Best practices for creating winning sales voicemail scripts
Best practices for creating winning sales voicemail scripts

Research and analysis from experts have shown that although many salespeople believe cold calling is dead, it’s still an effective way to get new customers.

But what happens when they don’t pick up, and you get their voicemail prompt instead? 

Sidenote, this happens with about 80% of sales calls.

Instead of scrambling to come up with what to say, which often translates to awkward pauses and forgotten details, try using a voicemail sales script. This will help you create effective voicemail messages that ensure you make a great impression on your prospect and increase your chances of getting a callback.

But how do you get started, and what should you say? Read on to learn what makes an effective sales voicemail and get inspired by some voicemail script examples for your next call.

What is a sales voicemail script?

A sales voicemail script is a written version of what you want to say to a prospect in a voicemail message. Using a voicemail script ensures you don’t forget important details in your message and helps to keep it on track. 

You don’t have to use a sales voicemail script word-for-word, but it can serve as a guide or prompt to create a compelling voicemail message that triggers the prospect’s interest and gets you a callback.

Do sales voicemail scripts work?

Yes, sales voicemail scripts work. 

A study by InsideSales showed that a sales voicemail script could lead to a 22% increase in your callback rates. 

Although the relationship may start with cold outreach, once a prospect hears your voicemail message and calls back, they become a warm lead. The better your message, the more likely warm leads will reach out to you to find out how your product can help them, accelerating your sales pipeline

Using a sales voicemail script means having less flustered sales reps who know exactly what to say after they hear that voicemail tone. Plus, reps will be more likely to leave a voicemail instead of skipping it altogether, which is more common than you may think.

Sales voicemail best practices

sales voicemail best practices

Simply leaving a voicemail is a good start, but you won't see a significant increase in your callback rate unless you optimize your message. That's where using a sales voicemail script comes in handy. 

We talked to some experts about what makes a sales voicemail shine. Here are the best practices they had to share.

1. Keep it short and sweet

A study on sales voicemails reveals that the sweet spot for a sales voicemail is between 18 and 30 seconds. 

“It is important to keep it short and to the point, because the person on the other end of the line is likely busy and has a lot of things to do,” says Krittin Kalra, Founder of WriteCream. “It is also important to keep in mind that you are speaking to someone who is busy, so you should not ask too many questions or use too many words.”

Michelle Craig, former Account Executive at Postal, adds, “[...] people typically read the transcription rather than listening, so being clear and concise is key.”

2. Optimize your opening and closing line

Your sales voicemail is a pitch, so the words you use matter. Your opening line can keep the prospect listening, while the closing line can make your call memorable.

Kalra advises paying attention to your voicemail opening because it sets the tone and expectation for the call. 

“The next most important part is the first sentence of the voicemail,” Kalra says. “This is where you give your prospect a reason to listen to you. The last sentence of the voicemail is where you give your prospect a reason to remember you.” 

For the closing line, Kalra suggests ending with a callback request.

And while Kalra’s suggestion is common practice, Leah Fraser, Senior ADR at UserGems, prefers to introduce herself at the end of a call.

“I say my name at the end of the message, ‘oh, by the way, this is Leah from UserGems.’ So hopefully they listen to the entire message as opposed to me saying it at the beginning and they immediately hit delete.”

She also uses the closing message to direct them to an email instead of requesting a callback.

“I don't expect people to call me back but I do want them to have the chance (at least) to hear my voice. It humanizes [the sales rep] and apparently there is research that when we hear people's voices, it makes us trust them more.”

3. Be conversational

Yes, you need to keep your message short. But it would help if you didn’t rush through it, trying to cram in as much information as possible.

“Speak slower than you think you need to,” says Stephen Desch, ADR at UserGems. “I always stand up when I'm calling. It helps me stay focused and remain in the moment. Lastly, I always try to smile when I'm speaking with someone. I feel that it gives off a better sound.”

Your voicemail message should sound natural — as if you were in a conversation with your prospect. A friendly, conversational tone also helps them feel like you care about their business instead of like you’re just trying to hit your quota for the day.

Leah Fraser, ADR at UserGems, says, “Always try to be and sound enthusiastic, kind, and genuine. I'd rather hear from someone that sounds engaged.”

4. Personalize your message

“The key to getting a callback is breaking through all the generic sales pitches with personalization and customization,” adds Paul Chesterman, Sales Director at EthOS.

“Always use the prospect's first name when leaving a voicemail, and do your research.  Look the prospect up on Linkedin before you call them, and mention something you noticed in their profile on the voicemail.

“Showing you did your research helps the prospect feel like they're not just a number in a long list of sales calls, and you will value their time,” Chesterman explains. “To even further your chances of a callback, include other touchpoints like sending a LinkedIn connection request or an email in combination with your voicemail.”

5. Make sure it's actionable

Next, think of the next step you’d like your prospect to take and prompt them towards taking that action. For example, you can request a callback, tell them you sent more information to their email, or direct them to your website. You can also ask if a specific meeting time works for them.

To make sure your sales voicemail is actionable, include key information such as:

  • Your name
  • Your company
  • Your phone number
  • Relevant and personalized contextual research that aligns with the purpose of your call
  • Your call to action

Remember that a sales voicemail is not meant to be used to close the deal. Instead, it should serve as a touchpoint to pique their interest or get them to remember you the next time you reach out.

Sales voicemail scripts you can use

example of a sales voicemail scripts

The best sales voicemail scripts are dynamic. 

They follow best practices but are flexible enough to be personalized for each prospect.

Here are some recommendations from sales professionals about what to consider before creating your voicemail script and templates you can use or modify for your cold calls.

Cold call voicemail script examples

Jake Stutzman, Senior ADR at UserGems, recommends you keep it short and not ask for much when creating a cold call voicemail script. “Try to say something that gets their attention and is memorable,” he says.

For example, you can mention an interesting tidbit from a case study in their industry.

Michelle Craig, former AE at Postal, also adds, “It's not necessary to leave your number as the goal is to add another touch point of familiarity with your name/brand.”

Here are two of the cold call voicemail scripts Michelle uses:

Cold call voicemail script example 1:

Hey [prospect name], noticed that you're currently [goal, outcome, activity from research [and wanted to share how we've helped [comparable company name [achieve [z]. By the way, this is [sales rep] with [sales rep company]. 

Cold call voicemail script example 2:

Hi [prospect name]! Sent over an email with [x] in the subject line and didn't want it to get lost in the inbox. 

Here’s a cold call voicemail script shared by Paul Chesterman of EthOs:

Cold call voicemail script example 3: 

Hi ​[prospect’s name], ​this is ([sales rep’sname]​ with​ [sales rep’s company name].​

I’m calling because I was reviewing your LinkedIn profile and had an idea on how to help you [value prop that relates to the prospect’s LinkedIn profile].

I’m going to send you an email with some more information. If you like what you read and think it makes sense to discuss further, you can reply to the email or give me a call back at [your phone number].​

Thanks for your time and have a great day!

Examples of follow-up voicemail scripts

“[When creating follow-up voicemail scripts], keep it short, make your ‘ask’ in a simple and actionable way and say something to remind them of who you are and what you previously talked about,” says Jake Stutzman, Senior ADR at UserGems.

Here are two follow-up voicemail scripts from Michelle Craig.

Follow-up voicemail script example 1:

Hey [prospect’s name], this is [sales rep’s name] — sent an email, but thought it might be easier to talk through on a quick call. Feel free to respond or give me a call at [sales rep’s phone number].

Follow-up voicemail script example 2:

Hey [prospect’s name], this is [sales rep’s name]. Was hoping to catch you, but don't worry about calling me back — I'm sending over an email with details on [x].

Prospecting voicemail script example

Your prospecting messages are more impactful when they’re driven by context. That’s because your goal is to qualify the prospect as a lead and show them why your product fits their needs.

Using B2B prospecting tools, you can get insights about the prospect to personalize your message. For example, UserGems notifies you when a customer changes jobs.

A prospecting voicemail script to a lead using insights from UserGems could go like this.

Prospecting voicemail script: 

Hey [prospect’s name], this is [sales rep’s name] with [sales rep’s company]. Congrats on your new role as [insert prospect’s new role and company name]. I hope we can work together again soon at [new company name]. Congrats again, and please don't hesitate to reach out if we could be a fit.

This script is driven by your history with the prospect and works as a soft reminder that you can help them replicate their success with your product at their new company.

Bonus: UserGems also provides context for key contacts in a target account so you can successfully multithread your deals.

Increase callback rates with sales voicemail scripts

Sales voicemail scripts are a great way to boost the success of your cold outreach strategy. Aside from optimizing your message and defining a clear call to action, they also help you to remember important information and avoid awkward pauses. 

If you still aren't feeling too confident about making cold calls, warm up your leads with UserGems. Warm leads are 3x more likely to buy from you, and the details UserGems surfaces about prospects will make it easy for you to customize your outreach. Request a free demo today

Want to get more pipeline with less work?