Sales Tips and Tricks – How Many Contact Attempts?

Without question it’s one of the most common questions agents who engage in prospecting ask: “How many times should I call my leads before I give up?”

It’s a crucial question, because substantial implications for the sales team hinge on the answer. Too few call attempts, and leads get thrown away unnecessarily. Marketing dollars get wasted.

First, reps have to break the mindset of “As few calls as possible.” This mindset typically means the rep is in a race to disqualify leads so they can “move on to greener pastures,” and it rarely leads to success in lead qualifying.

But statistically speaking, 85+ percent of organizations don’t make enough calls. Sales industry research from multiple studies consistently shows that the absolute bare minimum number of attempts to contact at least 50% of your leads is six.

The average rep’s performance? Between 1.7 and 2.1 attempts before they give up.

However, even the bare-minimum number of six is rarely enough.’s own internal research with Dr. James Oldroyd, former Research Fellow at MIT, and with data analysis company InfoUSA shows that for sales organizations who rely on lead generation to create sales, 8-12 contact attempts over a 10-14 day period is the optimal strategy to maximize the value of every lead.

An approach of this sort assumes that the reps are going to be using multiple modes of contact as well–phone, email, voice message, fax. A sales process that mandates 8-12 contact attempts, and uses multiple modes of contact usually sees a 90% contact rate for all possible leads, almost double the industry average.

Finally, just as important as the number of contact attempts is a lead nurturing strategy backing up the process. Even when leads get contacted, many will not express initial interest. To get the most out of marketing spend and lead generation efforts, send these prospects to a long-term “drip campaign” (with their permission, of course). We’ve seen hundreds of prospects come back to our sales team after a period of months (or even years) due to an effective nurturing strategy, so get the right technology and tools to do it.

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