Sick of cold calling to no effect? Looking for ways to maximise that response rate? In the digital era, it’s easy to miss an email or ignore a call. That’s why we’ve scoured a flurry of recent studies for tit-bits to help you nail that elusive sell.
Here are our favourite sales statistics, drawn from credible and recent research.
1. According to 2016 research by Harvard Business Review, the best day to make first-time contact is Wednesday, followed by Thursday. The worst is – predictably – Friday.
2. The best time of day for calling is 4-5 PM, closely followed by 8 AM. You are much better off ringing in the late afternoon than lunchtime.
3. Always make at least 6 attempts at phone contact before giving up on a lead. Chances of getting through go from sub-40% on a first dial to 90% on a sixth.
4. Leave them! A study by Velocify in 2015 found that leads are 34% more likely to convert to sales if they’re left exactly two voicemail messages over six calls (see point 3).
5. Voicemails should be left on the second and fourth call attempts, not the first. Voicemails left on the second call are a third more likely to convert than any other.
6. Contrary to conventional wisdom, a 2015 study showed that emails with subject lines of 10 words or more, as opposed to 5 or less, had double the response rate. You should also use the recipient’s first name in the subject line, and avoid the words ‘newsletter’ or ‘update’.
7. Unlike with calls, you should stop emailing after the third attempt – By that time, chances of response are less than 1%.
8. Optimal email lengths for attracting responses are fewer than 100 words or more than 500.
9. For maximum responses, include a photo along with your signature.
10. According to Social Centered Selling, 72.6% of salespeople who used social media in their lead generation outperformed colleagues, and beat quotas 23% more often.
11. While IBM research shows that 97% of cold calls fail, the odds can be made 2-4x more favourable by a warm referral on LinkedIn.
12. Companies that use Twitter to find leads generate twice as many, leading to better figures across the board.
Susanna Quirke writes for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and giving out graduate career advice. To hire graduates or browse graduate jobs London, visit their website.