So, you’ve done your research. You’ve created a product, and it’s a good one. It provides clear solutions to challenges your potential customers are facing right now.
You’ve assembled a talented and motivated sales team (and equipped them with the best sales software) and are ready to start. Now, you can finally sit back and let the results come. Your work is done, right?
If only. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
When implementing initial strategies for sales representatives, many companies overlook a follow-up plan, better known as a sales cadence.
If you are underutilizing this technique, your sales team will be unable to accurately track their progress with prospects, leading to confusion and instability. This could ultimately contribute to interested prospects disappearing, making you and your sales team more frustrated than ever with closing percentages.
How are you able to combat this instability which interrupts your sales process? Simple. Consider creating a structured and dependable sales cadence.
What exactly is a sales cadence, and how can you successfully and seamlessly implement this technique into your sales strategy? Keep reading to find out.
What Is a Sales Cadence?
A sales cadence is a structured outreach procedure that uses a series of ‘touchpoints’ to establish a connection that leads to engagement and, ultimately, a sale.
This step-by-step guide, often built as a flowchart, is essential for instilling confidence in your sales representatives who consistently reach out to targeted prospects.
This is also an excellent way to track data and recognize what is working, what isn’t, and how successful your sales team is across multiple channels, including:
- Phone calls
- Social media
Your outbound sales team can locate prospective customers, but without follow-up, the conversion rate stalls out. In fact, 56 percent of customers complain about poor follow-ups.
By creating a consistent and uniform sales cadence used by every sales team member, you will collect accurate data that you can learn from and the ability to adjust your strategies accordingly.
To develop a successful sales cadence, here are the steps you should take when designing this sales strategy.
1. Define Your Target Audience
You have likely determined your target customer long before you ever put your product on the market. But the more comprehensive and detailed your understanding is, the higher the likelihood you are approaching the right prospects.
When you are looking for a specific buyer persona, consider basing it on critical data such as:
- Demographics (age, gender, education level)
- Behaviors (Product use, lifestyle)
- Geographical location
- Size of the company
By refining your target customer, your sales representatives have a better idea of who to look for and how to find interested prospects, leading to more conversions.
Once you have your target audience in mind, you can use software like AcuityMD to identify prospects in that audience and begin establishing rapport.
2. Determine the Most Effective Communication Methods
Different industries are active on different platforms, and often they are active on a variety of channels at the same time. This allows you more opportunities to build relationships with prospects on their level.
Many successful sales cadences use a combination of systematic outreach using:
- Phone calls
- Social media sites (i.e., Facebook, LinkedIn, or Tik Tok)
The most successful implementation of these communication strategies combines the above mentioned methods, some on the same day.
Be aware, however, that you should avoid reaching out to prospects more than three times a day, as this could turn them off from wanting to learn more about your product.
3. Establish Your Touchpoints
Touchpoints, as previously mentioned, are how a sales team attempts to contact prospects.
Studies have shown that prospects will begin to engage with sales team members after an average of seven attempts. Your sales cadence should feature at least eight to 12 established touchpoints before your team moves on to a different prospect.
These touchpoints should be well-established and understood by all team members.
4. Establish Gaps Between Touchpoints
There’s a fine line between being persistent and annoying your prospects with constant communication and potentially losing the sale. Consider leaving a day or two between 'touches' — allowing your prospect space but remaining present and accessible when they decide to connect.
An example of an effective sales cadence is as follows:
- Step One: After targeting a new prospect, email on the first day, introducing yourself and who you represent.
- Step Two: Send a message over social media — LinkedIn is a great option.
- Step Three: Attempt a phone call. If they don’t answer, leave a voicemail and send a follow-up email.
5. Establish the Duration of the Sales Cadence
After your outbound sales team identifies a qualifying lead based on the buyer persona you established earlier, they can begin the sales process.
If you have not received any engagement by seven or eight touches, it’s time to send a “break-up email,” giving the prospect one final opportunity to reach out to you before moving on to other leads.
6. Quality Content That Helps, Rather Than Sells, Is Key
When implementing a sales cadence, your ultimate goal should be more prospects responding to touchpoints. To do this, you should be sure that your correspondence — whether emails, social media, or phone calls — is filled with quality content.
Quality content is both engaging and informative. You should use data-driven results to address potential pain points amongst your prospects before they arise. You want to be sure these prospects believe you are more interested in helping resolve a problem for them first and foremost. Once you establish that trust, they will likely become more receptive when you pitch your product.
If you have established a powerful sales cadence, but your content is sub-par, prospects won’t engage, and you are left exactly where you started. If you invest in your content, you are investing in closing more sales. It’s that easy.
Sales Cadence and Your Sales Team
Establishing a sales cadence will not only help your bottom line, but it will also provide support to your sales representatives: both veterans and new hires. Veterans can strengthen their relationships with their account holders while also being able to keep track of where different prospects are within the sale process. New hires can immediately begin reaching out and engaging with prospects because they can access a step-by-step follow-up plan.
A comprehensive and easy-to-follow sales cadence helps to assure consistency with every interaction between your sales team and prospective customers.
Sales Cadence and Your Sales Process
You will likely need to adjust your sales cadence as time goes on. To fully utilize the potential of a sales cadence, this sales strategy should collect abundant data to help you track sales numbers. You can look over this information and recognize patterns by keeping detailed records. You can find the most effective types of touches and when and where they take place. This data lets you continuously optimize your sales approach and improve your results.
What kind of data should you be looking for? Consider this to help fine-tune your sales process:
Email Open and Click Rate
If your email open rate is high, your subject line likely immediately intrigues your prospect. If you have shared a link within the email and have recorded that your prospects are following those links, you know you have created an effective email, engaging prospective customers and encouraging them to learn more.
Email Open-to-Reply Ratio
If your prospects are responding to emails at a high rate, you know that you are helping educate them and addressing their pain points effectively. If your email open-to-reply ratio is low, you know you will need to revisit your email content.
You should track the number of phone calls you make to each prospect and when they begin making appointments. This helps you understand your ideal customer with information about geography, industry, markets, and social and psychological demographics.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Sales Cadence
Like in much of sales, preparation differentiates a solid business model from one that needs to be clarified and more effective.
Identifying trends within your industry and the prospects you are targeting while using this information to actively adjust strategies when the need arises leads to more satisfaction amongst prospects, customers, and even your employees.
Most importantly, you will notice a higher rate of engagement and higher rates of conversions.