Sales Cadence: Your Path To Convert Leads Efficiently | Upscale
September 21st 2021
Sales Best Practices
Sales Cadence
Chances are, you were, like any salesperson, very confident of your negotiation skills. You probably thought you would kill the sales quota with your ability to convince prospects that they need your product! Why else would you choose to be in this dynamic field?

At the end of your first month, however, reality hit. Closing a sale is no cakewalk, even for brilliant salespeople around the world. It takes about 8-9 follow-ups before you can get a prospect to engage with your product.

Thankfully, there are processes and proven strategies that increase the chances of converting your prospects into loyal customers. Sales Cadence is one such process.

What is a Sales Cadence?

A sales cadence is a sequence of touchpoints designed for a sales rep to connect with a prospect for an engagement or a sale. It includes building a strong outreach approach that includes multiple touchpoints like phone calls, emails, social media, etc.

You will know your sales cadence is successful when you enter prospects into the sales pipeline, qualify them into opportunities, and convert them into loyal customers.

Why do you need a Sales Cadence?

Shooting in the dark never gets you business. Selling is both a science and an art based on the situation. Say you've tamed the "leads" beast, and you're generating numerous quality leads every month. Does this alone guarantee a steady conversion rate? Of course not! For your sales to gain momentum, you need to boost the conversion rates. Combining your outbound strategy with an effective sales cadence will do that.

Any for-profit business wants to maximize revenues, and sales cadence is a design that allows you to predict your revenue. How? All reps follow a consistent process set by your business, leading to accurate predictions.

A sales cadence gives the sales rep a framework that guides them on the best outreach methods and ultimately results in the sales reps becoming experts of their trade.

However, it's one thing to train a sales rep to work a sales cadence, but it's a different ballgame to devise an effective sales cadence that yields the best results for you.

Elements of a Sales Cadence

Building a sales cadence is an ongoing process which requires timely reviewing and reworking. Before understanding how to build your sales cadence, it is important to understand the elements of a cadence. The elements on which an effective sales cadence depend upon are as follows:

  • Timing

  • Timing is crucial when it comes to reaching out to prospects. Perfecting your sales cadence is about identifying the time slots that are likely to get you maximum engagement. You must remember that there is no-time-suits-all to get you the highest response rate. You have to determine the best time slot for all prospects individually through A/B testing.

  • Multi-channels Cadence

  • The channels used are crucial when it comes to lead prospecting. Sales cadence mostly involves using three channels to reach out to prospects, namely phone calls, emails, and social media. You need to design a cadence using a combination of these three channels. A/B Test different combinations of these channels to determine what works best for you.

  • Length of the Cadence

  • The length of the cadence refers to the number of days you want the sales cadence to be active. The cadence should be long enough to ensure all the steps are spaced out without being forced or unnecessary. You must consider that your sales cadence should not be too long which might annoy the prospects. The most optimal length can be derived based on the response of the prospects. Generally, a day’s gap is kept between two subsequent steps.

Things to keep in mind when Building a Sales Cadence

Getting the sales cadence right is like devising a new recipe for your restaurant. You need to test various contestants according to the target market, persona, geography, products/services, etc. And once you seem to have a winner, it is equally essential to evaluate that cadence for the best results continuously.

There are 7 pillars to your sales cadence strategy.

  1. Know your Target Audience

    An in-depth study of your audience groups is crucial. It's the only way you'll understand their pain points and prioritize them according to the value they can derive from your product at a given time. You also need to know prospects that are most active and the most suitable time slots to reach out to them.

  2. Personalize Content

    You may have perfected the sales cadence structure, but if your content is mediocre, all that effort goes in vain. If you can't intrigue your prospects enough, they will not stick around for the rest of the information in the follow-up steps. Relevant and to-the-point exciting content can help you build a rapport with your prospect.

  3. Channels of Outreach

    An all-rounded approach to outreach includes email, phone calls, texts, and social media. Design your cadence according to the customers' usage pattern. If your prospect is likely to respond to a LinkedIn Inmail, make sure you include that in your cadence workflow.

  4. The Number of Touch-points

    According to the Online Marketing Institute, delivering a qualified sales lead takes 7-13 touches. Several market studies have concluded that 92% of sales reps usually give up after four "no's," and only 8% of sales reps follow up the fifth time. Therefore, it is suggested that the sales cadence include a minimum of 10-15 touchpoints for every prospect. You can adjust this number according to the responses.

  5. Timing Between Touchpoints

    A space of at least 1-2 days between each step of your cadence is ideal. Don't annoy the prospect by contacting them multiple times in a day. At the same time, do not risk losing attention by waiting more than four days to follow up.

  6. Duration of the Cadence

    A typical sales cadence lasts anywhere between two and four weeks. Beware of the temptation to lengthen the sales cadence if you've not been able to engage with the prospect through earlier efforts. It's better to give quality information via a shorter cadence than boring the prospect with redundant content in hopes of getting a reply.

  7. Testing the Cadence

    Evaluate the cadence to improve your performance continually. Answering these questions might help arrive at the efficacy of the sales cadence:

    • Ideally, how many touches or follow-ups does it take to get a response from a prospect?
    • Open and click-through rate of your emails.
    • What type of content gets the highest response?
    • How many touches does it take to move from one step of the cadence to the next? And finally, to move the prospect down in the funnel to a sale?
    • How many conversions happened using different sales cadences?

    To do this exercise, you can A/B test two or more different sales cadences and see which ones perform better. Once you identify the best cadence, repeat the process to improve it continually.

An Example of a Sales Cadence

A general rule of thumb is, to begin with, an email and then follow up with a phone call, leaving a voicemail if they don't respond. Here, it makes sense to space out the rest of the touchpoints that incorporate various outreach methods.

Here's an example of a Sales Cadence:

Day 1: Send a personalized email

Research about your prospects on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. It will help you understand them better and know if your product/service is a fit. You can send a personalized email to suitable prospects, followed by a connection request on LinkedIn.

"Hey, congratulations! I came across your LinkedIn post about the award <or prospect's achievement/recognition>! Your journey through the <prospect's industry> is genuinely inspiring.

Through my industry research and also, about your company, I believe our business solution could help boost the <company's name>'s productivity. <List how your solution benefits for their overall business performance.>”

Day 3: Send an email pitching your product/service

Let the prospect know that you understand their pain point. Highlight specific business use cases, and let them know how your product/service could benefit them.

"I am reaching out to you because <pain points>.

<Your solution>. We recently helped <competitor's name> solve a similar problem. They are now getting <provide a percentage or growth rate> better <revenue, performance, etc.>

Is this on the top of your mind? If yes, could I get 15 mins of your time? Here's a direct link to my calendar. You could block any slot that suits you best. Alternatively, let me know when I can reach you for a quick demo?"

Day 6: Send the first follow-up email

The first follow-up email must be short and crisp. The goal is to get a simple "Yes" or "No" from the prospect.

For example, you could send something like:

"I am following up to see if you received my previous email. It would be great to connect via email or over a phone call— to understand how our business offerings can help your company. Please let me know if you have a couple of minutes to spare some time this week.”

Day 8: Make a phone call in the evening. Leave a voicemail and email if unanswered.

Make your first call to the prospect. If it goes unanswered, leave a voicemail with your name and phone number. Request for a callback at a time convenient for the prospect.

Here's an example of a voicemail script:

"Hi {prospect's name}, I am <your name>. I am reaching out to you regarding the email I'd sent for {product}. I need a few minutes of your time. Please let me know when you are available for a quick call. You can reach me at {Phone number}."

Also, please send an email to inform them that you tried reaching out through a call.

Day 10: Send the second follow-up email

The second follow-up email should highlight your product/service features relevant to your prospect's pain points.

Your email could go like this:

"I am following up on a couple of emails I sent about <product/service>...."

And list the features that will solve their problem.

Day 13: Send the third follow-up email

The third follow-up email should have social proof. Share case studies and success stories of how you have helped other businesses.

Day 16: Breakup email

An example of your last email to the said prospect:

"I've tried reaching you earlier to go over solutions that can help you improve {pain point} but haven't heard back."

Again, highlight their challenges and remind them of how your solution can help.

The tone of the email must be positive ton start the conversation again at a more suitable time. For example, you could write:

"It would be great to sync up late in H2 or early next year to explore potential collaborations."

Is Automation the Game-changer for Sales Cadence?

Now that you have successfully created and tested a cadence, you are good to go! Oh wait, what about the innate error-prone quality of humans? Well, even the most proficient of us can't achieve 100% efficiency manually. Automation is a boon for this era! An automated sales cadence solves two problems:

  1. Increase the efficiency of the outreach process
  2. Enable operation at scale

Let's say you want to reach out to 50 prospects every day. That's about 1000 prospects a month. And if your sales cadence has 10 touches – then that totals to 10k touches per month.

When dealing with data points at such a huge scale, it's practically impossible to track the progress of each prospect in the cadence. That's where the sales engagement tools come in. It helps you design and execute a sales cadence according to predefined conditions set by you!

Here are more advantages of using a sales engagement platform to automate your cadence:

  • Spend fewer hours. Get more results.
  • Tracking email open rates, bounces, and replies are made easy by automating your sales cadence. You'll be notified when the prospect responds. You are free to focus on building client relationships and selling.

  • Insights that speak volumes
  • What good is implementing a cadence if you're not able to monitor your performance? But the data points that it spews can be humongous. It Sales automation software can helps you draw insights and tweak the steps in the cadence to improve efficiency and productivity.

How to Measure Success with Sales Cadence?

Sales cadence is a metric-driven phenomenon. To be able to measure its efficacy, the key metric to focus on is the engagement achieved. The definition of engagement might vary depending on the nature of your business. These are the four metrics that give you an accurate picture of your engagement with the prospect:

  1. Email open and click rate:
  2. If your mail has been opened, then your content skills are on point! You've managed to catch the prospect's attention in today's world of diminishing attention span. If the links have been clicked, it's like a cherry on the cake. You have intrigued them to prompt an action. Email open and click rate is a measure of the strength of your outreach strategy.

  3. Email open to reply ratio:
  4. A high reply rate is a sign that your email content is relevant to the prospects and their pain points. And then, you can delve into your product's unique features in the subsequent touches. You will know your email content needs work if the reply rate is low.

  5. Call to appointments ratio:
  6. Recording and learning from calls or conversations that have resulted in meetings can help you identify sooner if you are targeting your ideal customer profile. It is also an indicator of the geographies, industries, and markets you should focus on and where you should hold off.

  7. Bounce rate:
  8. Bounce rate gives you an idea of how clean your email list is. High bounce rates show that it is time to opt for data cleansing and hygiene maintenance.

    If these metrics convey that the sales cadence is successful, you can use the same principles for the next group of prospects. Otherwise, tweak to refine the steps of the cadence.

    As you can see, a sales cadence is an essential tool for sales. However, you must use it well to drive favorable results. Thoughtlessly used, it can counter the purpose and push away potential customers. Now that you know what constitutes a sales cadence and why it is essential, it's time to incorporate it into your B2B inside sales strategy. Try a sales engagement tool that automates your sales cadence and gives you best practices tried and tested in your industry. The results will speak for themselves!

Upscale Team
Upscale Team
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