Sales and Voicemails – Best Practices for B2B Cold Calling


best practices for B2B cold calling

The Power of Persistence

Do a quick search around the internet and you will learn that persistence and consistency is essential to successful B2B cold calling and lead generation. Industry research consistently tells us that it takes many attempts to the same prospect to successfully make connect, engage them in a conversation, and qualify them as a lead.

According to, “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.”  

Even with that information readily available, the average number of attempts a U.S. rep makes before giving up falls between 1.7 and 2.1.

The math is simple.

Without multiple attempts to your prospects, your chances of qualifying a lead that results in a sale are minuscule.

Multiple Attempts to Multiple Contacts

The best practices for B2B cold calling that we recommend and implement at JMS Elite are multiple attempts to multiple contacts in a set space of time.

More specifically we recommend three attempts each to a minimum of three different contacts within an organization within five to six business days.

Following this formula greatly increases your odds of making contact with a prospect and engaging them in a meaningful conversation that leads to next steps.

Timing is essential if you want this to work. Multiple contacts must be made within the time frame of five to six business days or they won’t have the necessary impact needed for success.   

If your multiple attempts are not in a short amount of time, the attempts you make are just not going to be as productive.

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Leaving Effective Voicemails

The path to successful sales is making contact with your prospects multiple times. If the statistics are true, and you aim for more than two attempts, you are already outpacing your competition.

Making those multiple attempts means you need to have a strategy and a line-up of effective voicemails. Chances are that you will be leaving a message during those first several attempts, and you want to make them count.

Sales and marketing software leader Hubspot reports that “97% of sales calls go to voicemail.” If this is even half true, you are going to be leaving many voicemails to many people; do it right, and you will make headway into an organization.

Keep It Brief And Meaningful

Messages should always be brief. People are busy, and they appreciate it when you get to the point as quickly as possible.

  • You should never try to sell during your message, but if you choose to get somewhat descriptive, shoot for no more than 20 seconds and never more than 30 seconds. John Barrows from suggests leaving yourself a voice message and timing it for practice.
  • Each message should play off the previous messages. A quick reminder of who you are, where you are from, and your phone number can be very effective.
  • Use names and referrals. If you are following the formula and contacting multiple individuals within an organization, there is a good chance are you may have reached someone and they sent you along. Use the name that sent you.
  • Create a sense of urgency with your message. You should make the caller feel as if this is the first call and message you’ve left that day. Your energy is important, as the recipient will most likely reflect your vibe right back to you.

When you are debating whether to leave that third or fourth message, remember that if someone doesn’t call you back, that doesn’t mean they aren’t interested.

Likewise, if one contact within a company or organization says “no,” it doesn’t mean that other contacts at that company will not be interested either.

Keep trying until you reach someone,  can ask open-ended questions and have a conversation about their needs and pain points.

Be Ready With Your Message

The numbers are clear. If you want to improve your sales numbers, it is up to you to reach the contact and make a connection. Have your plan in place for when your call is answered electronically.

What is your experience with multiple attempts and successful voicemails? Do you have a proven strategy for getting the attention of your prospect? Please leave me a note in the comments.


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Editor’s note: This blog was originally published in 2016, it has been edited and updated in 2019.