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Key metrics for sales cold calling

Key metrics for sales cold calling for any company

Key Metrics for Sales Cold Calling

Cold calling is an essential part of any sales process. It is a proactive approach that involves reaching out to potential customers who have not expressed any interest in your product or service. While cold calling can be challenging, it can also be very rewarding if done correctly. However, to make the most out of your cold calling efforts, you need to track some key metrics. In this blog post, we will discuss the key metrics for sales cold calling and how to measure them.

1. Call Volume

Call volume is an indispensable key performance indicator (KPI) when assessing the efficacy of sales cold calling efforts. A higher volume of calls often translates to a wider pool of prospective clients, thus increasing the potential for securing successful sales conversions.

Analyzing call volume provides insights into the team’s tenacity, persistence, and overall capacity to reach out to potential leads. Furthermore, the ideal call volume can vary significantly based on both the industry and the stage of the business.

For instance, in industries with high-ticket items like real estate or enterprise software, an average daily call volume might range from 30-50 calls, given the intricate nature of conversations and extended sales cycles. Conversely, in industries like telemarketing or insurance sales, representatives might make between 100-200 calls daily due to shorter interaction durations and faster sales cycles.

Moreover, startups in their nascent stages aiming for rapid growth might prioritize a higher call volume to establish a client base, whereas established entities might focus on fewer, more targeted calls, ensuring quality and strengthening existing relationships.

For startups in the SaaS (Software as a Service) space, determining an optimal call volume depends on several factors, such as the complexity of the product, the target audience, the length of the sales cycle, and the resources available. However, as a general guideline:

Early Stage Startups

In the early days, when market penetration and lead generation are pivotal, a sales representative might aim for 40-60 calls per day. This number allows for a mix of discovery, follow-up, and closing calls. However, the primary focus during this phase is often on quality and learning, understanding potential client needs, refining the product pitch, and identifying best-fit customer segments.

Growth Stage SaaS Startups

As the startup evolves and has a more refined target audience and clearer value proposition, the focus may shift more towards quality interactions and higher-value accounts. In this phase, reps might make 30-50 calls per day, but with a higher expectation of demos scheduled, follow-up interactions, and conversions. Additionally, the company might invest more in inbound marketing to attract qualified leads, reducing the cold calling necessity.

Use of Technology

Modern CRM tools and sales acceleration platforms can assist reps by automating many aspects of the calling process, such as dialing and logging calls. This can allow reps to maintain a higher call volume without sacrificing quality.

Remember, while call volume is an essential metric to gauge activity, it shouldn’t be the sole focus. Conversion rates, customer acquisition costs, lifetime value of a customer, and customer feedback are equally (if not more) critical in understanding the efficacy of sales efforts. The ideal call volume will be one where reps can maintain meaningful, valuable conversations without feeling rushed or sacrificing relationship-building opportunities.


2. Conversion Rate

Call conversion rate is a paramount key performance indicator (KPI) when evaluating the success of sales cold calling efforts. While call volume offers insights into the outreach efforts of a sales team, call conversion provides a more direct measurement of efficacy by showcasing how many of those calls lead to a desired outcome, such as a scheduled meeting, demo, or even a sale.

Effectively, it’s an indicator of both the quality of leads being pursued and the proficiency of the sales representatives. The average call conversion rates can vary dramatically based on the industry and business stage.

For instance, in the B2B enterprise software sector, a conversion rate of 2-5% might be seen as satisfactory due to the high-ticket nature of the products and longer sales cycles. In contrast, industries with smaller ticket items or services might expect a higher conversion rate of 5-15%.

For early-stage startups, especially in sectors like SaaS, the focus might be on market penetration, so they could see lower conversion rates, possibly 1-3%, as they refine their pitch and understand their market.

However, as the startup matures and its targeting becomes more precise, the conversion rate should ideally increase. It’s crucial for businesses to benchmark their call conversion rates not just against industry standards but also in relation to their own historical data, allowing for a more nuanced understanding of their sales trajectory.

SaaS Company Cold Call Conversion Rates:

Call conversion rate is a pivotal metric for SaaS companies employing cold calling as part of their sales strategy. Given the competitive nature of the SaaS landscape and often intangible nature of the product, understanding and optimizing the call conversion rate becomes imperative. It not only reveals the effectiveness of the sales pitch and the quality of the leads but also informs how well the product resonates with the target market. To calculate the call conversion rate for a SaaS company, divide the number of successful outcomes (like demos scheduled, trials initiated, or sales closed) by the total number of calls made, then multiply by 100 to get a percentage. For example, if out of 100 calls, 5 resulted in scheduled demos, the call conversion rate would be 5%.

Benchmarking SaaS call conversion metrics based on a company’s stage in the business lifecycle:

  1. Early-stage startups: These entities are typically refining their product-market fit and sales pitch. As such, they might see lower conversion rates, possibly ranging between 1-3%. This stage is about learning and iterating rapidly based on feedback.
  2. Growth-phase startups: As product-market fit becomes clearer and sales processes get refined, conversion rates should ideally improve. At this stage, a SaaS company might aim for conversion rates between 3-7%.
  3. Mature SaaS companies: With established brand recognition, a proven product, and refined sales processes, these companies should be hitting conversion rates upwards of 7-10%, if not higher.

However, it’s essential to remember that these benchmarks can vary based on various factors like the product’s complexity, target audience, price point, and geographic market. Comparing against similar companies and continuously striving for improvement is vital for long-term success in the SaaS space.


3. Demonstrations or Demo’s Completed

“Demos made” stands as a crucial metric in the realm of cold calling sales KPIs, especially in sectors where the product or service’s value is best demonstrated through an interactive presentation. By tracking the number of demos scheduled from cold calls, businesses gain insight into the efficacy of their pitch, the resonance of their product, and the quality of the leads being pursued. The benchmark for demos scheduled varies widely based on industry and business lifecycle stage:

  1. SaaS Industry:

    • Early-stage startups: As they navigate product-market fit and perfect their sales pitch, early startups might see 1-3% of their cold calls resulting in demos.
    • Growth-phase: With a refined pitch and clearer market positioning, this could increase to 4-8%.
    • Mature companies: With brand recognition and established sales processes, they might expect a rate of 8-12% or even higher.
  2. Real Estate:

    • New agents or agencies: Given the high-value and personal nature of property transactions, newer entrants might schedule demos (property showings in this context) at a rate of 2-4% from cold outreach.
    • Established agents: With a solid reputation and stronger leads, this can go up to 5-10%.
  3. B2B Hardware Solutions:

    • Startups: They might achieve a demo rate of 2-5%, given the tangible nature of their product but also the challenges of breaking into established markets.
    • Established firms: With a known product and proven benefits, they can achieve rates of 6-10% or more.

It’s crucial for businesses to remember that the quality of a demo and the eventual conversion rate post-demo are as important, if not more so, than just the sheer number of demos made. The ultimate goal is revenue generation, and while demos are a significant step in the sales process, they are an intermediary one. Adjusting strategies based on feedback and continuously refining the approach is essential to maximize success.

4. Sales Made

Sales made, or the actual conversion into revenue, stands at the zenith of KPIs for cold calling sales efforts. While metrics like call volume, demos scheduled, or conversion rate offer valuable insights into sales activity and pipeline health, it’s the final sales number that reflects genuine success in terms of revenue generation and market traction.

This metric is pivotal as it directly impacts a company’s bottom line and indicates the ROI of sales and marketing endeavors. The benchmarks for sales made from cold calls can differ markedly depending on the industry, the business lifecycle stage, and the experience of the sales team:

  1. SaaS Industry:

    • Early-stage startups with novice teams: Given the steep learning curve, they might see a conversion rate from cold call to sale of around 0.5-1%.
    • Growth-phase with intermediate teams: The rate might hover between 2-4% as the pitch gets refined and the product gains traction.
    • Mature companies with veteran sales teams: Benefiting from strong brand recognition and experienced representatives, they might achieve a rate of 5-8%.
  2. Insurance Sector:

    • New agencies or agents: They might close sales from cold calls at a rate of 1-2%.
    • Established entities with experienced agents: With a solid reputation and refined sales techniques, this can surge to 3-6%.
  3. B2B Equipment Sales:

    • Startups with newer sales teams: Given the high-ticket nature and long sales cycles, a 1-3% conversion rate might be observed.
    • Well-established firms with seasoned sales professionals: Rates can be in the realm of 4-7% or higher, backed by a strong product portfolio and trusted brand image.

It’s paramount for businesses to recognize that while closing sales is the ultimate objective, the journey there is equally instructive. Analyzing each stage of the sales funnel, understanding drop-offs, and refining strategies based on continuous feedback can help in progressively improving these benchmarks, irrespective of the industry or business stage.

5. Average Call Duration

The average call duration is the average length of time a sales representative spends on a call. It is an important metric to track as it measures the efficiency of your cold calling efforts.

Call duration is a nuanced yet integral KPI in the cold calling sales landscape. While it might not directly indicate a sale, it provides insights into the quality of the interaction, the sales representative’s ability to engage and resonate with prospects, and the prospect’s interest level. A very short call could suggest a swift rejection or poor approach, while an exceedingly long call might indicate inefficiencies, lack of clarity, or unnecessary elaboration. Benchmarking call durations can be industry-specific, influenced by the business lifecycle and sales team experience:

  1. SaaS Industry:

    • Early-stage startups with novice teams: Calls might be longer, averaging 5-10 minutes, as new reps navigate the learning curve, trying to gain comprehensive insights from prospects.
    • Growth-phase with intermediate teams: As pitches are refined and value propositions become clearer, calls might average 3-7 minutes.
    • Mature companies with veteran sales teams: Calls could last between 4-8 minutes, balancing efficiency with deepened customer engagement.
  2. Financial Services:

    • New representatives: They might have calls that last 5-12 minutes, trying to understand client needs and building trust.
    • Established reps: With a streamlined approach, they may average 4-9 minutes, swiftly identifying and addressing client pain points.
  3. Telecom Services:

    • Newer sales teams: Calls might span 4-8 minutes, balancing between explaining offers and understanding client requirements.
    • Experienced sales professionals: Calls could be more concise at 3-6 minutes, owing to clearer pitches and rapid problem identification.

It’s essential to understand that optimal call duration is not about brevity but efficiency. The aim is to have meaningful interactions that move the prospect through the sales funnel without unnecessary detours. Analyzing call durations in conjunction with other metrics, such as conversion rates and customer feedback, offers a holistic view of the sales process’s effectiveness and areas for refinement.


In the intricate world of sales cold calling, key metrics serve as the navigational beacons that guide strategy, refine processes, and drive success. While raw numbers like call volume and call duration provide a snapshot of sales activities, it’s the deeper metrics—conversion rates, demos scheduled, and sales closed—that truly gauge effectiveness.

Our sales manager, with vast experience across startups and diverse industries, possesses the expertise to help any company sharpen their cold calling strategy and pinpoint the most impactful metrics.

One crucial yet often overlooked element is the clear delineation of objectives for cold calling activities. Whether it’s brand awareness, lead generation, or direct sales, the objective shapes the approach.

Coupled with this is the indispensable task of hiring talent aligned with these objectives. The right talent, informed by the right metrics and guided by experienced leadership, can transform cold calling from a numbers game to a refined art, optimizing each interaction to deliver maximum value.

Check out our own SDR services