Performance Intelligence

How Many Cold Calls Does it Take to Make a Sale?

Cold calling is an art and a science, and it's one of the hardest jobs in sales. BDRs, SDRs, and AEs who cold call and cold email are the lifeblood of your revenue org. Persistence and skill are required to book meetings and build pipeline. Here's what the data tells us about the state of cold calling today, how to get better at cold calling, and the amount of cold calls it takes to make a sale.

Average Number of Cold Calls per Rep

We can see that the dials per rep spiked in May, June, and July - on average, 26% more dials than in Q1. And even still they remain above January levels. This is during peak-shutdown months, and companies were experiencing higher instances of RIF. It's likely that less reps were available to do the same amount of work - and they had to work harder to connect with prospects who were no longer in the office. That, and sales teams were pivoting to fill pipeline that had dried up. As we move into 2021, it's important for Revenue orgs to take any surprising learnings over this time period and add any winning strategies to their 2021 plans.

"Warm outbound is key. How we go from cold to warm is the name of the game for how we go from prospects to customers.”
— Karan Singh, VP Revenue Operations at Procore Technologies

% Cold Call Connect Rate

Cold Call Connect Rates have declined over the past year and have continued to decrease through Q3 and into Q4. People are still picking up the phone, but it's more difficult to reach prospects on their mobile device. So, it's more important than ever to make sure you're prepared, have your processes air tight, and your targeting well defined so you can make the most of every connect. It's important to pay attention to how many cold calls connect with a person, a voicemail, a phone tree, or other barriers.


There was a 15% drop in average quarterly Cold Call Connect Rates.

% Cold Call Voicemail Rate

While voicemail rates are lower now than they were in Q2, your SDRs are still getting the mailbox gate keeper at the end of their dials more than they did in January. Revenue leaders should take stock of their teams' abilities to leave strong voicemails with a hook. Work with your Sales Enablement team to get them trained up on best practices, set a standard peer review system so that they can improve together, and pay close attention to how often your dials are met with an inbox that's not set up or is full.


There was a 6% dip in average quarterly voicemail connect rates from Q2 to Q3.

What the data says about Performance Intelligence

Since cold call connect rates have remained steady regardless of market influences, teams should consider boosting their calling efforts as well. Cold call dials have decreased over time, but people are still answering.

Motivating your team in a remote office environment may look different than it does when you're in the office together, but it is no less important. Keep your team connected and motivated to pick up the phone or send that email. To get better at cold calling, we refer to the age old adage: Perfect practice makes perfect.

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