Without a sense of direction, you will get lost in the dense forest and fail to reach your destination. Similarly, your sales rep will feel directionless if you give them a list of prospects without any plan to connect with and convert them into paying customers.
So, what’s the solution?
Create and implement a sales cadence to connect, nurture, and convert leads via various touchpoints. It will help your sales team to follow a pre-defined structure and improve their efficiency by eliminating guesswork and creating a more focused approach to sales.
So, in this guide, we will help you create a sales cadence framework using a step-by-step approach and examples.
Table of contents
What is sales cadence?
Sales cadence is a series of touchpoints with the prospect to nurture them, engage and interact with them, and move them down the sales funnel to achieve a specific goal. It can be anything like booking a demo call or downloading the e-book, etc.
The series begins when a lead first contacts you or you contact them via cold emailing. When a lead initiates contact, it can be anything like their first visit to your website through any channel, reading or downloading an e-book, etc. This framework of touchpoints ends when a prospect is converted into a buying customer or moves out of the cadence.
Every business needs to make sales, and a well-structured framework becomes fundamental to achieve this goal. There are many other reasons why every business must have a sales cadence.
Why do you need sales cadence?
A strategic sales plan can offer your business many advantages. Some of them are:
✅ Enhance engagement by targeting users on different platforms
With a sales cadence, you can map users’ activity and how they interact with your brand over different channels - social media, website, email, etc. That way, you can target them using the right content at the right time, which will increase their engagement with your brand.
For instance, if your target prospects spend more time on LinkedIn, you can send them a connection request, engage with their post, get familiar, and build trust.
✅ Maintain consistency by eliminating the guesswork
With a pre-determined cadence framework, you can eliminate the guesswork and maintain consistency between every interaction with your prospect or lead. Everything is pre-defined means your sales team knows when to follow up and through which channel. You don’t have to guess, as you’ll have it all mapped out.
✅ Improve brand awareness and credibility
When you follow a structured approach to connect with your audience through different channels and offer them helpful and valuable content, it builds awareness and credibility among your target audience. In addition, if a brand pays attention to your pain points, interaction, and behavior, it makes the whole experience more humanized.
✅ Easy tracking and analysis of your progress
Once you develop a well-defined sales cadence, you can track your progress with different prospects - the stage you are at and where you tend to lose contact with them.
For example, if you see that your sales email gets more emails when the prospect is further down the sales process, you can adjust your approach and stop sending these emails in the initial stages.
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How to build a good sales cadence?
There is no one-time approach and a one-fit approach to creating a cadence framework for more sales. Several factors influence your cadence - your industry, marketing strategy, target prospects, campaign type, product/services, location, and so on. So, you need to optimize it to get the desired result constantly.
Step 1: Researching and collecting data
This step involves researching and collecting data about your target leads, channel selection, and value proposition. But, first, you must have an objective.
1. Define your objective
Begin with asking what objective you want to achieve with your sales cadence?
Do you want to get more demo bookings or sign up for a free trial? Do you want them to fill out the survey you just launched or download one of your e-books?
Before setting up goals, remember not to get too ambitious and set goals like getting users to purchase your product. The key thing to keep in mind is that a sales cadence cannot directly help you close a deal. It can only move prospects one step closer to that.
2. Identify your target users and their pain-points
Understand your target users - the SMBs, individual business owners, B2B, etc. Besides, there are other aspects to consider: demography, geography, behaviors, preferences, interest, etc.
Once you identify and understand these aspects, you can build your customer profile that reflects your ideal customer.
With in-depth research about your prospect’s pain points and needs, you will get to know their most preferred channels and how to write a compelling message that triggers a response from them.
One approach you can use to divide your prospect into small segments based on similarities in their demography, geography, industry, and other aspects. Then you can organize that information and build a data table as we did below.
This data table will help you personalize your communication with these prospects, devise strategies targeting them, and help you decide on the right channel, which is our next step.
Related guide: Step-By-Step Guide to Implement Audience Segmentation in 2022
3. Decide which channel to target - use a combination
With your buyer persona in mind, decide how you will communicate with them - Which channel will you target? This question will, up to some extent, be answered by looking at your buyer persona. Which channel do they use most and are active on?
It’s very mainstream to use email and phone calls, but this approach is heavily saturated and restricts your sales flow.
So, think of using an omnichannel approach. An effective sales cadence considers different channels- social media (LinkedIn, Instagram), phone calls, SMS, and emails.
4. Craft your value proposition
Your value proposition is the reason - Why prospects should buy your product/services? What problems do your services solve?
This is crucial as no one will engage and buy things they don’t need. So, again researching becomes fundamental to preparing your value proposition.
One way to do this is to ask your existing customers, who best resemble your target prospect, about your products and services and what they like about them. Then, send out surveys and ask for their feedback and make a list of all the responses you get:
Helped increase engagements.
Boost brand awareness.
Bought X sales in Y months.
5. Evaluate all the tools you have at your disposal
The last step in researching is to analyze tools you have and those you need to acquire to plan your sales cadence. It can be social proof, testimonials, data and statistics to show, an efficient sales team, copywriters, etc. These tools will help you influence your prospect and persuade them to move down the sales pipeline.
Have you the required tools to impact your leads? Can you offer them what they are looking for? And how can you acquire them? These questions should be answered before moving on.
Step 2: Planning your sales cadence
Here we will plan our sales cadence using data and research collected in the previous step:
1. Map out several touchpoints
Primarily, decide how many touchpoints you’ll need to have with your prospects. Then, for each touchpoint, answer these questions:
The value proposition for each touchpoint to convey to prospects.
Resources or tools you’ll need for each touchpoint.
The number of touchpoints will vary depending on target lead, industry, objectives, etc. But, typically, 7-8 touchpoints are required to get your leads to respond or take the desired action.
2. Decide channel for each touchpoint.
Understandably, you can’t use just a single channel for each touchpoint, right? Using the right channel to target users will help generate a faster response.
For example, when a lead is in the initial stage, you can use email to send them informative content to nurture them and help them know more about your brand.
Read about - How to Nurture Leads with Email Marketing?
3. Plan out intervals or spacing between touchpoints
Don’t you eat dinner and lunch in the morning, right? Because your body needs to digest the previous meal and then move on to the next.
Similarly, your touchpoints need to be spaced out adequately to give prospects to connect and understand the information you sent them. If your intervals are not spaced out, you can come across as annoying, leading back off.
For example, you can use 2-3 touchpoints in a week in the beginning. Then, as the lead moves down the funnel, you can use longer durations like 1-2 touchpoints in a week.
Step 3: Automating the entire process
Automating the entire sales process is crucial if you want to scale your outreach.
The automation tool becomes useful when you reach 50 leads with ten touch points spread over a month. This will be 500 touchpoints, and carrying it out manually can become tiring, stressful, and many things can go wrong.
So, automating the entire process is your best option, and it offers many benefits:
First, it can help you achieve higher scalability.
Efficient use of resources such as time and effort.
Personalize the message to target leads with the relevant content.
Before creating your cadence, you must understand inbound and outbound sales and how to approach leads in both cases.
Two types of sales cadence - Inbound and Outbound
We will discuss inbound and outbound cadence with hypothetical sales cadence examples:
Inbound sales cadence
Inbound sales mean when the lead makes the first contact with your brand. For instance, the prospect read your guides on email marketing or downloaded an e-book. They know your brand, so you can directly call them, send an email, or connect on social platforms. Here is an example you can use:
Inbound sales cadence example
Cadence objective: Close inbound prospect who reached out for demo session.
Context: Inbound prospect reached out for demo booking and signup for the weekly newsletter.
Duration: 14 days.
Channels: Email, meetings, and LinkedIn.
Target persona: Co-founder of a US-based Fintech startup.
|Day||Purpose and channel||Content-type|
|Day 1||Qualification via call||Ask the right questions to qualify the leads.|
|Day 2||Follow-up via email||Send an email asking for feedback and get insights into their understanding.|
|Day 4||Connect on LinkedIn||Send a LinkedIn to connect with a prompt message referring to the demo call.|
|Day 6||Reinforce value via email||Send an email highlighting the benefits of the potential problem of the prospect and how your products solve that.|
|Day 9||Develop trust via email||Share the recent customer’s success story, case studies, testimonials from similar industries, and how they benefited from your offering.|
|Day 12||LinkedIn engagements||Engage with them on LinkedIn - share a warm comment on their post.|
|Day 14||Follow-up call||Call to check if they’re still interested in converting into a paying customer.|
If they are still not interested, then send them a friendly breakup email informing them that you won’t be contacting them further, but they can still reach out to you in the future.
Outbound sales cadence
In outbound sales, the sales rep makes the first contact with the lead either by cold emailing or phone call. The leads are new, and sales reps must evaluate their pain points to understand them better and become familiar with their products or services.
Outbound sales cadence example
Cadence objective - Develop a relationship with the prospect.
Context - Cold outbound to targeted prospect.
Duration - 14 days.
Channels - Email, call, and LinkedIn.
Target persona: Marketing heads of B2C India-based e-comm startup.
|Day||Purpose and channel||Content-type|
|Day 1||Connection acknowledgment via cold emailing||Send a warm email with your purpose for reaching out and adding valuable content for the lead.|
|Day 2||Get familiar with the lead via LinkedIn||Connect with them and engage with their posts on LinkedIn.|
|Day 4||Content sharing via email||Send an email sharing relevant and personalized content based on their industry.|
|Day 7||Contextual content sharing via email||Send personal messages sharing valuable content related to their pain points, requirements, and how you can help them.|
|Day 9||Get familiar and build trust via LinkedIn||Engage with their posts by commenting or sharing them to develop trust.|
|Day 12||Seek reference||Indicate your outreach to other colleagues seeking a meeting.|
|Day 14||Send a breakup emails||If the lead is not interested, send them a breakup email.|
While preparing your sales cadence plan, you must remember some practices to get the best results.
Sales cadence best practices
Here are some best practices to prepare a good cadence plan for more sales:
Draft relevant and contextual messaging for different leads based on their level of awareness of your brand.
Use multiple channels to engage with your leads.
Remember to segment prospects based on their intent and stage in the funnel.
Keep adequate intervals between each touchpoint.
Email copy best practices
A good email copy will compel users to open and engage with the email and provide value in exchange for their time. So, here are email copy best practices you should follow:
Make your subject line clear and compelling that persuade users to get more email opens and engagements.
Write a pre-header text that explains a little bit more about what’s in the email.
To know in detail, you can read our guide on How to write persuasive email copy for higher conversions.
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Email design best practices
The structure and presentation of text, images, videos, GIFs help make your email look engaging and fun to read. So, here are some best practices to make a captivating email design:
Use your brand logo and name at the top to create brand awareness.
Use personalization and dynamic content to target users with the relevant content.
Finally, make your email design responsive to different screen sizes.
To know in detail, read our guide on 14 Email Design Best Practices to Ramp up Your Email Game in 2022
A well-crafted sales cadence will be your guiding light on your journey to reach your target customers and achieve your goals. But, you can’t create it overnight as it is a trial and error process and will need reiteration before you start seeing results.
But, sticking to it is your ticket to getting higher sales and improving customer engagement. With it, you can run your business process such as customer prospecting, sales strategy, conversions, etc., more efficiently. In addition, with this framework, you can understand how your sales team approaches customers, and if there are any drawbacks, how you can solve them for better prospecting in the future.