Cold Call and Prospecting Best Times

Cold Call / Prospecting Best Times

What day of the week is best day for prospecting cold calls?  What time of the day is best?  My recent post titled Pounce, Pause, Nurture or Wait? was focused on the preferred response strategy for followup on a lead generated via the web.  Terrific comments are captured on Smashmouth Marketing blog and I recommend you read and catch up with the comments left behind.

Plenty of personal experience and anecdotal data over the years have planted the ideas I have as answers to those questions.  Gut feeling only, no empirical data to back that feeling up.  When you are preparing and planning your prospecting or cold-calling / FirstCalling activities, wouldn’t it be great to have some hard data to guide you in your efforts?  Thanks to a post by John Whattam, Regional Account Executive at Paradigm Learning, I came across a valuable report titled Lead Response Management Study from the Kellogg School of Management and presented by David Elkington, CEO of and James Oldroyd, PHD Professor at M.I.T.

Here is the summary that John provided:

  • Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to call in order to contact (by 49.7% over the worst day) and qualify (by 24.9% over the worst day) leads. Thursday is the best day to contact a lead in order to qualify that lead (by 19.1% better than the worst day).
  • 4 to 6pm is the best time to call to make contact with a lead (by 114% over the worst time block). 8-9am and 4-5pm are the best times to call to qualify a lead (by 164% better 1-2pm, the worst time of the day). 4-5pm is the best time to contact a lead to qualify over 11-12am by 109%).
  • The odds of calling to contact a lead decrease by over 10 times in the 1st hour. The odds of calling to qualify a lead decrease by over 6 times in the 1st hour. After 20 hours every additional dial your salespeople make actually hurts your ability to make contact to qualify a lead.
  • The odds of contacting a lead if called in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes drop 100 times. The odds of qualifying a lead if called in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes drop 21 times.

If you have an interest and/or responsibility to mazimize the results from leads, you will benefit greatly from this report.

Directly from the report here is an overview of their effort:

“Generally Speaking, the study was focused on identifying WHEN the best time was to efficiently contact web-generated leads, and HOW to generate web leads that qualify and close at optimal rates.”

If you are in sales or marketing, that has got to grab your attention.  Here is the link to read/download this report:

So, read the report and then come back and tell us if you have changed your strategy or approach to following up on leads.  Let us know if your experience matches the findings in the report.

Craig Rosenberg’s response is sounding better all the time (frequent occurrence)!

MZazeela - 10 years ago

Interesting statistics, Miles. Leads me to believe there are psychological or physiological reasons behind this. I would be curious to know what the reasons are?
Are people less  busy? Why? Are they more interested? Why? Are they more curious? Why? Ect.

    Miles Austin - 10 years ago

    @MZazeela Great questions – what do you think the answers are?

      MZazeela - 10 years ago

      @milesaustin I tend to think it is more than just coincidence. When studies find patterns among groups of people there are usually easily identifiable causes behind the behavior. 
      I did not notice the sample sizes,in the report, but I would assume it substantial enough to provide a realistic view of what happens.
      Off the top of my head, people usually avoid performing extraordinary tasks on Mondays and Fridays. They also seem to avoid them first thing in the morning. I am not sure of the psychology behind these behaviors. My opinion is based solely on my own observations over the years.

When Is The Best Time to Contact a Prospect? Answer Here - 12 years ago

[…] my prospect?”. There have been countless eBooks, blog posts, speeches, presentations and studies that attempt to answer that […]

» Are there best times to prospect? You bet there are. Selling At a Startup - 12 years ago

[…] is a great article that dissects the “Lead Response Management” Study from the Kellogg School of […]

Koka Sexton - 12 years ago

This is good information from a great source. Thank you for sharing.

    Miles Austin - 12 years ago

    Thanks Koka. The report that you can download is very helpful.

Twitted by LinkedInTrainer - 13 years ago

[…] This post was Twitted by LinkedInTrainer […]

David Telleen-Lawton - 13 years ago

The biggest assumption this report makes, which in my opinion makes all of the difference, is that the calls all will be made.

The problem of getting sales folks to actually picking up the phone and trying to make the contact, trying to qualify is much greater than fine tuning the effort.

This report could do some real damage in the hands of those that just can’t quite get up the gumption to actually make the call. They may go great guns on Wednesdays and Thursdays, especially during the golden hours, but then use the report as an excuse to put off additional calling until next Wednesday and Thursday.

…now, I’ll read the article….

    Robert Oganezov - 11 years ago

    You hit the nail on the head.

    I have been trying to fine tune my prospecting – as I find this is the absolute weakest part of my business. For the last six weeks, since reading similar reports, I have found the phone to weigh 500 pounds with every drunken monkey objection in the book ringing through my head. I actually came on to find someone who said that ‘Calling on Friday after 1p is a GREAT time to call’ for encouragement.

    I am now going to pick up the phone and call as it just has to be done regardless of the excuses – first time I have done this in six weeks. Thanks for pointing that out David.

Joe Holbrook - 13 years ago

Very good. Always thought the odds were better on certain days. Thanks for the article.

Lisa Scott - 13 years ago

Interesting and insightful information.

jefflogden59 - 13 years ago

A great and very interesting post. As one who contributed to that earlier post, I appreciate the new insights.

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