The Best Times for Scheduled Sales Calls and Demos

I worked for XANT for over two years. It was one of the best learning experiences of my career.

What drew me to the company was the data and research they had on sales and lead response management.

Who knew that leads are more likely to answer their phones on certain days of the week and times of day?

Best times and days to make contact


Fast forward to 2017, and I’ve found myself running product marketing for a conversation intelligence company called Gong that does research on sales conversations conducted by account executives.

Not much has changed with me, has it?

XANT’s research answered some tough questions about when to make prospecting calls for appointment-setting.

My team and I aimed to to answer the question of when to actually schedule those appointments.

Every sales professional hates the dreaded “no-show” – a scheduled sales call where the prospect doesn’t show up. They delay sales cycles and waste valuable selling time.

“No-shows” are equally frustrating for sales managers who are trying to sit in on their team’s calls for coaching (which is one of the five reasons I recommend using call and demo recordings for coaching instead of live shadowing).

So how do we prevent no-shows from happening while keeping our appointment hold-rates high? Here’s the data we have on the best times and days to schedule your sales calls.

Time of Day: Hold-Rates Decline as the Day Progresses

It turns out, afternoons are a better time to schedule sales conference calls than mornings in terms of preventing no-shows and keeping your appointment hold rates high:

Highest and lowest no-show rates by time of day.

If you would have asked me to guess the best time to schedule sales calls before I saw this data, I would have said earlier in the day, assuming that people are more likely to show up because they are more “fresh.”

I would have been wrong.

In hindsight, I can see how this data makes sense. Buyers are just getting into the office in the morning and may be pulled in different directions by their bosses and peers, forcing them to bail on your sales call.

So let’s compare: If you schedule your sales conference call for 4pm compared to 8am, your odds are 30% greater that the prospect will actually show up. That alone may be worth how and when you schedule your demos.

Misaligned Effort: Salespeople Are Scheduling at the Wrong Times

This data takes an interesting turn when we take a look at what times account executives most commonly schedule their sales calls and demos, regardless of hold-rates:

Most sales people schedule their calls for precisely the time no-shows are most prevalent.

What this means is that salespeople are scheduling their calls without discrimination as to when those calls should be scheduled.

The takeaway here is to start distributing your scheduled sales calls in a less “even” way. Block off the afternoon as your “sacred selling time,” and let the mornings fill up with secondary calls, prospecting activity, and meetings.

Days of the Week

While there’s much less variation on no-show rates by day of the week compared to the time of day data, it’s still worth dissecting:

Day of the week distribution of no-shows.

While I’m not naive enough to suggest that you schedule your sales calls for certain days based on this data, the potential story is still interesting: it seems like there is a slightly shrinking probability that buyers show up for your sales calls as the week goes on.

I didn’t include weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) in this chart because I assume most of you reading don’t do many sales calls on those days. But for the sake of “fun facts,” no-show rates on weekends are about 4x higher than normal weekdays.

As expected.

So far, we’ve analyzed over 500,000 B2B sales conversations using AI to understand what the best salespeople do on their sales calls.

If you’re interested in checking that out, take a look at the Gong Research Library.

Connect with post author Chris Orlob.

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