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Direct Dials: How to Find Direct Phone Numbers for Sales?

In theory, a direct dial is an office phone number that puts you through to the prospect in a company you want to contact. In reality, if you want to speak to C-suite executives and key stakeholders, direct dials put you through to their assistants or receptions. 

Depending on the provider, direct dial lists may also include landline or softphone numbers, lowering connect-through rates even more.

If only you could find direct dials that work, right?

Well, you can!

At Cognism, we noticed the pain point and provided a solution 👇  Read on to find out more!

What is a direct dial?

Most B2B contact databases offering direct dials provide office phone numbers belonging to a company's key stakeholders. They promise to bypass switchboards and operators. But oftentimes, they put you through to a gatekeeper—an assistant or a receptionist who fields the phones.

Are direct dials still important?

In recent years contacts’ direct phone numbers are becoming less valuable because there are fewer people in the offices. Many companies are taking the plunge and opting to work remotely. For cold callers, it’s more important than ever to find their prospect’s cell phone numbers!

You could say that if you don’t have the prospect’s mobile phone number, you don’t have their phone number at all.

What is the difference between direct dial and mobile phone numbers?

B2B mobile phone numbers let you speak to the decision-makers directly, even if they’re not at their desks in an office or have decided to work from home. Using mobile phone numbers for sales produces higher connection rates than direct dials.

Cognism’s phone-verified mobile data, aka Diamond Data®, ensures you connect with 87% of your list. Our team calls mobile numbers on our database to confirm the number belongs to the right prospect.

How much is Cognism's verified cell phone numbers database?

Cognism offers two types of licences that include direct dials, mobile phone numbers, and emails globally. To unlock manually verified mobile numbers with 87% accuracy, you need to opt for a Diamond® Licence.

The Diamond® Licence also includes mobile number research service on demand and intent data.

Cognism's seat-based pricing is suitable for individual prospectors as well as teams with bulk list-building workflows.

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How to find direct dials?

There are several methods of collecting direct phone numbers for prospecting. Some are more automated and will suit SDR teams, and others require manual research.

1. Use sales intelligence

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The best way of finding direct dials is by using sales intelligence platforms. They provide B2B contact data you can filter through various criteria. The best providers enrich the data to make sure direct dials are correct. It’s a perfect solution for companies that rely on outbound sales and want to build their pipelines fast. 

Check out Cognism Prospector if you’re looking for fully CCPA and GDPR-compliant direct dials in NAM, EMEA, and APAC. We cross-reference all the direct business numbers to maintain the database accuracy and keep them up-to-date. 

But the best part?

Cognism has become the no.1 provider of cell phone data (in terms of quality and quantity) on the market. We phone verify B2B cell phone numbers. Since last year, our data team has worked hard to increase cell phone data coverage in the US, UK, DACH, and APAC. 

Here's one of our customer testimonials that showcases the quality of our cell phone numbers data over direct dials.

2. Research LinkedIn


If you’re prospecting on LinkedIn or using Sales Navigator daily, use Cognism Chrome Extension to enrich your lists with actionable data (direct phone numbers, mobiles, and emails). 

It will also show you the prospect's co-workers' and stakeholders’ contact information to close multithread deals faster. 

You’ll also be able to bulk export the contacts into your CRM. It has a two-way integration with Outreach and Salesforce, which makes it SDRs’ favourite tool.

If cold calling is not your main sales channel, you can try to source lead direct dials by searching for contact information on social media and company websites. It’s time-consuming and might not work if you’re looking for large business decision-makers' phone numbers—they don’t usually share their direct phone numbers in their profiles.

3. Speak to the gatekeeper

When you’ve exhausted all the other resources, don’t be afraid to talk to the gatekeeper to get the direct dial you need.

A gatekeeper is an assistant or a receptionist who is the first point of contact for a company. Their job is to protect senior executives from unwanted calls. But with the right script, you can boost the chances of booking a chat with your prospect.

Check out the scripts to get past the gatekeeper.

4. Check the prospect’s email signature

You can also find direct line phone numbers in email signatures. Including it next to a job title is common for professionals in many industries. You can check your company’s inbox or ask colleagues if they have been in touch with your prospect.

Don’t forget that bounced and out-of-office emails are also excellent sources of contact information.

5. Visit the company's website

Finding direct dials on company websites’ About us pages might work if you're targetting small, locally based businesses. 

If your ICP includes mid-market and enterprise organizations, use the Cognism Chrome extension that works over corporate pages. It lets you view ​​key account and lead information (including company details and tech stack) without leaving the browser. 

The extension gives you unrestricted data views and exports.

Is calling up business phone numbers legal?

Cold calling is legal if you follow data and privacy protection rules applicable in your prospect’s country, for example, GDPR and DNC lists in Europe and CCPA in the US. 

Cognism’s customers can prospect in confidence because we provide compliant B2B data lists

At Cognism we:

  • Comply with CCPA and GDPR rules 
  • Check DNC lists in the USA, Canada, and Australia 

We're the only provider that checks so many European DNC lists, including:

  • TPS/CTPS in the UK
  • DNCs in Germany, France, Spain, Ireland, Belgium, Croatia, Portugal, and Sweden

How not to obtain direct dial numbers?

Many companies offer to sell or rent B2B direct dial lists. But it comes with risks that can harm your sales and marketing performance.

First off, when you buy lead lists from an unreliable provider, the data is likely very basic and out of date. You will be dialling random people, wasting time and money.

But most importantly, watch out for lead lists that are non-compliant with global data regulations such as GDPR in Europe, CCPA in the US, etc. You risk being marked as spam and ruining your company’s reputation.

For more information, check out Cognism’s B2B data privacy regulations guide and learn how to choose a data provider.

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