Connecting with prospects has always been a game of cat-and-mouse. Right from the initial point-of-contact to the continuous follow-ups, many business owners have lost their sleep wondering about the ways to ace their sales goals. Although a lot of emphasis has been laid on what to say and how to say it, seldom much attention is given to when to say it. The latter half of the previous statement is the driving force behind the creation of this blog. Here, we will attempt to resolve all your queries and help you identify the best time to cold call.
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If the question of understanding the best time to make sales calls was raised a few months back, then our response would’ve been different. However, with the recent pandemic and countries across the globe in a state of lockdown, the situations have changed a lot. Now, most of the businesses are operating remotely and with key decision-makers working in a work-from-home setup, there is a shift in the way and time in which people respond.
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As a salesperson who regularly spends time trying to seal the deals, we’re sure you would’ve noticed how you get more favorable responses on certain days and times in comparison to others. Well, this is no coincidence, but it is the entryway to a door that leads you to the path of achieving success with your sales calls. In a world where businesses are constantly struggling to strike a conversation with their prospects, we’ll help you in identifying the best time to call someone.
Now, as soon as we’d mentioned the best time of the day to cold call, some of the following queries might’ve popped up in your head:
- What are the best times during the day to call prospects?
- On what days are people more likely to respond well?
- How long before a lead goes cold?
- Should I email them too?
- Am I being too persistent?
We, at CallHippo, were sailing in the same boat as you; and when we didn’t find any reliable data, we decided to roll up our sleeves and get the answers we’re looking for. Therefore, we decided to conduct a study where we gathered data from over 1200 clients who’re operating their businesses across 15+ countries. The research contains data observed over 30 weeks with a total of 15,800 call attempts.
The sole motive behind conducting the research was to find the appropriate times of the day and days of the week to call your prospects so that the maximum qualification ratio can be achieved with the least possible effort.
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If you usually find yourself unable to connect to leads, receive very few callbacks, and are being dodged by customers, these observations and pro tips can significantly improve your conversion rates.
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Converting Inbound Leads:
All businesses love inbound leads. This is simply because since the customer has reached out to you on their own, it shows that they are already interested in your product. The big question here is how long does this interest generally last?
We found that 38% to 52% of the time, the sales go to the first responder. We suggest that you strike when the iron is hot and respond within an hour of receiving an inquiry.
Whether it is social media, e-mail, or a phone call, the golden rule of responding within an hour can be applied universally. The response rate has been seen to drop dramatically by almost 8 times after the first hour. The difference between the number of responses in the first hour and the number of responses in the second hour was a whopping 400%.
The best way to revert is one that has stood the test of time, talking to the lead on the phone. Even in the age of texting and emailing, calling prospects up over the phone yields the highest conversion rate when you are trying to set up an appointment with such leads.
a) 38%-52% of the sales go to the first responder.
b) The response rate drops dramatically by 8 times after the first hour.
b) The optimal time frame to respond is within one hour.
c) The difference between the number of responses in the first hour and the number of responses in the second hour is 400%.
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Cold Calling Outbound Leads
Cold calling can be pretty exhausting. Agents have to constantly put up with evasive prospects and rejections. Only 7% of such calls turn into actual appointments.
Persistence and perseverance are extremely important when you are trying to strike a deal with your outbound leads. Over 35% of the leads were never followed up on after the initial connection failure. 40% of agents give up on a lead after the first call. Statistics say that it may take up to 6 call attempts before a prospect turns into a customer.
By making a few more attempts, sales representatives can increase the conversation rate by up to 70%. The key isn’t just about the best time to call but also being persistent with your efforts.
By making around 5 more attempts, chances of having a conversation with your prospects can increase, which in turn, increases the chances of sales.
Some sales could take up to several months to finally come to fruition. You owe it to yourself to keep trying until a customer says, “No!”
a) It can take up to 6 calls before a prospect turns into a sale.
b) Persistence and perseverance are the biggest weapons in your arsenal when you are trying to convert outbound leads.
c) By making more than 5 attempts, the possibility of conversion increases by 70%.
Call Etiquettes That Can Translate Into Sales
It’s important to avoid any conscious calling errors and minimize the following when agents talk to customers:
- Heavy accent
- Lots of background noise immediately make the customer realize that they are speaking to someone at a call center.
All these three issues can turn away even the most interested customers. You must ensure that your training and development programs address such issues and weed them out.
8 Tried and Tested Tips To Achieve More Success With Sales Calls
With so much rejection, calling customers can often be a very disheartening and frustrating process. Nobody likes prospects hanging up on them every time they make a sales pitch. Read on for some pro tips on getting prospects interested in what you have to say. These tips will also enable you to see more organic conversions over time.
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1. An irresistibly strong opening:
Okay, the GIF was too strong a representation, but you got our point!
To kickstart a productive, professional conversation, you need an equally interesting and compelling opening line.
Ideally, your opening should;
a) put the prospect into a receptive frame of mind, so that he/she doesn’t hang up right away.
b) make it easier for them to make a positive decision.
Here are some proven conversation openers;
- “My research shows that your company is in the process of … ”
- “One of my clients, [name] at [company], mentioned to me that you are [looking for, might be a good fit for] … ”
- “I was looking at your LinkedIn profile, and saw that one of your major projects this year is … ”
- “We’ve been working with a couple of similarly sized companies within your industry, and they are experiencing two major problems. I wondered whether they were causing you concern as well … ”
- “I see your [annual report, newsletter] was released on your website last week, and it’s looking like you’re expanding your operations in … ”
- “Hi [Prospect]. It’s [name] from [company]? We’ve just worked with [name of competitor] and have achieved [results] with them. Do you have five minutes now or in the future for us to explore how [company] can achieve the same?”
2. Believe in your value:
If you don’t believe in the product or service that you are selling, you should probably be selling something else. Just like you have intrinsic value as an individual, you must believe in the value a product or service can create when matched with the right customer.Therefore, before sailing on the journey in search of prospects, it is important to delve into the deep waters of your own product offering. Analyze it closely and understand what makes it different.
Pro-tip: Finding the best features that you like helps in strengthening your belief and that reflects in conversations. Also, it acts as a booster in explaining the USPs.
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3. Set a daily goal to contact new customers:
No lasting growth was ever achieved without working very hard for it. Even if you have all the weapons in your arsenal — powerful scripts, understanding of the best time to call, and comprehensive knowledge of pitches & tones — you’ll still need to contact your prospects daily to get the results you desire.
You have got to be proactive and make it a point to reach out to as many new customers as you can daily. You need to set doable targets that push you to your limits and bring results over time.
4. Use a client-focused script:
There is no denying that what is said holds the power to decide the course of the conversation. This makes it vital to ensure that the script focuses on addressing the client’s needs. Do not go on and on about your product or service. You could try something like, “Many companies similar to yours count on me to…”
By doing so, you shift your focus from how amazing your product is to how crucial your prospect’s problem is.
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5. Leave compelling voicemail messages:
Not getting enough callbacks? A common mistake that salespeople make is not asking for a callback in their voicemail message. And you might just be surprised to know how many callbacks you will get once you start leaving callback messages in voicemails.
Ensure that you request the customer to call you back and that you provide them with your contact details. This will increase your chances of getting through with a conversation significantly.
6. Pay attention to how you sound:
According to Connie Kadansky, a sales expert, “When people are on the phone, only 27 percent of communication is in their words, and 73 percent is in their tone.”
As the age-old saying goes, it’s not so much about what you say, but how you say it. This holds immense relevance in today’s business world as well. Irrespective of how much knowledge you might possess about the best time to call and the most appropriate words to use, none of it would be truly helpful if you don’t pay attention to your tone and way of saying it.
It is vital to listen to call recordings to find out where you could be going wrong in this regard.
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7. Follow up:
The key to success in sales is proper customer follow-up. Follow up with your leads with a courtesy email or call. Let them know that their response is valuable and that you are looking forward to it. Even if they don’t respond, a couple of extra tries never hurt anyone! Does everyone respond? No. However, even if a few do respond, it will be well worth the effort.
If you want some help with finding the most response-generating ways of following up via email, then check out this eBook.
8. Say yes to Call Tracking
To make your campaigns successful, it is important to identify your close and best prospects. A call tracking tool will let you do real-time optimization of campaign strategies and more revenue-generating calls. With better leads and an organized framework, you are all set to make calls that convert.
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Best Days of the Week to Make Your Calls
Now that you know how to make effective sales calls, let’s discuss the best days of the week to call your customers for more success.
People in most countries including the USA, India, and the UK usually have their official week offs on Saturday and Sunday. Mondays are known to be the busiest days all around the world, so you can safely rule out making calls on a Monday unless you wish to be speaking with frazzled workers with too much on their minds.
According to our research, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are the best days to connect with your prospects. We observed that Wednesday is particularly one of the best days to connect with your prospects and pitch your products and services to them. The difference between the number of conversations on a Monday and the number of conversations on a Wednesday is almost 50%!
The worst time to connect with your prospects is the second half of Friday because people have usually entered the weekend mode by this time and the last thing they want to do then discusses work with anyone.
a) Steer clear from making sales calls on Mondays and the second half of Fridays.
b) Wednesday is the best day to make calls. These calls can translate into actual conversions.
Best Time to Make Your Calls
Statistically speaking, the best time to hit up prospective customers is between 4:00 to 5:00 PM. The second best time interval would be 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM. The difference in the number of conversations between 4:00 to 5:00 PM and the number of conversations between 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM is a staggering 71%!
Internationally, working hours are usually between 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. The initial hours of the day are when most employees plan their entire day and focus on the major issues of the day.
Between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM is when most people take lunch. They are known to be least productive in these hours. Therefore, connecting with them during these hours is less likely to get you the response you are looking for.
a) The best time to have a conversation with your prospects is between 4:00 to 5:00 PM.
b) The second best time to call your prospects is between 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM.
c) Avoid reaching out to them from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.
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Let’s summarize the various observations made by the team at CallHippo, that we have discussed at various points in the article:
- The best day to call your prospects is Wednesday.
- The best time to call your prospects is between 4:00-5:00 PM.
- The second best time to call your prospects is between 11:00 AM -12:00 PM.
- You must make at least 6 attempts to call your prospects.
- The best time to call your prospects up is within an hour of receiving their initial inquiry.
- Do not call your prospects on Mondays and the second half of Fridays
We know that the current times have brought a significant change in the way we used to connect and communicate. However, this survey was designed to offer you the best insights and empower you to connect better with your audiences.
With this, we sign off! We promise to be back with more interesting tips and tricks. In the meantime, feel free to leave your comments in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you!