4 Ways to Implement the Most Efficient Sales Cadence Ever

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Let’s talk about stories.

Stories typically have five structured parts: the characters, setting, plot, conflict, and resolution.

You start with setting the stage, introducing the characters, and talking about the world. Then you move on to the reason why all these characters and this world is here in the first place. There’s usually some sort of conflict to resolve, and when it has been, the story ends.

While most authors want their readers to get lost in their story, without a consistent structure that moves the story forward, it quickly falls flat or becomes so confusing that you put the book down and walk away.

put the book down

Source

It’s the same with sales.

Without a clear path forward, how are you supposed to consistently and effectively engage with prospects and move them through the sales funnel?

That’s where a sales cadence comes in.

It’s easy to handle a few leads at a time, but the more leads you get, the more you’ll need a consistent process to follow to ensure that all your customers get a high-quality experience, every time.

Let’s take a deeper look at the importance of an effective sales cadence, and dive into some examples and best practices that you can action immediately.

What is a Sales Cadence?

Every touchpoint that you have in place to engage potential customers, including email, social media, and phone makes up your sales cadence. It’s from these touchpoints that your customers enter into your sales funnel and continue to move through it, eventually landing at a conversion.

A sales cadence consists of:

  • Touchpoints to establish contact with a prospect
  • Space between those touchpoints (gives prospects a chance to respond, and prevents communications from becoming spammy)
  • Content that engages prospects
  • A way to monitor and track how prospects are moving through the funnel

For example, with a SaaS company, a prospect signing up for a free trial represents the first step in a sales cadence because that prospect has the chance of becoming a customer. What happens next will determine if they get there or not.

After the customer signs up for the free trial, the next step would be to send them a welcome email. This email often includes information about the app itself and a link for the customer to log in for the first time. Once they do, the prospecting cadence continues with perhaps another email describing a feature of the app, and the next touchpoint could be a direct phone call to the customer.

Remember, the point of a sales cadence is to keep the customer moving logically through the sales process through multiple touchpoints, so keeping the customer engaged through consistent communication is key.

Sales Cadence and PersonalizationSales Cadence and Personalization

Sales cadences can be static or situational, depending on the business and the customer. Going off of our SaaS example above, let’s say that the second email about the app is tailored to a specific feature that the prospect explored within the software instead of a generic feature. This is a more personalized and targeted approach for that specific prospect, likely resulting in a better chance of them moving forward in your sales funnel.

After all, customers want to be informed before committing to a purchase. Gartner found that customers who found the information they received from suppliers (this was a B2B research study) to be helpful were more likely to experience a high degree of purchase ease (i.e. more confident purchases) and three times more likely than usual to buy a bigger deal with less buyer’s remorse.

But if you can incorporate personalization into that mix, even better. According to Folloze, more than half of the 205 sales and marketing professionals surveyed said that using marketing personalization leads to higher sales conversion rates and growth.

What this means is that if you can be that information resource for your customer, then that will lead to better sales. Even better, if you can incorporate personalized information into your sales cadence for each prospect, you’ll be leading to your prospect to the sale quicker and easier.

Types of Sales Cadence

Whether it’s B2B or B2C, sales cadences can really be disseminated down into two categories: outbound and inbound. This makes sense because these sales processes already have distinct differences in the way outreach and prospecting is done, so it’s only natural that the sales cadence you come up with for each will be different. Let’s break down these two types further:

Outbound Sales Cadence

Outbound sales require reaching out to customers who haven’t yet shown an interest in your product, but since the prospect doesn’t know you yet, it helps to use an outreach cadence to help inform how and when you’ll contact them.

For example, you could start off with an email or a cold call and then plan for a follow-up a few days later. Of course, you’ll have to adjust your prospecting cadence based on the success of that first communication.

Some prospecting cadence attempts may end quickly because a prospect doesn’t respond to the first contact, but having a clear process in place will help you refine your approach over time. For example, you could follow up with the same prospect again in a few weeks with an email to give yourself another chance to engage, but not be too spammy with your communications.

Inbound Sales Cadence

Inbound sales are obviously much different from outbound. Marketing usually brings inbound leads through advertising campaigns and content creation, so the incoming leads have already engaged with your company in some way before speaking with a salesperson.

This changes the sales cadence slightly because you typically have more information about whether an individual lead is going to have a good chance of converting, based on how well they fit your ideal customer profile or persona. Marketing also likely has stats from previous campaigns that can help you categorize leads, if leads that click through from Google Ads have an overall higher conversion rate than those that click through from social media, you could choose to target the Google Ads customers first.

From there, it’s just a matter of determining the best way to reach out. For instance, if the customer falls within your ideal customer profile, then maybe you want to give that lead a call. With customers who don’t, using marketing automation to send a more generic response might be the best way forward.

4 Ways to Improve Sales Cadence Efficiency

Ways to Improve Sales Cadence Efficiency

You don’t create a sales cadence and then just be done with it. It requires optimizing over time, especially as the habits of general consumers and your customers change.

Here are four ways you can approach taking a look at your sales cadence and adjusting it to be more effective:

Adjust the Number of Touchpoints

Knowing the perfect number of touchpoints to keep your prospects engaged while not being annoying is often a delicate balancing act. You don’t want to be emailing or calling prospects too often, but you also don’t want them to lose interest because you’re not contacting them enough.

It’s important to approach the number of touchpoints you use strategically. For example, sending out an automated welcome email when a prospect signs up for a free trial, then following up with another email a few days later that prompts them to log in to check out a standout feature. Then after a week or so, follow up with a phone call to see how they are getting along with using the software.

Or, if a lead fills out a form on your website, send them a personalized email or give them a call as soon as possible to follow up on their request. Then later on send them some more information about the product, maybe highlighting some features and benefits that you’ve determined would be appealing to them based on your conversation.

Look at the Spacing of Touchpoints

Like the number of touchpoints, considering the spacing of them is also a delicate balance. You don’t want to be spamming your customer with tons of emails, but you also want to make sure that they have all the information they need.

If your customer has signed up for your email list, for instance, consider how many emails they are actually getting, including general marketing emails alongside the emails you send them personally. You may want to even want to set up your sales cadence so new prospects don’t get generic emails right away, just to prevent too many communications at once.

Social media posts are another consideration. If your customers follow you, they may get notified whenever you post something new. You might think that posting as often as possible is the best approach, but you don’t want your customers to feel bombarded. Instead, stick to a consistent schedule, and only post meaningful and relevant content that makes sense for your business.

Consider Your Content

There are a ton of ways to reach your customers, and it’s important to consider what content you’ll use and when. Following a logical flow with your content ensures that all your prospects receive consistent and relevant information that matches where they are within the sales process.

Here’s an example of a typical content flow:

  1. Welcome email
  2. Product pitch (can be email or phone)
  3. First follow-up communication
  4. Second follow-up communication (could be on a different channel; for instance, if you used email for the first follow-up then using SMS as the second)
  5. Phone call
  6. Final follow-up
  7. Breakup email (if necessary)

Use Data to Optimize

The internal data that you gather from how your prospects move through your sales process can and should be used to influence your sales cadence. A sales CRM like Ringy helps you aggregate data from all stages in your sales process to help you fine-tune your sales cadence.

For example, the pandemic shifted a lot of communications to remote, meaning that people have become more accustomed to things like video chat, phone calls, and messaging. This may mean fewer visits to client offices in favor of digital communications.

Your audience might even shift as you add new products or change the functionality of existing ones, like for a typical SaaS business. These changes can impact every aspect of your sales cadence, from how often you reach out to prospects to how many touchpoints you need for each sale.

Best Outbound Sales Cadence Examples

Best Outbound Sales Cadence Examples

Outbound sales isn’t always easy, but following a structured sales cadence adds consistency to how you approach them and allows you to optimize your process over time.

One thing that always helps is looking at examples from others that have had success. Here are a few of them:

Outbound Sales Cadence from Close

Close suggests that cold outreach for outbound sales needs to focus on the right amount of touchpoints (they suggest around 6) as well as the correct timing for each follow-up. The suggested cadence spans a two-week period and consists of two different communication channels, phone, and email.

Here’s Close’s suggested outbound sales cadence:

Day (starting with the first content with the prospect)

Communication Channel

1

First email

2

Second email

4

Phone call (leave a voicemail if necessary)

7

Third email

11

Phone call (no voicemail)

14

Breakup email (if necessary)

Outbound Sales Cadence from SalesHacker CEO Max Altschuler

In an interview for Revenue.io, Max discussed his approach to a typical outbound sale cadence. He cautioned that there’s no right or wrong way to approach it, and it’s important to test and optimize your approach over time.

That being said, here is what Max outlined:

Day (starting with the first content with the prospect)

Communication Channel

1

First email

3

Email in the morning, call in the afternoon

5

Call in the morning, call with a voicemail in the afternoon

7

Email in the morning, call in the afternoon with a voicemail

10

Email and call in the morning

Outbound Sales Cadence from Carlos Monteiro, CEO of Biassa

Carlos’s sales cadence focuses on a twelve-day period that alternates between several different digital communication methods, including email, video phone calls, and social media.

According to Lusha (the blog where we got this example from), this omnichannel cadence has helped Carlos book appointments with 11 large eCommerce companies:

Day (starting with the first content with the prospect)

Communication Channel

1

Prospect research

2

LinkedIn InMail

3

Follow-up LinkedIn InMail

4

Email

5

Follow-up email

6

Phone call

7

Social media (share an article and tag the prospect)

8

Video email

9

Social media (engage the prospect on LinkedIn)

10

Voice mail

11

Email

12

Phone call or email

Best Email Cadence Examples

Best Email Cadence Examples

Now that we’ve gone through some outbound sales cadence examples, you’ve likely noticed that email is a huge part of the process. Cold email is obviously a big part of business communications in general, so knowing when to use it to engage prospects is really an art in and of itself.

Creating a great email cadence includes:

  1. Defining your goals. Think about what you want your prospect to do when they receive the email. Do you want them to click through to a page on your website? Do you want them to contact you? Is the email just informational and you simply want them to open it? Defining your goals in advance will direct you to which metrics to track for each email so you can measure each one’s success properly.
  2. Personalization. Generic emails often don’t cut it when you’re trying to entice prospects. Automated emails are fine, but ensure that you’re using every bit of personalization possible, including using the prospect's name. In addition, segmenting your prospects based on industry, product relevance to their job, engagement rates with certain email types, and other factors help you ensure the communications they’re getting are tailored to their preferences.
  3. Watch the frequency. When you have tons of email segments and different email communications, like general marketing, a newsletter, blog sign up, etc, prospects can quickly get bogged down with emails from your company. It’s best to stagger the frequency of emails sent so that if a prospect is subscribed to all your email communications, they won’t feel like it’s too much. This may require some trial and error and feedback from customers and prospects as you get the email cadence right.

That being said, here are some of the best email cadence examples:

Unbounce email Cadence Example

This email cadence example from Unbounce outlines how you could contact an executive-level prospect:

Day

Type of email

1

Introductory email (include the prospects designation and organization).

2

The sales pitch. Highlight your product and how it can help their business specifically.

5

First follow-up email. The point of this email is to gain an understanding of whether the prospect is even interested or not. It should be short and sweet, and straight to the point.

7

Second follow-up email. Send the prospect case studies, testimonials, and other social proof to nudge them back towards your sales funnel.

9

Third follow-up email. Offer them a free trial, consultation, or even a discount.

11

The final email. This is short and sweet and simply asks the prospect to contact you if they’re interested, but is the last attempt to persuade your prospect.

Canto’s email Cadence Example

The email cadence example from Canto outlines how a typical SaaS business might reach out to customers once they’ve hit different stages in the sales funnel:

Stage in the sales funnel

Type of email

During the free trial

Start things off with an introductory email, and feel free to build off of that with emails highlighting certain features.

Engagement after purchase

Canto gives the example of anticipating when a customer may need to replace their product with a new one and suggests contacting them then.


As another scenario, let’s say you’re a SaaS company that just launched a new product. Knowing a segment of customers could benefit, you proactively email them to let them know.

Finding the right cadence for steady demand

Canto suggests using eye-catching templates and compelling copy, but also adjusting your email frequency to hit that sweet spot. Looking at data, A/B testing, using personalization, and asking customers for feedback are the main strategies they recommend to keep your audience engaged.

Sales Cadence Best Practices

When you’re creating your own sales cadence, ensure that you’re following these best practices:

Know your audience

Learn about your audience. Where do they hang out online? What communications do they typically prefer? What language (industry jargon, etc.) when conversing with others in their industry?

The more you know about your audience and how they tick, the better you can tailor your communications to engage them.

Shortlist communication channels

From email to phone to social media, there are a ton of ways you can reach your prospects. A great sales cadence considers all of these together and pays careful attention to how each channel fits together in a holistic communication strategy.

For example, you might send an email about a new product to a segment of prospects, but if you’re emailing only a relevant portion of potential customers, then you need to ask yourself if it’s a good idea to duplicate that communication on social media where it will reach everyone.

On the other hand, you might find that a certain piece of content is worlds better for social media rather than email, or vice versa. Don’t be afraid to share content on only the channel that best suits it. That being said, if it’s an important communication like store closures or business hour changes, it’s best to share everywhere for maximum visibility.

Consider the value of provided content

The saying “quality over quantity” really resonates here, as you shouldn’t send emails to your prospects or customers if you don’t have anything of value to say to them.

For example, with a new prospect that just signed up for a free trial, an email explaining product features will be helpful to them, but it won’t be helpful to a customer that’s been using your software for years. Segmenting these customers in your email system will help target communications to go where they need to.

Refine touchpoint spacing

You don’t want your prospects or existing customers to get fatigued with communications from you, but you don’t want to be too distant either. If there was an easy way to determine the perfect number of touchpoints to keep customers engaged without being too clingy, we’d list it here.

But the reality is that the process of refining your touchpoints is trial and error. Sometimes your customers will feel like you’re too clingy. Other times, they’ll completely forget about you because you haven’t reached out to them in ages. According to the Rain Group, 8-12 touches is the optimal amount, but you’ll likely need to test and adjust over time within that ballpark to see what works for your sales process.

Know When to Move On

Look, not everyone is going to be interested in your business, even if they seem like the perfect customer. Knowing when to stop and amicably bow out of the conversion is just as important as landing a new customer. Not only do you not want to come off desperate, you also don’t want to make the person angry and leave them with a negative impression of your company.

Who knows, after some time passes, they may be interested in your product again. But if you leave a bad taste in their mouth from your last interaction with them, they’re sure to move on to deal with a competitor instead.

Conclusion

Ways to Implement the Most Efficient Sales Cadence Ever

The process of creating, refining, and testing sales cadences is not easy, but it’s a necessary bunch of steps in the sales process. The main takeaways from this article include:

  • A good sales cadence consists of touchpoints, space between those touchpoints, engaging content, and a way to measure outcomes so you can adjust and improve as needed.
  • If you’re using multiple methods of communication in your sales cadences, then paying careful attention to how you’re using those and in what frequency might mean the difference between making the sale and not. For example, if you email first, call as a follow-up.
  • Use data to influence your sales cadence. This prevents subjectiveness and gut feelings from getting in the way. Instead, you can look at what resonates with your customers and adjust your process to match.
  • Understand your audience, including what communications they prefer. For example, Millennials typically don’t like phone calls, but those from other generations may prefer them.

Interested in taking your sales cadence to the next level? Ringy’s Sales CRM helps you manage, attract, and delight your customers. Request a demo with our team today and we’ll walk you through how.