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How Many Times to Call a Lead

How Many Times to Call a Lead

How Many Times to Call a Lead

“How many times should SDRs attempt to contact a lead before moving on?”

Before you put a system in place for your inside sales reps to follow regarding how many times to call a lead, you may want to consider that the lead temperature will factor in how many times an SDR will reach out to a prospect and how often.

Lead Temperatures

There are three primary “lead temperature” categories:

  • Cold
  • Warm
  • HOT

Below, I’ll show you an example for each one of these lead types for your team to consider but before I do, keep in mind that most sales teams use what I call the “RUN AMOK” method, which means everyone does their own thing, and there is no system or rhyme or reason. The RUN AMOK method is causing you to lose deals. You need an adaptable system (how many times to call a lead), but you also need to know what to say on each attempt.

How Many Times to Call COLD LEADS

If a lead is “cold” (has not made contact in the last 30-days – or EVER) BUT has the criteria to be at least considered a highly probable suspect, my call schedule (cadence) is going to be less urgent. An example might be calls on days 1, 3, 5, 10, and 30. But, again, this is just an example to help you get your creative juices flowing to develop what works best for you and your sales team.

How Many Times to Call WARM LEADS

A warm lead can be classified as a hand raiser but not as hot as a proposal request. One option is to give them a call on days 1, 2, 4, and 6 (again, just an example).

How Many Times to Call HOT LEADS

If a hot lead comes in (the form is filled out on the website requesting info/proposal request etc.) I will be all over that lead, calling more than once on the same day.

At a minimum, I’m calling them twice in one day, leaving a voicemail + plus email each time. (You will need to know exactly what to say to increase your callbacks – simply saying “I’m following up regarding your request” isn’t going to create the urgency you need in most cases to get them to stop what they are doing to call you back.)

So if I call twice and get voicemail twice, I will leave a message and send an email each time. If I call a third time in the same day but get voicemail, I’ll hang up. Sometimes I will also ASK the gatekeeper for their help in getting ahold of the prospect.

If I don’t hear back after day one, I will try twice on day two and once on day three. If you don’t hear back from them by then, they may have found another solution already, had a hotter fire fall in their lap, or had to go into the witness protection program. I will often EMAIL them asking which of those three options happened to them, and I usually get a response back.

PS: I also like to have specific emails that go out the day after I call them for the first time and after I’ve called them the second time.

So if I know that I am calling a lead on Day 1 and Day 3 and skipping a call on Day 2, I have it set to send them an email on Day 2. It reminds them of the voicemail/email I sent them the day before, and I often get a response or an appointment set from my Day 2 emails.

I use the phrase “Day 2” to make the article easy to follow; however, internally, we don’t use Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 terminology because there are always instances where calling or emailing someone the day after won’t make sense.

An example would be where you call a prospect for the first time, get voicemail, leave a message and then send an email, only to get an automated VACATION ALERT auto-reply from the prospect.

If you now know they are out of the office until next week, scheduling a “DAY 2” email makes no sense. Therefore, we use 1st Attempt, 2nd Attempt, 3rd Attempt, etc. I hope this helps.

– Michael Pedone

Michael Pedone is the founder of SalesBuzz.com: How to Sell By Phone Online Sales Training Course that Reduces Turnover, Increases Pipeline, and Shortens Sales Cycles.

Try a free class today.


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