Timing is truly everything. In sales, just like in life itself, once you miss the moment, it’s gone and you have to move forward. When prospecting, don’t let this be the case for you. As a salesperson, it’s vital to systematically seize every opportunity to close the deal—and with a sales cadence, you can.
In this post, we’re going to define a sales cadence, outline how it benefits sales development reps (SDRs) and team leaders, illustrate current best practices, and provide sales cadence examples.
What is a sales cadence?
A sales cadence is a series of steps a salesperson takes to close a deal with a prospect. The steps include sending out pre-planned emails, phone calls, voicemails, social media messages, and content over a scheduled period of time until the prospect agrees to set up a meeting or make a purchase.
Why should you use a sales cadence?
A sales cadence is useful to both team leaders and SDRs as it provides a framework for outlining and implementing the sales strategy.
Benefits for sales team leaders:
- Improve prospecting strategy:
In an average month, a prospecting strategy should produce a reliable stream of potential customers. Without a follow-up procedure in place, prospects may skedaddle and leave your pipeline dry, causing your revenue to fluctuate. Implementing a sales cadence will help improve your prospecting strategy.
- Training and coaching:
A sales cadence is designed to ensure every sales rep has an equal opportunity to produce the same results. With a sales cadence, training and coaching your team becomes easier, as you’re teaching one process and providing your team with a base that can later be customized to their prospects. In short, you’re teaching SDRs how to swim on their own. Also, a sales cadence gives you an overview of your team’s strengths and weaknesses when moving prospects down the pipeline.
Benefits for SDRs:
- Increase productivity:
With a follow-up sequence, reps become confident in their next steps, and they’re able to touch base with prospects with a consistently relevant message.
- Improve outreach:
A sales cadence is all about sending the right message at the right time on the right channel. A typical sequence contacts a prospect on multiple channels or one that’s preferred. SDRs may discover warming up prospects over LinkedIn is easier than sending a message directly to their email.
How to create a working sales cadence
When creating a sales cadence for your team or yourself, take a trial and error approach—what works for one industry, product, audience, or sales rep may not work for you. The end game is to create a schedule that has a logical flow, and answers who, what, when, where, why, and how questions. Contact a prospect until you secure a sales call, get a “no” response, or close.
Create your sequence by:
- Grouping your customers: You shouldn’t send the same sales cadence to a decision-maker as you would lower management. Some prospects will need more time to respond, while others are not worth the effort of a lengthy cadence. Group your customers based on their position, and have multiple sequences that reflect their authority and availability.
- Choosing a channel: When trying to connect with customers, you first need to know where to find them! Read industry roundups on where your prospects are hanging out online, why they’re there, how long they spend on each channel, and how they prefer to be contacted.
- Deciding the frequency: Research has shown that prospects need to be contacted an average of 7 times before they respond. Therefore, the ideal cadence has 8-13 touchpoints.
- Spacing outreach: Never annoy a prospect with messages too close together—that’s a guaranteed way of losing a deal. Be considerate of prospects who may need to research your product or service before they feel comfortable responding. Space your outreach 2-3 days apart.
- Setting a timeframe: How long will you continue to reach out to a prospect before giving up? Touted beliefs say to never stop until you get a “no.” However, use common sense to determine how long you will try before it’s considered a waste of time. Expect to wait 2-4 weeks for a response.
- Creating a quality message: The chance of your prospect responding relies on the quality and persuasiveness of your email, voice mail, or content. Before setting up your cadence, have templates and scripts ready that have been proven to get a response.
What are the best practices – you might ask?
- Measure performance
A sales cadence works best when you track and refine your sequence. For sales team leaders, your job is to understand which metrics to track and how to make decisions based on this data to improve your team’s performance. A single metric can reveal multiple pieces of information for a team leader or SDR.
Example metric: Conversion rate (Number of prospects who converted into a customer)
- This metric serves two functions: it helps you calculate how many prospects you need to close to hit your target, and it helps plan out your sales cadence as well. If you get 500 leads per month and on average 50 make a purchase, your conversion rate is 10%. If your monthly quota is $100,000, and your average deal size is $100, your team needs to close 100 leads each month. You can now design a sales cadence to reach out, set appointments, and close 25 prospects each week.
- When SDRs know the conversion rate of their sales cadence, this information will help them plan and manage their schedules more responsibly. They should prospect at a time that’s convenient for their potential buyer, not when it’s convenient for them. As well, each sales rep may follow the same cadence but achieve different results. For example, one SDR may be better at cold calling, while another’s strength may be cold emailing. In a competitive environment, these valuable metrics allow reps to analyze their talents and Achilles’ heels to identify areas in which they can improve.
- Use the right sales tools
But, ya can’t create a winning sales cadence without the right tools to help you out!
The most popular sales tools include customer relationship management (CRM), data and list services, email engagement, phone, and social prospecting tools.
A B2B prospecting tool such as Lusha will allow your sales team to find prospects’ contact information at lightning speed. You won’t have to manually search for email addresses and company details online, or put the sequence on hold if an email bounces. In a sales cadence, timing is the most valuable advantage; if you can’t locate the right phone number or email quickly, you’ll disrupt the flow. You may even run the risk of losing the deal if your messages are not paced precisely.
How a cold calling cadence can help close big deals
Of every sales cadence touchpoint, cold calling is the most aggressive.
It requires the sales rep to research and prepare a quick script and questions. Despite (or perhaps due to) its aggressiveness, cold calling has a high rate of success. It continuously outperforms cold emailing, with phone outreach receiving a response rate of 8.1%, compared to only 0.03% for email stated in one study. So how can SDRs maximize phone calls even further? Apply a cold calling cadence to your strategy.
A successful sequence should help you accelerate on your calls and find moments to start a conversation (with no hard pitch), answer questions, or leave a voicemail to book a meeting.
Sales cadence examples from the pros
Carlos Monteiro, CEO at digital marketing consulting firm Biassa, explains how this sequence gave him the advantage to book appointments with 11 of the largest e-commerce companies:
- Day 1: Prospect Research
- Day 2: InMail
- Day 3: Follow-up InMail
- Day 4: Email
- Day 5: Follow-up Email
- Day 6: Phone
- Day 7: Social Media (share an article and tag the prospect)
- Day 8: Video Email
- Day 9: Social Media (engage prospect on LinkedIn)
- Day 10: Voice Mail
- Day 11: Email
- Day 12: Phone or Email
Brandon Huang, an SDR at Yotpo, shares his 22-day sales cadence that helps him get a response:
- Day 1: Email
- Day 3: Phone
- Day 4: Email
- Day 7: Phone
- Day 7 Email
- Day 10: Phone
- Day 12: Email
- Day 14: Phone
- Day 16: Email
- Day 19: Phone
- Day 21: Phone and Email
- Day 22: Nurture or Repeat
- A sequence is a work in progress:
By combining sales cadence best practices with customization to your audience, you will eliminate annoying your prospects and naturally ease your way into a conversation with them.
- Get better results with a cold calling cadence:
Cold calling is a proven way to more efficiently gain prospects’ attention, compared to cold emails. Add a sequence and possibly double your conversion rates.
- Streamline your sales team:
A sequence gives your team their best shot at collectively reaching quota by following the same steps. When grouping your customers, use Lusha’s Chrome extension to identify common traits in audience members, like company size, industry, technographics and more. Lower your churn and increase conversions with Lusha’s B2B data. Analyze your closed and won deals and pivot marketing and sales based on any patterns in the data.