Is There a Best Time to Make Sales Calls?

New study finds calling sales prospects at the so called "optimal" time of day offers minimal gains.
New study finds calling sales prospects at the so called “optimal” time of day offers minimal gains.

How often have you thought… “If only there were more hours in the day.” As a salesperson, time is our most valuable resource, which has made studies on the so called best time to make sales calls so popular. If there is an ideal time of day to connect with a prospect, why waste time calling at any other point in the day… right?

Turns out this thinking is flawed from the start. A new study – “When to Call Sales Leads” – dug into how much of a difference calling buyers at the “best” time vs. the “worst” time makes in terms of contact rate, and the answer isn’t pretty.

In fact, the research found that the difference in contact rates between the worst and the best time to make sales calls is only 2.6 percentage points.

For sales organizations that are restructuring their sales strategy so salespeople only make calls at times of day that are proven to be “optimal” are actually setting themselves back. Instead, salespeople should follow up quickly with a new lead and then following up at strategic intervals.

Speed to call for the first contact attempt trumps all

speed to call

As previous research has shown, following up fast with new leads is the single most important driver of sales conversion.

What does this mean? Prospects that received a call within one minute of their initial inquiry were 391% more likely to convert than those called any time after that. While many industry findings will advise calling at 4 pm, if a new inquiry came in at 9 am, waiting 7 hours to follow up would clearly have a negative impact on the likelihood of conversion.

Is there a best time to make sales calls 2-6?

The report also found that following up in strategic intervals proved to be far more effective than scheduling calls for the optimal time of day. By using the optimal call sequence strategy – six calls over a 15-day period, according to our research – companies can look forward to overall improvement in contact rates by 110%.

“This new research validates what we see in our business every day,” said Dan Hansen, president and COO at MedPro Waste Disposal. “Responding to new leads fast, and leveraging a sequence-based approach to follow-up, has been a perfect formula for success. In fact, we saw a 20% increase in revenue in the first year using Velocify by mapping out and following our ideal sequenced-based sales process with every prospect.”

Velocify’s findings prove that timing matters, but time of day is not so important. In addition, the call sequence in which a sales rep follows up can make or break the sale. Most sales reps would assume they know when to follow up and you may have a good system; however, I would urge you to revisit your best practices and see if you can upgrade to a great system in order to reach your highest conversion potential.

For more insights download: When to Make Sales Calls.

NickHedges_2015formalAbout the author: Nick Hedges is president and CEO of Velocify and a 15 year veteran of the Internet and SaaS industries. Nick has spent the last six years helping organizations accelerate sales performance and recently became an advisory board member for the Association of Inside Sales Professionals. Nick is a Fulbright Scholar, holds an MBA with Distinction from Harvard and a bachelor’s degree from Manchester University.

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