Lead conversion statistics in South Africa

Lead conversion statistics in South Africa

Out of everyone who shows interest in your product and asks you to call them, how many of them actually convert to clients? These are some of the lead conversion stats for cold calling in South Africa.

We advertised a product and asked everyone who was interested in buying the product to give us their phone numbers and we would call them. We called over 200 people; some were called immediately after they gave us their numbers and some after some hours or days.

Our findings

Voicemail stats

45% of all the leads we called couldn’t be reached because their phone was on voicemail. The time of the day didn’t make much difference. These voicemails were mainly for people who had been called after 24 hours. For people who were called the same day, usually within a few minutes or hours; the voicemail rate was 37%.

We didn’t find any evidence that the voicemail rate dropped further when leads were called immediately. There were leads who were called within 2 – 5 minutes and their voicemail stats are the same as the above. What we observed for leads who were called immediately was that they postponed to another time; saying the time wasn’t convenient for them to have a conversation. A lead might say something like “please call again at 4pm”.

Number doesn’t exist

10% of all the leads we called couldn’t be reached because their number doesn’t exist. This might have been due to mistakes the leads made when they filled in their contact details.

Don’t remember

9% of all the leads we called said that they didn’t remember giving us their contact details for a follow up. These were mainly leads who had not been contacted in 2 or more days. We didn’t make calls on weekends; these were leads who left their phone numbers on a Friday and were contacted on Monday.

Only one lead who had been contacted the same day said that it must have been a mistake. Almost all of them remembered but gave excuses as to why they couldn’t continue with the sales process. Most of them postponed and one just dropped the call without any communication.

Already bought somewhere else

5% of all the leads we called said they had already bought what we were selling them somewhere else. These were mainly leads who had not been contacted within 24 hours. None of the leads who were called within 24 hours said that.

Leads who didn’t commit immediately

10% of all the leads we called could not immediately commit to buying our product. They gave a variety of reasons as to why, but promised to commit sometime down the line. Most said they would buy at the end of the month and some said there are things they needed to setup first before committing.

Some of the leads would ask us to continue the process via email or WhatsApp.

Leads who were committed

10% of all the leads we called immediately committed to buying our product. These were leads who said they were ready to buy right there and then, however, the buying process required them to fill out some information and some of them abandoned the process along the way.

Most of them said that the time wasn’t convenient and that they would finish the process later on. Some of these leads came back to finish the process later on.

Lead conversion success

3% of all the leads we called were successfully converted to being our customers. These are people who said “I remember giving you my details and yes I want to buy your product”.


There is a group of leads that falls into the “other” category, these were leads whose sale conversion process became very different from the above and couldn’t be categorised. These people didn’t end up being customers.

Final thoughts

These stats don’t include the days of the week and time of the day. It might happen that most of the leads who were successfully converted were called in a particular time of the day or day of the week. This is something we are yet to analyse.

However, the above lead conversion success rate of 3% falls in line with other findings that have done a similar research. We simply couldn’t believe that of all people who showed interest in our products; only 3% went on to be customers. According to most findings; the lead conversion rate is between 2 and 3 %. This also differs according to industry.

Most of these studies were conducted from the USA and we wanted to conduct a study in South Africa to see if there would be any difference. Turns out that there isn’t, leads are leads.


The lead conversion rate in South Africa lies between 2 and 3%. This is for leads who were called, we haven’t conducted a study for leads who were contacted by emails or WhatsApp. Do you have any thoughts or questions? Comment below.

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