Is Voicemail Dead? Helping Your Sales Team Reach Today’s Customers



How many times have you said “I saw you left a voicemail. Haven’t listened to it, but I’m calling you back.”? I have to admit there are a number of unheard voicemails on my phone, but that doesn’t mean I’m not interested or have not responded.

Some studies show that voicemails are increasingly thought to be a waste of time, especially with a younger customer demographic. In fact, 72% of U.S. adults surveyed by Marketing Sherpa prefer communication with companies to happen through email.

As millennials and GenXers take on increasingly important roles in the companies you serve, you may need to rethink your marketing and sales strategy. Those groups are less likely to pay attention to voicemails—they grew up with caller ID. So is voicemail dead? Inbound marketing automation leader HubSpot says no, and we agree.

It takes 8-10 touches to connect with a prospect, and some of those should include voicemail. HubSpot’s salespeople leave a voicemail on every other call until they reach the prospect or close out the lead.

We recommend a different approach. Spend the time to carefully pre-qualify your leads with the following steps:

  1. Implement lead scoring to identify best-fit prospects
  2. Create a “smart list” (auto-populating or running list) of those prospects
  3. Research their website and LinkedIn profile

After carefully identifying best-bet prospects, we make 8 phone calls over 2 weeks, with voicemails after 2 of those calls (stopping, of course, if we’re able to reach the prospect at their desk).

Every organization’s sales cycle is different, so this approach may not be a fit for your salespeople and customers. Reserve your judgment, and consider testing the effectiveness of different approaches, like:

  • Short voicemail (Just your name, company and phone) vs. long voicemail (a more articulate reason for connecting with the prospect)
  • Multi-day vs. once-a-week sales call follow-up
  • Most successful days (Thursday & Wednesday) and times (4-5pm and 8-10pm) to call

For more sales tips that will help you hit your revenue targets, check out our 8 Tips for Better Sales Follow-up.

Download Sales Tip Sheet