In cold call sales-careful timing pays big dividends

by on February 3, 2010 · 1 Comment POSTED IN: Selling Essentials Info Center

Timing is everything with cold call sales

Many sales reps give cold call sales the cold shoulder. They use e-mail prospecting, respond to inbound leads and focus on existing accounts, assuming that the odds of success must be better. But new scientific research shows that, especially in B2B sales, the good old-fashioned phone call still works best for expanding your customer base.

What’s more, the research found that timing your cold call sales properly can help you double or even triple your success rate. Of course, the basics you already know still hold true:

  • Good telephone technique matters, as does quickly developing rapport and stimulating interest.
  • Doing some homework in advance gives you an edge when you connect with a prospect.
  • You need to track and analyze your own calls, because your results will vary by industry and geography.

The best day to make cold call sales is…
The new research proves that the day of the week and time of day matter a whole lot more than you might have thought with cold call sales. And you may have to set aside some preconceived notions about what works and what doesn’t.

Dr. James Oldroyd from the Kellogg School of Management recently examined the electronic logs of more than a million cold call sales, made by thousands of sales professionals at dozens of companies. He then applied statistical measurements to extract patterns of success and failure.

In the study, Thursday was the best day to contact a lead in order to qualify that lead. Contrary to traditional thinking with cold call sales, Tuesday and Wednesday ranked second and third, respectively. Thursday was almost 20% better than Friday, which was the worst day of all. Apparently B2B prospects are easier to reach on Thursday, and more willing to talk, because the week is winding down and they tend to be more relaxed.

Best time of day for cold call sales?
The correct answer is early morning (8 to 9 a.m.) followed closely by late afternoon (4 to 5 p.m.). The 9 to 10 a.m. slot ranked third, with 2 to 3 p.m coming in fourth place.

Oldroyd’s study revealed that the absolute worst time for cold call sales is right after lunch. In fact, an early-morning cold call is 164% more likely to qualify a lead than one made between 1 and 2 p.m. Peaks and valleys occur throughout the business day, of course. The success rate tapers off between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., then picks up between 11 a.m. and noon. As you might expect, the success rate bottoms out from noon until 2 p.m. It rises steadily after 2 p.m., peaking from 4 to 5 p.m.

How long do leads stay hot?
When it comes to incoming leads, especially from the Net, fast response is critical. In most B2B markets, a lead is hot for only an hour. After that it’s still a lead, but no better than any old lead taken from a list.

In B2B selling environments, the best odds of qualifying a lead happen within 20 minutes after interest is shown. And calling within 5 minutes is 21 times more likely to result in a qualified prospect than if you wait even half an hour.

Some industries aren’t quite so time-sensitive with cold call sales. In financial services, you still have a chance to qualify the lead and move it into your pipeline as long as you call a hot lead within 24 hours. Professional-service leads stay hot about 32 hours. But those are the exceptions, rather than the rule, and calling quickly is always more effective.

What to do about it
Based on the cold call sales research; here are action steps to consider:

  • Reschedule. Block out time to make your cold calls sales in the early morning or late afternoon, preferably on Thursday, but avoiding Friday – especially Friday afternoon.
  • Prioritize. Choose cold call targets based on how hot the leads are. If they’re streaming in from a Web site, make those calls first. Otherwise, call your most recently harvested leads first.
  • Measure. As mentioned earlier, keep a record of your success rate. You may find that your industry or region differs. And consider your own rhythms: If you’re a night person rather than a morning person, you may get a better response calling late afternoon than early morning.
  • Based on material from Geoffery James at

    1 Comment on This Post

    1. September 23, 2013 - 5:24 am

      Best Days and Times For Call Calling Reveals Stud | Career Services and Small Business HR Services by – Blog

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