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When is the Best Time to Reach B2B Sales Leads By Phone?

3 min readOctober 4, 2013

Successful inside sales reps find themselves wearing many hats. During prospecting you take on the role of a private investigator. When sending follow-up emails, you must weigh each word carefully like a poet. But the best sales reps are also much like behavioral psychologists, acquiring data about the way prospects operate and searching for patterns.

Retro phone on nightstand in room, close upRecently, we cited a study revealing that more key decision makers are willing to pick up the phone for certain types of inside sales calls, creating increased opportunities for reps at B2B companies.  But to maximize your chances of adding each prospect to your pipeline, you don’t just need to know who to call – you need to know when to call.

Examining the Data

A basic understanding of how businesses work can offer insights to intuitive B2B sales reps. For example, it makes sense that an executive might be easier to reach directly following standard work hours, after admins have left for happy hour. But as sales teams become increasingly data-driven, intuition alone won’t suffice. For the best results, inside sales teams need to embrace an evidence-based prospecting strategy. Here’s some data that can help you identify key prospecting windows.

An MIT study reveals that:

  • 4-6pm is the best time to make contact with a lead (114% higher than the worst time block)
  • 8-9am and 4-5pm are the best times to qualify a lead
  • Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to make contact with a lead (Friday is the worst day)
  • Thursday is the best day to contact a lead in order to qualify the lead
  • The worst times to contact and qualify leads are during lunch/crunch time (11am-2pm)

Call Blitzing – Even on Holidays

During these call windows, when leads are more likely to be available, we recommend that B2B sales reps go for the gusto and dial as many leads as possible. This is known as a call blitz. The data indicates reps should kick their prospecting into overdrive on Wednesday and Thursday between 8-9am and 4-6pm.

When trying to reach top-level executives, some sales leaders also recommend calling after hours. In an HBR article, Vorsight’s Steve Richard recommended “call blitzing during ‘call windows,’ before 8:30 am and after 5:30 pm when admins are gone.”

Richard also champions call blitzing on holidays. It’s quite common for executives to work during holidays when lower-level staff members are on vacation. Weekends can even be a good time to access executives, as many businesses are moving away from standard corporate hours. This is especially true of companies like software startups and advertising agencies.

Gather Your Own Intelligence

Examining data from MIT or reading thought leadership pieces like Steve Richard’s can help you formulate a more effective prospecting strategy. But at the end of the day, businesses need to gather their own sales intelligence data in order to build an evidence-based strategy. Depending on your industry, you might find that Friday is the most effective day to dial leads. You might also discover that more calls end in opportunities during the early afternoon. The point is that if sales managers aren’t tracking call metrics in a CRM, it’s impossible to truly know when leads are entering the pipeline. Revenue.io gives sales managers real-time visibility into when reps are contacting decision makers, and the outcome of those calls. By closely monitoring call metrics, sales teams can build a prospecting strategy that enables maximum engagement with prospects.