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25+ Must-Know Cold Calling Statistics for B2B Leaders [2024]

There’s a lot of noise out there about the value of cold calling in prospecting. 

Some say it’s dead. 

Some wonder who wants to do it anymore.

Some replaced it with instant messaging, video notes, virtual reality meetings, you name it. 

But what if they are all dead wrong?

In this article, we will look at the latest cold calling statistics to help you decide if this channel can work for you.

It will also give you an idea of how to leverage this method in a modern business setting.

Key cold calling stats

Last year, Cognism and three other companies asked 321 sales and marketing professionals about their cold calling buyers’ performance. Here are the most important cold call statistics.

1. 27% of sales teams consider the phone as the best single channel to book meetings (Cognism, Turtle, Reachdesk, Leadfeeder, 2021 Survey).

2. 17% of B2B marketers used cold calling as their main new customer acquisition channel. This is second to email (Cognism, Turtle, Reachdesk, Leadfeeder, 2021 Survey).

3. Only 9% of B2B marketers say decision-makers never respond to cold outreach (Cognism, Turtle, Reachdesk, Leadfeeder, 2021 Survey).

Key cold calling statistics for B2B marketers.

4. Voice calls are businesses’ preferred communication channel for resolving customer issues (41%), closing sales (29%), and scheduling appointments (35%) (Hiya State of the Call 2022).

5. 57% of C-level and VP buyers across industries prefer the phone call, versus directors (51%) and managers (47%) (RAIN GroupTop Performance in Sales Prospecting Benchmark Report). 

6. 54% of technology buyers prefer being contacted by cold call, compared to 40% of buyers in financial services and 50% of purchasing decision-makers in professional services. (RAIN Group)

6. Out of 15 outreach methods, three of the top five studied in terms of effectiveness in prospecting were the telephone (RAIN GroupTop Performance in Sales Prospecting Benchmark Report). 

  • #1 Phone calls to existing customers 
  • #2 Phone calls to prior customers 
  • #5 Phone calls to new contacts 

💡 The cold calling statistics we’re analyzing suggest that in a remote-first business setting, where face-to-face interactions are limited, the phone call is an optimal communication channel. In comparison with email, it’s immediate and not too intrusive. Convenient while still being personal.

7. Only 9% of business professionals decreased their use of voice calls in 2021 as compared to the previous year (Hiya State of the Call 2022).  

8. Yet, 37% of CSOs plan to expand to new channels to capture growth in 2022 (2022 Chief Strategy Officer Survey).

💡 The new ways of communication emerging in sales in recent years have received a lot of praise. However, statistics about cold calling indicate video call fatigue. It may explain why the phone still remains a popular choice for many business professionals.

How effective is cold calling?

9. It takes two to three touches to connect with a prospect for 42% of top performers and 24% of the rest of the salespeople (RAIN GroupTop Performance in Sales Prospecting Benchmark Report).

10. Using phone-verified mobile phone numbers ensures 87% of accuracy. (Cognism's Diamond Data®)

💡 Listen to Verche Karafiloska, Head of Product Marketing at Cognism, explaining how to increase speed-to-connect rates and start having more conversations with senior decision-makers thanks to phone-verified cell lead phone numbers.

Book your Cognism demo

How to increase the cold calling success rate?

11. 76% of top performers say they “always” perform research before reaching out to prospects (LinkedIn’s Global State of Sales 2022).

12. Only 39% of SDRs never use intent data to prioritize outreach. Those who always use intent data are 42% more likely to schedule a meeting within 1 to 3 conversations with a prospect (TechTarget XDR Benchmarking Study, 2021).

13. Deploying conversation analytics in cold calling coaching can increase appointment booking rates by 39% (Gartner’s 4 Ways to Boost SDR Pipeline Generation).

14. 66% of high-growth companies deploy B2B contact data and sales intelligence tools, and 63% of them use conversation analytics and call recording technology (Bridge Group 2021 State of Sales Development Report).

15. Companies with a sales onboarding tool/platform enjoy 7% higher win rates than those without (State of Sales Enablement 2020, Highspot).

16. Gong is the best cold calling software in terms of popularity and user satisfaction in 2022 (G2 and Capterra user reviews).

💡 The use of new prospecting software powered by artificial intelligence plays a key role in increasing the quality of conversations and the success rate of cold calling

How often do prospects answer cold calls?

17. Approximately 7 out of 10 buyers accept cold calls from providers they haven’t worked with, and 8 out of 10 accept phone calls from providers they have worked with (RAIN GroupTop Performance in Sales Prospecting Benchmark Report).

💡 Statistically, cold calling efficiency increased over the past 10 years. According to 2014 stats, it could take between 60 and 90 dials to get an appointment with a prospect. 

What makes B2B cold calling difficult?

18. According to 43% of salespeople, getting higher quality data is their biggest challenge in cold prospecting (RAIN GroupTop Performance in Sales Prospecting Benchmark Report). 

19. As many as 45% of SDRs say their biggest data challenge is incomplete data (LinkedIn’s Global State of Sales 2022).

20. 71% of reps said the most challenging aspect of cold calling customers is reaching and engaging key stakeholders and decision-makers (Blue Ridge Partners)

21. Half of all businesses reported that they had lost a customer by not being able to reach them by phone (Hiya State of the Call 2022).


💡 Sales intelligence platforms like Cognism can increase mobile phone accuracy by 50%. Read a case study in which EdTech company shares its experience with B2B data providers.

How many prospecting calls a day?

22. 30% of sales reps report 50+ dials per day, 25% of them report 30-49 dials per day, and 20% of them report making 20-39 phone calls daily (The Bridge Group 2021 State of Sales Development Report).

23. Sales reps have on average 4.4 quality conversations per day (it is a conversation when reps learn at least one qualifying or disqualifying information). That’s a 45% fall since 2014 (The Bridge Group 2021 State of Sales Development Report).

💡You can use warm calling techniques to increase the prospects' response rates. For example, LinkedIn prospecting or using direct dials.

Is cold calling better than cold emailing?

24. Yes! Phone-centric sales reps report 6.8 quality conversations per day and email-centric only 3.3 (Bridge Group 2021 State of Sales Development Report).

What is the future of cold calling?

25. 70% of CSOs are either considering or already investing in a dedicated sales development team, but organizations still struggle to design effective sales development programs (Gartner’s Demystifying Sales Development Best Practices for Pipeline Growth).

💡 Learn more about the current state of outbound and its future through the lens of two experts, Ryan Reisert and Gregory Woodward. Click play to listen to their Revenue Champions episode!

26. If in-person communication is not available, voice and video calls are the second best options (Cornell University and Ryerson University Study, 2021). 

Key takeaways

Here are some of the conclusions we draw from recent old calling statistics:

  • Cold calling is still a valuable and convenient communication channel in B2B sales prospecting, especially when it comes to time-sensitive conversations like closing deals.
  • Prospects are likely to respond to warm calls rather than cold calls.
  • Statistically, fresh and complete contact data improves B2B cold calling performance. 
  • The usage of new cold calling technologies massively improves the quality of conversations sales reps have with prospective buyers.


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