30 B2B Cold Calling Tips for Sales Success in 2024

Staring down the barrel of a cold call list can feel intimidating, especially if you’re inexperienced. 

Are they going to hate me? Am I just interrupting their life? Do I have value to give them? 

It’s a tough mental hurdle to overcome. 

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn said,

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.”

This is what cold calling is all about. You’re doing a hard thing that many are afraid to do, but if you succeed you’re going to reap the benefits they can never get. 

Below, we’ll take you through a series of tips on what to do before, during, and after a cold call to set you up for maximum success. 

Quick Cold Calling Tips: Do’s and Don’ts of Cold Calling

Cold calling works best when you use a confident tone of voice, deliver opening lines that lead to conversations, ask open-ended questions, and make the conversation about them.

Here’s a quick list of more cold-calling do’s and don’ts.


  • Be friendly, relatable, and empathetic to their needs. 
  • Use a confident tone of voice, and be sure of what you’re saying. 
  • Know your product and the benefits it provides inside out before ever picking up the phone.
  • Research the person you’re calling beforehand. 
  • Have a well-rehearsed opening line that naturally leads to a conversation. 
  • Ask questions and practice active listening. 
  • Understand your goal for the call and focus on achieving it quickly. 
  • Get to the point of why you’re calling before you start selling. 
  • Have an outline for how a successful call will go and follow it. 


  • Be rude or self-serving in any way. It won't go well if the call is about you and not them. 
  • Read robotically from your script. Reading out loud sounds incredibly boring compared to natural speech.
  • Sell too hard too soon. State why you’re calling and learn their pain points. Then, you can pitch the value of your solution around those pain points. 
  • Expect to close the deal on the first cold call. It’s more reasonable to expect to book a longer discovery call than to close the deal. 
  • Forget to log calls, notes, and follow-ups in your CRM.
  • Give up. Cold calling isn’t for the impatient. A never-give-up mentality is the only way to win more sales. 

These tips are just the beginning. If you want to supercharge your cold-calling game, we’ll break down our cold-calling tips into actionable steps you can take before, during, and after the call. Use these next steps to build out a cold-calling process that works for you.

Before the Call: 13 Cold Calling Tips to Prepare For Success

Much of a successful cold call's work occurs before the call. Preparation, planning, and research are key. Like in sports, having a game plan is essential to winning the game. 

1. Use Their Cell Phone Number

These days, many prospects work remotely or in a hybrid role. If a prospect has an office and mobile number, try the mobile number first. You have a higher chance of getting your call answered on a cell phone than the old-school office desk phone. They’ll always have their cell phone, but how often will they be at their desk?

Pro Tip: You can automate and accelerate your day-to-day phone outreach with the Power Dialer in Close's CRM. The Power Dialer calls through lead lists automatically, dialing a new phone number right after a call is completed, so you won’t waste time deciding which number to call next.

2. Map Out a Blueprint or Cold Calling Script

The sales world is a stage, and to perform on stage, it helps to start with a cold calling script. Remember that when you read from a script, you shouldn’t do so robotically—people can tell! 

Instead, treat a cold-calling script more like a blueprint that will guide you through each stage of the call.

Your blueprint should clearly outline how you’ll achieve your desired outcome, whether that's booking an appointment, scheduling a demo, or scheduling a more detailed discovery call. 

You can also add “journeys” within your blueprint for different ways the conversation might go. For example, if you get a price objection, you can take the call in one direction. If you get interest immediately, you can take the call elsewhere. 

Here are some resources to help you structure your sales calls:

Pro Tip: Enhance your cold calling strategy with Close's AI Call Assistant. Call Assistant automatically transcribes and summarizes every phone call, including action items. You can focus on being more engaged in the conversation without becoming distracted by note-taking.

3. Do Your Pre-Call Research

Knowing everything you can about your prospect (within reason; don’t stalk) will help tremendously. Simple and easy online digging can help you get a general understanding of their background and potential pain points that you can solve. 

Look for insights from their job title, past experience, company size, location, or what they recently posted on LinkedIn. LinkedIn will be a goldmine for your cold calling research since it has almost everything you need, but you can also use Google, X, or other industry-relevant sites. 

In addition to doing pre-call research, you can investigate the latest happenings in your industry or at your prospect’s company. Regulatory changes, recent funding rounds, or new partnership announcements can give you great conversation starters or “reasons to call.” 

For example, when I cold-call biotech companies, I always look for public research grants and funding rounds. 

Pro Tip: Play investigative reporter in your pre-call research. Stay updated on trends and industry news your prospect cares about so you can personalize the conversation and keep their attention.

4. Find the Right Person to Call

You can save a lot of time and back-and-forth by calling the person who can move the needle for you. This doesn’t have to be the CEO, but someone with enough power to influence purchase decisions. 

Pro Tip: Nail down which job titles in your target market are worth dialing and focus purely on them. There’s no need to cold call administrative assistants, but a VP or Director is usually a good bet.

5. Use Historical Data in Your CRM

You should always double-check your CRM before making a cold call to ensure that this person hasn’t been called before, or at least not in a long while. 

You can also use historical data in your CRM to create cold call lists that are likely to be of higher value than a purchased list. These are old leads or inactive opportunities that went dark six months ago or longer. Perhaps these leads weren’t ready back then, but they are now. 

Pro Tip: If you’re the only rep on a sales team, you can stand apart by leveraging cold lead data that no one else is revisiting. I’ve had huge wins from using inactive leads to generate new cold call lists.

6. Warm Those Cold Leads Up with an Email First

It can be helpful to pair cold emails and cold calls into the same outreach campaign. Instead of just dialing or emailing, you can create a cadence of emails and calls spread out over a 4-6-week period. If you start with an email, you can use a CRM like Close to track email opens

This achieves two things:

  • You can see if your prospect is actively opening and engaging with your emails, indicating interest.
  • It makes the prospect aware of who you are before you call, which could warm them up. 

Pro Tip: After sending a bulk email campaign, focus first on calling prospects who opened your email, since they are more likely to be interested than those who didn’t.

7. Don’t Sleep on LinkedIn

You’ll likely be researching on LinkedIn, so why not connect there? Before you do, optimize your profile to highlight the solutions you’re selling. Instead of being a “salesperson” on LinkedIn, show that you’re a consultant who helps people in your field. Then, you can add your prospects to further warm them up to who you are before the call. 

You can even start a conversation on LinkedIn and see if you can schedule a qualifying call there. If not, move forward with the cold call. Either way, it doesn’t hurt. 

Pro Tip: Start a conversation on LinkedIn and see if you’re able to schedule a qualifying call there. If not, move forward with the cold call. Either way, it doesn’t hurt.

8. Create a Daily Action Plan

Getting out of a sales slump can feel like climbing out of a dark pit, and cold calling may feel like the last thing you want to do.

To help you combat discouragement and keep moving forward, create an action plan for the day that includes structured time blocking. For example, you might try to complete your email outreach in one-time block, prospect research in another, and cold calling during a more strategic time frame.

Pro Tip: Choose a dedicated time for cold calling when you know you’ll have the most energy and when your prospects are most likely to answer.

9. Build an Effective Cadence

Are you going to call once and never again? Probably not, because that is a recipe for failure. Instead, you’re likely going to email, call, leave a message, send another email, then another one, then call again, and they answer…but how can you remember all that? 

Instead of pulling your hair out to organize your cold outreach cadence, you can pre-schedule a call and email cadence in your CRM. Once scheduled, your daily tasks will show up when it’s time for them, and you can quickly go back to the lead to review their info and make the call. 

For more, check out these resources for tips on building an effective sales cadence:

Pro tip: Close CRM enables your team to create Sales Workflows that automatically begin a predetermined cadence of calls and emails when a lead is enrolled.

Example of a Sales Workflow in Close CRM

10. Have a Separate Script for Gatekeepers

Even though you are generally trying to avoid them, gatekeepers can actually help you. In some cases, they are the only person who can get you on the phone with your prospect. Rather than avoid them, you can turn them into an ally by being polite and explaining why it’s worth their while to make you an appointment with the head honcho. 

Write a script for gatekeepers that will help sell your value and build their trust.

Pro Tip: Check out our article on how to build an effective gatekeeper script to learn more.

11. Get Into the Right Mindset

Many people struggle when they start cold calling. They feel like they're interrupting someone’s day to drum up business, and their lack of confidence brings them down. Their approach is too timid and they give up too soon when they encounter resistance. They don't manage objections well and fail to produce results.

It's not a lack of skills that trips them up, but instead reluctance and insecurity (which is natural when you're starting out). To help one of my colleagues overcome these fears, I challenged him to screw up one cold call per day on purpose. This completely changed his attitude and helped him realize that failure was nothing to fear. 

From then on, he approached cold calling with the fearless attitude that it takes to keep smiling and dialing. 

Pro Tip: Do something to make you feel confident before you begin cold calling. This could be meditation, pushups, jumping jacks, motivational videos, whatever works for you. Also, remember that failure is ok.

12. Set a “No Quota”

No sales book has helped my cold calling game more than “Go for No! Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There.” The lesson from this book is simple: set a quota for failures rather than successes. 

If you set a quota for yesses, you’re going to stop once you hit your goal. If you plan to get a certain number of ‘Nos’ each day, you’re more likely to get a higher number of yesses along the way. This will also help your mindset since you’ll be expecting a certain number of rejections, so each one won’t hurt so much. Plan for rejection, and gain more success. 

Pro Tip: Plan for rejection, and gain more success.

13. Use a Sales Dialer to Save Time

Manually dialing, listening to the ringtone, and waiting for someone to answer is a huge waste of time. Cold callers can get that time back by using a sales dialer to increase their call volume. 

A sales dialer can help you reach more leads by calling through your list automatically. With Close’s built-in Predictive Dialer, you can dial multiple numbers at the same time. The software only connects you to a call when someone answers the phone.

Pro Tip: Businesses with high-volume outbound calling needs would benefit most from using a Predictive Dialer. Check out our article on predictive dialing to learn more.

During the Call: 11 Cold Calling Tips to Nail Your Pitch

Now that you’re ready to start dialing, the real fun begins. Hearing that phone ringing can be stressful, but these 11  tips can help you make the most of your calls and increase your chances of success. 

14. Eliminate Distractions During the Call

According to one 2018 study, the average knowledge worker checks a communication app every 6 minutes. Salespeople are no exception, as many either unconsciously or consciously distract themselves with dopamine-releasing apps, messages, and social media. 

If you’re setting aside a one or two-hour block for cold calls, you need to get in the zone, and that means no distractions. The only thing that should be pulled up is your phone dialer and the CRM page with info on the lead you’re calling so you can be laser-focused on selling. 

Pro Tip: Put your phone on airplane mode and close all windows except your phone dialer and CRM until your cold calls for the day are done.

15. Optimize Your Tone of Voice

Words aren’t all that matters, your tone of voice is more important. Seven percent of communication happens through spoken word, while 38 percent is through tone of voice (the rest is through body language). 

Sounding confident and worthy of your prospect’s time might not be something you can just naturally do, which is why I recommend practicing—whether with role playing, taking voice training, or online lessons.

16. Master Your Opening Line

The first thing you say can decide whether the person on the other end of the line continues the conversation, so it’s pretty important to nail it down. 

You need to state who you are, why you’re calling, how you know who they are, and how you can help, all within a few seconds. A fumble here is likely to get a quick hang-up. 

Pro Tip: Read our article on cold call opening lines and come up with two or three options to test. Pick the winner and stick with that.

17. Ask Open-Ended Questions, Then Listen

A good cold call is all about asking the right questions. These questions will get your prospects to think about their problems and realize that they need a solution—and that perhaps you can help. 

By asking the right open-ended questions, you can naturally drive the conversation in your desired direction. But the trick is to listen to their answers truly. Don’t think about the next question you’ll ask while they’re talking, just listen and jot down anything useful. Then, you can use that to fuel the next question. 

Pro Tip: Check out our list of 40 open-ended questions. Pick out a few you think would work best with your target customer. Test them out, then add the ones with the best results to your script blueprint.

18. Embrace Silence 

After you’ve delivered your opening line or any other question, embrace the few seconds of silence that can come afterward. Your instinct might be to fill the void with another question or value statement, but that won’t help. 

Silence is not only a powerful move, but it also indicates that you’re listening and awaiting their response. It shows that you want to know and care about what they have to say. 

Pro Tip: Pause after each question you ask. Resist the temptation to fill the air. Give ‘em time to think.

19. Don’t Pitch Too Soon

It’s common for newer salespeople to jump into a pitch early on in the conversation. They think that’s what “selling” is. However, we seasoned vets know that selling is more about developing rapport, listening to your prospect's needs, and then tailoring your pitch to them. 

Pro Tip: Wait until you’ve uncovered at least one key need before jumping into a sales pitch. Center your pitch around that need.

20. Emphasize Pain Points

If you want to keep your prospect’s attention on this short call, you shouldn’t waste any time on unimportant details. Focus on the pain that your solution can relieve, rather than the features it provides. 

It’s the classic “sell the benefits before features” adage from the sales world. Hook them on how you solve their pain, then reel them in with the specific features or solutions you provide later on. 

Pro Tip: Check out our in-depth guide on finding customer pain points to learn more.

21. Value Before Price

You’re bound to get asked, “How much will this cost?” early and often in your cold calls, but you never want to talk about price before you demonstrate the value you're offering. Proving the value first justifies the price later.

When you get this question, don’t just give a hard no, but gently deflect towards a value-based question first. You can simply say, “Before I can quote you, I’ll need to know more about your specific needs.” Then, you can get started qualifying their needs and give the price after doing so. 

22. Get Prospects to Open Up

Sometimes you’ll get a potential prospect on the line who just won’t give them the info you need to qualify them. Usually, this is because they don’t trust salespeople. They see you as having an ulterior motive (which, to be fair, you do) instead of someone excited to help them. 

Your job is to ease that tension and build trust. Show them that you are a real human who wants to help, and not a predatory “Wolf of Wall Street” type. 

Pro Tip: Address the tension head-on by saying something like, “I bet you don’t trust me because I’m a sales rep, but if you let me know about (insert pain point), I’m confident that I could help you out. My job is to help you, and I can’t do that without knowing a little more.”

23. Nail Your Voicemail Game

The average sales rep spends 15 percent of their time talking to themselves, a.k.a. leaving voicemails. Voicemails can be nerve-wracking. You only get one chance to leave one, and if you screw it up… that’s it. 

All too often, cold sales voicemails are either too fast, rambling, and not getting to the point, or filled with so many “ums” that they lose their potency. 

Plus, many aren’t saying their call back number until the end of the voicemail, which means the prospect has to potentially listen to it several times just to write the number down to call you back. Do you really expect them to do that? Say your phone number at the beginning of the voicemail so it’s easier to call you back, “Hi Bill, this is Tom calling from 555-123-4567…”. 

Your voicemail should directly answer the following: Who are you? Why are you calling? What value do you have to offer? How do I call you back? Craft a voicemail script that you can easily repeat that simply answers these, and you’ll be in good shape. 

Pro Tip: If you’re using Close for calling, you can record your one perfect voicemail message and drop it when needed. No more awkward voicemails or constantly repeating yourself!

24. Close by Scheduling The Next Call 

Unless you’re selling a quick and easy solution, chances are you haven’t closed the deal on the first cold call. Therefore, the best way to close a cold call is by scheduling a deeper discovery call or product demo. 

You can “pitch” having another call as a benefit to them as well, “Instead of sending a bunch of emails back and forth, why don’t we schedule a 30-minute discovery call where I can fully explain how we solve for X”. You can also have them invite other key stakeholders to the call so everyone who’s involved in the decision can be there. 

Pro Tip: Create a “closing question” that asks for a discovery call. Try different techniques to entice them into the longer call until you find one that works.

After the Call: 6 Cold Calling Tips to Make Every Call (and Follow-Up Call) Count

Your work isn’t over once the call is done. This is just the first step towards making the sale. Here’s what you can do post-call—whether or not you were successful—to help you improve over time. 

25. Analyze and Improve

If you’re making lots of cold calls, you should try and learn from your successes and failures as much as possible. Most salespeople will focus on how well they built rapport, but that’s not the only way to measure success (and it’s also hard to measure). 

Instead, you can analyze how your call went based on two questions:

  • Are the next steps well-defined?
  • Is your prospect excited about taking those steps?

If you have a yes to both, you just had a successful call (regardless of rapport). If not, try to understand what went wrong. 

26. Follow Up

Ideally, you close your call by booking the next meeting in your sales cycle. If that’s the case, your next task is to simply send a meeting invite. 

If you haven’t booked the next meeting or left a voicemail, you need to follow up strategically. This might involve a phone call in a week, an email after the call, or something else. 

You should have a pre-planned follow-up cadence that’s ambitious enough that you make things happen, but not overly aggressive to the point of annoying your prospects. 

One thing to note: there’s no real reason to stop following up until you get a hard no. I followed up with a prospect once a month for over two years, then they finally responded and I ended up closing a $40k deal. Unless it’s a no, it’s fine to keep following up, even if only once a month. 

Pro Tip: Create a follow-up formula and plan your next follow-up after the cold call.

27. Track Objections and How You Handled Them

As you make hundreds—or thousands!—of cold calls per month, you’re going to get the same objections over and over. To help your future self, you can create an objection-handling spreadsheet to record your most common objections and what worked to overcome them. 

Have this sheet pulled up during your cold calls so you can quickly refer to the sheet and find a response that’s worked in the past. You can update this and make it stronger over time, and even share with colleagues to see what’s working well for them and improve as a team. 

28. Recover Quickly from Bad Calls

While it feels good to slam the phone and loudly say “A**hole!” into your cubicle walls, it’s not going to make the next call any easier. Instead, remember that failure is a big part of this game. 

When you get off the phone with a particularly egregious a**hole, it’s important to figure out a method for bouncing back quickly so that you don’t let this setback affect your performance on the next one.

Pro Tip: Take a walk if you need to, take a deep breath, and give yourself a five-minute break—but don’t let it derail you or ruin your day. Having a strong sales mindset is the only way to rebound.

29. Track Cold Call KPIs and Metrics

A sales team’s key performance indicators are typically things like the number of calls, pickups, qualifying conversations, meetings scheduled, and other important metrics. Keeping track of KPIs can also help motivate you to improve your success rate over time and optimize your performance.

If you’re using a CRM, these metrics should be recorded automatically. Set up a dashboard to track your cold call metrics in your CRM and track your performance over time.  

Pro Tip: With Close’s reporting tools, you can create a cold call performance dashboard that shows these stats in an easy-to-analyze report that’s automatically updated over time. If you want to gamify performance across an entire sales team, you can even create a leaderboard and make it a friendly competition.

30. Pick Up That Phone and Dial Again

Let’s be real: cold calling is hard. That being said, cold calling is a pure numbers game. The more calls you make, the higher your chances of success. That also means you can get better at cold calling over time (especially if you follow these tips). 

So don’t get discouraged if you have a bad call or a bad day. Pick it up and keep going. The only way forward is through. There’s always another call to be made. 

You Can Be a Cold Calling Pro—You Just Need to Get Started and Keep Going

Not everyone is brave enough to pick up the phone and dial a stranger, so bravo to you. If you follow the tips in this guide, I’m confident your road to cold call expertise will be shorter and less rocky than if you went it alone. 

However, sales is a long game, and a cold call is just the first step. You’ll also need to master the art of following up.

Check out our Follow-Up Formula book to learn how to set yourself up for success beyond the first touchpoint.

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