Cold Calling

Your Sales Cadence Sucks and I Can Prove It

Christopher Tuttle

Sales cadence is the MOTHER of all buzzwords. ‘Cadence this’ and ‘cadence that’ but I’m feeling like nobody even knows what a cadence is. Well, I’ve got a definition for you:

Cadence is a sequence of activities to improve contact and qualification rates.

Most sales reps have a cadence. It’s something they make up, and try, and if it doesn’t work they move on to the next thing. There is no rhyme or reason just gut and intuition.

Let me give you an example:

This is a real cadence from a real company. I didn’t want to revel the name but next time I might just to make it more interesting. Want do you think? Is it good or is it bad? Well let’s break it down.

Hmmm, how the hell do you break it down? This has been the problem for a long time. There is no way to break it down because we have no had no blueprint on how to do that, until now. InsideSales Labs did a study analyzing 14,000+ cadences, made up of 144,000+ total activities, across nearly 9,000 companies. The study uncovered the five key elements of a cadence:

1.   Attempts: The total number of touch points made

2.   Media: The type of communication methods used

3.   Duration: The time between the first and last attempt

4.   Spacing: The time gap between contact attempts

5.   Content: The messaging used

These elements are how you build an analyze a cadence. So let’s do it, let’s analyze the above cadence:

1.   Attempts: It has a total of 7 touches. The industry average is (according to our study) 4.05. That is made up 1.73 phone calls and 2.32 emails. Did you hear that? The average lead is only called 1.73 times. That’s sucks and it’s definitely not getting the ‘most’ out of your leads. 7 is okay but it’s not great for marketing leads. Grade C

2.   Media: The media pattern used in the above cadence is a call + call + email. This is good as the industry standard is a single email. Why no voicemail? Grade C+

*Our data didn’t include social touches. I know, I wanted it to but it’s a little more complicated to get social data and we didn’t have access to it.

3.   Duration: The typical duration across the 9K companies was 4.89 days so 17 days doesn’t look bad. The problem is the duration with the number of touches makes it messy. B+

4.   Spacing: In the above cadence the spacing is 1D 20Hrs on average. The industry average is 4.23 days. The problem with the average is it can be misleading. Look at the above cadence and you have some real anomalies. In one instance you have a whole week gap and that’s messy. Grade C

5.   Content: I didn’t post any of the emails from this company but I can tell you the average email sent from this organization had 76 words and the average voicemail was over 30 seconds. The industry average on this is 362 words per email and the typical voicemail was 23 seconds long. Shorter emails are still performing better so we’ll give them a plus there but their voicemails over 30 seconds have to stop. Grade B+

There you have it. Your sales cadence may suck, it may not suck but at least you have a strategy to start breaking it down and figuring out why it’s good or why it’s bad.

You want to learn more about what the study revealed and what best practices cadence look like? Check out our Game Plan: