7 Keys to Creating a Successful Sales Cadence [7 Templates You Can Steal Right Away]
It is the cold that is dead NOT the calling. Remember that :))
Trish Bertuzzi, the author of “The Sales Development Playbook”, CEO of The Bridge Group, Inc. and Inside Sales Evangelist, mentioned this in a comment on LinkedIn.
Trish is right.
It’s no more cold calls. It’s warm calls.
And to make warm calls, you need to do your homework on the prospect and follow up with them at regular intervals.
That’s why you need a well-designed sales cadence to reach out, engage, and make yourself familiar to the prospect.
In our recent blog, we discussed the basics of sales cadence and how to do it right. Today, we’ll discuss seven key elements for creating a successful sales cadence for your business. Plus, we are also giving you seven sales cadence templates which you can steal right away.
The 7 keys to creating a successful sales cadence
- Identifying the ideal customer profile
- The medium for communication
- The number of contact attempts
- The time gap between each attempt
- Duration of the cadence
- The message
- Test and optimize
1. Identifying the ideal customer profile
The first step in creating a sales cadence is to identify your ideal customer profiles. It gives you clarity about who your customers are—the industry, the persona to target, and how to reach out to them. This is important as the cadence varies based on the market size, industry, and the persona. For example, the sales cadence for C-level executives of a mid-market company will have more personalized emails and lesser phone calls, while the cadence for managers and supervisors will have an equal number of emails, social channels, and phone calls.
One of the easiest ways to build an ideal customer profile is to identify characteristics that are similar to your customers. You can do this by asking questions such as:
- What is the industry of your target company?
- What is the size of the company — SMB, mid-market, or enterprise?
- What is their employee count?
- How much revenue/profit does the company make?
- Where are they located, and what is their time zone?
- Which department in the company can use your product/service?
- What challenges are they trying to overcome?
- What solution do they commonly use?
Once you build the ideal customer profile, look out for the right people to contact in the target organizations. One way to do this is to comb through LinkedIn for specific keywords related to their designation. For example, if you want to sell a help desk software, then look out for job titles connected to customer service, customer support, etc. After you have identified the right contact in an organization, you can create personalized messages to engage with them.
If you are using Account Based Selling (ABS) to reach out to prospects, each of your tier accounts can have a sales cadence. For example, you can categorize your prospects based on their professional hierarchy — decision-makers to Tier 1, mid-level managers to Tier 2, and lower-level managers to Tier 3. Once you divide your personas into tiers, you can design a cadence for each tier— how to approach them, the number of touchpoints, duration of the cadence, social media channels, etc. Similarly, you can also categorize your prospects based on industry, revenue, the size of the target company, etc.
2. The medium for communication
The usual modes of communication with prospects are social channels, text messages, emails, phone calls, and voicemails. And a good sales cadence must include all these modes of communication.
While deciding the channels for communication, you need to consider the industry and the buyer persona as well. For example, direct mailers and in-person meetings may work for certain industries, while other industries may be more active through social media or LinkedIn InMail. Dig into their websites and social media pages to see what they are up to. Build a list of contacts from your target organizations, and identify which platform they are most active on. If you find your prospects responding to LinkedIn InMail more than text messages, use that to your advantage by including it in your cadence.
The time of contact
The purpose of a sales cadence is to catch your prospect’s attention. They will answer your call only if they have a second, and they will reply to your mail only if the email subject catches their eye. So, when you design your cadence, it should be more about who they are and where they’re from. Most people will be rushing to work from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM, and attending a sales call would be the least of their priorities. Sending an email early in the morning or late evening has got an easy chance of getting buried in the inbox. Therefore, no matter how you contact them, you need to do it at a time of their convenience.
Finding this perfect window to contact your prospect is a trial and error approach. As your cadence progresses, identify the touchpoints and communication channels that receive the most engagement from prospects, and tweak your cadence accordingly.
3. The number of contact attempts
One of the mistakes which most sales reps make is not following up enough with a prospect. They follow up once, probably thrice, and when they don’t get a response, they move to the next prospect. This is because they are unaware of the number of touchpoints to make, as a result of a poorly defined sales cadence. To ensure that your sales reps focus on their sales activities and achieve their targets, a consistent sales cadence is indispensable.
An ideal sales cadence will have 8 to 12 touchpoints, and it takes an average of seven touchpoints to get a prospect’s attention. That being said, seven might not work out for every industry and buyer persona. When you design a cadence, choose a minimum touchpoint number, and stick to it. With consistent data and experimentation, you will be able to figure out the magic number for your business. Changing the number of touchpoints for every prospect will not give you consistent data.
4. The time gap between each attempt
How often should you connect with the prospect? Do you give a day or two between one sales activity and another? The spacing between touchpoints is particularly important because you don’t want to bombard the prospect with too many touch points at once. They need a breather to read your content, analyze and understand how you could help them, and then make a decision.
Touching base with a prospect more than twice a day is sure to frustrate them, and it is likely to increase your chances of losing the deal. But in certain cases, when the prospect does not answer the phone call, you can leave a voicemail as well as send an email.
Ideally, sales reps give a good two days between touchpoints. The tip here is to keep the time gap consistent between each attempt.
5. Duration of the cadence
Duration is the length of the sales cadence—from the first touch point to the last. The ideal duration of your sales cadence should be about two to four weeks. This, of course, depends on the prospect’s engagement with your email and phone call. If the prospect does not show interest to any of your touchpoints—does not respond to calls and voicemails, and does not open emails—there isn’t any point pursuing further and you can stop communicating with the prospect after two weeks. For prospects who have shown passive signs of interest like opening and reading your email, clicking on the email links, and not blocking you on LinkedIn, a four-week cadence is good enough for the prospect to express interest or ask you to remove them from the mailing list.
The duration of the cadence also varies with the target industry. In the case of SMBs, the cadence is relatively shorter compared to mid-market and enterprise. This is because the number of people involved in the decision-making process plays a significant role in the progress of the deal. Also, when the size of the company is small, getting in touch with a C-level executive is relatively easier compared to a mid-market or an enterprise. Typically, a sales cadence for SMBs will run for a short period of two weeks, while cadences for mid-market and enterprise can run for three to four weeks, depending on the interest displayed by the lead.
6. The message
The way you start your email or open a cold call has a huge impact on the prospect’s interaction with you. The chances of a prospect getting back to you depend on the quality of your contents— it must be intriguing and informative.
While personalizing the email subject line—mentioning the prospect’s or the company’s name—has a significant impact on the open rates, it’s also equally important to personalize the body of the email. Your email must resonate with the prospect’s needs and pain points. Make sure your email copy includes,
- Why are you reaching out to them?
- What can you do to help?
- The benefits of starting a business relationship with you
- Mention other companies who are benefiting from your solution
Here is an example of a personalized email used by one of our SDRs –
If your business has blogs, case studies, customer success stories, or other materials that explain how and why your solution is a good fit for the prospect, you can follow-up and reconnect with them easily just by sharing these resources. Give your prospects an easy way to connect with you by adding a link to your calendar in your email signature.
7. Test and optimize
This is the most crucial part of sales cadence. As previously mentioned, every cadence is different. It depends on various factors that are unique to a business. Once you have set up the sales cadence, you need to see if the cadence is working for you by bringing in the desired results. So, if you observe that your prospects are not opening your emails, make your email subject more enticing. If the click and response rate is not up to par with your expectations, add more information to your content like case studies and success stories. If you find that your prospects are more receptive to phone calls after lunch, you can plug that data in your sales cadence. Save the information and the result of every cadence and compare against past cadences to find what works and what doesn’t.
Remain consistent with a strategy until you get enough inputs for tweaking it. The idea is to accumulate as much information as possible about your prospects and change your sales cadence accordingly. The more information you gather about your prospect’s behavior towards a cadence, the more you will be able to perfect it.
Bonus! Automate using CRM
CRM software helps you automate your sales cadence by setting up sales campaigns. You can schedule calls and emails, track your sales activities, and reduce time spent on manual data entry. In fact, CRM software like Freshsales lets you create email templates to follow up with your prospects in a personalized manner. The CRM also tracks the performance of the email templates—open and click rates—so you know what works and what does not. Freshsales also has a built-in phone that allows you to make calls and have them automatically recorded and linked to the prospect’s data.
We are attaching seven sales cadence templates that are a good starting point while creating a cadence for your business. Get creative and add your own spin to make it your own.
In the meantime, let’s have a conversation. Share your sales cadence and follow-up plan with us in the comments below.
Co-Author: Radhika Bhangolai
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