If you’re working in sales as a representative, manager or even sales leader position, you’ve probably heard the term sales cadence before. If you haven’t– don’t worry about it, you’re probably doing it every day without giving it a second thought. At XANT, we’ve perfected the art of building an executing sales cadences and established best practices in the field.
We know exactly when you should contact your prospects, how long to persist in your attempts, and which communication media you should use.
What’s a Sales Cadence?
Our definition of sales cadence is a sequence of sales activities that reps take to try and establish contact with their prospects. There’s a few things you should account for when creating your sales cadence: attempts, media, duration, spacing and content.
Basically, a sales cadence is your sales strategy that answers these questions:
- How many attempts do I make to contact a lead?
- Should I use a phone call, email, voicemail or other media?
- Over the course of how many days should I pace my sales efforts?
- How many days/or hours should be between my contact attempts?
- What is the message I should use with my prospects?
Common Sales Cadences Today
Unfortunately, sales reps today give little thought to how they time their contact attempts on trying to reach customers. They might do random sales cadences, or use email as a preferred method of communication because it’s more convenient, and less awkward than a phone call.
One TOPO study asked sales reps what they do to get in touch with their leads, and how soon do they give up. They answered they do around 15 touches before giving up. But what they reported is far from the truth. When XANT analyzed over 8,000 companies in a comprehensive study, we found that number is closer to 4.05.
Four (4) touches. That’s pretty much all sales reps do, before giving up.
The study also found another concerning pattern. The most common outreach practices consisted of just one email, as a first method of contact. One (1) email. That’s it.
Now, as a Marketing professional, I might feel offended with these results– after all, I work hard to source leads. And if ever there’s a problem with reaching quota in any company, I anticipate some fingers will be pointing at me– “marketing leads are low quality.”
Why Are Sales Reps Failing at Their Sales Cadence?
But there’s no room for emotion in the world of data-driven sales and marketing. The truth is, a sales cadence is a complicated motion of events that a sales reps needs to keep track of. Sometimes they have over 100 sales activities per day. Here’s the full list of activities that a sales development representative does every day, in case you are curious (hint: it’s hard, grinding work).
The best sales cadences encompass around 12 touches for every lead. And no deal was ever closed when a sales rep gave up on a lead after less than 6 contact attempts.
The (Customer Relationship Management) CRM software is simply not equipped to handle the complexity of today’s sales world. The processes have changed, but the tool has not.
In fact, the CRM was rated the most frustrating and inefficient sales system by sales rep, in a recent study on sales time management.
Reps waste a lot of time (around 10% of their day) just managing CRM-related tasks in spreadsheets. And only 35% of their day is spent on revenue-generating activities.
How A Sales Cadence Tool Can Help
Sales systems need to evolve and get more efficient, if we are to allow sales reps to have the complex sales sequences that today’s market needs. Each client is unique in preference for communication media. They have different times when they are more responsive, and respond to different messaging.
Details, dates, appointments and updates get easily lost in CRM. Sales reps don’t have the ability to work efficiently and productively using just this platform.
Enter sales cadence tools.
A sales cadence platform can significantly boost productivity and efficiency for your sales team. When executed correctly, a sales cadence can nearly double your sales results (this is preliminary data from an XANT experiment with its own product, the Playbooks platform.
You can see our take on why Playbooks is the best tool on the market for salespeople here.
What a Sales Cadence Can (and Should) Do For You
My advice, if you’re looking for a sales cadence tool: don’t throw money at the problem, hoping it will go away.
A proper sales cadence tool is supposed to help sales representatives get to the right leads at the right time, with the right message consistently to help them reach their goals. It needs to integrate seamlessly into their workflow, and it needs to ultimately help them get and close more pipeline.
If experience in the B2B space has taught us anything, it’s that systems which are inefficient are not adopted. Especially by the Millennial workforce– they live and breathe technology on a daily basis.
Here’s our comprehensive list of what a sales cadence tool should do for you.
I call it the ultimate buyer’s guide for a sales cadence tool, and you can download it here.
Don’t go shopping for sales cadence software without it!