How you reach out to prospects significantly affects outbound sales. Sales cadence can come to your rescue, but you have to build them with care. It won’t be right to pick a few templates and begin your sales outreach. To be able to engage better with prospects, your sales cadence has to be systematic enough. So, let’s find out what sales cadences are, why you need them and how to build cadences that give you outstanding results.
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A sales cadence refers to a sequence of varied outreach methods that sales reps can use to engage prospects better. It is created for a specific number of days over fixed intervals. The channels of outreach used most often are email, phone, texts, and social media. In a way, you can compare cadences to the rhythm in music that you have to orchestrate well to reap its benefits.
It is quite a valid question to ask. Why should we have a cadence in the first place? Can’t we reach out to prospects the way we wish to and take them further down in the sales funnel?
Well, a cadence aims to bring in some diversity in your outreach by reaching out to prospects across different channels. Some people prefer being called over the phone, while others prefer emails, and that is the main reason why you need multi-channels to reach out to prospects.
Implementing a sales cadence is the perfect way to boost your sales if you develop a well-structured one. Here are the benefits of having a thoughtfully-created cadence,
When the outreach is unstructured, you might start with a phone call, then send a follow-up email right away. In another situation, you might give a long gap between emails or even forget to send one at all. Chances are also that you might send the same email to the prospect twice or call the one you just spoke to once again. Such incidents can get too embarrassing, which is why you need a cadence with a clear strategy.
Your sales process becomes easier to track when you have a well-defined sales cadence. You can view the whole process in your sales CRM in one place to see how far you have progressed and where each prospect stands in the sales funnel. It will help let you know at what point in your sales process you lose touch with the potential customer. It will be helpful in planning and optimizing the strategy for future campaigns to get better outcomes.
As a sales manager, when you have to handle many clients at a time and your team is expanding the scalability of your approach is a problem. Do you think it is possible to track where every prospect is in your sales process manually? As a human, you are likely to forget things which is why you need a structured approach. A sales cadence makes it easier to organize and track where prospects are in the pipeline, and you can tag others along in your sales team to get the work done. Therefore, there is better scalability with a well-defined cadence, and it is suitable for a growing sales team.
To make a sales cadence effective, you have to be mindful of its key elements, which are the following,
You need to perform research and find out enough about your prospects, the platform they are active on, their pain points and how your product or service fits the bill.
Apart from other elements, it is timing that matters the most in a cadence. While you can’t predict how a prospect’s day at work is going, you can always guess when it would be the best time to send an email or call them up by taking a look at their profile on social media.
Though there are many different opinions about the best time to reach out to potential, there is no guarantee. That is why you have to use the trial and error method and see which time of the day fetches you good responses and higher open rates. Once you know what the right time is, try to stick to it if you want good results. You must also try to consider the location of the prospect and check the time difference. Waking someone in the wee hours of the morning is not a good idea.
There are primarily three outreach channels that are most widely used: email, phone, and social media. It would be best to try different channels to find out which one is the best.
(Note: We have gone beyond 3 on our list)
Email is one of the most widely used channels and can be the first interaction with the prospect as it is the least intrusive. However, to make an impact, you have to keep the subject line catchy while not using the click-bait tactic.
Personalization is the next most important thing in an email, as nobody would waste time reading a generic email coming from a robot. You can use automated sales outreach tools to help you personalize your emails at scale, as it is impractical to do so manually.
Calling the prospect is another excellent way to reach out to them, but you have to ensure that you engage them well through this outreach channel. You can get closer to prospects by calling them, and if your calls go unanswered, you have the option of leaving a voicemail. You must add a minimum of 2 phone calls + voicemail touches in your cadence to increase the chances of the prospect answering your next call.
You can include text messages in your cadences, but you must be aware that you require the recipient’s permission before you can text them. It shouldn’t be the first touchpoint unless it is an inbound lead you are reaching out to who has filled up a form on your website agreeing to receive text messages from you.
Some people love it when you engage with them on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Out of the three, LinkedIn is the most impactful one as you look very professional when you reach out to people on this platform. You can send LinkedIn InMails, too, if you have subscribed to Sales Navigator.
A proper mix of all of the channels can work well in capturing the attention of leads, and as a sales manager, you can get a step closer to your goal.
It is considered ideal to contact a prospect a minimum of 7 times to get their attention. So, your cadence can have between 8 and 12 touchpoints. In addition to the number of touchpoints, you must also consider their spacing. You might end up annoying the prospect if you reach out to them more than thrice a day. Leaving at least a gap of one or two days before contacting them again is the right thing to do if you want to close the deal.
The length of the cadence is its duration from the first touchpoint to the last one. Ideally, anything between 2 and 4 weeks would do. The cadence’s duration is based on the prospect’s engagement with the emails you send them and the phone calls you make.
When you build a sales cadence, you must segment your prospect list. Categorize them based on their industry, company size, persona and region. You can also create different tiers for prospects where larger organizations can fall into tier 1, medium-level organizations in tier 2 and small and medium-sized businesses in tier 3. When you are done segmenting the contact list, you can design a cadence for every tier based on the number of touchpoints, length of the cadence, channels to reach out to prospects, etc.
The quality of your email content decides whether the prospect will respond to your email or not. To get the prospect’s attention, you have to craft emails that trigger their curiosity. No matter how well-planned your cadence is, you cannot head anywhere without good content.
Following is the framework you can use to build a sales cadence that works. The framework has 3 main parts, namely research, planning, and automation.
You can start by defining the objective of building the cadence. Are you aiming at getting prospects to schedule a demo with you, or do you want them to sign up for a free trial? It is better not to have big goals when building the cadence, such as trying to close the deal as soon as you connect to the prospect. It is better to aim at moving the prospect to the next step in the sales cycle.
When you have an objective while building your cadence, you will know which outreach channels to use and email copy, call scripts, and CTAs.
You have many options concerning sales outreach channels. Also, you have emails, calls, SMS, social media, and even physical mail to connect with prospects.
It is common to see sales reps concentrate only on emails and calls, leaving the other channels out. Though the two channels generate a good amount of leads, they are too much in use, and prospects would appreciate it when you offer them some variety. Therefore, try maintaining a good balance by using multiple channels in your cadence.
To find out which channel is the best one for a prospect, you have to determine the prospect’s value. The higher the value of the prospects, the more budget you will have and the more time you can invest in them. So, for a bigger deal, you will naturally want to send a hyper-personalized email to get the recipient’s attention and have a series of touchpoints spread across other channels. The situation will be different when your lead is of low value. In this case, you have to personalize emails at scale as you have to reach out to more people in a short period.
Personalization of your email messages and call scripts is essential so that they seem to be specially crafted for each prospect. To do so, you have to gather sufficient information about your prospects and infuse them into your messages.
Find out what the pain points, goals, and accomplishments of your prospects are. But doing so for all the prospects is time-consuming and not feasible. That is why you must try to carry our prospecting in batches. You can collect details of every prospect and create a table that involves grouping the prospects based on their industry, location, or job title. Using this table, you can personalize email templates in a single attempt which also helps save time considerably.
To identify which pain point of the prospect you can solve, you must look at your existing customers who are similar to your prospects in concern. Firstly, start understanding your existing customers and finding out what they like the most about your product or service.
Also try to know what makes them stay with you by running a survey and find out what problem your solution solved, how much revenue it increased for them, and to what degree there has been a productivity improvement. Finally, you will get your value proposition which you can add to your messages to the prospect. The target audience will relate to you better, and the conversion rates will be high.
You can persuade the prospects to move further down the sales funnel by offering them a valuable resource, providing them social proof, or using a mutual connection to get a response from them.
You can now outline your sales cadence in a stepwise manner,
Finalize the number of touches you want to have with prospects and create a list of what you have to offer, such as the value proposition you found in the previous stage and how you want to influence prospects.
Make the most of what you have in hand to build your cadence. As a sales manager, you must be aware that it usually takes 8-10 touches to get a response from prospects.
Once you decide on the touches, you should choose the channel of communication for it too. Doing so will help simplify the whole process. You can use a social touch to start off and then send them an email referring to the interaction on social media.
There has to be a clear purpose for connecting with prospects. So, find out what is the motive behind sending the email or calling the prospect. Also, make sure that the CTA of each touch is relevant to your purpose so that you can bring them into the sales pipeline.
Being persistent and irritating are two different things. Instead of annoying the prospect, try to follow up healthily so that the person doesn’t forget you. That’s why you should try to have a gap between your touches. So what should the frequency be? It can be 8-10 touches spread over a month or so. The first touches can be a little frequent, but you have to space them out as time passes.
Once you are done with outlining your cadence, you can start by working on your email copy. The quality of the copy decides prospects’ response, and you have to put your best foot forward here. In short, it has to draw the prospect towards the copy which is what all sales team leaders want to achieve.
In addition, focus on the emails subject line, introduction, CTA, value proposition, and email signature to make the email copy work for you. If you work on each of these elements, you can get good results.
Outreach on a large scale can be challenging unless you have an automated tool for it. If you reach out to even 100 prospects a month and your cadence has 10 touches, it amounts to 1000 touches a month. You cannot handle this on your own, and to track the progress of each lead, you should go in for a sales cadence software.
SalesBlink is quite helpful in building sales cadences easily. You can schedule automated emails and follow-ups and also sit back to watch the emails being sent in the background. This way, you will have more time to sell your solution to keep track of when to send emails to which prospect. The best part is that when the prospect replies to your email, the whole sequence gets canceled, so you won’t have to worry about the rest of the sales cadence you had built for that particular prospect.
The clear answer to the above question would be automated tools. Most sales engagement tools help with tracking, and you can find out the number of clicks, opens, and also replies to your emails. There are specific metrics that will help you calculate the success of your campaign, and they include the following,
If the prospect has opened your email, it indicates that your subject line has done its job well and caught their attention. When the prospect clicks on the links you shared in the email, it means that the content is to the point and has made the prospect take action. So, with email open and click rate, you can find out whether there is any scope for improvement at any point. They may also tell you when it is time to do some rework on your outreach strategy.
When the reply rate is high, it indicates that the email content is suitable and in alignment with the needs and pain points of the prospect. On the contrary, if the reply rate is not good, your email content is not up to the mark, and you need to work a bit on it.
To find out whether or not you are targeting those who fit into your ICP, you have to track the number of calls that have led to meetings. It also helps find out where you should focus more and where you should back off.
The health of your mailing list is easy to check with the help of the bounce rate. If your bounce rate is too high, it indicates that you need to buckle up and get rid of invalid email addresses.
Following are a few sales cadence examples that will work for you,
Let’s begin with a B2B sales cadence that uses email and phone as the main channels. The objective is to take the prospect to the next stage of the sales cycle.
Following is a cadence for B2B sales cadence,
Day 1 – Phone call
Day 2 – Email
Day 4 – Phone call + Voicemail
Day 11 – Email
Day 18 – Email
Day 32 – Phone call + Email
Day 62 – Email
After 30 days – Email
After 6 months – Phone Call
You can change the time of sending the email or making the call so that there are more chances of connecting with the prospect. Follow up till you get a definite response from the prospect.
When you are trying to connect with someone who doesn’t know who you are, it is a good idea to stick to 6 touchpoints. Send the breakup email after you get no reply from their end, followed by sending an email once every quarter. The prospect may not have a need at present, but they may need what you have to offer later on.
Day 1 – First Email
Day 2 – Email
Day 4 – Phone call + Voicemail
Day 7 – Email
Day 11 – Phone call
Day 14 – Breakup email
You can follow up with more vigor with an inbound lead. If the lead is a qualified one, you can put more effort than usual to move them further down the sales funnel. If the lead doesn’t match your ideal buyer persona, you can reduce your efforts and also use automated email and SMS alone.
Following is a cadence for the lead that matches your buyer persona,
Day 1 – Phone call
Day 2 – Email
Day 4 – Phone call + Voicemail
Day 6 – Email
Day 11 – Phone Call
Day 16 – SMS or LinkedIn Message
Day 20 – Phone call + Voicemail
Day 30 – Email + SMS
Day 60 – Phone call + Voicemail + Email
+30 days – Email
+6 months – Phone call
With the new trial signup, the lead is closer to becoming a paying customer of a SaaS company. Your sales cadence has to be different because the lead uses your solution, and you have to make them stay back. It will most often involve emails and spaced out as per the length of your free trial.
Consider this example of a sales cadence for a 14-day free trial,
Day 1 – Email – welcome
Day 2 – Email – Encourage to do some activity
Day 4 – Email – Encourage to do some activity
Day 6 – Phone call
Day 9 – Email – Encourage to do some activity
Day 11 – Email to choose a paid plan
Day 15 – Email to intimate expiry of free trial with options to upgrade.
Day 17 – Phone call
Day 25 – Email
+30 Days – Email
+90 Days – Phone call
At the beginning of the trial, the focus is to make the users perform activities in the app. As days progress and reach almost the end of the trial, the focus shifts to encouraging them to upgrade to a paid plan.
It is quite common for some leads to interact with the sales reps and even get a demo but never schedule a meeting to take the conversation ahead. You have to give them the nudge to book a meeting with you,
Day 1 – Email with calendar link + Phone call
Day 2 – Phone call
Day 3 – Email
Day 4 – Phone call + voicemail
Day 5 – Email + Phone call
Day 10 – Email
Day 20 – Phone call + InMail
Day 40 – Phone call & voicemail + Email
+30 Days – Email
+60 days – Phone call
To sell to enterprises, you have to get approval from several stakeholders. Therefore, you have to sell to people across different hierarchies of the company. In addition, you have to find the decision-makers and the end-users who will use your product or service.
Following is how an ideal cadence would look like,
Day 1 – Email to high-level authority
Day 6 – Email
Day 14 – Email + Phone call
Day 22 – Email
Day 25 – Email to mid-level authority
Day 27 – Phone call
Day 34 – Phone call + Email
Day 39 – Email to lower-level authority
Day 41 – Email
Day 43 – Phone call + voicemail
Day 44 – Email
Day 48 – Phone call with voicemail + Email
Day 50 – Phone call to the person who will use the product or service
Day 52 – Email
Day 55 – Email
+30 Days – Email to lower-level authority
+60 Days – Email to mid-level authority
+90 days – Email to high-level authority
After the sales cadence examples, let’s look at a list of a few best practices for sales team leaders to follow,
The best time to reach out to prospects over a phone call is between 10:30 and 12:30 pm and between 2 pm and 4 pm. Keep in mind who you are calling because the top and mid-level managers are available during the first half of the day. On the other hand, employees are more likely to be reachable after lunch and during the second half of the day.
Don’t go overboard and annoy the prospect. Suppose you call and the prospect doesn’t answer, send them a voicemail and an email. However, don’t cross the line of 3 touchpoints at any cost.
While it is tough to hear a “No” from a prospect, the challenging part is when there is no reply from the prospect’s end. It usually means that they are interested but couldn’t respond or don’t want to take the conversation ahead. Here you can use the power of a breakup email. You can be courteous and mention that you are closing the file while allowing prospects to connect with you if they wish to in the future.
We know it is tough to face rejection, but take it with a good spirit and find out why the prospect is saying ‘No’. Maybe you can solve the issue with your product or service. Therefore, please take the rejection as a suggestion.
As you have seen that it takes a lot of effort to build a sales cadence, are you convinced to automate the process? We discussed earlier too that the volume of emails would be so high that it is not humanly possible to track each email. It would also help if you had an automated tool that supports multi-channel sales outreach.
SalesBlink is your answer as you can create outreach campaigns across multiple channels such as email, phone, and LinkedIn with ease. Follow-up sequences are easy to schedule, with the option of stopping them when you get a reply from the prospect. Therefore, using such a sales cadence tool would help increase the productivity of your sales team and thereby increase revenue.
Get better results for your sales effort with automated sales outreach