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Find CEOs’ Phone Numbers in Your Target Accounts [Guide]

Over time, large-scale automated email sequences have become easy to spot and ignore, especially by C-suite executives. Nowadays, they set up rules in their inboxes that block your sales emails altogether.

That’s why businesses that want to contact chief executive officers in target accounts choose a different approach—calling CEOs' phone numbers.


Because phone numbers allow speaking to the most valuable prospects directly. The potential impact of a one-to-one phone conversation with a CEO is huge.

What is the best way to find CEO's phone number?

The best way to find CEO's phone number is to use Cognism’s manually-verified mobile numbers database aka. Diamond Data®. Cognism's verified phone numbers are 98% accurate and help sales teams reduce research time and increase speed to connect rates.

With verified phone numbers, roughly 1 in every 2-3 CEOs o picks up the phone rather than 1 in 10.

Building CEOs’ phone number lists with Cognism Diamond Data® is a new standard of sales prospecting. Diamond phone numbers are validated through several proprietary methods, including phone verification.

It means our data team calls the CEOs’ numbers in our database to verify if they are correct and if it belongs to the right person.


Cognism also scrubs these phone numbers against global Do-Not-Call lists in the USA, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Ireland, Belgium, Croatia, Portugal, Sweden, and TPS/CTPS in the UK.

Our data team is working on increasing our DNC list coverage to ensure maximum compliance with privacy laws.

How to get CEOs’ verified phone numbers?

Every Cognism user has access to verified C-suite executives’ phone numbers.

When you buy the Diamond package®, you can use the Job Title and Seniority search filters to find the CEO’s phone number. Next, you can choose to show Diamond Contacts® only prioritize your outreach. 

As part of the Diamond package, you can access the Diamonds on Demand® service. The feature lets you ask Cognism to phone-verify the CEO’s mobile number on demand. It means you can confidently call every CEO, CFO, or CRO you want to reach. 

Connect rates when using verified CEO phone numbers vs unverified numbers.

What are other ways of finding CEOs’ phone numbers?

Cognism's manually verified phone numbers database is the best way to find accurate CEOs' numbers. Alternative ways of getting CEO's phone number data include:

  • Calling the company and speaking to the gatekeeper.
  • Emailing CEO or someone in the company.
  • Sending them a message on LinkedIn or another social platform.
  • Manually searching for the number online.
  • Trying out other phone numbers list providers. 

However, Conism is known for its phone number accuracy and best coverage in NAM, EMEA, and APAC markets. It also provides buyer intent data powered by Bombora, sales triggers, and two-way integrations with popular CRMs and sales enablement tools.

Check out what our customers say 👇

Red flags to avoid when buying CEOs' phone numbers

Rule number one is to stay away from cheap lead lists online!

Vast data lists for a relatively small price can be appealing. But these lists often contain low-quality, dated, and non-compliant CEOs' phone numbers. 

Start by researching the most reputable B2B data providers. There are options at most price points, but make sure you’re digging into the details regarding phone number quality.

Does cold calling CEOs work?

Here’s how sales expert, Ryan Reisert, explains it:

“I like to think that cold calling CEOs is like displaying an advertisement, one to one. You can prepare and display a personalized ad directly to prospects within your target market.

“What you do with that opportunity depends on your preparation and ability to have a meaningful conversation with a potential C-level buyer.”

When you have access to high-quality phone number lists, you don’t need to worry about connection rates anymore. You can focus on refining your targeting and sales process to better understand your prospects’ pain points and address them.

💡 Looking for a CFO email list?

Is calling CEOs' phone numbers legal?

In short, yes. Cold-calling CEOs is legal, but there are some things you need to be aware of.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a set of rules designed to give people more control over their personal data and what companies do with it. As long as you handle your prospects’ information appropriately (including having an easy way to opt out of future calls), you can cold call them, provided you have ‘legitimate interest’.

The TPS and CTPS registers are also something you need to consider. Ensure your data provider is scrubbing against these lists so you don’t run into any problems.

If you can use them legally, high-quality mobile numbers are sales dynamite. They’ll give you direct access to one on one conversations with potential buyers.

We have a complete guide on GDPR and cold calling available on our website.

What is legitimate interest?

Aksa Kalam, Head of Legal at Cognism, explains that legitimate interest means you’re calling CEOs by their phone number about a product or service which is genuinely appropriate for them.

When you have a legitimate interest, you’re not calling up to waste their time or push a product they have no use for. Of course, no reputable B2B sales team should be doing that anyway.

Speak to one of Cognism’s sales experts to learn more. Click the link below for a demo.

Cognism Demo

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