Timing is Everything: Here’s the Best Time to Cold Call Prospects

The timing of a cold call can make all the difference between landing a sale or getting hung up on. That’s why there’s an endless supply of advice about when to hit the phones, and when to avoid dialing at all costs.

Are late mornings on Wednesdays good? How about 4 p.m. on Mondays? While it feels more satisfying to target a specific time and day, these time slots actually don’t guarantee your prospect will answer — and they’ll definitely be harder to manage if you’re juggling multiple time zones.

What is the Best Time to Make a Cold Call?

We’ve found that it’s best to target your cold calling at five minutes before the half-hour and hour. 

Chalk it up to plain old human behavior: People tend to plan their day around the hour and half-hour marks. They often schedule their meetings, appointments, and breaks around this time. Some companies have even gone as far as structuring all of their internal meetings to end at 25 minutes and 55 minutes past the hour.

“If you’re focused on those two five-minute increments in every single hour, you’re naturally going to get more conversations in your day-to-day — just simply because you’re catching people as they’re leaving meetings, and before they enter their next meeting,” says Timothy Miller, EMEA sales development director at ZoomInfo.

By adopting this approach, you’ll create two dedicated slots per hour to fully focus on cold-calling. This not only ensures consistent outreach efforts but also allows you to effectively target global prospects, without the hassle of determining the ideal local time for each one.

“Most sales reps that aren’t having success cold calling focus a majority of their time on talk tracks, open-ended questions and objection handling,” Miller says. “While these are all important, before we even think about what we say, we need to think about how to generate the conversation. These five-minute blocks will allow you to generate the conversation.”

Tom Bertrand, an SDR team lead at ReachDesk, put this strategy into practice and saw an immediate improvement in his team’s connect rate.

“In one week of testing, our team of 10 went from a day of 17 connects on the Monday (calling sporadically), to 37 on the Tuesday,” Bertrand says. 

How to Make the Most of Those Five Minutes

Aside from timing, relevance and consistency remain key factors in cold-calling success. Before picking up the phone, make sure you’ve thoroughly researched the potential client’s business and needs. Here are some tips to make the most out of those five minutes:

  1. Stay organized: Plan out which accounts you’ll prioritize each hour of the day during your key five-minute time slots. 
  2. Automate tasks: Use GTM Plays to automate the repetitive components of your sales strategy. Remember that timing is everything: don’t waste your opportunities by dialing the wrong number.
  3. Personalize your approach: Tailor your message and pitch to each individual prospect based on the research you’ve done on their business and needs.
  4. Always follow up: Even if you don’t make a sale on the initial cold call, continue your strategic outreach process to build a relationship with the prospect. 

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By calling five minutes before the half-hour and hour, you have a better chance of catching prospects when they are available and not busy with other tasks. Use this knowledge to your advantage by staying organized, having a plan, and personalizing your pitch for every prospect.

And remember, the sale doesn’t have to happen on the initial cold call — follow up and build relationships with your prospects to increase your chances of converting them into customers.