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Eye-Opening Statistics on Cold Calling Everyone Should Know

Posted by IndustrySelect on Wednesday, July 10, 2024

15 Cold calling statistics

Cold calling. It conjures fears of awkward pitches, immediate hang-ups, or outright rejection. But what if we told you it could be a powerful tool for generating leads and building relationships with potential customers? The truth is, many myths cloud the effectiveness of cold calling.

In this post, we'll debunk some common cold calling myths and equip you with actionable strategies. You'll learn how to target the right prospects, craft compelling pitches, and ultimately, increase your sales pipeline and closing rates. So, ditch the negativity and get ready to unlock the true potential of cold calling!

Ignoring the Tall Tales to Close Your Sales

Myths surround any profession, and the internet's echo chamber can blow the stories out of proportion. Some common myths about cold calling are:

1. Cold calling badgers your prospects.
2. You should pitch anyone willing to respond to the ring.
3. You can’t arrange a meeting with a cold call.
4. You cold call to listen, not to communicate your proposition.
5. A large number of calls will generate a host of leads.
6. No one welcomes a cold call.
7. Gatekeepers are an enemy to be avoided whenever possible.

Myth-Busting Cold-Calling Statistics Everyone Should Know

Statistics tell another story no matter how often the legends above are repeated or reported statistics tell another story. Let's compare assumptions with truth:

Badgering prospects. While a cold call may occasionally annoy the recipient, 69% of buyers accepted a representative's cold call in the last year. Furthermore, 57% of C-Level executives prefer to have a sales representative call them rather than bother with another form of communication. Even in an era where digital strategies are prevalent in B2B sales outreach, cold calling holds its ground, proving that the ‘old-school’ approach can coexist and thrive alongside modern methods. This blend of tradition and innovation is shaping the future of sales communication.

Who fields your pitch? Your time is precious, as is that of the recipient of your cold call. You can explain to a receptionist or assistant about your product. Still, you’re unlikely to get an order or a prospect out of it. You'll find it imperative to research your target and concentrate your effort so that you can obtain maximum results. However, occasionally, incidental contact can pay off. Statistics show that 75% of executives prefer to work with salespeople referred by someone they know. So even the unanticipated referral can put you on a winning trajectory.

Arranging the meeting. Unfortunately, only 2% of your cold calls result in an appointment. However, the more meaningful statistic is that 82% of actual buyers accept meetings when you contact them. With that level of success in mind, the 1 in 100 calls is worth the other 99. Since the average sales representative places about 52 calls per day, you should arrange at least two meetings per week.

Talking versus listening Listening is an essential part of your profession. You’d never understand what the customer wants or build the rapport to close the deal without it. But you won’t just be listening. A study found that sales representatives talked for 55% of calls and listened for 45%. The probabilities are it will take 55% to educate your prospect about the advantages of buying your product and establish a productive relationship.

Lead generating calls We've previously explored data concerning the number of calls required to secure an appointment. Still, a lead can be an equally or even more valuable commodity. It sets you on the road to a productive meeting or results in a phone or online order. LinkedIn debunked the quantity of calls myth in 2018. So, how many phone contacts will yield a genuine prospect? The answer is as many as it will take to communicate the value proposition of your product to a person empowered to proceed to a sale.

Avoiding gatekeepers Gatekeepers can bar the door, but they can also expedite your way through it. Navigating past the gatekeeper is a crucial skill in sales, with only 46% of salespeople managing to reach decision-makers, and this figure drops to 13% for experienced salespeople excluding procurement professionals. Interestingly, 78% of decision-makers may respond favorably to a call if the gatekeeper isn’t around. Sales reps have found success in treating the gatekeeper as a resource, with strategies such as building rapport and name-dropping a known connection or relevant publication proving effective. This approach transforms the gatekeeper from an obstacle to an ally, enhancing the sales process.

Tranformative Tech In the dynamic landscape of 2024, cold calling is not just surviving, but evolving. It’s becoming more strategic, with more salespeople leveraging cutting-edge technologies like Artificial Intelligence and data analytics. These advancements are enhancing prospect identification and personalizing pitches, making each call more effective and targeted.

According to CallHippo, the most productive days of the week to call are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Success rises precipitously on Wednesdays. While it might seem counterintuitive, the most effective time to call is between four and five in the afternoon. The second best is between 11 a.m. and noon. Also, be mindful of timezones. While you may be wide-awake, the person on the other end could still have barely emerged from dreamland. Catch the access controller at the right time, and you can convert an obstructor into an ally. To build a relationship, have sympathy about the number of requests coming in and compassion for a heavy load. If your call is the one passed through, you’re on your way to a prospect.

Bonus: Improving Your Cold Calls: Fast Tips and Resources

The Script

The key to a successful cold call lies in a well-structured script that guides the conversation while allowing for flexibility. Start with a compelling introduction that briefly introduces yourself, your company, and the value proposition you offer. Focus on sparking interest and demonstrating the relevance of your call to the prospect's needs. Next, use active listening to identify a current pain point or challenge they might be facing. Ask questions to understand their situation and tailor your pitch accordingly. Once you understand their needs, highlight how your product or service addresses them. Focus on the benefits and positive impact it can have on their business. Don't forget a clear call to action! Whether it's scheduling a follow-up meeting, providing additional information, or setting up a demo, leave your prospect with a clear next step. For a detailed breakdown and helpful script templates, check out our blog post on 7 Essential B2B Cold Calling Tips

Dealing With Objections

It's inevitable – you'll encounter objections during cold calls. Don't get discouraged! Objections often indicate a prospect's interest; they just need more information or clarification. Here's how to handle common pushback: Be prepared by anticipating potential objections and developing clear, concise responses that address the specific concern. Active listening is key – don't interrupt or dismiss objections. Listen carefully to understand the underlying reason behind the "no" and craft your counter-argument based on the specific objection and your prospect's needs. Remember to focus on value by reiterating how your offering can address their pain points and provide a better solution than the status quo. For in-depth strategies on mastering objections and turning them into opportunities, check out our blog series on overcoming six of the most common sales objections.

Leverage Technology

Technology can be a game-changer in your cold calling strategy. Consider tools like call script management software to streamline script creation, storage, and access. Integrate your cold calling activities with your CRM software to track call history, notes, and contact information for a smooth follow-up process. Automated dialers can save valuable time by automating repetitive tasks like dialing numbers, allowing you to focus on crafting personalized pitches and engaging in meaningful conversations. Remember, technology is a powerful tool, but it shouldn't replace genuine communication. Building rapport and demonstrating value remain essential for cold calling success.

Summing up

Cold calling is a numbers game. Building a strong pipeline often requires persistence and follow-up. Don't get discouraged if you don't land every call. Here's why persistence is key: Rarely is a sale closed on the first call. Building relationships and trust takes time.

The first call is often about sparking interest and establishing a connection. Consistent follow-up demonstrates your commitment and reinforces the value you can offer. However, ensure your follow-up is professional and avoids being pushy. Every "no" brings you closer to a "yes." Each call, even unsuccessful ones, provides valuable information and helps you refine your approach. By staying persistent and consistently following up, you increase your chances of connecting with the right prospect at the right time.

Warm up to Surefire Contact Data with IndustrySelect

While skirting the myths of cold calling is a big step on the road to closing sales, accessing the right names and numbers is a giant leap to successful prospecting. IndustrySelect can transform your cold calling process and get on your way to more successful contacts and a higher closure rate. Set up your free, no-obligation demo account, loaded with 500 real company profiles here

Want to keep up with the latest sales and marketing trends and exclusive industrial statistics from MNI? The free weekly IndustrySelect Insider email is the industry's top source for sales, marketing and industrial news you can't find anywhere else. Subscribe here.

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