Sales cadences are about more than the frequency and content of your emails, they’re about engaging your prospects in a digital, and sometimes actual conversation. How you interact with your leads should vary from group to group, and you should keep in mind the myriad factors that go into their buying decisions in order to use them to your advantage. A good sales cadence should filter out any undesirable prospects, but a great sales cadence will generate business. One of the biggest differentiators between the two is our first insight: The importance of a timely follow up.
The Art of the Follow Up
The speed of your first response to a prospect is crucial to converting smaller opportunities into revenue. The Harvard Business Review found that businesses that attempted to reach leads within an hour were nearly seven times likelier to have meaningful conversations with decision makers than those who waited even an hour.¹ If you can follow-up directly after a prospect engages your cadence, you’ve got the best chance to move them further through your pipeline while they’ve still got you at the top of their mind. If your prospects are in the market, they’re already eyeing the competition and likely reaching out to them as well. The longer you wait to follow up after a response, the more likely someone else is to. Conversely, the shorter your response time is, the faster you can get through the opening stages of your funnel to qualify a prospect because a quick response every time makes the sales process easier for your customer. Staying on top of your follow-ups doesn’t only create more conversions more quickly, it creates happy customers.
Don’t lose sight of the big picture
This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to get lost in the process of following a sales cadence. The point of the cadence is assuming that the prospect has not seen the previous contact, the only goal is to elicit a response. Each new touchpoint should be treated like a cold call or email: Stay consistent with the frequency and content of your touchpoints to make sure you’re being seen. Sales cadences just work to organize your outreach attempts to enable you to reach a higher volume of leads. That being said, it’s your job to be using all the relevant platforms available to engage your prospects and improve the quality of your outreach. SDR’s who didn’t engage their prospects on social media only filled their pipelines 47% of the time, compared to 65% of the time for salespeople who use social selling.² Your goal is to make contact, use all the methods available to get your prospect’s attention. As time goes on you should be creating new cadences to succeed where others have failed. You’ll learn more about your audience through both your positive and negative responses as you keep track of what brings the most success over time and form valuable insights into your sales process.
Know how to switch it up
If you’re executing a sales cadence correctly, your leads will have to at least see your efforts, so avoid being boring and using the exact same approach every time. Sales cadences are still cold outreach attempts and need to have variation to maximize your chances of engagement, whether it’s email to email or cadence to cadence. Thanks to the internet, the biggest obstacle for many cold calls and emails is providing value. Buyers do their own research now and are already at least somewhat informed on your offering as well as your competitors. Two 2018 studies have found not only that 70% of B2B and 79% of B2C customers in the US do research online before they make a purchase, but also that 44% of B2B buyers prefer to identify potential solutions themselves before reaching out to sales.³,⁴ As such, the job of the SDR has evolved into one more similar to a consultant in order to address the questions and needs of more informed buyers. In order to separate yourself from the rest you need to really understand the problems of your leads and provide the buyer with the solution they’re looking for. By centering your target customers’ pain points in your outreach, you’ll retain relevance no matter how many times you pivot topics or approaches. Your subject will stay fresh as you approach with different topics, but your focus will stay consistent as each topic will be related by what’s most important: the customer’s needs. Instead of putting your whole value proposition in each email or sequence, break it down to create a concise sequence of topics and themes for your cadences and keep track of the customer profiles of your positive responses to see what they have in common. With a well crafted cadence, you’ll be able to gain insight into your target customers’ biggest issues to increase your expertise and adjust your approach accordingly.
No one is as productive as they think
In a survey of how much SDR’s thought they engaged prospects, the average number of perceived touch points per lead was 15.⁵ However, most SDR’s typically only use 8 touch points per outbound sales prospect. Even top performers only use as many as 12 per prospect,⁶ meaning that it’s very easy to lose track of your relationships with each lead. The beauty of a well planned cadence is its ability to create a schedule for these engagements and keep your outbound prospecting efforts organized. Equipped with a strong cadence, a good sales rep will be chugging through their pre-organized tasks each day as they go through their schedule, but even that can only go so far. Besides minimizing distractions, one of the best ways to increase productivity is to improve the efficiency of how you spend the most time: working. To accomplish this, the average SDR will use an average of 6 tools to help manage their load: A CRM, a data-list feed, a tool for social prospecting, an email engagement tool, and a tool for their sales cadence.⁷
Choose the right tools for the job
When you’ve hit a wall in your productivity, utilizing a tool to help automate your workflow can take you to the next level. But between sending emails, making calls, creating and assigning buyer personas, and keeping track of your performance and tasks, the consistency and organization of a sales cadence can come at a cost of the time invested into upkeep. Without the proper tool or service, you would need to do lists and excel sheets to manage your cadences with various leads and incorporate them into your busy workflow. Of course every SDR has tools at their disposal, but while your CRM may help you keep track of your prospects and your emailing tool will help cut the number of emails you need to write, the best tool for managing your cadences is a sales engagement platform like Fileboard. Most sales engagement platforms manage workflow sequences, automate and track emails, create buyer personas, integrate with your CRM, and analyze data on the whole process to optimize, but Fileboard takes it a step further: In addition to a feature-packed platform and award winning integrations, we created a powerful AI assistant to score your prospects based on their engagements with your outreach and let you know exactly when to follow up. With robust analytics, a suite of sales tools, and our unique AI assistant, Fileboard lets you get more work done while providing the data you need to perfect your process.
The usefulness of a sales cadence goes so much further than organizing your workflow or helping to ensure continued follow through on your outreach attempts. With the right approach, your cadences can become sources of data on your prospects and help to build loyalty with them through reliability; With the right tools, you can increase productivity and separate yourself from the rest. As you prepare to prospect your next group of leads, consider these insights to take your sales cadences to the next level.
- The Harvard Business Review: The Short Life of Online Sales Leads
- Sales for Life: Social Selling 2017 Trends Report [Via Hubspot]
- CSO Insights: 2018 Buyer Preferences Study
- Netsertive: 2018 Local Consumer Survey
- InsideSales: How to Build a Sales Cadence to Rule Them All
- The Bridge Group: SDR Metrics and Compensation Report [Via Sales for Life]
- InsideSales: How 900 Companies Build and Execute Successful Sales Development Teams [In partnership with Sales for Life and others]