Ideally none.  Referrals and inbound leads beat cold calls any day.  But for B2B startups, referrals and inbound leads are like bigfoot: sought but rarely seen.

In the short term, you need to call and email strangers to make sales while you are building your referral and marketing machines.

When a founder asked me how many cold calls a salesperson should make per day, I provided this advice:

Begin with the end in mind and do the math.

  1. Decide what you want to earn
  2. Calculate the conversion ratios for each step in the buying/selling process
  3. Back into the number of activities needed at each step
  4. Work to improve the ratios

Here’s a simple example I did in 5 minutes.  Yours will vary depending upon your buying/selling process.

cold call math

Happy Selling!