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Outbound sales tactics

Cold calling success statistics and how to use them to boost your conversions

April 29, 2024

Lottie Taylor


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Despite its challenges, cold calling is still a cornerstone of outbound sales - and with good reason. 

When done right, the cold call offers one of the fastest ways to engage a brand-new prospect and book a meeting; when done wrong, it can means hours of effort going to waste.

While there’s no sure-fire way to book a meeting on every single cold call you ever make, understanding some general best practices will help you plan and strategize for better results and avoid rookie errors. 

We’ve collected a comprehensive list of cold calling statistics to show you what the data says about cold calling and how you can improve yours!

Factors affecting your cold calling success rate

There’s a reason a lot of salespeople don’t relish the idea of cold calling: industry data suggests that just 6.3% of cold calls end in success.

Nevertheless, you can push the odds in your favor when you understand some of the variables you can control:

Best days to cold call

According to research, Wednesdays tend to be the most effective day for cold calling, followed closely by Thursdays

These midweek days offer a balance between receptiveness and decision-making, making them prime times for engaging prospects.

Best times to cold call

The best time to call seems to be between 4PM and 5PM, followed by 11AM to 12PM.

In fact, calls made between 4PM and 5PM tend to be 71% more successful than those placed in the morning!

Nevertheless, both these time slots coincide with periods when prospects are more likely to be available and receptive to business inquiries.

Another thing to take into consideration is the timeliness of your calls to high-intent leads who have your solution - or something similar - top of mind. Considering 80% of buyers will book meetings with the first salespeople they engage with, you definitely want to reach out as soon as you can.

Waiting just 30 minutes to engage after an inbound lead appears can decrease your conversion chances by 62%, and this will drop every further hour you delay.

Number of times to attempt cold calls

Data suggests that 72% of calls don’t even result in an answer, 17% of which will be due to incorrect contact data.

So if you’re one of the 40% of callers who never follow up after the first call, you’re likely missing out on opportunities!

The key is in perseverance: on average, the potential for conversion can increase by as much as 70% if you make 5 or more attempts to reach your prospect. Still, don’t be surprised if you have to make 8 or more calls to get a response!

Number of cold calls to make per day

The average sales rep will spend 1.5 hours per day calling for five days, making around 33 calls per day, to win just one conversion.

That may sound gruelling, but remember, you want to be on the exceptional side of average!

One way to make the most of your cold calling time is by ensuring you leverage the most accurate contact data you can, and finding a dialer that integrates neatly into your salestack. Choosing the right tools will make you more productive and agile when handling the phone.

Cold calling statistics and best practices

Once you’ve got your prospect on the line, the next step is to keep them engaged and nudge them towards a conversion.

How long is a successful cold call?

Successful cold calls - i.e. those that result in meeting bookings - average somewhere between 5:50 and 7:30 minutes in length.

The more you can get your prospect talking about their pain points, the better. Although the most successful calls tend to include a longer uninterrupted pitch (37 seconds) than average, they also include more questions for the prospect to answer: sellers who asked 1-6 questions saw a 40% success rate, compared to those who asked 11-14 enjoying 70% success.

What should I say on a cold call?

The point of a cold call is to be informative and concise; specific enough that your prospect understands the purpose of your call yet brief enough that they’re intrigued to learn more.

This starts with introducing yourself in the right way. Asking “How have you been?” compared to the common “Is this a good time?” for example, tends to have a 6.6x higher success rate.

Conversely, opting for “Is now a bad time?” plants the seed of doubt in your prospects mind and can make you 40% less likely to book a meeting!

Everything you say should be geared around the helping the prospect. Try to minimize the number of times you say “I” and instead use the less direct “we” or “our”, and remember to state the reason for your call; this alone can more than double your chances of success.

Even the pitch and pace of your call will influence your prospect’s willingness to convert. It appears that the most successful reps are those who manage the pace of their conversation at around 176 words per minute are more effective at handling objections than those who get flustered and speed up.

Optimizing your cold calling approach

Nothing is ever certain in sales, but this cold calling data can certainly help you get to grips with the general does and don’ts of cold-calling!

Let’s wrap up with a few more strategic best practices:

  • Personalize: Always tailor your messaging to resonate with each prospect's specific needs and pain points.
  • Research: Invest time in understanding your target audience and industry trends to enhance your credibility and relevance.
  • Communicate effectively: Focus on active listening and engage prospects in meaningful conversations to build rapport and trust.
  • Persist: Don't be discouraged by initial rejections; persistence and consistency can pay off in the long run.
  • Look for improvement: Regularly review and refine your cold calling strategies based on feedback and performance metrics.

Ready to conquer your calls? Between Amplemarket’s tip-top B2B contact data and built-in outbound dialer, scaling your outreach across channels is a breeze. Sign up for a demo to learn more!


Is cold calling still effective?

Yes, cold calling can still be effective when done strategically and with the right approach. Despite its challenges, cold calling remains a cornerstone of outbound sales for many businesses. According to industry data, while the success rate of cold calls is relatively low at around 6.3%, understanding best practices and optimizing your approach can improve your chances of success significantly.

What is the main reason that cold calls fail?

There are several reasons why cold calls may fail, but one of the main reasons is the lack of receptiveness from prospects. Many cold calls go unanswered, and even when they are answered, prospects may not be interested or may not have the time to engage in a meaningful conversation. Additionally, incorrect contact data and inadequate preparation or messaging can contribute to the failure of cold calls.

Why is cold calling so difficult?

Cold calling can be challenging for several reasons. Firstly, it requires salespeople to reach out to prospects who may have little to no prior knowledge or interest in their product or service. This initial lack of familiarity can make it harder to capture the prospect's attention and build rapport, and rejection is common, which can be discouraging for salespeople. Furthermore, cold calling requires effective communication skills, active listening, and the ability to handle objections—all of which can be difficult to master.

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