5 Step Process of Building the Perfect Sales Cadence

Sales cadence in sales is as common a practice as writing an email itself. Every sales team practices this and has made a process out of it. Some more unique than others, but it usually revolves around email, phone calls, and social touchpoints.

What is the sales cadence?

Sales cadence is simply a sequence of sales activities that you follow for certain leads. Tools like yesware, outreach, and salesloft are just some of the tools that help sales teams with automating their sales and improving “sales efficiency”.

Sales nowadays are very different from what it was 10 or even 5 years ago. Long gone are the days of door to door salesmanship, cold calls. Sales departments look less like a scene from the wolf of wall street and more quiet, automated, and focused on automating processes. 

This change took place because buyers mentality and the way they make purchases have changed a lot over the years. Consumers hate being cold-called, and when was the last time you opened your door to a salesperson?

It’s because it’s very time-consuming work with little reward or ROI. Companies have since changed their strategy so they can target a large group of people in a more uniform and timely manner. 

Building a sales cadence shouldn’t be rocket science — it should be in the arsenal of every decent, hard-working sales rep.  

Since sales cadences are practiced in almost every sales team. In this post, I’ll give you all the elements you need to design your own successful sales cadence.

Building the structure of a sales cadence

So, how do you start to build a proper sales cadence that works to get you opportunities and ultimately closed deals?

Well, you start off by analyzing what is it that you’re looking to achieve. Do you want to get the prospect on the phone? Do you want them to tell you their pain points via email? Are you selling a product that is more self-service or requires intervention from the sales team?

So take out your notepad and start by jotting down these questions. Once you have the answer to what action you want prospects to take and your medium of reaching out.

Step 1: Figure out the method of communication

Are you going to heavily rely on emails or phone calls? or perhaps you want to go the social media route and reach out to the prospect there?

Whatever method you choose, you always have to make sure that it’s scalable and uniform. The best sales cadences have the perfect balance of all three elements, email, phone calls/voicemails, and social media reach out. 

If however, somehow you can figure out which method your prospects prefer, then that’s cheery on top of the cake!

Next up, it’s very important to analyze how long is your sales cycle. If it’s short, less than 14 days, you can be more aggressive. It’s best to make use of the phone in that case rather than rely on social media reach out.

If it’s 30 days or more, then it gives you a lot more breathing room and you can spread out your outreach. Start with emails and every now and then a phone call is a good idea should they be unresponsive. 

Elements of the sales cadence

Step 2: What will be the total number of touchpoints?

Now that you figured out how you’re going to contact the prospects. It’s time to figure out how many times will you reach out before you call it quits 🥊 

Various different studies on the internet mention that the optimal number of touchpoints is anywhere from 10 to 15. Now, whenever you see stats like these, please take them with a grain of salt. 

The best way to address this is with trial and error. As soon as a lead comes in, start off by 4 emails, 4 phone calls and 1 to 2 social media reach outs.

If that does not work, mix things up. However, always look at the numbers. Numbers always make sense, especially true for sales. See how many touchpoints on average it takes to get a prospect to respond. 

Work with the data you already have, if you don’t have it. Don’t worry, start off with something and keep making changes. However, I do recommend you stick to a certain number/method in the beginning. If you keep changing things up, you won’t be sure what caused the uptick in responses.

With consistent data and experimentation, you will be able to figure out the magic number that works for your sales team.

Key takeaway: Be persistent… but not clingy.

Step 3: Duration of the cadence

Duration is the length of a sales sequence from the first touch to last.

The gap between the cadence is of the utmost importance as well. You want it to be just right, too many touchpoints too soon and you can be perceived as aggressive and very salesy. Which can be very off-putting to the prospect. 

You also have to consider what the prospect is looking for. If a trial, then it’s best to reach out to the prospect over the course of the trial and one week after they have finished the free trial. If it’s a demo request, then you can stretch this out even further. 

Research shows that the best practice for the duration is two to four weeks. Anything less than that and leaving opportunities on the table. Think of this way, how many times have you signed up for a trial of a tool and then completely forgot about it?

As a salesperson, it’s your fiduciary responsibility to make sure you reach out to the prospect and ask them how you can help them. However, you have to play the long game and not hammer the prospect with emails, voicemails, and phone calls, all in one go. 

Ideally, I give between 48 to 72 hours between each touchpoint. It works like a charm for me. It’s best to experiment around with this until you find your sweet spot. 

And remember, each touchpoint should have some value for the prospect. Blasting sequences without much thought is a sure-shot way of putting the prospect off. 

Step 4: Craft the right message

You can the perfect sequence of sales cadence but if your message does not resonate with the prospect then its game over. 

The way you start an email or a phone call can have a huge impact on a prospect’s interaction with you. Focus on the pain point of the customer, don’t start a phone call by asking questions, be polite and call in the capacity of a guide more so than a salesperson. 

Remember, always, always focus on your customer. Email nor the phone call is about your product, it’s about the customer’s needs and how YOU can help them resolve it. 

Do: send different types of content that you think will resonate with your prospect (valuable content = not annoying)

Don’t: send pointless content, or send the same content over and over (fluffy or redundant content = annoying)

Make sure your email copy includes,

  1. Why are you reaching out to them?
  2. What can you do to help?
  3. What is the next best step? aka CTA (Call to action)

A Boomerang study in 2016 put the ideal length of an email at 50 to 125 words.

As always, take industry benchmarks with a pinch of salt. Just because they are doing this, it doesn’t mean that it works.

Some examples of content you can share via email are:

  • An ebook that addresses a common pain point in their industry
  • A link to an article covering recent industry news that the prospect might be interested in
  • Case studies, testimonials, or success stories similar clients have had with your product or service
  • Relevant videos or tutorials

In the case of phone calls, keep these points in mind:

  • Explain why you’re contacting the prospect (and how it benefits them)
  • Tie this reason in with your company (and how it benefits them)
  • Ask them if they have some time to chat (and how it’ll benefit them)

Notice a trend here? When speaking on the phone with a prospect, focus on how your call will benefit them.

Don’t become a brochure and go on and on about your product. Remember, the focus is the customer!

Want to learn how to write the perfect email? Ultimate sales email guide

Step 5: Test and Optimize 

Back when I was an SDR, I used to write hundreds of emails a day. Drafted countless email templates and sequences. My sales manager at that time would always tell me “there is always room for improvement”. 

I didn’t realize the importance of this very recently. If something is working for you today, be prepared as it might not tomorrow.

Once you have set up the sales cadence, you need to continuously monitor if the cadence is working and giving you the desired results. If emails are not being opened, try changing the subject line. 

If the prospects are not scheduling calls with you, try sending your calendar link as a CTA. Calendly works perfectly for that. 

If you feel like your prospects are more open to talking on the phone, skip the emails and go directly for the phone calls. Learn to adapt and keep looking to improve the way you currently do things. 

Save the information and the result of every cadence and compare against past cadences to find what works and what doesn’t. 

Always, try out different strategies, but stay consistent with the current one. Keep tweaking and makes changes to it but remain constant so you know what work and what did not. 

Final thoughts

It takes time to create the perfect sales cadence. It won’t happen overnight, it takes a lot of trial and error, however, you must stay focused and trust in the process. 

With following these guidelines, tweaking them to the way it works for you with the right elements and proper execution, sales cadence can be a very powerful tool for your sales team. It can improve their performance, from creating opportunities to closing deals.

Let me know in the comments below, how long it took your team to build the perfect sales cadence? What else would you add to the list above? 

As always, happy selling! 

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