What percentage of top decision-makers say they never respond to cold call?

90% of decision makers will never answer a cold call because the salesperson attempting to sell to them cannot sell and / or the decision-maker lacks the capacity to appreciate the value being sold.

Beware of snake oil solutions to improving sales.

Recently I saw a seemingly frightening Social Selling Labs statistic that caught my attention. 90% of decision makers never answer a cold call."

Social Selling Labs is obviously selling their Social Selling Training. If you buy their social selling training, your emails and cold calls will yield fruit, right?


The question I have is, "Are there other strategies that could measurably and sustainably move the needle more than social selling training?"


There is no doubt that improving your sales team's social selling skills could be helpful. With a statistic this dismal, anything other than maintaining the status quo could help. Going on nature walks could help. 

There are far more strategic areas to address prior to social selling training that will improve your cold call outcomes. 

Your objective should be to optimize everything possible that impacts sales performance. I am going to share two in particular that are most effective in moving the sales performance needle.

Conditions necessary for consistent sales performance.

Consistent successful sales performance requires a combination of the following three essential conditions:

  1. A desirable product / service.
  2. A salesperson who can actually sell (not entirely common).
  3. A prospect who has the ability to recognize value and the ability to invest (not entirely common).

Maximize these three factors and you will make the greatest impact with the least relative effort.

It is reasonable to assume the following:

  • A great salesperson can sell a mediocre product / service.
  • A strong brand can carry a weak sales team.
  • Just because a prospect buys does not make them intelligent.

In the long-run we are all dead and everything is variable. Therefore, let's assume the product / service is desirable in the long-run. The two most significant reasons sales performance is diminished boils down to one or both of the following serious challenges: 

  1. The salesperson cannot sell.
  2. The prospect cannot buy. 

Sales systems and culture are important but without the right salespeople engaging the right target personas, you are dead in the water.

Serious sales performance barrier #1 - The salesperson cannot sell.

It is dangerous to assume that all salespeople can sell. Not every salesperson can sell. In fact, depending upon the sales team, company and industry, the real percentage of salespeople who really can sell is 10 to 70 percent.

The product / service reputation outsells most salespeople. Salespeople often receive / take credit they do not deserve.

How many times have you had a salesperson approach you who was inept and clearly not a fit for the role, yet you wanted the product / service?

I have. The purchase was made in spite of the poor sales effort. The reputation / branding of the product / service was known.

The great majority of the time a lousy salesperson misses the sale because they could not sell. 

Besides, most salespeople who are unable / unwilling to sell are not calling. They are waiting for the phone to ring. [tweet this]

Put a lousy salesperson in front of an ideal target persona and it is very likely the salesperson will leave empty-handed.

If you are serious about identifying and hiring ONLY the best salespeople, you need the most accurate sales personality test available today.

Serious sales performance barrier #2 - The prospect is not an ideal target persona.

Not all prospects are good prospects.

In fact, few prospects are good prospects.

How many times have you or one of your salespeople put your heart and soul into a prospect only to have them fail to invest in your product / service?

Yep me too. I have way too many Phds from the school of hard knocks and my forehead is permanently flat due to chasing deals that never had a chance in the first place. 

It is essential to identify precisely who your ideal target personas are and focus only on selling to them. 

Social selling to prospects who are never going to buy from you is a waste of time.

If you really want to improve sales performance...

Focus on the basics.

Focus on hiring the best salespeople in the first place. Have those salespeople pursue only ideal target personas.

When you have that down, then invest in social selling training.

What percentage of top decision-makers say they never respond to cold call?

Is cold calling dead?

Many will likely say that it has gone the way of the dinosaur; that its time has come and is rapidly declining in efficiency.

The practice, however, is not entirely dead. Read on to discover some statistics about the state of cold calling in 2022.

B2B Cold Calling Statistics

What percentage of top decision-makers say they never respond to cold call?

  1. The majority of businesses and consumers predict their use of the voice call will increase or stay the same over the next 12 months. (Hiya)
  2. Cold calling is a form of proactive outreach, and 82% of buyers accept meetings with sellers who proactively reach out. (RAIN Group)
  3. 42.1% of respondents say that the phone is the most effective sales tool at their disposal. (Sales Insights Lab)
  4. Over 30% of leads never receive a follow-up call after initial contact. (Call Hippo)
  5. By making just a few more call attempts, sales reps can increase the conversion rate by 70%. (Call Hippo)
  6. 57% of C-level buyers prefer to be contacted by phone. (Crunchbase)
  7. B2B technology reps usually average 35 calls per day and spend a total of 55 minutes per day speaking to prospects. (Revenue.io)
  8. 92% of consumers think unidentified calls might be fraud. (Hiya)
  9. 79% of unidentified calls go unanswered. (Hiya)
  10. Successful cold calls last 2x longer than unsuccessful ones — 5:50 minutes vs. 3:14 minutes. (Gong.io)
  11. Salespeople who state their reason for calling have a 2.1x higher success rate. (Gong.io)
  12. Successful cold calls include 65% more “we” statements. (Gong.io)
  13. The last hour of the workday (between 4PM and 5PM) is a good time to reach prospects. (Call Hippo)
  14. Opening your cold call with “How’ve you been?” has a higher success rate for booking a meeting. (Gong.io)
  15. The most successful sales prospecting calls average 14.3 minutes in length. (Revenue.io)
  16. Wednesday and Thursday are the best days of the week to call prospects. (Gong.io)
  17. There is a 450% difference in response time for leads that receive a follow-up phone call within an hour of submitting an inquiry and those that didn’t receive a follow-up. (Call Hippo)
  18. Win rates are 10% higher when pricing is discussed on the first call. (Gong.io)
  19. Cold calls where reps monologue are more successful. (Gong.io)
  20. 63% of sellers say cold calling is the worst part of their job. (LinkedIn)
  21. Mentioning a common connection during a cold call can increase the likelihood of attaining a meeting by 70%. (LinkedIn)
  22. Sales reps with longer monologue duration have more successful cold calls. (Crunchbase)
  23. Asking “Is now a bad time?” on a cold call makes you 40% less likely to book a meeting. (Gong.io, 2021)


Cold Calling

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