What Is It?
Cadence refers to “a flow or rhythm of events.” In sales, those “events” are interactions with prospects, typically referred to as touch points. Once you make contact with a prospect, how often do you touch base with them without verging on obnoxious?
Keeping a good sales cadence is a delicate art, and it often looks different from one sales process to another, and sometimes even one sale to another.
It may seem like a challenge at first, but a well-kept sales cadence is proven to increase sales revenue, not to mention it guts out excessive calls or emails so that you can use your time more efficiently. Carlos Monteiro compares an unstructured sales cadence to a chicken with its head cut off, which “runs fast, but doesn’t get very far.”
A good sales cadence provides a standardized procedure for keeping in touch with clients so that it’s easier to track where each client is in the sales process.
Timing Your Cadence
The first step to establishing a good sales cadence is response time. How long do you wait after a query is submitted to establish contact? A study from Lead Response Management suggests that “the odds of contacting a lead if called in five minutes versus thirty minutes drops 100 times.”
That means that with every minute, warm leads are growing colder. That certainly isn’t an excuse to call excessively, but instead, it should be motivation to start the sales cadence process as quickly as possible in order to give leads the chance to be as responsive as possible.
The duration of your sales cadence is the next most important element. There are many different suggestions when it comes to how long to continue getting in touch with a prospect before letting the lead go. While you don’t want to miss an opportunity, you also need to give the client a little bit of breathing room.
InsideSales reveals that the average sales cadence duration of five days is usually too short, and simply not sufficient. SalesHacker CEO Max Altschulter uses a ten-day sales cadence, usually touching base every other day. Insight Squared suggests an eight-touch cadence model of “twice a day, every other day,” utilizing both calls and e-mail, for two full business weeks. Carlos Monteiro recommends a twenty-one-day cadence with twelve touch points.
What all of these models have in common is that none of them involve making a touch point every single day, giving the lead room to consider their needs and make time to respond.
These models all also utilize multiple kinds of touch points such as dialing, email, and LinkedIn. And overall, their goal is to provide structure to the sales inquiry process that can be easily tracked and utilized for multiple clients.
When establishing your sales cadence, it is also important to keep in mind the optimum dates and times to contact clients. Lead Response Management research from 2009 shows that the best days to contact leads are Wednesday and Thursday, with Monday typically being the worst day to call.
The study also showed that the best time of day to make contact is between 4 and 6 pm, and the worst times are right before and after lunch. Research also shows that you have a 164% higher chance of qualifying a lead based off of when you call it.
While of course, you can’t limit all your sales calls to those windows, it’s important to take time and scheduling into account as a part of your sales cadence, if for no other reason than empathy in regards to the client’s schedule. Maybe structure your cadence so that contact isn’t typically made on Mondays, or perhaps those are good days for an email instead of a phone call.
Tracking Your Cadence
The last integral element of sales cadence is tracking cadence data. It’s important to know where each client is in the cadence process in order for the cadence to truly be effective. So, be sure that you are tracking the client’s stage in the cadence as well as recording the metrics along the way. Proper management of that data will ensure that your leads and call lists are getting the nurturing that they deserve every step of the way.
Creating a sales cadence is no simple task, but it truly optimizes the value of each of the sales contacts you make. If you can communicate with clients in a timely (but not obnoxious) fashion, you can ensure that you’re following every lead to the best of your ability.