Converting potential leads into sales is a crucial task that falls on the shoulders of the sales team. Several businesses often encounter hurdles or even hit a dead-end when it comes to engaging with customers!
If your business is among them, don’t worry. You can implement a sales cadence strategy for your unique business model to get the results you expect and more.
Confused about what it is and how? Here is a detailed guide to help you in sales cadence and improve your customer engagement.
What Is a Sales Cadence?
Connecting with the customer and staying in touch with them throughout their journey with your business is an essential factor in marketing and sales.
Sales cadence is a thorough plan containing numerous touchpoints that are approached in a sequence, in which you or your sales team can connect with your customer to interact or sell your product. These touchpoints or points of contact with the customer can be through a call, email, website, or social media.
You may want to connect with your customer for various reasons. A few of them are listed below.
- Tell them what your business is all about
- Explain all the features of your product
- Follow-up calls and emails
- Close the deal
Ideally, eight touchpoints are required to complete a sale with a customer. However, each company is different. Your business may need only five or seven touchpoints to close a deal. It all depends on the company, customer, and product.
Here’s an example of creating a multi-touch cadence
- Day 1 – Email
- Day 3 – Email
- Day 6 – Follow-up email No.1
- Day 9 – Call in the morning. You may even leave a voicemail if the customer doesn’t answer your call
- Day 11 – Follow-up email No.2
- Day 14 – Call
- Day 16 – Follow-up email No.3
- Day 20 – Final round of communication
Importance of an Effective Sales Cadence
A brand thrives on happy customers who do business with them. As the essence of an effective sales cadence strategy is to connect with more customers regularly, a single communication channel will not help.
Sales cadence will only deliver effective results if the touchpoints are created through numerous platforms. This is because not all customers are comfortable with follow-up calls. Some might be comfortable with emails, while others might prefer interacting with businesses on social media.
An effective sales cadence can also help your business connect with more prospects and convert these prospects into long-term customers. This way, there is a constant and steady flow in the sales pipeline.
6 Sales Email Cadence Best Practices to Follow
Here are six pointers that you must definitely include and master in your sales cadence strategy.
Sales Cadence Best Practice #1: Prospect Comes First
In a business, a potential customer who might be willing to do business with you is called a prospect. Prospecting is essentially the first step in the sales cadence strategy, as you search and interact with multiple prospects.
To begin with, you must ensure that you find the right prospects for your business. A study by Sales Insights Lab shows that 50% of the prospects are bad fits for your company. You can learn two things from this statistic.
- Take it in your stride that not all prospects will turn into customers.
- Tweak the criteria based on which you shortlist prospects. This way, you may be able to find more prospects who will turn out as good fits.
And always remember to keep the prospects in the highest place of importance, as building a relationship with them can boost your business sales.
Sales Cadence Best Practice #2: Conduct Thorough Research
Whether it is prospecting or follow-ups, thorough research is a must in sales cadence. Conducting proper research can help you in many areas like,
- Finding the right sector of the audience to target
- Narrowing down the audience members to find the right prospects
- Learning more about the communication channels that your client prefers
- Understanding the various areas that your client struggles with
- Finding the right time of the day to contact the prospect
- Understanding the perfect way through which you can cater to the prospect’s requirements
Sometimes, your research might also show you that your marketing strategies aren’t delivering the desired results. You can then use these insights to change your marketing strategy. For instance, you may go from text-based templates to video selling your products. This change might help you increase your engagement rates and ROI.
Typically, a sales rep spends 17% of their day prospecting and researching leads. When all the different pointers are executed properly, the results of your sales cadence are enhanced.
Sales Cadence Best Practice #3: Remember to Ask Questions
“Seek first to understand, then to be understood!”
– Stephen Covey, American author, educator, and businessman
Following this quote from Stephen Covey is a great way to approach this pointer. It correlates with the previous point of keeping the customer first.
If you are having a difficult time connecting with your customers, you need to learn more about their requirements and preferences. Focus on how they want their product and not on how you can sell it. Find out what they want before showing them what you can provide.
Your questions may include asking them about their pain points, budget, needs, and ideal solutions. A few examples of questions are given below.
- “What challenges or obstacles are you trying to overcome?”
- “What solution are you looking for?”
If your prospect is a company, you can also ask questions like,
- “Which department in your company is facing this issue?”
- “How many employees work in your company or department?”
By asking questions, you can gain more insight into your prospect that will help you remodel your sales and marketing strategy for better results. This exercise will also help you develop a relationship with your clients.
Sales Cadence Best Practice #4: Actively Listen to the Prospect’s Needs
You did your research and asked the right questions to your prospect. But none of it will make any difference if you do not actively listen to your prospects and customers.
Active listening is a skill that every sales representative should have. A survey conducted by HubSpot shows that 69% of customers believe a sales rep who listens to their needs can improve their experience with the business.
Active listening goes beyond hearing as you closely pay attention to every detail in the conversation. It helps you better understand the customer and ask the right follow-up questions. Eventually, active listening helps in improving sales.
For instance, when your prospect is telling you about their pain points, forget about your product for a minute. Instead, listen to what they are saying and get more information from their body language, expressions, and tone.
When the prospect finishes, you can rephrase what they said and ask them if you truly understood the whole thing. You can then ask relevant follow-up questions to get a better understanding. Once you thoroughly understand their needs, you can tell them how your product will be beneficial.
Sales Cadence Best Practice #5: Bring Value to the Table
People don’t have the time to listen to long, never-ending sales pitches that end up nowhere. Instead, they want to know how you can help them.
82% of sales reps try to provide value to all prospects and customers. However, 34% of customers had a bad sales experience because the sales rep did not offer any value.
Always make sure that you bring value to the table when you get in touch with a prospect. You can offer value by providing relevant information and solutions that can solve the problems of the customer.
Sales Cadence Best Practice #6: Ensure That You Always Follow Up
Follow-ups is the most important stage of sales cadence because,
- It gives you a status update on the progress of your deal
- It helps you persuade your customers who are still in the deciding stage
- It builds a relationship between you and the customer
But the sad part is that 48% of salespeople don’t make even a single follow-up attempt, and 44% don’t proceed beyond a single try.
There must be at least five follow-up calls to complete a sale or build rapport with a prospect. This is because 60% of the customers will decline four times before they actually say yes.
Nowadays, automation and digitization are finding themselves in all industries and sectors. To help you stick to the sales cadence schedule and never miss a follow-up call or email, you can use software like Outreach.
Using such software, you can create sales cadence sequences and templates for all your sales reps. It then automates the entire follow-up process by sending follow-up emails to the prospects.
You can also use CRM tools that provide insights and analytics on the efficiency of the strategy. For example, if you use emails to establish touchpoints, you can analyze the email-open rates.
If you are using videos in your emails, you can gain insights on the number of views, share rate, retention rate, and a whole lot more.
Points to Remember in Sales Cadence
While following all the above points is crucial, there are a few pointers that you must avoid at all costs as well.
1. Maintain Proper Sales Etiquette
Maintaining sales etiquette when you interact with prospects should go without saying. Poor sales etiquette by a member of your sales team can start a vicious domino effect that may damage your business.
Poor sales etiquette
Damage to the brand’s reputation
Negative word of mouth
Loss in existing and new customers
To save your company from this domino effect, avoid poor sales etiquettes like;
- Cutting the customer’s sentences
- Being overconfident
- Staying lazy
- Being arrogant
2. Don’t Jump to Conclusions
This point closely relates to quite a few of the other ones mentioned before. Don’t jump to conclusions when you are doing business with a customer or interacting with a prospect. Sales reps generally jump to conclusions in a few areas.
- They already know what the customer wants.
- They know the reasons behind the prospect’s hesitation.
- They feel that the prospect will definitely agree to do business.
Always stick to the process. Ensure that you conduct proper research, ask your prospects relevant questions, and learn about their requirements and circumstances from their responses.
3. Avoid Talking Politics
Just like maintaining proper sales etiquette at all times, there are few topics that you must avoid discussing with your clients. Politics is one such topic.
For any given topic, there are always two halves. A half that is compassionate about it, and a half that isn’t interested in it. Your client may either have no interest in politics or may have a lot of passion for it.
Irrespective of the half they belong from, you should avoid discussing it with them. If your prospect is not interested, you are wasting their time. If they are compassionate about it, you stand at a risk of saying something they would not like, as politics can be a sensitive topic.
4. Refrain From Being A Mr. Know-It-All
“Don’t be a know-it-all; instead be a learn-it-all.”
– Jeffrey Weiner, American businessman
‘Know-it-all’ is a term given to a person who thinks they know everything. These people are overconfident and arrogant and don’t actively listen to anyone else’s opinions and ideas. It might be one of the reasons why your sales team is not giving you the results you want!
These traits cause a bad experience for all prospects and customers, thereby affecting your company’s sales and reputation.
Identify these traits in your sales reps and work with them to become better listeners. Leading by example is the best way to ensure your team adopts a more humble approach when interacting with clients.
5. Don’t Bank or Rely on Phone Call Alone
While prospecting and following up with prospects, don’t rely on only the phone.
As mentioned earlier, each customer has their own preferences when it comes to the communication channel. Eight out of ten prospects prefer interacting with sales reps via email. And in this fast-paced era, not many people have the time or patience to listen to sales pitches on a call.
The biggest challenge with email interactions is that customers can delete it with one click without even taking a proper look at it. And you can’t blame them. Customers get hundreds of emails like this every day.
You can overcome this challenge by replacing textual emails with videos. To connect more with the customer, you can personalize the videos and email them at scale.
6. Don’t Be Too Defensive
Typically, new clients are skeptical about doing business with you. They aren’t sure whether you are the best fit for them. If you are defensive in such situations, you aren’t giving the prospect any inclination to work with you.
They need to know what your business is capable of and how well you can adapt and scale to their needs. In such circumstances, avoid being defensive with your clients. You want to show them how your product or service can make their life easier.
On the other hand, getting too offensive isn’t recommended either. Try striking the right balance between offense and defense.
Planning sales cadence to the dot is one thing; efficiently executing that plan and strategy is another. Following all the do’s and avoiding all the don’ts can help you and your sales team better execute the strategy.
With a well-executed strategy, you will be able to propel your business to greater heights!