10 Tips for Productive Cold Calling with a CRM

Updated: April 10, 2022

A collection of tips to help you give your 100% when attempting cold calls using a CRM like Pipedrive, Calling apps, and Dialers.

Cold-calling can be a boring and tedious job. If you don’t get results, it becomes even worse as it sucks the joy out of your job.

What helps is to know that you’ve done everything in your capacity to warm that lead up to push them further down your sales funnel. But, without a structured process, can you be sure you’ve given your 100 percent?

Getting people to answer your call or email is hardly in your control. But what’s in your control is making conscious efforts to evoke a response.

Here are a few tips to get into the flow state of making a conscious effort for every lead you have on your plate. You’d still need to learn other tips to be successful at a cold call when you’re on one.

Need help with setting this up for your CRM?

1. Define the number of engagement attempts

You should decide how many times you’re going to attempt to reach out to somebody before you mark them unresponsive. Given you have the right contact details (email and phone) for a lead, every such lead should get a consistent effort from you so that they get a chance to respond.

2. Define what constitutes an engagement attempt

Depending on your business and your sales process, an engagement attempt consist of hitting up your lead on different communication platforms. For instance, an engagement attempt for a high-ticket item B2C business could have the following touchpoints:

  • Try calling first.
  • If the call is not answered, drop an email.
  • Also, if the call is not answered, drop them a text.

Tip 1: Many businesses are finding that WhatsApp is an amazing channel to get a response from their leads. This article describes how you can create clickable WhatsApp links.

Tip 2: At every juncture, give your leads an option to opt out. If they choose this option, please honor it.

3. Follow the defined process for each attempt

If each attempt is completed in a consistent manner across all leads by following the defined script, the likelihood of these prospects responding to your calls becomes better.

It also gives you data to help you decide how much effort you need to put in to get in touch with somebody. For instance, can we reduce the number of attempts from 7 to 4, if most people respond within 4 attempts? You can also look at the positive closing rate of anybody who has received 7 attempts to compare it with anybody who has received just 3 or 4 attempts to make this call.

4. Space out the engagement attempts

There’s no point in exhausting all outreach attempts one after the other. If there’s no differentiator in your leads, call them after a set number of days after the day they entered your system:

  • 1st call: Same day
  • 2nd call: 3 days later
  • 3rd call: 5 days later and so on

Use automation tools like Zapier, Integromat/Make, or N8N to do this. I use N8N to create complex automation to define the next engagement attempt based on the previous attempt and the segmentation of the lead.

5. Attempt calling at different times

Maybe 10 AM is a bad time for a certain prospect. Don’t attempt each call at 10 AM for such a person. Like above, create dedicated slots in your day for each attempt:

  • 1st call: 8 AM to 10 AM
  • 2nd call: 10 AM to 12 PM
  • 3rd call: 2 PM to 4 PM

6. Label each attempt

If you label the task or the activity, it becomes easy to sort the list by title of the task/activity. I use and recommend Pipedrive and this nifty trick helps immensely in completing activities in batches.

At the start of the day, I can sort all due activities by title, and complete all the ones marked ‘1st call’. When it’s 10 AM, I can complete the ones marked ‘2nd call’, and so on.

Also, see:

  1. Pipedrive Setup Tips
  2. Configure an efficient sales system and process

7. Explain your reason for calling

When a call isn’t answered, and when you send an email/text, explain who you are and why you’re calling. Write a clear, concise email or text so that they have a reason to pick up your call the next time you call them. If required, ask them to save your number so they exactly know who is calling and what for.

8. Give them options

When writing emails, ask them if a different time works for them. You can also share your calendar to help them pick a slot to talk to you. When they do, honor this commitment by blocking this time on your calendar. Once you have made your intentions clear, always give them an option to opt out from these sales calls.

9. Complete attempts on time

If after setting up this entire process, you don’t complete your calls on time, this entire strategy is going to be of little use to you. Focus on having no overdue tasks/activities and you will always feel in control of your sales pipeline. CRMs like Pipedrive give you a ton of options to slice and dice these tasks so that you can complete them in batches. If you do this, you can avoid constant context-switching, which is a huge time saver.

10. Say no to more leads than you can handle

If you have more than you can chew, ask your sales leadership to reduce the number of leads assigned to you or tell them that they need to hire more people like you. There is no shame in this. Your performance will improve with more leads before it eventually tapers off because of more workload (read up on marginal returns).


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