Proven Cold Calling Strategies for 2023

Is cold calling worth it? It’s popular to say that cold calling is dead, but while its glory days are certainly over, connecting one-on-one with a prospect via a sales call is still a powerful sales tool, at least for some industries.

Not every business will find cold calling worthwhile, but for those who do, approaching it with proven strategies and the right technology makes all the difference. Read on to learn if cold calling is the right fit for your business, along with insider knowledge on how to cold call effectively.

How to Know if Cold Calling is Right for You

While cold calling has never been easy, today it can be nearly impossible to reach the person you want to speak to. Between caller ID, answering services, and other gatekeepers, making cold calls can be extremely time-consuming. For some companies, this is just the cost of doing business, while for others, cold calling is simply unsustainable.

So how do you know if cold calling is right for your business?

Data shows that experienced sales reps can expect to spend about 7.5 hours of sales calling to gain a referral or book one appointment. With these statistics, it’s easy to see why so many assume that cold calling just doesn’t work anymore. But if your profit per sale is high enough, and you can dial enough phone numbers per day, then cold calling might be worthwhile for your sales methodology.

Consider this scenario:

  • $5,000 average profit per sale
  • 20% of appointments lead to sales
  • $4,000 per month base, paid to full-time appointment setter

Seven-and-a-half hours of cold calling per day (using a power dialer) should net around 20 appointments per month, leading to four sales per month. This brings in $20k profit per month; $15k once the rep and sales expenses are paid. In this case, cold calling is a viable business strategy, even with the low conversion rate.

Of course, you’ll need to leverage your own data to figure out if making cold calls is the right choice for your business. If the numbers work, keep reading to find out how to cold call for the best possible results.

Anatomy of a Successful Cold Calling Strategy

In order to cold call successfully today, you’ll need two things: effective technology and proven cold calling techniques. Technology is your tool for maximizing efficiency, and technique comes down to each person’s sales skills and powers of persuasion.

Technology: The Backbone of Cold Calling

The following sales tools are absolutely necessary for cold callers:

CRM or Prospecting Software:

A customer relationship management (CRM) platform, such as the HubSpot Sales CRM, is essential technology for cold calling campaigns. You can use it to track outreach, follow-up, and other sales tasks, and it’s vital for successful sales process automation. A prospecting tool can be used in addition to your CRM, but make sure the software is integrated so your CRM is always up-to-date.

Phone System (VoIP):

A VoIP phone system is necessary for cold calling (unless you have an existing company landline that integrates with your CRM). A good VoIP like Kixie or Aircall will integrate seamlessly with your CRM, automatically logging call details as you go.

Power Dialer:

Power dialers automate the dialing process and maximize efficiency by connecting sales representatives only with the leads that answer. And as soon as you hang up, it dials the next number. This is the secret sauce for cold calling success. Remember, if your profit per sale is high enough, and you can dial enough numbers per day, then cold calling can be a great way to generate sales.

It’s important to note that power dialers are not the same as auto dialers and predictive dialers, both of which call multiple people at a time. These may allow you to rack up more calls, but you’ll risk coming across as scammy and impersonal. Power dialers automatically dial the next number if the line is busy or disconnected, or if there is no answer. This avoids this issues surrounding auto dialers and predictive dialers, while still allowing you to make the maximum number of calls.

Before making any calls, be sure you’re aware of the telemarketing laws and regulations in your state.

Cold Calling Technique

Follow a Strict Process

If you want to be successful at cold calling, you need to consistently follow a clearly defined process, like the four-step cold calling process we mention below. There’s nothing that will destroy the effectiveness of your cold calling campaign quicker than haphazardly making phone calls and winging the follow-up. Following a clear process is a vital step to cold calling success.

Utilize a Cold Calling Script or Call Architecture

Another area where you definitely don’t want to be winging it on cold calls is your call script. When most people think of call scripts, they think of the boring, repetitive, robotic call scripts you hear from huge corporations like Comcast or AT&T. While this impersonal approach isn’t ideal, you’re not going to do yourself any favors by going entirely off-script.

A far more practical solution is to use a call architecture. While call templates can be linear and one-dimensional, call architectures track the most common paths a sales conversation is likely to take, and develop responses for each one to keep the conversation going in the right direction. Also, good call architectures allow you to practice many different conversational paths so you can navigate calls comfortably and consistently without needing to read directly from a sales script. We dig into how to create your own call script or call architecture in the paragraphs below.

How to Create Effective Cold Calling Scripts, aka Call Architectures

As we mentioned above, call architectures are a significant improvement to boring, one-dimensional call scripts. But how do you go about creating one?

To start, think through the common (or likely) responses you’ll get when making a cold call – for example, “they’re not available right now,” “we already have a contract with your competitor,” and “sent to voicemail.”

Then, create a script for each conversation path, with branches for the common responses for each step. Basically, a call architecture is a flow chart showing the common pathways each call might take.

Each “bubble” or step in the call architecture should include three parts:

  1. An example of what to say. This is an example of the best response to this objection, question, pain point, or situation. A traditional call script stops here.
  2. A breakdown of each component of the response – essentially a formula for how to address the sales objection, question, or situation so that responses are phrased naturally without the robotic wording of a script.
  3. An explanation of the response and why it works. This isn’t necessary if you’re creating a call architecture for your own purposes, but is really helpful when you’re training other reps.

A Proven Four-Step Cold Call Process

As we’ve mentioned, the most important cold calling tip is to follow a defined process. This will help you reach potential customers, increase your success rate, and get the ever-important “yes.”

1. Reach Your Contact

Most of the time, reaching the decision maker will require getting past a gatekeeper. Keep in mind that the more rehearsed and “salesy” you sound, the less likely you’ll be able to get through. Instead, speak clearly and confidently, and be concise. It’s likely that you’ll need to make multiple attempts to get through to your contact, but this is a great opportunity to keep practicing and improving your sales skills.

2. Get Their Permission to Speak

A popular sales technique in cold calling is using the intro “Did I catch you at a bad time?” There are several reasons that this works so well:

  • You’re immediately addressing any resistance they may have.
  • It sets the person you’re calling at ease by giving them a polite and easy out of the conversation.
  • If they do say it’s a bad time, you have an opening to ask for a time that does.
  • If they say they have a few minutes or ask what this is about, they’re granting you permission to speak for a minute or two.

Ultimately, regardless of whether or not they choose to speak with you, you’re leaving the impression that you are polite and respectful of their time.

3. Get Them to Understand Why You’re Calling

Once you have their permission to speak, you need to be clear and get to the point immediately. No one is going to be interested unless you can clearly explain why you’re calling. Practice communicating this in a clear and concise manner.

4. Get Them to Your Conversion Goal

Your conversion goal (the desired result of each call you make) is typically to either schedule a demo or book an introductory call. Once the contact understands why you’re calling, your only aim should be to achieve this conversion goal.

A good line for this is:

“I know you weren’t expecting my call today so how about we schedule something for ________ or ________ instead?”

People who answer a cold call are rarely ready to drop everything and dive into conversation with you. If they’re interested, then get a formal discovery call on the books during your first call where they can devote their attention to you.

If they want to discuss it now, or ask you some questions first, they’ll do it. But don’t answer unasked questions or start a sales pitch when your ideal outcome is a scheduled, formal sales call.

Common Cold Calling Pitfalls

Once you’ve set yourself up with the right technology, techniques, and call architectures/dynamic call scripts, you’ll be well on your way to cold calling success. But even experienced salespeople make all-too-common cold calling mistakes.

If you want long term success in your cold calling strategy, avoid the following cold calling mistakes:

Don’t Rely Solely on Cold Calling

If you determine cold calling is a good idea there’s one golden rule: don’t put all of your eggs in this basket. Cold calling should never be the only channel you use to drum up deals. A good outbound cold calling campaign can take six months to a year to fill the pipeline even if everything works out as planned. Making this your only way to get new deals can be a devastating, even fatal, mistake.

Warm calling, cold email, outreach through LinkedIn and other social media platforms, and even in-person selling can help you find potential clients and nurture existing relationships.

Don’t Think it Will Be Easy

Cold calling stinks. There’s some good days, but the overwhelming majority of people hate cold calling. It’s hard, frustrating, and people aren’t friendly. Don’t plan on cold calling being easy. Plan on it being several times more difficult than you can possibly imagine. That said, if the numbers still make sense, do it. Just don’t expect it to be easy.

Don’t Lose the Metrics

Failure to accurately track your sales metrics will bite you in the ass in the long run. Make sure you (and everyone on your sales team) are accurately logging call details and tracking sales outreach activities. This will give you the data you need to make better decisions and transparency to know when and where improvement is needed.

Don’t Get Lazy

Remember that cold calling is a numbers game – if you can’t do it efficiently, you’re not going to be successful. Leverage technology, follow systems and call architectures, and be consistent with outreach and follow ups. Consistent effort = consistent results.

In Conclusion

Cold calling isn’t for everyone, but if your average order value is high enough to justify the time needed and low conversion rate, it can be a powerful sales tool. But don’t approach it haphazardly, and don’t expect it to be easy. As with anything, the right product, technology, and technique will go a long way toward setting your business up for cold calling success.

Close CRM – Everything You Need to Know

If you’re in the market for a CRM with a built-in power dialer, or are looking for a full-featured sales management tool that’s easy for team members to learn and use, you’ve probably heard of Close. While it won’t meet the needs of every sales team, it is a solid CRM with several useful features.

Every customer relationship management (CRM) platform has strengths and weaknesses, and knowing the potential pros and cons of the CRM software you’re looking to purchase is an essential part of the research process. Read on to learn more about Close CRM.

Close CRM Strengths:

Close has great calling features

Close is surprisingly well equipped for making calls. Power dialers are the first step toward consistently making a high volume of sales calls, and Close has this feature natively. This is great since adding an efficient dialer onto most other CRMs is either impossible, expensive, or integrates poorly. With Close you get this feature right out of the box.

Close is easy to learn and use

A major strength of Close is its ease of use, which is partially because its features and options are so limited. That said, Close sticks to its core activities (namely calling and deal tracking) and does those well in a simple, easy-to-navigate format.

Close CRM Weaknesses:

Reporting is extremely limited

If you’re looking for solid reporting capabilities, you may want to consider HubSpot Sales CRM or Pipedrive CRM, as Close’s reporting functionality is extremely limited. While there have been a few improvements in recent years, Close still offers only a few basic reports. Enterprise users have slightly better options with custom graphs, but these remain unimpressive when compared to other CRMs.

Customization is limited

Close will look pretty much the same for any salespeople using it. You’re not able to change the user interface much, and while you can create custom fields on the dashboard and properties to record data, you can’t do much with them.

Other Close CRM Features Worth Noting:

Multichannel inbox – Communicate and follow up with prospects by email, phone, and text from one central inbox.

Dynamic template tags – Add tags to email templates to easily create automatically personalized emails in a bulk email campaign.

Call recording – Access recorded calls directly from the contact page.

Power dialer – Automatically call through your lead list without delays between each call.

Predictive dialer – Native software that lets you dial multiple numbers at once and automatically connect once someone picks up.

WorkflowsSales process automation that enables you to assign leads, create tasks, and reach out via email and SMS.

Bottom Line:

Close CRM has great calling features and is easy for sales reps to learn and use. It has integrations with Zapier, ChatGPT, Segment, HubSpot, Gmail, Google Calendar, and more. It’s one of the only CRMs at this price point that offers a full-fledged predictive dialer.

Close pricing plans include Startup, Professional, and Enterprise tiers. Monthly rates are $49 (one user), $299 (three users), and $699 (five users), respectively. Users on the Professional tier – for example, small businesses – can add extra users for $99.

This may be the best CRM for teams with a sales strategy that requires making lots of outbound calls, as long as the reps’ sales skills won’t be hindered by minimal customization and a lack of in-depth reporting tools.

Telemarketing Laws: From Timeframes to Call Recording Consent

Despite the rise in social selling and email prospecting, telemarketing is still a staple of many companies’ outbound strategies. While it can be cumbersome to navigate each state’s specific requirements around telemarketing, the potential penalties for violations can be significant and include both fines and jail time in some states.

In this blog, we’ll walk you through your obligations around allowable time windows for telemarketing and recording calls.

Is Now a Good Time to Call?

It’s always a good practice to ask the person answering the phone if now is a good time to speak. But before you get that far, it’s important to know the restrictions around telemarketing call windows for the state you are calling. 

Telemarketing Timeframes and State Law

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) set the telemarketing sales rules at the federal level.

For example, the FTC’s National Do Not Call Registry is designed for consumer protection and levies steep fines against salespersons who call telephone numbers on the do not call list. And the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) sets guidelines on “robocalls,” text messages, and other forms of unsolicited contact to protect the public from harassment, misrepresentations, and scams.

When it comes to timeframes for telephone solicitation, federal law allows for calls between 8 am and 9 pm local time at the called person’s location, but many states are more restrictive.

To help ensure interstate telephone calls are compliant with state laws, the table below lists allowable call times for states that are more restrictive than federal law.

List of telemarketing timeframes by state

 Why Record Calls at All?

Recording telephone calls can have multiple benefits for the company:

  • Training and Quality Assurance: For businesses, particularly those in customer service, recorded sales calls offer a goldmine of training materials to help your team improve their sales skills. They enable team leaders to review conversations, provide feedback, and train new staff using real-life scenarios.
  • Evidence: Recorded calls can serve as evidence in case of disputes or disagreements. They provide a tangible record of what was said, by whom, and when.
  • Memory Aid: Sometimes, we just need a reference to remember the specifics of a conversation, especially if it involves intricate details.
  • Note Taking: Many applications will allow users to download transcripts of call recordings. When you take those transcripts and ask ChatGPT to summarize them, including action items, you have everything you need to send a recap note to the meeting attendees.

Before You Click ‘Record’

While the benefits of recording calls are significant, recording such calls without consent can infringe on privacy rights, leading to potential legal troubles.

One-Party Consent vs. Two-Party Consent

In the U.S., the primary distinction in call recording laws revolves around consent: 

One-Party Consent:

If the sales rep’s state follows a one-party consent rule – and the prospect is also in a one-party consent state – only one person involved in the call needs to consent to the recording. This means if you’re the one recording the call, you don’t need to notify or get permission from the other party.

Two-Party Consent:

States with a two-party (or all-party) consent rule require that everyone involved in the conversation consent to being recorded. This is where it gets tricky, especially for businesses operating in multiple states.

Below is a table presenting one-party and two-party consent states. Note: If you are not sure of the jurisdiction of the person you’re speaking to, it’s always safer to obtain consent.

Call recording telemarketing laws by state

Telemarketing Laws for International Call Recording

The telemarketing laws surrounding call recording are even more complex when businesses operate internationally. The following is a sample of existing requirements for recording phone conversations. It is essential to review local regulations in detail, especially if you’re operating in or calling to/from different countries.

European Union

With the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the EU has set stringent guidelines about data protection and privacy. When it comes to phone call recording, businesses must ensure that they receive consent from the participants, maintain records securely, and confirm that the reason for using a call recorder fulfills one of five specific conditions.

Before you record a call, be sure it is:

  1. Necessary to fulfill a contract to which the participant in the call is a party.
  2. Required to meet a legal obligation to which the recorder is subject.
  3. Needed to protect the vital interests of one or more participants.
  4. In the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the recorder.
  5. In the legitimate interests of the recorder, unless those interests are overridden by the interests of the participants in the call which require protection of personal data.


Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) mandates businesses to obtain consent before recording phone calls.


The Privacy Act dictates that call recording is permissible provided the other party has the required oral disclosure that the call is being recorded.

Best Practices for Compliant Call Recording

For Outbound Cold Calling 

If both states are one-party consent states, record the call and do not inform.

However, if one state is a two-party consent state, do not record the call.

For Inbound Calls

Many businesses use prerecorded messages at the start of the call. For example, “This call is being recorded for quality and training purposes.”

Secure Storage

Recorded calls contain personal data, like phone numbers, credit card information, and even material information that could be sensitive for their business. Good businesses practices should ensure that these records are stored securely, limiting access only to authorized personnel.

Train Your Staff

Ensure that your team understands the importance of following call recording laws. Provide regular training to keep them updated, and monitor to ensure compliance.

Stay Updated

Telemarketing laws and regulations change. Make it a point to stay updated with local, state, national, and international laws pertaining to call recording.

Tools for Recording

It’s important that your team has the right sales tools. Most video calling platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams provide audio/visual recording capabilities. If you’re making calls from a VoIP, or only have audio recordings, we recommend TL:DV. Upload your recordings to this tool for AI-generated notes and transcripts of your calls. 

While telemarketing remains a significant aspect of many sales methods, tread carefully in terms of both timing and call recording. By implementing best practices, consistently updating your knowledge base, ensuring staff training, and leveraging the right sales solutions, businesses can still effectively utilize telemarketing while maintaining compliance and fostering trust with their customers.

Enabling Buyers at Every Stage

Buyer Enablement helps steer prospects toward your offer. It’s about feeding them the right information at the perfect time, potentially boosting conversion rates by 20%.

The buyer’s journey into three stages: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision. Here’s how to craft content for each stage:

Awareness Phase

Goal: Educate and guide

What Buyers Want: Knowledge about their problem

Best Vehicles:

Indications that a lead is in the “Awareness” stage:

  • Website visits to educational or informational pages
  • Google searches with symptoms of a problem included in keywords
  • Attending informational events.

Tech that Can Help:

  • Social Media Management Tools: Tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer, or Sprout Social let you schedule, post, and monitor social media content to engage with early stage leads
  • SEO Tools: Platforms like SEMrush, Moz, or Ahrefs ensure content is optimized for organic search, attracting potential buyers during their research phase
  • Google Analytics: To understand the source of website traffic and what content potential buyers are engaging with

Consideration Phase

Goal: Showcase expertise

What Buyers Want: Deep insights, comparisons, and potential solutions

Best Vehicles:

Indications that a lead is in the “Consideration” stage:

  • Engagement with content that compares one solution with another
  • Inbound questions regarding specific differentiators of your products vs others
  • Engagement with tools like cost calculators and product configurators

Tech that Can Help:

  • Email Marketing Platforms: Tools like Mailchimp, HubSpot, or Constant Contact enable lead nurturing through email marketing and more
  • Chatbots and Messaging Platforms: Tools like Intercom, Drift, or MobileMonkey engage leads in real-time, answering questions and directing them to resources or reps
  • Webinar Platforms: Solutions like Zoom, Livestorm, or Webex hosting informational sessions or workshops

Decision Phase

Goal: Make the Sale

What Buyers Want: Address objections, showcase value

Best Vehicles:

Indications that a lead is in the “Decision” stage:

  • Requesting detailed pricing information, terms and conditions, etc.
  • Requesting references or further social proof (e.g. industry-specific specific case studies)
  • Requesting a trial

Tech that Can Help:

  • Sales Enablement Platforms: Tools like SalesLoft, Highspot, or Showpad equip reps with the right content or knowledge at the right time
  • Proposal and Quoting Software: Platforms like PandaDoc, Proposify, or Qwilr to create, send, and track professional proposals quickly
  • E-Signature Platforms: Solutions such as DocuSign or PandaDoc expedite the closing process by allowing leads to securely sign contracts or agreements online
  • Competitive Intelligence Tools: Platforms like Crayon or Kompyte help reps stay updated on competitors’ moves, allowing them to position their offerings more effectively

Boost Email Engagement with Video

Boost your email open rates by 19%, click-through rates by 65%, and cut unsubscribes by 26% with one tool: video. Video, especially in emails, has become a powerful marketing tool because:

  • It’s now affordable and accessible to produce high-quality content.
  • Videos can simplify complex topics better than text.
  • They showcase the brand’s personality, fostering familiarity.
  • They naturally grab more attention than plain text, boosting visibility and engagement.

For prospecting, videos are invaluable. Start with an email introduction and then offer a personalized video. This makes your video anticipated and tailored to the recipient, increasing engagement.

Example strategy:

  • Email 1: “Thanks for downloading our Commission Modeler. What challenges do you face in selecting the right commission structure? Reply, and I’ll provide a personalized video with recommendations.”
  • Email 2 (if no response): “Here’s a video about selecting the right commission model for various sales models. If you want personalized insights: <insert link to sales page>”

Thinking of using video? Here are tips:

  • Personalize: Address specific issues of the prospect.
  • Keep it concise: Aim for about 30 seconds. Anything longer than that, and viewers drop off.
  • Be clear: Have a succinct message with a defined call-to-action.
  • Prioritize quality: Even smartphone cameras work, but ensure good lighting, minimal background noise, and stability.

Expand video use to social media, post-event emails, testimonials, and demos. Incorporating video in your email marketing not only boosts engagement but also effectively addresses prospect needs, paving the way for conversion.

HubSpot Sales CRM – Everything You Need to Know

If you’re in the market for customer relationship management (CRM) software, you’ve probably heard of HubSpot. There’s a reason this sales management software has such widespread recognition – it’s the only enterprise-level CRM that’s affordable and scalable for small to midsize sales teams.

After completing numerous HubSpot Sales Hub implementations for our clients, and using it for our own CRM needs, we’ve developed an in-depth appreciation for all that HubSpot has to offer. We detail these below, along with a few things that you should know before purchasing HubSpot Sales Hub software for your team.

HubSpot Sales Hub Strengths & Weaknesses

HubSpot is a CRM software that offers six different hubs: Sales Hub, Marketing Hub, Customer Service Hub, CMS Hub, Operations Hub, and Commerce Hub. Each hub has a Starter tier, Professional tier, and Enterprise tier. Hubs can be combined for a significant discount in HubSpot’s CRM Suite bundles. Nearly all sales capabilities are contained within HubSpot’s Sales Hub, so that’s what we’ll be discussing today.

Every CRM platform has strengths and weaknesses, and HubSpot Sales Hub is no exception. Knowing the potential pros and cons of the CRM you’re looking to purchase is an essential part of the research process. Read on to learn what we’ve discovered as experienced HubSpot users.

Strengths of HubSpot Sales Hub:

Great user experience from Sales Hub Starter to Sales Hub Enterprise

When choosing a CRM software, one of the most important things to look for is the combination of scalability and user experience. In other words, your sales CRM should be easy enough to use that your reps will like it and commit to using it, and it should be scalable enough to still be a good choice as your business grows.

HubSpot is the only enterprise CRM that includes every capability you could ever need, along with a great user experience for every team size and price point.

We don’t recommend other enterprise CRMs like NetSuite and ACT because of how clunky and outdated they look and feel. Salesforce and ZohoOne are not much better. We’ve found that sales teams who use these tools just don’t like using them as much as non-enterprise CRMs, and find them all to have steeper learning curves. HubSpot gives you the strength (and scalability) of an enterprise CRM without jeopardizing buy-in from your team.

Nearly unlimited sales automation capabilities

HubSpot has just about every workflow and task automation you’d ever need. Sales Hub Professional is enough automation for most teams and costs a maximum of $500/month for five users, whereas Sales Hub Starter ($20/month) is just enough automation for small teams just starting out. Either way, this is far more automation options than a non-enterprise CRM like Pipedrive.

Because HubSpot Sales Hub is one of the largest sales CRMs, there are options for integrating with nearly every software you use in the HubSpot App Marketplace. This doesn’t mean every integration will be useful to your workflow, but you have more options than you would with a non-enterprise CRM.

Affordable Sales CRM for small sales teams, with nearly unlimited capability to scale as you grow

While the entry tier CRM technically offers free tools, anyone serious about sales will want the HubSpot Sales Hub Starter plan. This is $20/month for two users ($10 per additional) and provides great sales tools for an entry-level CRM. It won’t give you automated tasks or prospecting, but it’s easy to set up, learn, and use to your advantage.

High quality sales training and resources

Regularly updating your sales skills is important, and HubSpot’s training academy and onboarding services offer incredible value. Not only are the courses for learning how to use HubSpot great, but they also have some of the best online sales training courses we’ve ever seen, and this all comes included with your subscription. The free HubSpot blog has up-to-date articles for every feature and process, as well as sales and marketing skills, concepts, methodologies, and more.

Weaknesses of HubSpot Sales Hub:

HubSpot Sales Hub is not ideal for automated prospecting

In order to get automated email sequences, you’ll need Sales Hub Professional, with a price tag of ~$500/month. Even then, you’ll have less automated prospecting capabilities and settings than you would with a dedicated prospecting tool.

This is why we often recommend combining Sales Hub Starter with Reply, which comes out to ~$90/month for both applications and includes a good native integration between the two. One of the other sales engagement tools we recommend is Growbots, which includes both prospecting and targeting tools and also works well with HubSpot.

To do full-blown prospecting in HubSpot you’ll need Sales Hub Enterprise ($1,200/month). This HubSpot Sales Hub tier is loaded with features but is not at all worth buying if you only need it for prospecting.

HubSpot’s buying process can be annoying

HubSpot is a large company, and the sales experience can be hit or miss depending on which sales rep you get. They are open to a lot of negotiation, which can be a good thing or bad thing depending on your needs. While we appreciate when a SaaS company makes the buying process easy, being able to negotiate can play to your advantage if there’s only one feature you need from a different tier or Hub, or if you’re willing to bundle product Hubs, pay annually, or sign a long-term contract.

With a lot of marketing contacts, HubSpot Marketing Hub can be expensive

The vast majority of companies won’t experience this scaling issue. If you want to actively market to 10,000+ contacts you’ll end up spending ~$3,600 per month. Fortunately, Sales Hub doesn’t have this same problem and is much more affordable for marketing teams at scale (~$120 per user for 10+ users).

HubSpot CRM features that will revolutionize your sales process

To be successful, sales teams must have a written, enforceable, transparent, and efficient sales methodologies. The last two qualities, transparency and efficiency, are not possible without CRM features like the ones we’ve listed below.

HubSpot CRM features that help create transparency:

1. Two-way email sync through the HubSpot Sales Extension

This feature, which is available for both free and paid users, is one of the simplest ways to create transparency for your team. When enabled, the HubSpot Sales extension automatically syncs all incoming and outgoing email, whether through Gmail, Outlook, or any other provider, to the corresponding contact or company in the CRM. Once this is running in the background, conversations with leads and existing customers are all recorded and accessible, making it easy for anyone to get up to speed in less time if needed.

2. HubSpot Calling and/or VoIP integrations

HubSpot calling can be a great option if outbound calls aren’t a huge part of your sales process. Each HubSpot Sales Hub tier includes a block of minutes each month (HubSpot Sales Hub Starter – 500 minutes, Sales Professional – 3,000 minutes, and Sales Hub Enterprise – 12,000 minutes), so if you’re only occasionally reaching out to customers or prospects, this might be enough to meet your needs.

When call recording is enabled, HubSpot will record every call and attach the recording to the contact record, which allows for call review and coaching, as well as the ability to listen to past conversations, which is ideal for transparency.

If you have a sales team making hundreds of calls per day, you’ll probably want to go with a VoIP that integrates well with HubSpot, like Aircall or Kixie. These more robust platforms create transparency through automatic call logging and recording, along with queues, power dialers, and other high-volume calling tools.

HubSpot Sales Hub easily connects to HubSpot Customer Service Hub to provide real-time customer support with live chat or chatbots.

3. Detailed sales analytics and custom reporting

HubSpot has solid reporting tools for both the free CRM tier and Sales Hub starter. HubSpot Sales Hub Professional and Enterprise users have access to even more robust reporting options, along with sales analytics that will help you to keep a pulse on the effectiveness and productivity of your salespeople.

Detailed activity reports and customizable dashboards mean that every member of your sales team can stay in the loop and aware of the personal and team activity metrics that will directly lead to their success.

HubSpot CRM features that improve efficiency:

Efficiency is the effort required from sales reps when moving deals through the sales process, from lead scoring to the moment you close deals. Too often, sales reps end up spending too much time on repetitive or even unnecessary tasks. By becoming more efficient, your team will be able to spend more time actually selling. Time and time again, we’ve seen that sales team efficiency translates into increased revenue.

HubSpot Sales Hub offers multiple tools to improve rep efficiency. Below, we’ve listed a few of our favorites.

1. Streamline sales emails with templates and snippets

Unlike mass email marketing templates, HubSpot sales email templates and snippets are designed for personalized, one-to-one sales emails. Creating templated emails instead of re-inventing the wheel every single time you need to reach out to a lead or customer is one of the easiest ways to increase efficiency. Canned snippets are similar to templates, but are intended for bite-sized chunks of information like specific legal terms or responses to frequently asked questions.

2. Keep leads from falling through the cracks with automated follow-up

When it comes to sales, it’s all about the follow-up. On average, only 2% of sales are made during the first point of contact. That means if you don’t follow up, even with a simple follow-up email, you’re missing out on potentially 98% of your sales. That’s no small amount.

But even knowing that follow-up is key, it’s far too easy for reps to let leads fall through the cracks. Fortunately, with HubSpot Sales Hub it’s easy to automate follow-up tasks based on time since last contact, lead behavior, and even deal stage. Sales automations are available for Sales Hub Starter to Enterprise users, so there’s no excuse for not using them to create tasks and follow-up reminders.

3. Be more consistent with sales outreach using sequences

Out of all the sales engagement tools that HubSpot Sales Hub offers, sequences might be one of the most underrated. Many confuse sequences with an auto-drip campaign, but in HubSpot sequences are actually semi-automated cadences that enable you to reach out to leads in a varied and intentional way throughout your sales process.

Basically any sales outreach activity – 1:1 emails, calls, texts, and LinkedIn messaging, along with other task reminders, can be added to a sequence with natural delays between each step.

Here’s an example:

  • Day 1: Send LinkedIn connection request + send first cold email
  • Day 2: If LinkedIn connection is accepted, send first LinkedIn message
  • Day 5: Send second cold email
  • Day 8: Send second LinkedIn message
  • Day 10: Send third cold email
  • Day 11: Make first phone call
  • Day 16: Make second phone call

If a lead responds to an email, or schedules a meeting from your scheduling link, HubSpot can automatically unenroll them from the sequence so that you can continue the conversation organically.

Sequences are only available to HubSpot Sales Hub Professional and Enterprise users, but are definitely worth considering if your team is doing a high volume of sales outreach.

More HubSpot Sales Hub features we love to use:

  • Custom properties – this allows you to track and report on the specific sales and customer data that matters to you and your business.
  • Multiple deal pipelines – you can use each deal pipeline for a different product or sales process.
  • Meeting scheduler – send contacts a link so they can easily book meetings at a time that works for their schedule.
  • Personalized emails – use dynamic fields in templates to easily create personalized emails in seconds.
  • Email tracking – get unlimited notifications when contacts view and click on tracked emails.
  • Lead rotation automation – distribute incoming leads fairly to each member of your sales team.
  • Sales pipeline automation – automatically create deals and move them through the sales pipeline based on pre-defined criteria.
  • Document library – store and share documents with trackable links so you have clear data on which pieces of sales collateral are converting.

How to choose between Sales Hub Starter, Professional, and Enterprise

With all of the bells and whistles that HubSpot has to offer, it’s not always obvious what Sales Hub tier will best serve your needs. While each situation is unique, there are some general guidelines that will help point you in the right direction.

HubSpot Sales Hub Starter

This extremely affordable HubSpot tier gives you everything you need in a basic CRM, while allowing room to grow and expand down the road.

Choose HubSpot Sales Hub Starter if:

  • You only need basic CRM functionality without automations or in-depth reporting
  • You’re working with a small team and limited budget
  • You’re just starting out, but want to be prepared for significant growth in the near future.

HubSpot Sales Hub Starter might not be the right fit if:

  • You need to automate sales processes or create custom reports
  • You need multiple deal pipelines

HubSpot Sales Hub Professional

While this HubSpot tier jumps up in price, there’s also a significant increase in what you can do with Sales Hub Professional.

Choose HubSpot Sales Hub Professional if:

  • You want to increase sales rep efficiency by automating follow ups and task reminders
  • You need sequences, sales analytics, and playbooks
  • You need lead scoring and automated lead rotation

HubSpot Sales Hub Professional might not be a good fit if:

  • You want to organize users in teams
  • You need custom objects, custom goals, or predictive lead scoring
  • You’re integrating with Salesforce or a custom API

HubSpot Sales Hub Enterprise

HubSpot Sales Hub Enterprise allows you to do pretty much anything you can imagine with your CRM, but it’s not cheap. HubSpot Sales Hub Professional will meet the needs of 99% of non-enterprise sales organizations, but there are a few reasons you may want to choose enterprise.

Choose HubSpot Sales Hub Enterprise if:

  • You have multiple sales teams and sales managers
  • You need conversation insights, custom objects, or custom goals
  • You want to automate almost everything from sequence enrollments to predictive lead scoring
  • You need to integrate with Salesforce or a custom API

Bottom line:

Whether you have an established sales team or are just starting out, HubSpot Sales Hub has the functionality and tools you need to manage your sales team, improve sales performance, and scale effectively.