What’s the best time to cold call? It’s a bit of a trick question. In fact, if you Google it, you’ll find research that there’s no one “right” time to call. Instead, the data shows you can call at various blocks during the workday—morning, afternoon, and evening—and get B2B leads to pick up the phone.
No matter when you call, some obstacles will stand in your way of connecting with leads. And getting a good connection rate is essential to cold calling success—when calls go to voicemail, 90% of leads won’t get back to you. That’s why focusing on getting more live calls will improve your chances of getting an appointment or demo.
How can you get better connection rates? In this article, we’ll break down the obstacles to getting leads on the phone and help you overcome them. Also, while there’s no single best time to cold call, some hours are better than others. Read on to find out more.
First off, let’s establish some ground rules
Every sales rep should build these two basic principles into their cold calling process to increase connection rates:
- Call in your lead’s time zone: Some reps make the mistake of calling when it’s convenient for them. Instead, they should call when it’s convenient for—you guessed it—the lead. If the lead is a few hours ahead of you, you might have to call a little earlier or later than your work hours.
- Try different hours: As sales reps, we expect to make 4-6 follow-up calls on a single lead. However, if you find yourself always calling in the morning, or always in the afternoon, you’re making a mistake. To increase your connection rates, experiment with different hours.
When is the best time to cold call in the morning?
Phoneburner analyzed over 11 million outgoing calls, and the best time to cold call in the morning is between 8 am and 10 am. During this period, 11-15% of calls are answered.
You may feel hesitant to call so early—and for good reason. Mornings are jam-packed for everyone. Decision-makers step into the office with an overflowing email inbox, projects they need to play catch-up on, and often a major decision they’ve been thinking about since yesterday they need to make a choice on.
But it might be easier than you think to get good connection rates when cold calling in the morning. Here are two tips:
Give leads time to settle in: Not every company opens at 8 am; if you’ve included your lead’s office hours in your CRM, you can plan your cold calling at least 45 minutes after they open to give them time to get other tasks out of the way.
Try calling before office hours: Some sales reps have also found luck with the opposite approach, especially when contacting business owners; if you can catch them before the rest of the staff gets in, it might be their quietest part of the day.
If you don’t already have your leads’ office hours in your CRM, they’re usually easy to find on the “Contact Us” page of the company’s website. But don’t stop there; enhance your conversation by gathering all the information you need for a cold call like their phone number, company phone number, job role, and location. Lusha Contacts is a B2B lead enrichment tool the gathers personal contact information and company information at the click of a button. What’s great about Lusha Contacts is that it allows you to instantly export your prospects information straight to your CRM of choice.
When is the best time to cold call in the afternoon?
According to the same study, between 11 am and noon is the best time to cold call in the afternoon, when 14.95% of calls get answered. Just watch out for two common roadblocks: meetings and lunch breaks.
During the middle of the day, decision-makers often face back-to-back meetings. They’ll have their minds on planning, preparing, and running the discussion; reviewing progress; and creating new plans. On the flip side, you could be creeping up close to their lunch break and most people aren’t trying to take calls when they have a turkey and cheese sandwich waiting for them in the break room.
Because of this, when cold calling at this hour, you may find yourself faced with a gatekeeper—a personal assistant, receptionist, or someone else who answers calls while your lead is enjoying that sandwich.
Here are some tips on how to handle gatekeepers and get them to relay your message to your lead:
- Build trust in sales: To gain trust in sales with anyone, state who you are, how you know your lead, and how the information is of value to your lead. Go in with the same professionalism as you would with a lead, but make sure not to sell to gatekeepers.
- Go in confident: Selling with confidence requires you to know your contact well. Since you’re unfamiliar with the gatekeeper, mention a current project or initiative at the company you’ve learned about. If you’re using Sales Navigator, there’s plenty of opportunities to gain that information when prospecting on LinkedIn.
When is the best time to cold call in the evening?
For the evening, the best time to cold call is between 4 and 5 pm when connection rates hover around 14%. At most companies, the staff are winding down by this time and have finished the meat of the day’s work.
Of course, by this time your lead has probably gotten a few sales pitches and they might not be excited to hear another. But you can overcome this hurdle by making the call worthwhile. Here’s where personalization comes in. Lusha API can bulk enrich your CRM with an endless stream of data you can use to personalize your cold call scripts. Contacts API can provide information like their job title, role, industry, and niche—info that’s not easily found online but can help you open the call strong and nail those first 30 seconds.
Last but not least, if the opportunity presents itself, warm up your cold calls. For inbound leads, they should be familiar with your offer, so start out by nurturing them on social media, then add a warm call—at the right moment—to your sales cadence.
- The best time to cold call: Whether it’s 8 am, 12 noon or 4 pm, you can absolutely call at any time block during the day and get a connection. Use the research as a base to see what works for your ideal customer base and industry.
- Try different hours: When following up, try the evening if you always shoot calls in the afternoon and vice versa.
- Increase your connection rates: Anyone can get more live calls by being persistent with 4-6 follow-ups, but the smartest reps leverage technology to improve their connection rates. If you need to leave a voicemail or leave a message with a gatekeeper, Lusha Contacts can give you more insight when prospecting so you can leave a hyper-personalized message that will have them rushing to get back to you.
Sign up for a free trial of Lusha Contacts today to experience the difference for yourself.