Cold calls can be intimidating. They are one of the reasons I never wanted to go into sales. A cold call has one seemingly simple objective – book a sales meeting. However, they are can be unpredictable and their success rate often quite low.

So, is there a way that salespeople can increase the likelihood of a successful cold call? Is there a way that data analysis can play a part in the process and keep your prospects on the line and, ultimately, book a meeting?

The answer is, of course, yes. In his presentation at the AI Growth Summit called The Anatomy of Successful Cold Calling, Chris Orlob from tells us how. Here are a few highlights from his presentation:

Navigating rough waters

Chris Orlob describes cold calling as storms on the ocean on your journey to paradise. The goal with the cold call is to get to calmer waters and successfully book a meeting.

This is not an easy task. While there are salespeople who have incredible cold calling success rates of 10 – 20%, the median success rate is actually about 1 – 5%. These salespeople often have little training and are not prepared for the unpredictability that cold calls can present. By comparison, those with a much higher success rate tend to have the training and are better prepared to navigate the choppy waters of cold calling.

Analysing the cold call

Thanks to technology, such as AI, cold calls can now be analysed. Of the almost two million calls the databases, 90,380 are cold calls. They used technology to capture and transcribe them from speech to text. From there they used what they call a ‘deep analysing’ algorithm to identify the behaviours exhibited by successful salespeople.

They found that a successful cold call is twice as long as one which does not result in a booked meeting. Here are just a few of what they found can help prolong your cold call.

Know all the paths

Cold calls can be unpredictable. You don’t always know what path a call will go. So, instead of going in ‘cold’ on your end, map out responses to the paths the call might take. This does not mean following a script. Just know the talking points for the possible paths.

Use economy with your words

This does not mean don’t speak too much. In fact, during a cold call, the salesperson will talk a lot more than the prospect. The talk to listen ratio of a successful cold calls is seems to be about 55:45. What being economical with your words does mean is that each sentence should increase interest and every sentence should have a purpose.

Your opener matters

Did you know that the way you open a call can affect how successful it will go? It turns out that by leading the conversation with ‘How have you been?’ your cold call is likely to have better success. In fact, found that this opening line had 6.6 times higher success than the baseline in their analysis.

Keep in mind that opening lines have a shelf life. It used to be that ‘Did I catch you at a bad time?’ was the opener of choice. Now it is 40% less likely to lead to success.

Want to know more?

This is just a taste of the insights shared by If you are interested in hearing more, check out The Anatomy of Successful Cold Calling.