then you can take advantage of these best call times to increase the efficiency of your efforts.

How many cold calls should you make a day?

Did you know that 49% of buyers prefer to be contacted through phone calls?

buyers who prefer phone calls

Every sales professional knows more calls mean that you will make more sales. It is a numbers game, and one of the most common tidbits of information in training is to not focus on the “nos” but to focus on the less common, yes.

Those who are successful in this business have had to develop the drive and courage to make that next call even when they have faced a string of rejections. How many cold calls do you need to make in the day?

It seems that quality can make up for quantity, especially in some industries.

  • We have already discussed the importance of referrals from the customer side, but from the sales side, it was found that only 22% of sales people had a formal referral system in place. This means that leads are lost even though statistics presented earlier indicated that customers are willing to provide them.
  • We know that with low sales call conversion rates, making more calls during the day will lead to more sales. One productivity study, found that salespeople spend about 35% of their time on administrative work and paperwork and about 22% of their time on sales calls.
  • Another study found that salespeople spend only about 39% of their time selling and interacting with potential customers. The industry and type of product might be a factor in differences in these numbers, but it still indicates that some streamlining of business processes could pay off.
  • Nearly 79% of all sales executives know that improving the productivity of the sales force is needed to achieve sales growth.
  • The type of product you are selling and the target market determines the number of sales calls that is possible in a day. The average B2B salesperson makes about 35 calls a day, but some report as many as 100 calls a day for phone bank workers. This does not include time spent on callbacks from voice messages left and emails sent.
  • Sales representative leave around 70 voicemails a day.

Key Takeaway: the main thing we can learn from this group of studies is that salespeople could use some improvement when it comes to the amount of time spent talking to sales prospects.

Finding ways to process paperwork more efficiently would allow the sales came more time to contact customers. One of the factors that affect these statistics is the type of product or service being sold.

It is expected that professional sales, such as those in the medical profession or construction industry, can make fewer calls in a day because there is more research involved with each prospect.

How long should a cold call last?

There is no magic number as far as the length of the call goes that will increase your sales. Also, the average call length varies by industry and product. There are a few statistics that might help us understand how sales call length is connected to sales success.

  • In one study, it was found that the average length of a successful call was 5 minutes and 40 seconds. The average length of an unsuccessful call was 3 minutes and 14 seconds. This study does not take into account the number of hang-ups and voicemail messages left. One would expect the average call length for an unsuccessful call to be shorter than a successful one.
  • The average salesperson performs about 94.4 activities a day. These include checking social media, voicemails, emails, and time spent talking to customers. There might also be research and paperwork involved in the day, too. The time spent on a call does not always reflect actual talk time with the customer. It also involves all the preparation that goes on in the background.
average length of successful call

Key Takeaway: As you can see, there is a lot that goes into making a sales call other than talking to a potential customer. It goes without saying that the longer a person is willing to listen to you, the more likely they will become a customer.

This means that the name of the game is to keep the person on the line and to encourage them not to hang up and listen to you.

How many sales calls does it take to make a sale?

It is human nature to take comfort in things that are familiar to us, and this applies to sales, too.

Although some people have a greater tendency to make an impulse buy than others, for the most part, people need to have a sense of familiarity with the product or service before they will be willing to make a purchase.

Buying something new requires a change in habit and what is considered normal activities for the person. That is why repetition in advertising is Important.

The more times a person hears about a product or service, even passively, the more familiar it feels to them. This increases the likelihood that they will take action to purchase it.

On average, it took about 3.68 cold calls to reach a sales prospect in 2007. Now, it takes about eight. It takes about six calls to turn a prospect into a customer. That is about 48 calls to make a single sale.

Other studies said that it takes about 18 calls to connect with a lead. The average company closes on about 20% of their leads, and a good company can close on about 30%. The same study found that a surprising 48% of all calls end without an attempt to close on the sale.

average cold call closing rate

Key Takeaway: The key takeaway is that you have to make a large volume of calls if you expect to increase the number of sales. Seldom can you expect a sale at the first contact, and you have to be willing to be persistent.

The productivity statistics in the previous section indicate that it may be wise to clear more time in with schedule for actually making customer calls.


This is the end of the statistics on cold calling. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at [email protected]. You might also want to check out some of our other studies, too.