How to Prioritize Your Cold Calling List by Time Zone, Lead Rating, and More


When you start cold calling, you can’t just grab the list and pick up the phone. You could, but you’re not going to get the kind of results that you want. There is a huge strategy at play with cold calls, and it’s only gotten more important to come up with a solid plan for managing this part of your business. Prioritizing your cold call list(s) will ensure that you are reaching out to the right prospects at the right time, and more. 

Of course, there are dozens of ways that you could go about organizing and prioritizing your lists. You should be using more than one factor to create these new organized lists, too. In this article, we’ll cover everything that you need to know about prioritizing your cold calling list so that you’re making more connections, conversions, and having better conversations with every lead that you call

Surefire cold leads

One of the easiest things to do with your list is probably something that you should do before you start the qualification process. It’ll save you a lot of time. If you’re looking at a cold calling list and you know there are duds on there, or you’re pretty sure they will be, separate those and give them to a designated person to call and process quickly. You do want to convert leads, but when you know they’re not going anywhere, it’s best to just get them out of the way. 

Don’t eliminate potentials here—if you’re on the fence, put them at the bottom of the list. Only get rid of the leads that you know won’t go anywhere. That will clear up your list quickly. 

First, figure out the timing 

You might think that we’d suggest choosing the most qualified leads first. While that’s important, timing is far more valuable here. Especially in today’s global economy, you might have leads in four or five different time zones—how are you going to ensure that you reach them all at an appropriate time? That’s where prioritization comes into play. Figure out where your leads are located and then organize the list by time zone. 

If you’ve got leads that need to be reached after hours, you’ll have to decide how to handle that work. You could always consider outsourcing to a 24/7 outreach campaign and outbound sales team that can handle everything for you like the virtual receptionists at These companies will be able to call around the clock, take care of any after-hours details, and even streamline your cold calling by taking the work off your hands. But more on that later. For now, know they’re your best choice for time zone conflicts and after-hours calls

Existing customers and priority prospects

If you have high-priority leads or existing customers that are part of your new prospecting strategy, they should be near the top of the list. Your existing customers should always be first on your list, but then they wouldn’t be “cold calls”, per se. If they are on the list, make them among the first that you call. If your cold calling list doesn’t have existing customers, consider any prospects that are a high priority or more likely to convert.  

If you have more promising contacts, make sure that you keep in touch with them appropriately and that you continue to build that relationship and rapport, even outside of the cold call. These relationships are going to be the bones of your success. New prospects and leads just add to the possibilities. 

Qualifying leads by other factors

Ok, so you’ve got leads covered based on their time zone. Your list is organized and you’ve highlighted the key prospects that need to be moved to the front of the line so that you can reach them first. Now, how do you go about organizing the rest of the prospects on your cold calling list? Well, you’ve got a few options. 

You can choose different categories for each group or audience and organize the leads that way. Then you can delegate calling these leads based on groups, ensuring the right people get called first. To help you qualify and organize your leads, here are three questions you can ask to determine what criteria you’ll use. 

  1. What is their title? You need to make sure that you have the right type of lead. For example, if you’re reaching out to C-level execs and you’ve got a few SMBs on your list, toss them because they’re probably not fruitful. 
  2. What’s the industry? Again, your product or service may be more useful to certain industries or fields of work. Make sure that anyone relevant here is on the shortlist so that you can get to them before someone else does. 
  3. What’s the need? If you focus on leads that need your product, you’re going to find more success. Put the leads that you can solve problems for at the top of the list and watch for things like growth and expansion, or even acquisitions, that could tell you it’s a great time to prospect. 

Ultimately, it’s about qualifying leads in a way that fits the needs of your business. This is a strategic process and it can take some time to hammer out the details. However, when you do it properly, you’ll find that it improves your prospecting in several different ways. 

Partner with and we’ll handle prioritizing, calling, and other outbound sales needs 

At, our team of dedicated virtual receptionists is also skilled in outreach campaigns, cold calling and outbound sales, and so much more. We can assist you with your lead generation needs, no matter how big or small they might be. Once you’ve got your new lead lists, ask how we can help with lead intake and screening, appointment scheduling, outbound sales and support, and even handling outreach campaigns for various efforts. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation to discuss how can improve your prospecting and outbound sales. You can also reach us at or (650) 727-6484. 

Business Education
Sales Tips
Written by Sean Lund-Brown

Sean Lund-Brown is a current Marketing Assistant for A graduate from Metropolitan State University of Denver, Sean graduated with a BA in Music and an individualized degree in Teaching Vocal Pedagogy.

Take the faster path to growth.
Get today.

Affordable plans for every budget.

Take the faster path to growth.
Get today.

Affordable plans for every budget.