What Is a Sales Cadence and How to Get it Right
Planning is the cornerstone of selling.
But the harsh reality is most sales managers and reps rely too much on their intuition and too little on planning. Studies show that 65% of B2B marketers have not established lead nurturing campaigns.
That way, they waste resources and time.
For instance, most salespeople will follow up once or twice with their prospects before moving on to the next one.
Sometimes they’ll e-mail twice per day, while other times, they’ll forget messaging for weeks.
Inconsistency can ruin your campaign, and you can lose many potential customers. To avoid that, learn how to build an effective sales cadence that converts.
Keep reading below!
What is a sales cadence?
A sales cadence is a very suggestive term for the actual rhythm of your sales process. This cadence registers a sequence of connections you’ll make with potential customers to reach your sales goals (e.g., conversions, downloads, etc.).
Thus, your sales cadence represents your action plan, together with specific dates.
This scheduling tool also includes exact scenarios, scripts, and channels your sales reps need to communicate with your prospects.
A sales cadence begins when the potential customer has first contacted your brand. Then, it continues through planned interactions until the potential customer:
- Converts, or:
- Exits this cadence.
Want to avoid the latter possibility? Keep reading this guide.
Why Do You Need a Sales Cadence at All?
You need a sales cadence because you can attract a broader market through various channels instead of limiting yourself to a specific pool of prospects.
Other advantages of a well-built sales cadence include:
- Structure. The structure isn’t just something parents invented to keep their kids in check; it’s genuinely a productive concept, especially in marketing. When your sales process is structured, there’s no guesswork. Besides, all your interactions with potential customers are consistent, meaning more likely to produce results.
- More deals. A sales cadence improves your funnel because your reps can get in touch with more potential customers during the same interval. As a result, your sales increase.
- Better tracking. The sales cadence allows you to follow each prospect within this schedule. Besides, you have better metrics to analyze your strategy and compare your sales reps. That means it’s easier to solve problems in your framework/tools/resources to optimize results.
- Easier scaling up. You can always hire more sales reps to reach more prospects during a successful campaign. A clear sales cadence is easy to understand, so the sales agents will quickly produce results.
What Does a Good Cadence Look Like?
A good sales cadence looks good if it brings the results you want.
Ideally, we’d tell you a precise structure for a performing cadence – and we will give you some examples below. But first, it’s essential to understand that a sales cadence should fit your goals and audience.
So, start from those two pain points before crafting any plan.
People/companies need longer to decide on larger purchases. It’s the case of purchasing a home or new expensive equipment for your company. Thus, an appropriate sales cadence for this scenario can last up to 2.5 months.
This cadence could look like this:
- Day 1: E-mail
- Day 2: E-mail + call/ voicemail
- Day 7: E-mail
- Day 8: E-mail + call/ voicemail
- Repeat the last step every seven days until day 50
People/companies need less time to decide on small and urgent purchases. Therefore, if you’re targeting a business rep who should take an opportunity soon, your sales cadence should finish in about ten days. It could be the case for selling a course, taking a discount, or pitching software.
Pro tip: Blending nano-influencer marketing in your sales cadence helps you convince more leads. These content creators are experts in their niches, are charismatic, and appear like regular people. Combine that with their extensive social media know-how, and you have a perfect hook.
This cadence could look like this:
- Day 1: Two e-mails
- Day 2: One e-mail
- Day 3: First phone call + voicemail
- Day 4: Social media mention + e-mail
- Day 5: Social media post + e-mail + call
Here’s what you can say/write during a sales cadence, regardless of its duration:
First contact: Start strong with a personalized e-mail because customization increases transaction rates up to 6x. Show the prospect you understand how the business works and what they need. Of course, highlight that your product is essential in this process.
At this point, you need to have done thorough research.
“Congratulations for wanting to learn more about <financial investments>. Everyone deserves a stable financial future without worrying about new crises.
That’s why we offer you <this course in investments for beginners>. Here’s how <the course> will help you practically:
The second contact should happen 1-2 days from the first day, whether you’re selling something urgent or something that deserves long-term planning.
You should also start from your prospect’s needs during this message. Show specific examples of how your product helped others because people have intense, immediate reactions to adverse situations.
“We’ve been talking about how difficult it is to <manage your finances>. Well, this <two-week intensive course> has helped many other people/businesses like you.
For example, we recently worked with <person/business name> on the same pain points. Here’s how <this course> helped them:
<include testimony, process, and results>
We also worked with <company/person> who didn’t take this opportunity from the start.
<include negative results, testimony, review of the course>
If you want to avoid that, < enroll> now.”
The third contact could be on day five of the first week if you’re not selling something that warrants long-term planning. Otherwise, you could postpone it until the second or third week.
This message should offer something of value to your prospect and should elicit a yes/no reply.
For example, the chance of a Zoom call to discuss strategy/your prospect’s goals.
The fourth contact should be another two days to one week away. You could call and leave a voicemail if your call is unanswered. A direct social media mention would work better if you’re targeting the Z generation. Alternatively, you can learn how to make the perfect follow-up call.
The fifth contact should include a significant discount, e-book, or a chance your prospects can’t miss without feeling sorry.
The sixth contact is another success story or direct mention. If you have fewer prospects, customize this step by pointing out a poignant problem. For example, highlight a glitch in their website or a specific issue with their software. Remember to show how your product can solve that issue.
The seventh contact should be the last one for short-term offers and courses. This break-up e-mail reiterates all of the advantages, testimonies, and discounts you’re willing to offer.
If you’re selling something more expensive that demands more thinking, you should continue the sales cadence with a series of other e-mails/calls. Remember that a more extended sales cadence could have twenty contact opportunities.
Pro tip: Research shows that offering too much data to your customers can decrease sales by 18%. Conversely, the prescriptive approach that provides specific recommendations to prospects increases sales by 86%.
What Mistakes to Avoid When Building a Sales Cadence
The biggest mistake to avoid when building a sales cadence is not having a precise goal that governs the entire strategy. The second is not putting your prospects’ needs first.
For example, you can have an incredible, revolutionary product. If you don’t clarify why that product is helpful to your audience, people won’t convert.
Other mistakes include:
- Calling your prospects before 10 am when everyone starts their workdays and attends meetings. However, this is the best time to send an e-mail because there are more chances your prospects will read these e-mails.
- Reaching out to potential customers more than three times per day. For instance, you may call, leave a voicemail, and a follow-up e-mail within the same day. But more than that would feel too pushy.
- Not taking “no” for an answer. If someone refuses your services, don’t push back. Say you understand, apologize for the inconvenience, and reaffirm why you thought your product/service would be helpful. Admit that you won’t contact them again, but leave an opportunity for them to get back to you.
- Getting the steps mixed up. Sales reps who contact the same prospect with the same message or skip steps can produce irreversible damage. So, make sure your sales cadence is clear for everyone on your team.
Sales Cadence Success Metrics
It’s always important to track the results of your marketing campaigns. That’s why it’s so crucial to set an attainable goal, to begin with; this goal outlines all of your KPIs against which you measure the results you got.
Pro tip: If you have many leads, consider a software or CRM system to automate your sales cadence, including measuring your lead generation KPIs. Leveraging the best sales tools on the market will make your sales reps’ lives easier and will eliminate human error from the process.
The variables to look out for in a sales cadence are:
- The prospects who entered/exited the cadence
- The prospects who saw your messages
- The replies to your messages
- The follow-ups
- The conversions
As such, you’ll have to use the following indicators:
- E-mail open and click rate. If people opened your e-mails and clicked on the links in high proportions, that means your content was good enough to elicit action. Otherwise, it means your product’s benefits didn’t convince your leads.
- E-mail open-to-reply ratio. Your leads resonate with what you’re telling them if this ratio is high.
- Message-to-appointment ratio. If your messages resulted in multiple appointments, you’re going after the right audience and industry. Otherwise, you’re probably targeting the wrong people.
- Bounce rate. A high bounce rate shows that you need to rethink your targeting strategy and get better leads.
How to Build a Successful Sales Cadence
Building a booming sales cadence starts with the correct goal, the right leads, and a good amount of flexibility. Here are the other steps to consider:
1. Segment Your Leads
Understanding your audience is essential to figure out what they like, the channels they use, and their needs. Thus, you’ll know what solutions to propose and how to communicate them effectively.
Customer segmentation allows you to adapt that message to target your audience more precisely.
Consider these variables:
- Inbound vs. outbound prospects
- Businesses vs. single customers
- Job title, seniority, and business size if you’re targeting companies
- Purchase power
- Preferred timing and schedules
For example, if you’re selling cheap car insurance, it’s best to target current customers when it’s almost time to renew their policies.
Write short, persuasive messages if you’re targeting a CEO, COO, or another C-level manager. Remember that these people don’t have the time to analyze your touchpoints and explanations.
2. Choose the Right Channel
Research shows that Millennials and the Z-gen don’t like talking on the phone because:
- Phone calls are too time-consuming.
- Up to 81% get anxiety before making a phone call.
On the other hand, the older generations prefer phone calls and face-to-face meetings instead of receiving texts, social media messages, or zoom calls.
Pro tip: Also, consider the best communication channel for your team. If these people excel at calls, figure out how to introduce that tool into your sales cadence without inconveniencing your leads.
3. Optimize Your Contact Attempts
Experience shows that 80% of leads need at least five follow-ups to make up their minds. That means an effective sales cadence has a minimum of six to seven contacts.
Of course, you want to optimize each of them, so:
- You need a clear endgame for the entire strategy. For example, you may wish to increase engagement, get more conversions, or get more app downloads.
- You need attainable objectives for each step in the sales cadence. The first contact’s purpose may be just opening the e-mail. You want people clicking on your links and downloading your infographics by the third contact. The sixth contact should already get them to take your discounts and purchase your products.
Pro tip: Focus on just one objective per contact because you need your prospects to understand the desired action.
- Space your touchpoints. You don’t want to overwhelm potential customers, but you also don’t want them to forget about you. That’s why it’s best to contact them more frequently in the first few days and then space your messages.
- Use several channels. Sending just e-mails, calls, or social media messages can feel intrusive. However, an e-mail and social media mention feel less pushy.
4. Optimize Your Content
Make sure your messages are catchy, short, and user-oriented. You want to focus on your product’s benefits as much as possible.
Also, studies show that nowadays, traditional advertising is less convincing.
Marketing with user-generated content has more chances of getting your prospects on board, actively increasing your e-mail click-through and conversion rates.
Thus, include real people’s reviews and pictures in your messages to:
- Create desire
- Show how your products work
- Eliminate fear
5. Track and Adapt
Remember to automate your process to track your campaign. If you notice that a specific message, link, or time isn’t working, don’t be afraid to change it.
Persisting in error won’t bring you better results next time around.
Skipping the campaign evaluation is a common mistake among marketing professionals. That doesn’t mean you should do it too.
If you didn’t reach your goal, you want to see what went wrong and correct those mistakes.
If you did reach your goal, you want to see what worked. Using Salesforce and Google analytics integration can help you better understand how your campaign is performing. Make sure your campaign’s success is due to this well-thought sales cadence and not other factors in the market (e.g., a competitor losing market share or an unforeseen crisis). Otherwise, your sales cadence might fail the next time you’re using it.
A sales cadence is essential to help you reach your goals effectively, without wavering or being taken by surprise. However, you want to start with clear goals and plan everything to a T while also leaving enough flexibility to readjust.
For that, you need the right platform to help you with analytics, proposal AI, CRM integration, and more.
Do you have a sales cadence that works? How did you use it before? Let’s talk in the comments section below!
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