Sales Reps: Should you call, email, or both?

For some sales reps, deciding whether to call or email their prospects simply comes down to their own preference. However, if closing a sale is your goal – which it should be – it is important to know which method of outreach to use.

When making the decision, there are many factors you will need to consider beyond your own preference. You will need to examine who your target audience is, what type of product you are selling, and what the purpose of contacting is. Typically, email is the go-to method for sales reps; however, there is a time and place for phone calls as well.

Statistics to consider:

  • The average office worker receives 121 emails a day
  • 57% of people who receive a cold email think it’s spam
  • 1% of prospects answer phone calls, compared to the response rate of .03% for emails

As you can see, phone calls have their own benefits and when used accordingly, can be used in your sales cadence to accomplish your ultimate goal: closing a sale. Sales reps often prefer emails as prospects are too busy to talk on the phone. Also, it allows prospects to respond when they want too; however, phone calls have a higher response rate and lead to a stronger connection. That being said, emails and phone calls should both be utilized throughout your sales engagement.

Email vs. Phone: Which one?

Buyer Persona: The first factor to consider is the buyer persona of your prospect. Do your research and find out how old they are, what their position is, and what industry they are a part of. Millennial’s typically prefer emails, while a prospect from an older generation might prefer calls. Also consider their position as higher up executives tend to be more comfortable/less intimidated on the phone. Lastly, look at the industry they are a part of: more traditional and customer-focused industries prefer talking on the phone. Keeping all these factors in mind, use your best judgment to choose your method. Check out this blog for more on buyer buyer personas.

Reason for Contacting: Another aspect to consider is your reason for contacting your prospect. If the reason your calling includes commitment or close from your contact (meetings, conference calls, etc), you should definitely call. Creating a connection combined with your developed sales skills will result in a higher chance of accomplishing your goal. If your purpose for contacting is sending information about the product or a simple question, don’t take up your prospects time and choose to email them instead. Check out this blog for additional tips on how to turn cold emails into meetings. 

Time of Day: Although not as obvious, another important aspect is the time and day of the week. Consider calling your prospects later in the week and as phone connect rates typically increase. If your prospects don’t answer, leave a voicemail and hopefully they will check before the day has ended. For emails, send them 10 minutes before or after the hour. People tend to check their inbox before or after meetings which usually occur on the hour.

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