Sales calls are essential when winning over prospective clients. Reaching out over the phone helps you promote your business and — hopefully — close deals.
Phone calls are also a great way to create personal connections with leads, resolve complications on the spot, and fast-forward through the sales process. So it’s no surprise that many organizations today rely on making regular sales calls.
But of course, with sales calls comes the possibility of not getting a response or — on occasion — being rejected.
With this in mind, it’s important to create a strategy that returns the best results for your business. An essential component of any telesales strategy involves picking the best time to call your prospective clients. And when the average sales rep spends only 22% of their time on selling, it becomes even more important that when you call, you are able to reach your prospect and maximize your sales opportunities.
There are countless theories out there about the best time to make sales calls. In this article, I offer five tips to guide your sales call schedule.
1) Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days.
The day of the week you choose to make a sales call is critical. There is no use in making a call on a Friday afternoon, as people in the office are likely gearing up for their weekend. Similarly, calling first thing on a Monday won’t go down well either, as people are still reeling from the weekend and planning the week ahead.
However, some days are more successful than others. A study conducted by LeadResponseManagement.org found that Wednesdays and Thursdays are in fact the best days of the week to make sales calls. The company conducted the study over three years by looking at a number of companies that respond to web leads via the telephone.
Can you guess the worst day of the week? Of course you can — it’s Friday!
Other sources, such as Gungho Marketing, have also backed up the claim that Wednesdays and Thursdays are in fact that best days to make sales calls. By this point, people have had enough time to settle into their working week and take care of pressing matters, without your call feeling like an interruption.
2) Make morning calls between 8 and 9 a.m.
Making an early morning sales call gives you a better chance of being first in with your pitch. But even still, timing is everything. Remember that prospects’ mornings are likely to be spent prioritizing for the day ahead. With this in mind, calling at the optimum time in the morning will return better results.
Findings from the same study conducted by LeadResponseManagement.org (and backed-up by Tim Ferriss in The 4-Hour Workweek) found that morning sales calls were most productive between the hours of 8 and 9 a.m.
When you think about the structure of the typical office day, you’ll realize that most managers and their bosses get in first. Early-starting employees trickle in next and finally the receptionist (if the office has one!). If you make your sales call before 9 a.m., you’re more likely to directly connect with a senior staff member who might be in office early. These are the decision makers of the business and the people with the power to buy. These are the people you need to be reaching!
3) Avoid lunchtime hours.
Sales calls that result in the least amount of contact are made during lunchtime. This means the time running up to and right after lunch is probably the worst time to be picking up the phone to make a sales call. It’s best to leave these hours alone and focus on researching potential clients and prospective leads. Oh and of course, eating your own lunch too!
4) Make afternoon calls between 4 and 6 p.m.
When it comes to making afternoon calls, the best time is between 4 and 6 p.m.
Between 4 and 6 p.m., most prospects are tying up their projects for the day. Tasks have been completed and to-do lists have been checked off, so this is a great moment to pick up the phone and give your buyer a call. With important work out of the way, your prospective clients should have more time to chat and listen to what you have to offer.
Similar to the practice of calling early to reach senior staff, calling later can have the same effect. As most people leave the office at around 5 p.m., making sales calls after this time could result in you reaching senior staff members who might be staying late. Obviously I wouldn’t recommend calling the office at 8 p.m., when everyone is most likely at home. But calling between 5 and 6 p.m. could get you through to a decision maker.
5) Call inbound leads within five minutes of receipt.
Seeing leads come in is always exciting for sales reps, but the time it takes you to respond to these prospects is crucial. From the same study conducted by LeadResponseManagement.org, the timing of the response played a big part in the success of making contact and qualifying.
The graph above demonstrates how a response time of no more than five minutes after receipt results in a much higher number of qualified leads. After 10 minutes, the number of leads qualified significantly decreases, which shows a quick response will return the best results.
Ultimately, picking the right time to make your sales calls is essential to sales success. While these five rules of thumb are a good place to start, you may find that different strategies work better for your business. Test these approaches and adopt the ones that work for you. You might be surprised to find how many more prospects you can reach with a few simple tweaks.