The Ultimate Guide to Sales Voicemails

Around 97% of sales calls end up going to voicemail. This is discouraging as it leaves you with only a 3% window of opportunity to have a meaningful conversation with prospects.

Does this give you nothing to work with?

Well, the reality is brighter than you think. Voicemails open the doors to a new path and deliver results.

With a bit of research, and working with our most experienced account executives, we have put together the ultimate guide to sales voicemails.


The Importance of Salespeople Leaving Great Voicemails 

(no, it’s not because you don’t have any other option!)

Let’s start with the three main reasons why leaving sales voicemails is important.

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#1  — Don’t leave your phone, because voicemails lead to callbacks

According to Howard Brown, the CEO of Ringlead, every voicemail left increases the chances of getting a callback by 11%.


This shows that more attempts translate to success.

#2  — Leaving voicemails shows that you care about your prospects

Giving the right first impression is important when you contact prospects and not leaving a voicemail on your first call sends a negative message to your prospect that they aren’t important.

Leaving voicemails right from your first call sends a positive message to your prospect, showing them that they are important and you took the time and effort to reach out to them.

#3  — Leaving voicemails is standard practice

It is shocking that over 80% of salespeople still don’t leave voicemails!

You need to make six to seven phone calls (in actuality, the average is an underwhelming two times) before you stop contacting your prospects. So, it makes sense to leave them a voicemail and initiate the relationship.

The BIG section of DON’Ts when you leave voicemails

1. DON’T sell your product

Selling is your job and it might be tempting to pitch your product when you leave a voicemail, but hold back and don’t. Pitching on voicemail is one of the most common mistakes salespeople make.

Here’s one example of a voicemail script where a sales rep is evidently pushing the product:

Hi Mary, this is James calling from Acme Corp*. I’m calling you today with an excellent offer from our company. For so many years, spreadsheets and other inferior products have occupied the contact management space. Today, we’re so proud to launch our product that breaks all barriers and lets salespeople just sell. Our product is called XCRM and…

Why this won’t work

A big reason why this will not work is that your prospects will stop listening as soon as you start talking about the “offer from our company.” The voicemail will go straight to the trash.

What can you do differently?

Instead of selling the product to your prospects, sell them a meeting. Catch their attention with what they are interested in and not what you need to sell.

Hi Harry, this is Thomas from Freshworks. Did you know that over 70% of businesses never see the light of day because of poor contact management? I’d love to connect with you to give you more context on this. You can reach out to me at <phone number>. That’s <phone number>.

2. Prospects are not your better halves  — you DON’T need to leave a heavy voicemail

Think about it, how often do you listen to a long voicemail from an unknown number? Like, almost never?


The same applies to your prospects. They don’t want to listen to voicemails that are overly long and one that goes past 30 seconds.

Here’s a real example of a sales voicemail that lingers on for too long:

Why this won’t work

While long voicemails won’t work, your prospects are also unlikely to listen to a short voicemail. The trick is to find the right balance.

What can you do differently?

The optimum length for a sales voicemail has to be 10-20 seconds. Leaving a voicemail of this length instills a sense of curiosity and grabs attention without wasting your prospect’s time.

Hey, Sam, how have you been doing? This is Thomas with Freshworks. Just checking in about a module you’ve been using currently. If you have any questions regarding it, I’ll be glad to help you. Connect with me at <phone number> or you can just respond to the email I’ll be sending you shortly. That’s <phone number>.

3. You have a small window of time to work with  — DON’T talk about irrelevant information

It seems natural to leave a voicemail that has a structure that more often than not follows with you leaving your name and the company you work for.

Here’s a sample of a real voicemail that talks about random information that is not relevant to the customer:

Why this won’t work

Not sticking to short and crisp points will not entice the prospect. As soon as the prospect realizes the salesperson is lingering and not getting to the point, they will send the voicemail straight to the bin. Also, mentioning your name and company along with your product name multiple times will likely force the prospect to cut your voicemail short almost immediately.

What can you do differently?

In the voicemail, talk to the prospect by leading them with what is relevant and important to them.

Hi Adam, this is Thomas from Freshworks. I hope you had a chance to go through the deck I shared with you after our previous conversation. If you have any questions or requests for implementation, call me at <phone number>. That’s <phone number>.

4. DON’T ZIP through your phone number  — you know your number, your prospects don’t

It’s commonplace to rush through the things you know and are clear with. It’s a general human tendency. But just because you are clear with some information doesn’t mean that your prospect is as well.

Why this won’t work

Speeding through your contact information will force your prospect to listen to the voicemail twice. This also implies that you’ve been calling multiple prospects all day and gives off the impression to the prospect that they are just another name on a list.

What can you do differently?

Start with a normal tone, and by the time you get to your point and personal information, you should slow it down considerably. This method makes it more likely for prospects to finish listening to your voicemail.

Here’s an example: 



Notice how this sounds articulate and how confident the caller sounds. 

5. DON’T sound desperate  — you’ll sound pushy and downright anguished

It’s okay to assume that your prospect may not know anything about your product, but don’t make overblown claims or offers in an effort to make up for it.

Why this won’t work

You’ll basically come across as pushy, aggressive and desperate because you were assuming about a lot of things.

Take this sample, for instance:

Hi, Kate. This is Paul with Acme corp*. We’re running a campaign next week regarding our product and I’d love to have a salesperson in your area to give you more context. I’m eagerly looking forward to hearing from you. Kindly give me a call at your earliest convenience.

Here’s another sample of a voicemail, this time pushy and a bit aggressive:

Hi Harry, this is Mike with LL Corp. We’re running this campaign I thought you’d be interested in. Call me back at <phone number> when you get this. I’m looking forward to hearing back from you.

What can you do differently?

Refrain from telling your prospect what to do. This will make the process of returning your call a chore or demand on their end. You want them to be interested to call you back, without a push.

Here’s an example of a voicemail where the caller doesn’t sound desperate. 

Hey, Adam. This is Tom from Freshworks. I just wanted to connect with you and let you know about a campaign we’re running next week that has already businesses accelerate sales by 20%. If you’d like to hear more about this, you can call me back at <phone number> or respond to the email I’ll be sending you shortly. That’s <phone number>.

Callback-Guaranteed Sales Voicemail Scripts

The Lever Method


What is it?

The lever method of leaving voicemails firmly establishes the fact that you know what you’re talking about and lets your prospects know that this isn’t just another cold call.

A lever voicemail usually contains information about the prospect’s company, relevant information, and some history you have in handling their requests.

Here’s a sample of a lever-based voicemail method:

Hi, George. This is Thomas with Freshworks. I have been working closely with you and your team down at <company name> for the last year and a half. I have something really interesting that has just come across my desk, George, and I’d appreciate it if we can chat briefly. Please reach me at <phone number>. Again, this is Thomas with Freshworks at <phone number>.

Note that the lever in this voicemail is the history involved between you and the prospect you are calling. 

Here’s another sample of a voicemail that has a different lever. Ten points for guessing what the lever is, here:

The ‘Instilling Mystery’ Method


This voicemail strategy plays well to instill a sense of fear of missing out (FOMO) on something that is potentially important.

Here’s a sample of an ‘instilling mystery’ voicemail:

Hi George, this is Thomas at <phone number>. That’s <phone number>.

Notice the subtle beauty with leaving a voicemail like this. It gives nothing away. No company name, no product name; simply nothing. What’s also great about leaving a mysterious voicemail is that it’s short and can be left to multiple prospects in a short span of time.

At the end of leaving a voicemail that follows this strategy, your prospects will be asking themselves the following questions:

  • Why has this person called?
  • What could this call be regarding?
  • What if this is a potentially important call?
  • What if I don’t call back and it backfires?

And eventually, you will get a callback.

‘Presenting a Value’ Method


Why should your prospects call you back when you leave a voicemail? What’s in it for them?

Add some value in the voicemail message you leave your prospects. This could be about saving them valuable time in doing something or saving some money. It’s all about making something easier or better for them.

But this contradicts something I spoke about before—don’t pitch the product. And this method definitely looms around becoming something like that. But hey, you can limit its use to existing customers.

Here’s a sample voicemail that presents value.

This voicemail does linger on for a bit too long, but it gets right to the point and presents value in that the salesperson talks about thinking of the prospect and their potential problem when this opportunity came across their desk.

The ‘Urgent’ Voicemail


Creating urgency in the voicemail you leave can increase the chances of your prospects calling you back.

Here’s a sample of a voicemail that creates urgency:

You can create urgency in any form, but it has to be real and valuable. You can’t tell a prospect that their trial period has expired way before it actually does. This creates a sense of urgency only to eventually annoy your prospects.

The Combo Method


Once you’ve mastered these four key voicemail strategies, you can combine any two.

Here’s a sample of the ‘Lever + Instilling Value’ method:

Hi, George. This is Thomas with Freshworks. I have been working closely with you and your team down at XX Inc for the last year and a half. Something has just come across my desk, George, that has already helped teams in companies experience a 20% growth in sales. Again, this is Thomas with Freshworks and you can reach me at <phone number>.

Ways to Leave the Perfect Voicemail  — A Strategy to Perfect It

Now that you’ve understood the various types of sales strategies for voicemails, what you shouldn’t be doing, and why voicemails are important, here are some tips on how you can perfect your voicemails.

  1. Follow a trial-and-error method and pick the voicemail strategy that you are most comfortable with and add your own take on it. Do this multiple times to find the perfect voicemail script you can follow and record yourself while doing it.
  2. Every time you are posed with a ‘beep’ tone, try and stick to one voicemail type a day and leave a message along these lines every time. Listen to recordings of each voicemail iteration and assess yourself. Then, pick the best one of the lot and try sticking to this type when you leave voicemails.
  3. Record multiple voicemails. Lots of Cloud-PBX solutions allow you to record preset voicemails so that you don’t have to manually leave one every time. This allows you to mix and match seamlessly.
  4. Be ready to get call-backs. You’re not done once you leave a voicemail, right? You need to be ready to talk to your prospects once they call you back. So be prepared to get right into the conversation.

* Company, customer and caller name changed for privacy.

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