25+ Amazing Cold Calling Success Statistics [2023]: Data, Trends, Opinions And More

By Chris Kolmar
Feb. 9, 2023
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Cite This Webpage Zippia. "25+ Amazing Cold Calling Success Statistics [2023]: Data, Trends, Opinions And More" Zippia.com. Feb. 9, 2023, https://www.zippia.com/advice/cold-calling-statistics/

Research Summary. You, like many others, may be wondering, “Does cold calling work?” Cold calling statistics indicate that the process is effective — and necessary — for businesses looking to boost their bottom line. However, it can take several hours and dozens of calls to secure one appointment or referral. After extensive research, our data analysis team concluded:

  • Cold calling has a 2% success rate, on average.

  • 82% of buyers say they’ve accepted sales meetings after a connection that began with a cold call.

  • 57% of B2B C-level executives prefer to be contacted by phone, according to B2B cold calling surveys.

  • Companies that don’t believe in the effectiveness of cold calling experience 42% less growth than companies who do believe in cold calling.

  • 69% of buyers have accepted at least one phone call from a salesperson in the past year.

  • While effective, 63% of salespeople say that cold calling is what they dislike most about their jobs.

  • A sales representative makes an average of 33 cold calls every day.

  • The best day and time to make cold calls is Wednesdays between 4 PM and 5 PM, followed by 11 AM to 12 PM.

For further analysis, we broke down the data in the following ways:
Salespeople | Buyers | Success Rate | Key Metrics
the best time of day to make a cold call is between 11-12 or 4-5

Statistics on Cold Calling and Salespeople

  • 63% of salespeople say that cold calling is what they dislike most about their jobs.

    While it might not be popular among sales professionals, 55% of high-growing companies utilize cold calling as one of their main strategies. In fact, organizations who believed that cold calling is no longer effective experienced 42% less growth than those who believed otherwise.

  • A sales representative makes an average of 33 cold calls every day.

    88% of buyers mostly have nothing to do with cold callers, and 58% of prospects say they currently find cold calls useless. This is perhaps why it takes sales reps an average of 1.5 hours of cold calling every day for five days to win one appointment or referral.

    Furthermore, only 18% of high-quality leads are generated through outbound practices such as cold calling.

  • Cold calling has a 2% average success rate

  • 18% of salespeople say their second most effective sales tool is email.

    According to some sources, email marketing is two times more effective than cold calling. This could be because 80% of business buyers say they are more comfortable receiving cold call emails than phone calls.

    The best days to send your email prospecting messages? Any weekday.

    Still, more than 80% of cold emails stay unopened forever. Of those that are, 91% are opened the day after they’re sent.

    Despite their potential, 70% of sales representatives give up on sending cold emails if they don’t get a response after the first attempt.

  • Nearly 75% of salespeople thought they effectively communicated what they knew and pitched to a prospect during a cold call.

    However, only 37% of prospects felt the salesperson provided the information they needed to address their specific concerns.

  • 42% of sales representatives report that they lack the necessary information to make high-quality cold calls.

    One of the major hindrances to a successful cold call is not knowing how to get the buyer engaged. Without knowing what a would-be buyer needs and is interested in, salespeople agree that it’s very difficult to convert on cold calls.

  • 48% of B2B salespeople are afraid to make cold calls.

    In addition, studies show that 53% of salespeople give up too early in their cold calling — this means there is still plenty of opportunity for increased cold call success rates.

Buyer Cold Calling Statistics

  • 69% of buyers report that they accepted one or more cold calls from sales representatives within the past year.

    Still, it can take an average of eight cold-call attempts before reaching a prospect. In 2007, it took an average of 3.68 cold call attempts.

  • 57% of C-level executives prefer being cold-called by phone, compared to 51% of directors and 47% of managers.

    Sales professionals reach C-level executives on the first cold call an average of 39% of the time, followed by 72% for the second and 93% for the third.

    With these details in mind, 90% of CEOs say they never return cold calls or cold emails.

  • An average of seven people are involved in the buying decision, and it takes at least five of them to agree to make a sale.

    This can make it difficult for a cold-calling salesperson to reach the right person.

    And even if they do reach the right person, 50% of prospects are not a good fit and would not benefit from the product or service.

  • Half of buyers could use a second cold call from salespeople.

    Despite this need, 50% of salespeople never cold-call leads a second time. And the remainder only makes two cold-calling attempts before giving up.

  • 84% of buyers are influenced mainly by recommendations from friends and family.

    91% of customers say they’d give referrals, which is the most effective tool salespeople have for cold calling.

    However, only 11% of salespeople ask for them during cold calls. Furthermore, only 22% of salespeople have a formal referral system, which means that additional leads are lost even though customers are willing to provide them.

  • 82% of buyers lookup providers on LinkedIn before they respond to their outreach efforts.

    Beginning a cold call with the statement, “I understand we share a common LinkedIn group,” can boost your chances of securing a meeting by 70%.

    Even before a cold call, nearly half of buyers search for potential vendors on LinkedIn.

  • When cold-calling, 42% of customers value active listening most.

    Research shows that the ideal balance is for salespeople to talk 55% of the time and spend 45% of their time listening.

    During a successful cold call, reps spend an average of 37 seconds during their monologue, compared to 3.5 seconds for each prospect.

    Given this, it’s perhaps no surprise that buyers who report a negative cold-call experience say that the salesperson didn’t listen to their needs, was too pushy, or didn’t research them before the call.

  • 49% of buyers prefer initial contact via a cold call.

    This number increases to 54% for technology buyers, which is higher than financial (40%) and professional (50%) services buyers.

Cold Call Success Rate Statistics

  • When cold-calling, 55% of contacts will not answer, 17% of contacts’ information will be incorrect, and only 28% will answer the call.

    Of those who answer, 82% of buyers agree to set up meetings after being cold-called.

  • 27% of sellers believe cold calling is one of the most effective ways to get new clients/customers.

    Still, only 1% of cold calls ultimately lead to appointments.

  • Contacting prospects within the minute they were tagged as leads can increase the likelihood of converting them by almost 400%.

    Over 80% of buyers take meetings with salespeople that reach out to them first. And the vendor who contacts the customer first earns the sale 35% to 50% of the time.

    On the other hand, if you wait more than 30 minutes, you reduce the chances of conversion by 62%. Waiting an hour decreases your chances of engaging eight-fold, and waiting 24 hours can reduce your chances to 17%.

    The first 50 minutes after a lead shows interest in your product is the best time to make a cold call. This statistic is particularly useful if you’re monitoring web log-ins.

  • The best day and time to make cold calls is Wednesdays between 4:00 PM and 5:00 PM, followed by 11 AM to 12 PM.

    The worst time to call is on Monday between 7:00 AM and 11:00 AM, since most prospects are busy at the office. In fact, cold call success rates are 46% higher on Wednesdays than on Mondays.

  • the best day of the week to make a cold call is Wednesday

  • As of 2020, 94% of calls from unknown numbers go to voicemail.

    In 2014, they went to voicemail 80% of the time.

    This is why it’s essential for salespeople to leave well-crafted messages, which can increase response rates between 3% and 22%.

    And time is of the essence, too: the ideal message length is less than 30 seconds. For every second beyond this, you decrease your chances to connect by 2%.

Cold Call Statistics by Metrics

  • Sales professionals only have 5 to 10 minutes to convince prospects via cold calling.

    This is why the average successful cold call (i.e., moves to the meeting stage) lasts between 5:50 and 7:30 and includes an uninterrupted sales pitch of 37 seconds, which is about twice as long as average.

    Comparatively, the average unsuccessful cold call lasts 3 minutes and 14 seconds.

  • The tone and words you use during a cold call can have a significant impact on your success.

    93% of the success of your cold call comes down to the tone of your voice.

    And while 30.9% of salespeople open their cold calls by asking, “Is this a good time,” opening with, “How have you been?” has a 6.6X higher success rate. Opening with “How are you” has a 5.2% success rate.

    You can also more than double your success rate by stating a reason for your cold outreach. Furthermore, saying “we” instead of “I” boosts cold calling success rates by 35%.

    On the other hand, these words and phrases can harm your cold-calling success by the following percentages:

    • Discount (17%);

    • Show you how (13%);

    • Contract (7%);

    • Free trial (5%).

  • Successful cold calls discuss between three and four of the prospect’s current business problems.

    This is why 66% of buyers say it’s important for salespeople to highlight how their product or service solves the buyer’s problems. 96% say that the value proposition presented during a cold call is essential when making a decision.

    Asking questions is also crucial to understanding a prospect’s problems: salespeople who ask one to six questions have about a 40% success rate, compared to 70% for those who ask 11 to 14 questions.

Cold Calling FAQ

  1. Is cold calling effective?

    Yes, cold calling is effective. 82% of buyers that have booked meetings with salespeople after a series of contacts started with cold sales calls. However, the process takes a meaningful amount of work.

    Specifically, the average salesperson generates roughly one appointment or referral from every 209 cold calls, which takes about 7.5 hours of their time.

  2. Is cold calling necessary?

    Yes, cold calling is necessary for any business that relies on sales and wants to grow. Organizations who believe that cold calling is no longer effective experience 42% less growth than those who believe otherwise.

    While other strategies, like inbound marketing, are also effective for growing a company and brand, there’s no replacement for directly contacting buyers.

  3. How many attempts does it take to achieve cold-calling success?

    It typically takes about six attempts to achieve cold-calling success. 93% of your cold leads that convert will happen after six calls, and making at least six cold calls can increase contact rates by 70%.

  4. What’s the best time and date to make a cold call?

    The best day and time to make cold calls is Wednesdays between 4 PM and 5 PM. This is then followed by 11 AM to 12 PM on the same day, and the same times on Thursday.

    Generally speaking, these days are more effective because they’re the slowest work days of the week, and also give the recipient enough time to consider the offer. In other words, the lack of responsibilities compared to Monday or Friday gives customers a reason to answer, while the placement of the call within the week allows for adequate deliberation.


Cold-calling has been used for decades to help businesses achieve success, and it doesn’t appear to be waning anytime soon—even in the face of potentially faster and more convenient technologies like email.

But the process isn’t passive since it takes a meaningful amount of time and work (both initial and follow-up) on the salesperson’s part.


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Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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