Outbound calling is one way for businesses to focus on telemarketing, sales, and lead generation. With an outbound call, a sales representative or call center agent calls a prospective customer to pitch their service or product.
While social media and automated email marketing techniques are effective tools for outreach campaigns, there are many benefits to having a solid outbound call strategy. In fact, many statistics show that outbound calls play a pivotal role in securing a deal or sale.
Below we have a list of outbound call statistics, including in-depth stats on cold vs. warm calls, that will help outline both the benefits and potential challenges of outbound calling for your business.
Cold call statistics
Cold calls are one type of outbound call. These are made to individuals that have not previously expressed an interest in your business’s product or services. While they have not reached out to you, they are on your radar due to the potential need or benefit from your business’s offerings.
Wednesdays are the best days to make cold calls. (CallHippo)
The best house to make a cold call are from 4:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon. (CallHippo)
The second best time to make a cold call is between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., when most have more time to talk due to lunch. (CallHippo)
Monologues in successful cold calls are 50% longer than those in unsuccessful cold calls. (Gong.io)
When cold calling, those who state their reason for calling upfront have a success rate 2.1 times higher than those who don’t. (Gong.io)
During a cold call, if you mention having a common connection with the customer, your chances of landing a meeting increase by 70%. (LinkedIn)
Only 28% of all completed cold calls are considered productive. (Forbes)
A representative who asks, “Is now a bad time?” is 40% less likely to book a further meeting or call than one who doesn’t ask this question. (Gong.io)
Successful calls include 65% more “we” statements, as opposed to “I” or “you” statements. (Gong.io)
Cold calling is the preferred method of contact of buyers by 49%. (HubSpot)
Back in 2007, reaching a prospect took about 3.68 calls. Today, it takes an average of 8 calls. (LinkedIn)
Warm calls are another type of outbound call where you call a prospective customer that has already expressed interest in your product or service. These could come from referrals, online form submissions, and other methods of contact.
A whopping 92% of buyers trust referrals from people they know or have a relationship with. (LinkedIn)
73% of business executives would prefer to work with a sales representative referred to them by a mutual connection. (HubSpot)
Sales representatives who use warm call strategies are 51% more likely to meet or exceed their given quotas. (LinkedIn)
84% of B2B executives start their purchasing process via a referral. (HubSpot)
Referred leads convert 30% better than leads found by other marketing tactics, such as cold calling. (HubSpot)
Only 11% of salespeople tend to ask for a referral, even though 91% of customers mentioned that they would give a referral when asked. (The Brevet Group)
78% of sales representatives use warm calling techniques to outsell their peers. (LinkedIn)
Warm calling techniques allowed 31% of B2B salespeople to build deeper connections and relationships with their customers. (CSO Insights)
Businesses with a referral program to generate warm leads experience 86% higher growth than those without a referral program. (Spotio)
Sales representatives who leverage referrals tend to make 4-5 times more on average than those who do not seek referrals. (The Brevet Group)
Warm calling over cold calling can raise your potential success rate from roughly 2% to over 30%. (LinkedIn)
Outbound call success rates
If you think that outbound calling is a dead art form, think again. Below are some stats on how outbound calls can be successful, even with other forms of outreach marketing being used.
Prospecting calls that last an average of 14.3 minutes tend to be most effective. (Elavate)
Leads that are called in the first 5 minutes after a web form submission are 100 times more likely to answer your outbound call. (InsideSales)
While executives receive around 115 emails daily, outbound calls can easily make a difference in making a successful sale. (The Radicati Group)
After the 5th follow-up, 80% of deals are successfully closed. (The Brevet Group)
93% of your potential success can be attributed to your tone of voice during your outbound call. (Close)
Outbound sales representatives that use definitive words (absolutely, definitely, certainly) are 5 times more successful than representatives who do not. (Ulan)
49% of surveyed buyers would like to be contacted through phone calls. (RAIN Group)
When asked, 62% of marketers say that their business’s outbound marketing efforts and strategies are effective. (Digital Media Stream)
While outbound calls can be effective, only 60% of sales representatives meet their given quotas. (Harvard Business Review)
While many sales representatives give up on a certain prospect, they can boost their conversion rate by 70% just by making a few more call attempts. (CallHippo)
Sales representatives make 33 cold calls every day on average, in addition to making warm and follow-up calls. (Zety)
Top outbound call challenges
While making outbound calls can lead to overall business success, this method of outreach can also come with some challenges.
Calls that are unidentified are thought to be fraudulent or spam by 92% of call recipients. (Hiya)
Similarly, 79% of calls that are unidentified are unanswered by potential customers. (Hiya)
Only 2% of cold calls turn into a successful sale or lead. (Zippa)
63% of sales representatives admit that outbound cold calling is the most disliked part of their job. (ZoomInfo)
Sales representatives spend 15% of their productive time leaving voicemails for prospective clients. (RingLead)
In addition, sales representatives tend to leave an average of 70 voicemails daily for prospective clients. (RingLead)
A total of 80% of new sales representatives fail due to call reluctance. (Yesware)
After attempting 1 follow-up phone call, 44% of sales representatives abandon their efforts. (The Brevet Group)
Sales representatives that use the phrase “we provide” more than four times in a call actually decrease their closing rate by 22%. (Gong)
A whopping 60% of potential prospects reject offers and calls at least 4 times before they agree to a meeting or next steps. (Invesp)
Outbound call strategies that work
So now that you know how important outbound calls are and some of the challenges around them, what can you do to make the most out of every call?
Asking direct questions about your prospect’s pain points helps to win a deal or sale. (Gong.io)
Asking between 6-9 discovery questions during an outbound call correlates with about a 66% success rate. (Gong.io)
According to buyers, outbound call representatives can create a positive sales experience by listening to their needs and providing relevant information. (HubSpot)
A whopping 60% of buyers prefer to discuss pricing on the first contact call. (SkillsLab.io)
Sales representatives that are optimistic about their job outperform their pessimistic counterparts by 57%. (Forbes)
Closing a sale typically requires an average of 5 follow-up calls. (The Brevet Group)
Prospecting your potential clients can be everything — at least 50% of your prospect list is not a good fit for what you’re selling. (Sales Insights Lab)
79% of sales representatives who leverage social media report higher sales than those who do not. (A Sales Guy)
A solid 30%-50% of sales are won by the vendor that responds first to an inquiry. (HubSpot)
Around 40% of sales representatives do not feel fully prepared to carry out their outbound call. (Revenue.io)
You have roughly 5-10 minutes to show your value and worth to a prospective customer before they lose interest. (RAIN Group)
FAQ about outbound calls
While the above statistics paint a good picture of how effective an outbound call strategy can be, you might have some additional questions on how to make outbound calls work for you and your company.
How many outbound calls per day should I make?
The number of outbound calls you should make per day depends on not only your personal quota but the nature of your call as well. While it can be easy to give an arbitrary number such as 60 or 100 calls per day, remember to keep your goal in mind. Are you trying to schedule an appointment? Or are you trying to qualify warm leads?
This goal ultimately determines how many calls per day are needed. For example, since 80% of deals are closed after the fifth follow-up call, you might be making more calls in a day to successfully close a deal, though those calls might be mostly to existing contacts and not to new prospects.
What makes a good outbound call?
To have a great outbound call, you’ll want to:
Grab the lead’s attention
Make the lead feel valued (and not just another call)
Be respectful of their time
Set a follow-up call or meeting
Be trustworthy and don’t over-promise
By following these steps, you’ll be more likely to convert your call to a promised lead or sale. Remember that a successfully closed sale can take five follow-up calls, so be sure to follow this standard for each and every call.
What time should you make outbound calls?
While you might be making outbound calls daily due to your job, Wednesday statistically is the best day for these calls to be received. Naturally, Mondays and Fridays should be avoided if possible. Mondays tend to be hectic, since people are getting prepared for the week ahead, and Friday afternoons are notorious for people getting prepared for the weekend.
The best time to make an outbound call is between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. and between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. While it’s not practical to make all of your calls during these time periods, you can prioritize high-priority calls for these hours to make the most of your day. Remember: This is the recipient’s time, which may differ from sales representatives’ time zones!
Why is outbound calling important?
Outbound calling can serve many different purposes, and while it might not lead to an immediate sale, this strategy can help your business.
First, outbound calling widens the reach of your brand, allowing more potential customers to learn about you and your offerings. This might also be the first time that they are interacting with your brand, so this allows you to make a positive first impression.
In addition, using an outbound call to make that first connection with your potential customer can seem authentic and personal in a world where everything is online. It’s possible that your customer will remember a meaningful phone call with you better than a targeted social media advertisement or email.
By leveraging outbound calls, you can get a better understanding of what your potential customers’ needs are and be able to better solve their problems the first time with your product or service.
Let Smith.ai’s virtual receptionists take your outbound calls to the next level
These outbound call statistics are just the beginning of your journey; knowing how outbound calls best work for your business’s bottom line is only one part of the process.
For more information on providing exceptional customer service to those you’re placing outbound calls to, check out our customer experience statistics to make the most out of every call. And book a consultation with us, to learn how Smith.ai can help your business achieve new growth targets with our 24/7 friendly and professional agents.
Maddy Martin is Smith.ai's SVP of Growth. Over the last 15 years, Maddy has built her expertise and reputation in small-business communications, lead conversion, email marketing, partnerships, and SEO.