cold calling stats (17,000 calls)

47 replies
I figure some hard stats would help some of you get a grasp on the potentials and realities of cold calling. When you say you've called 100 people and gotten nowhere, hopefully you'll understand that 100 people mean absolutely nothing.

This is the results of almost 20,000 calls, made over one month's time.

I've had approximately one month of my lead generation calling team's stats analyzed and put into an easy-to-understand infographic.

These calls are 100% cold, set across the USA, for 9x12/solo mailing and printing services.

This is good information for "How many leads can I get per hour", "what days of the week are best to call", "how many leads can I generate in X time", etc.


note: I'm not promoting my services here so please don't ask about them. This is simply to share results with those who wonder about the possibilities of cold calling.
#calling #calls #cold #stats
  • Profile picture of the author joe golfer
    Fantastic stuff. How do the results match up with your goals or expectations for that period of time?
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Jake,

    Are you using an autodialer or manual?

    On average, 3/4 of our dials will not reach a decision maker who can talk to us today.

    How many times are your callers having to dial back to reach the DM?

    1 appointment an hour is typical.

    I have a caller working for some tv show producers and she's set 8 qualified appointments in about 300 dials over the past week with part time hours (max. 4/day). This is manual dialing in their office with me present some of the time every day, and she has to enter list/CRM info. We have narrowed targets to companies with "enough going on" to warrant our budget/investment in advertising on the show....and most of the time she gets voicemail.

    My expectations were 300 dials over 20 hours...3/4 won't reach a DM for a conversation, so 75 conversations...1 in 10 would be interested in meeting. Turned out very close.
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    • Profile picture of the author bob ross
      Originally Posted by joe golfer View Post

      Fantastic stuff. How do the results match up with your goals or expectations for that period of time?
      Good, I was surprised to see that the production for the days of the week are as close as they are. I would have expected more variance.

      I also didn't think we would generate almost 1.2 per hour, but I think this will remain consistent.

      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      Jake,

      Are you using an autodialer or manual?

      On average, 3/4 of our dials will not reach a decision maker who can talk to us today.

      How many times are your callers having to dial back to reach the DM?

      1 appointment an hour is typical.

      I have a caller working for some tv show producers and she's set 8 qualified appointments in about 300 dials over the past week with part time hours (max. 4/day). This is manual dialing in their office with me present some of the time every day, and she has to enter list info. We have narrowed targets to companies with "enough going on" to warrant our budget/investment in advertising on the show....and most of the time she gets voicemail.
      No auto-dialer, this is manual dial. Some use headsets and can pound more numbers but nothing is automated.

      For these campaigns (lead generation for other marketers) we are not dialing back to talk with decision makers. Time is spent just calling more numbers.

      On some campaigns the lists are small and require combing back through them multiple times, and the returns don't seem to be significantly diminished until the 4th combover, so that's a good piece of info there.

      I don't doubt her results at all, I think with a focused list, short hours, and a good mindset, 2 per hour or more is completely achievable for most services.
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    I would assume when you said multiple callers spent 306.5 hours, that you mean the 306.5 hours is the total time spent distributed through multiple callers, is that right? If that's the case looks like they're calling about 55 numbers each hour. How many people do you have calling? How long did the 306.5 hours take?

    How is your prospect list being generated? Infofree? Which I guess you already have the name for most decision makers if that's the case.

    Your total amount of leads would have been about 361 so that would be a little over 2% prospect to lead conversion rate. Do you have the numbers on opportunity to win?

    For me, Thursdays have always been statistically the best when it comes to leads generated from cold calling. Tuesdays are a close second just like your infographic shows.
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    • Profile picture of the author bob ross
      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

      I would assume when you said multiple callers spent 306.5 hours, that you mean the 306.5 hours is the total time spent distributed through multiple callers, is that right? If that's the case looks like they're calling about 55 numbers each hour. How many people do you have calling? How long did the 306.5 hours take?

      How is your prospect list being generated? Infofree? Which I guess you already have the name for most decision makers if that's the case.

      Your total amount of leads would have been about 361 so that would be a little over 2% prospect to lead conversion rate. Do you have the numbers on opportunity to win?
      correct, it's about 55 numbers/hour per agent. I have 4 dedicated callers and 4 that jump on these campaigns when needed.

      I generate the lists via infofree and/or listshack. I have a custom VBA excel workbook that filters optimal industries, sorts and groups them, and scrubs out chains and corporate.

      I can't believe I didn't put the amount of 'answers' on this infographic, It's roughly 7000 answered calls, however answered calls on my system report as answering machine's as well.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
        Originally Posted by bob ross View Post

        correct, it's about 55 numbers/hour per agent. I have 4 dedicated callers and 4 that jump on these campaigns when needed.

        I generate the lists via infofree and/or listshack. I have a custom VBA excel workbook that filters optimal industries, sorts and groups them, and scrubs out chains and corporate.

        I can't believe I didn't put the amount of 'answers' on this infographic, It's roughly 7000 answered calls, however answered calls on my system report as answering machine's as well.
        Day-yum that is a lot of dials per caller manually!

        They don't seem to be spending much time on hold.
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        • Profile picture of the author bob ross
          Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

          Day-yum that is a lot of dials per caller manually!

          They don't seem to be spending much time on hold.
          Interestingly enough, most of them are not too speedy, but it's fast because of the system...

          the callers are not speaking much past the intro. As soon as the prospect is interested the call is immediately transferred to the supervisor who takes over the conversation. The caller then immediately starts dialing again and another supervisor (or an experienced caller) will stand-by to take other transfers in the meantime.

          This allows me to get people on the phone within hours of their first day. They only need to be trained how to read the first part of the script effectively. The dials are kept high, the pay is kept low, and the skill level required is almost non-existent.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joel
      Thanks, great information!

      17,000 calls, 306.5 hours called, 363 leads ... what is your approximate cost per lead?

      Joel
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      • Profile picture of the author bob ross
        Originally Posted by Joel View Post

        Thanks, great information!

        17,000 calls, 306.5 hours called, 363 leads ... what is your approximate cost per lead?

        Joel
        Thanks for appreciating the data Joel.

        The clients have paid roughly $13 per lead for these (I have not charged much for this service).
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        • Profile picture of the author Joel
          Originally Posted by bob ross View Post

          Thanks for appreciating the data Joel.

          The clients have paid roughly $13 per lead for these (I have not charged much for this service).
          Thanks, for your very quick reply. I wasn't asking how much a client was charged for the lead, but rather your cost to generate a lead, salary, commission, overhead, etc?

          Joel
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          • Profile picture of the author bob ross
            Originally Posted by Joel View Post

            Thanks, for your very quick reply. I wasn't asking how much a client was charged for the lead, but rather your cost to generate a lead, salary, commission, overhead, etc?

            Joel
            Tough question to answer because most of the overhead applies to the other callers for my own ventures, so trying to separate it for these campaigns is tricky.

            If I was to take my existing overhead that applies to all lead generation and solely offer it as a service to other marketers instead of my own use, I think I would be in the range of $20 per lead.
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            • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
              Jake; Incredibly useful information. Thanks so much for posting it.
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              • Profile picture of the author umc
                Wow, really interesting information Jake. But you could have cranked out some more podcasts instead of making nice infographics. Come on man, I'm jonesin for some more podcasts.

                Seriously though, great info.
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                • Profile picture of the author longrobnc
                  Wow, I constantly hire salespeople and ask them to make 100 phone calls per day. I provide leads and they are supposed to cold call when they don't have appointments. I've been through tons of people, and they make an average of 6 a day. Where in the heck do you find these folks?

                  My pay plan just makes it too easy to make a nice living on company provided leads.
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                  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
                    Originally Posted by longrobnc View Post

                    Wow, I constantly hire salespeople and ask them to make 100 phone calls per day. I provide leads and they are supposed to cold call when they don't have appointments. I've been through tons of people, and they make an average of 6 a day. Where in the heck do you find these folks?

                    My pay plan just makes it too easy to make a nice living on company provided leads.
                    If you're getting 6 appointments every 100 calls then you're already performing better than the data shown here.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
                      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

                      If you're getting 6 appointments every 100 calls then you're already performing better than the data shown here.
                      I think he's saying he's wanting them to make 100 dials, but they're making an average of 6.

                      The average # of cold calls made by "professional" salespeople at companies is...wait for it...2 per day.
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                      • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
                        Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

                        I think he's saying he's wanting them to make 100 dials, but they're making an average of 6.

                        The average # of cold calls made by "professional" salespeople at companies is...wait for it...2 per day.
                        6 calls?

                        Do you have a source for that statistic? Not that I don't trust you but I'd just like to see the source since statistics can often vary depending on what the person feels like saying lol.
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                        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                          Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

                          6 calls?

                          Do you have a source for that statistic? Not that I don't trust you but I'd just like to see the source since statistics can often vary depending on what the person feels like saying lol.
                          The "6 calls" is what Longrobnc said, not what Jason said.


                          When I had telemarketers working for me, they averaged one appointment for every six calls.
                          That may have been 5 or 6 appointments per day.... per person. These are appointments, not leads. But we offered a free gift with an appointment. That made a difference.

                          Salespeople only average a few cold calls a day....because they don't want to do it. We all know that. Sixcalls a ay, when you aren't cracking the whip? That's not too bad, actually.
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                          • Profile picture of the author bob ross
                            Originally Posted by umc View Post

                            Wow, really interesting information Jake. But you could have cranked out some more podcasts instead of making nice infographics. Come on man, I'm jonesin for some more podcasts.

                            Seriously though, great info.
                            Hah yeah every single day I kick myself for not getting more out. I have a long list of episodes just everytime I go to record them something comes up. Hiring people is probably the next one in line!

                            Originally Posted by longrobnc View Post

                            Wow, I constantly hire salespeople and ask them to make 100 phone calls per day. I provide leads and they are supposed to cold call when they don't have appointments. I've been through tons of people, and they make an average of 6 a day. Where in the heck do you find these folks?

                            My pay plan just makes it too easy to make a nice living on company provided leads.
                            Yeah something I've learned the hard way is that it's pretty difficult and inefficient to get salespeople to also cold call. I've got some that are very good at both but expecting them to both is really tough. Even with incredibly lucrative rewards for calling they still won't do it.

                            I've built my systems so that I can pick people off the street to call, rather than have to find diamonds in the rough (who never work out anyways).

                            For your reps, I'd push them to call referrals or past customers instead of cold calls.


                            Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

                            Thank you for the data share.

                            Great numbers to ponder and use for comparisons for us all.
                            Thanks, I think this subforum needs more of stuff like this.

                            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                            The "6 calls" is what Longrobnc said, not what Jason said.

                            When I had telemarketers working for me, they averaged one appointment for every six calls.
                            That may have been 5 or 6 appointments per day.... per person. These are appointments, not leads. But we offered a free gift with an appointment. That made a difference.

                            Salespeople only average a few cold calls a day....because they don't want to do it. We all know that. Sixcalls a ay, when you aren't cracking the whip? That's not too bad, actually.
                            Yeah there's a competitor of mine in the B2C industry who sets that kind of volume because of free services they give away, I'd want to get into as well but it's a lot of administrative red tape that I can't handle at the moment.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Highway55
                      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

                      If you're getting 6 appointments every 100 calls then you're already performing better than the data shown here.
                      He's using house lists. People who have already had some type of contact with the company. I would be willing to bet if he worked those leads even harder he could turn up to 15% of them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    Thank you for the data share.

    Great numbers to ponder and use for comparisons for us all.
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  • Profile picture of the author AmericanMuscleTA
    In your experience, how's ListShack over InfoFree? I was with InfoFree a long time ago and got what I needed and canceled the monthly subscription (like an idiot). Now it seems every week InfoFree keeps raising their prices and charging more and more per lead.
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    • Profile picture of the author bob ross
      Originally Posted by AmericanMuscleTA View Post

      In your experience, how's ListShack over InfoFree? I was with InfoFree a long time ago and got what I needed and canceled the monthly subscription (like an idiot). Now it seems every week InfoFree keeps raising their prices and charging more and more per lead.
      I have remained idiot-free and am still on the $24.95/month unlimited plan from infofree, sucka!

      Listshack is your only alternative that comes close, and they do a good job. The data is good and last I spoke with Josh (the owner) he was going to run another NCOA on everything which will clean everything even more.

      I've called using both sources and have found no significant difference in either.
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    Last I used infofree, about 50% of the contact names were garbage. For mailing, I had about 12% come back, and with phones, about 10% disconnects or wrong numbers.

    The only thing that is better is making your own list. I use mobile renegade and for mailing I maybe get 5% returned. Calls, about 3-5% wrong numbers or disconnects.

    I've used something else before, forget what its called but their numbers were awful. For mailing I had damn near 25% returned, probably 20% of the numbers were bad too.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Regal
    This is gold information, very interesting indeed. The variables makes sense....17k calls would bring in an impressive amount of leads, especially when it comes to getting $13 per lead
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    • Profile picture of the author Dongmaster
      Banned
      So all you do is pay for these people to make calls and the money roles in?
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  • Profile picture of the author AmericanMuscleTA
    Dang!!! Can't beat $24.95/month. Glad to see you're still idiot-free! ha

    It's good to know there's an alternative to InfoFree.
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  • Profile picture of the author johniemail
    I am using Ref USA data... is the data in InfoFree and ListShack the same? I've always been under the impression that the benefit of paid list service, such as these 2, is that you can download 1k+ at a time, as opposed to small balling it piece by piece like you have to do using RefUSA through a library card account. But do you find the quality of the data to be similar?
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    • Originally Posted by johniemail View Post

      I am using Ref USA data... is the data in InfoFree and ListShack the same? I've always been under the impression that the benefit of paid list service, such as these 2, is that you can download 1k+ at a time, as opposed to small balling it piece by piece like you have to do using RefUSA through a library card account. But do you find the quality of the data to be similar?
      I have a client that recently signed up for ListShack.com that said it was roughly the same he was getting from the free Reference USA data. InfoFree has decreased their download limits, with them now you can only download 500/month and that costs $59/month plus a $69 setup fee. After that it's 10 cents a record. With ListShack.com you can download up to 10,000 at a time as often as you want, so it would be a huge time saver over the ReferenceUSA. That said, it's tough to beat the price when you can get the ReferenceUSA data for free using a library card, even if it is a bit more work.
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      • Profile picture of the author Highway55
        Originally Posted by AffordableMarketingLists View Post

        I have a client that recently signed up for ListShack.com that said it was roughly the same he was getting from the free Reference USA data. InfoFree has decreased their download limits, with them now you can only download 500/month and that costs $59/month plus a $69 setup fee. After that it's 10 cents a record. With ListShack.com you can download up to 10,000 at a time as often as you want, so it would be a huge time saver over the ReferenceUSA. That said, it's tough to beat the price when you can get the ReferenceUSA data for free using a library card, even if it is a bit more work.
        Is $59 going to make or break a campaign, or business? If it is then the issue is not with the price of the leads (which is dirt cheap either way you go, ListShack or InfoFree).

        Cold calling is grunt work. You need guys and girls with a certain temperament. These are people who may be social outcasts (or young adults, if you can train them properly). And you'll need to go through many hires and fires before you have a handful of producers.

        If you're doing the calling - and don't have the temperament - I feel for you. Prove the concept and hire people as fast as you can. Because unless you're using a list from a company (and selling appointments back to them), working through the leads will always be an unforgiving - but potentially lucrative - process.

        If you've got your priorities in tact, the price of the leads is the least of your worries - in my opinion.
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        • Originally Posted by Highway55 View Post

          Is $59 going to make or break a campaign, or business? If it is then the issue is not with the price of the leads (which is dirt cheap either way you go, ListShack or InfoFree).
          I agree with the $59 vs $50, even ignoring the $69 setup fee, but infofree will only let you download 500 records, ListShack.com will let you download an unlimited amount. That's a huge difference.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mwind076
          Originally Posted by Highway55 View Post

          Is $59 going to make or break a campaign, or business? If it is then the issue is not with the price of the leads (which is dirt cheap either way you go, ListShack or InfoFree).

          Cold calling is grunt work. You need guys and girls with a certain temperament. These are people who may be social outcasts (or young adults, if you can train them properly). And you'll need to go through many hires and fires before you have a handful of producers.

          If you're doing the calling - and don't have the temperament - I feel for you. Prove the concept and hire people as fast as you can. Because unless you're using a list from a company (and selling appointments back to them), working through the leads will always be an unforgiving - but potentially lucrative - process.

          If you've got your priorities in tact, the price of the leads is the least of your worries - in my opinion.
          $59 is not going to make or break a campaign...if you only need 500 numbers for it. If you need 5-10K numbers, then yes, it will break some clients we work with because we have to charge way more than $59 since we pay for each number over 500.

          I'd caution you not to say that "cold calling is grunt work" - it just shows that you don't know what you're talking about. That record has been played over and over in here. If you aren't good at it, and don't like it, then hire someone that knows what they are doing and makes a great living at it, for almost 15 years or so. Someone that could train YOU, or set up a team for you, or train your team on how to do it so you stop sounding like a jackass putting those down that are the bread and butter of most companies. Those "grunts" can make or break your business, maybe if you knew how cold calling works you'd not have to go through so many to find a "handful" that know what they are doing. If it's so easy, why aren't you sharing your wealth of knowledge with the grunts to teach them how to do it right? Like the OP here.
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          • Profile picture of the author Highway55
            Originally Posted by Mwind076 View Post

            $59 is not going to make or break a campaign...if you only need 500 numbers for it. If you need 5-10K numbers, then yes, it will break some clients we work with because we have to charge way more than $59 since we pay for each number over 500.
            Someone already pointed that out. Point taken.

            Originally Posted by Mwind076 View Post

            I'd caution you not to say that "cold calling is grunt work" - it just shows that you don't know what you're talking about...
            I know exactly what I'm talking. I was a cold caller for more than a decade. Just shows that you've never done the work - and don't know what you're talking about. If you had done it, you'd know exactly what it is.

            Doesn't matter who calls whom, and what produces what - cold calling is grunt work. Always has been. Always will be.
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  • Profile picture of the author Metum
    Out of the 20,000 calls, am I correct in thinking that 69 appointments were set? Is that normal, because it seems quite low.
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    • Profile picture of the author Underground
      Originally Posted by Metum View Post

      Out of the 20,000 calls, am I correct in thinking that 69 appointments were set? Is that normal, because it seems quite low.
      It's pretty low, no doubt about it. But Bob is training people with no experience with a simple script. And the leads he is getting from those people make it worthwhile no doubt in ROI terms.


      With additional training these people could skyrocket those figures.

      Can't believe I've never heard of SOAR selling on the forum. They have some great videos on youtube showing live calls.

      Anyway, here some stats from some companies who have adopted their methodology:

      http://www.soarselling.com/wp-conten...ost_Anyone.pdf
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by Underground View Post


        Can't believe I've never heard of SOAR selling on the forum. They have some great videos on youtube showing live calls.

        Anyway, here some stats from some companies who have adopted their methodology:

        http://www.soarselling.com/wp-conten...ost_Anyone.pdf
        I followed your link, and then bought the book on Amazon. I appreciate the share, and look forward to reading it. Thanks.


        SOAR Selling: How To Get Through to Almost Anyone—the Proven Method for Reaching Decision Makers: David Hibbard, Marhnelle Hibbard: 9780071793711: Amazon.com: Books
        (Non affiliate link. I swear )
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        "Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity" Friedrich Nietzsche
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        • Profile picture of the author Underground
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          I followed your link, and then bought the book on Amazon. I appreciate the share, and look forward to reading it. Thanks.


          SOAR Selling: How To Get Through to Almost Anyone--the Proven Method for Reaching Decision Makers: David Hibbard, Marhnelle Hibbard: 9780071793711: Amazon.com: Books
          (Non affiliate link. I swear )
          Thanks for saying so. It really is a hidden gem. I found it in a bookshop one day, but had never seen it mentioned online with the other great books, even though it belongs in that category. Don't know why it isn't more well known.

          Hope you get some benefit from it.
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          • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
            Originally Posted by Underground View Post

            Thanks for saying so. It really is a hidden gem. I found it in a bookshop one day, but had never seen it mentioned online with the other great books, even though it belongs in that category. Don't know why it isn't more well known.

            Hope you get some benefit from it.
            The Power To Get In is like that. An exceptional book on seeing the "hard to see" prospect..but I never hear anyone talk about it. And the book sales are almost nonexistant.

            There is some irony, when Sales books aren't being bought.
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            • Profile picture of the author Underground
              Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

              The Power To Get In is like that. An exceptional book on seeing the "hard to see" prospect..but I never hear anyone talk about it. And the book sales are almost nonexistant.

              There is some irony, when Sales books aren't being bought.
              This is a great recommendation. Thanks. Loved your review on it. It's funny how the criticisms on great books like this are so petty, and how that stops people not being able to recognize great information when they see it. Your review was spot on.

              The method in the book paid off nicely for your too. Good to hear that.


              ''He maintains that the access-seeker should keep in mind the Key Engagers of his prospect: fear of loss, insecurities, competitiveness and the desire to be a serious player. Utilizing this knowledge, the next step is to approach by mail the prospect and his boss and his boss's boss, so that the prospect is, in a sense, backed into a corner and will set up an appointment.''

              Just that bit alone is worth the price of the book. Will add this one to the library. Thanks again.
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    • Profile picture of the author bob ross
      Originally Posted by Metum View Post

      Out of the 20,000 calls, am I correct in thinking that 69 appointments were set? Is that normal, because it seems quite low.
      At the top of the infograph you'll see how many leads were set, I think it's 306 or so (I'm on phone and can't check while replying).

      Also, 17k dials doesn't mean 17k talked to. Only a small percentage of those dials are decision makers reached... and a high percentage of those decision makers turn into an interested lead.
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  • Cold calling works but it depends on your business.

    Getting leads shouldnt be a problem at all.
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    • Profile picture of the author perryny
      Originally Posted by Basenix Group LLC View Post

      Cold calling works but it depends on your business.

      Getting leads shouldnt be a problem at all.
      Is there a "No Thanks" button?
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      • thanks, Bob Ross for the stats.

        appreciate the professionalism and value you have always shared here, and now with documented information.

        not Editorials that can serve to dis-sway warriors (esp. new members)
        who have to do what they have to do

        in practice and business in general, negative or inconsistent thread posts can serve as real world training in handling objections, challenges, self-interest, and negativity faced by every business person.

        what does not kill us, can make us stronger
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        • Profile picture of the author bob ross
          Originally Posted by kirbymarketingconcierge View Post

          thanks, Bob Ross for the stats.

          appreciate the professionalism and value you have always shared here, and now with documented information.

          not Editorials that can serve to dis-sway warriors (esp. new members)
          who have to do what they have to do

          in practice and business in general, negative or inconsistent thread posts can serve as real world training in handling objections, challenges, self-interest, and negativity faced by every business person.

          what does not kill us, can make us stronger
          Thanks, I appreciate the kind words and support. I think people see more success when you build them up than tear them down.
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