The key to a successful sales cadence is perfect communication timing, the right number of touchpoints, and a solid sales strategy behind all your efforts. It also helps to have personalized channels to execute the sales cadence.
Sounds easy enough, right? Well, considering how 60% of prospects say ‘no’ multiple times before agreeing, it’s surprisingly tough to master.
To help you take your successful sales to the next level, here’s a complete guide on how to create a sales cadence that your prospects will actually appreciate.
Let’s jump right in.
Define a sales objective
Your entire sales process (no matter how effective) won’t do you any good if it’s not aligned with your sales end goal.
Defining the objective is fundamental to your cadence. It lets sales reps know each step of the process and the logical next step at any point.
From the prospect's perspective, the objective is what they see and feel the salesperson is trying to do. This is what makes sales objectives so vital to the cadence, as it’s how prospects experience the process.
Ensure effective results by staying true to cold outreach best practices. It helps to have each structure of the sales framework lead prospects to the final stage.
Examples of goals for your sales cadence should be scheduling a demo for the product, getting the prospect to fill out a form, or getting them on a video.
One tip you should consider is making the goals much narrower than the overall sales goals. Sure, you can have an overarching goal to get a certain amount of customer traffic on product pages, but your cadence goals should be smaller, like getting a prospect to the signup page quicker.
How to create sales cadence goals
You can create effective sales cadence goals by:
- Thinking about the ideal conclusion of each point in the sales cycle
- Factoring in the number of outreach channels you typically use
- Considering the most streamlined approach to closing each stage of the cycle
- Aligning each goal with its respective sales cadence touchpoint
The key is to help the prospects understand what’s happening and make their journey easier.
Determine your target prospects
Your target prospects are the people you direct your sales efforts to. If you’re selling in 2023, chances are you already have a group of people in mind who form the bulk of your customer base.
This is where it gets interesting because inbound customers may not be the same as prospects you reach via outbound sales. The former group will often be too diverse and random to create a sales strategy around.
Outbound sales require a few groups with specific qualities that are relevant to your business and have the potential to become customers.
These are your prospect personas.
The major factors you can use to group your prospects into personas are:
- Company size
- Title at company
- Buying habits
- Behavioral traits
This will help your salespeople form an image of your prospect and personalize the sales experience for each group. It can also help you determine who not to target for each goal.
For example, suppose a prospect with a specific buying habit is slowing you down from achieving a cadence goal. You can note it in the persona and look for prospects primed for said goal already.
How to create prospect personas
Here are a few ways to create prospect personas:
- Gather insight from your sales team: The best way to create prospect personas is to gather real, actionable insights from your sales team. Since they’re the primary customer-facing individuals with firsthand experience analyzing customers, they can offer a comprehensive view of the ideal target audience.
- Review market research: You can review any available market research relevant to your customers. This way, you can see trends and patterns of prospects similar to your market space.
- Analyze customer data: Sales analytics are great for collecting data on customers. While they typically provide basic data, you can gather a considerable amount quickly. This makes it easier to see patterns.
Put prospects into persona segments
Once you have your prospect personas, you can start segmenting your existing lists into those personas.
This will accomplish two major goals that every sales team should have:
- Refine B2B sales prospecting to where you’re able to automate several parts of the sales funnel
- Personalize the sales cadence to each group and cut out redundant steps for specific personas
You can also use the cues from your prospect personas to make better design choices for your sales content, adjust touchpoint timing, craft more convincing calls to action, etc. This is how you can grab the prospect’s attention more effectively.
In case you don’t have prospect lists to segment into personas, you can look at your existing customers and make sample groups out of them. Doing this will limit your outreach capability to a specific type of customer and provide valuable insights.
Set communication channels for different personas
The next step of sales outreach should be assigning the appropriate communication channels to different prospects.
This is so you can reach the right person and maximize response rates.
Most sales cadences today use a multichannel approach. The vast number of platforms, such as LinkedIn, Facebook Marketplace, Instagram, and business forums, make it necessary to diversify outreach.
You can also choose channels according to what has worked for you in the past and how you reached existing customers.
If a prospect is more engaged with a specific channel, the entire sales cadence will be more effective.
How to set different communication channels
As mentioned, most sales cadences use a multichannel approach. This lets you try out all available channels to see what sticks.
The multichannel approach utilizes all the tools needed to reach out to prospects. While this broadens your reach, it does mean more time spent on the initial outreach.
Start with the channels that align with your overall business goals. For example, if you’re selling to distributors and retailers, your prospects will likely be on professional forums instead of social media, such as Instagram.
From there, the best approach is to validate those channels for that specific prospect and use the data to make better prospect personas.
Personalize the sales cadence for prospect personas
With the many sales cadence examples and templates, it is easy to forget about personalization. This doesn’t mean you should create an entirely new sales cadence for each prospect persona, regardless of how vastly different they might be.
It simply means you should adjust certain touchpoints, individual steps, and, most importantly, sales content.
When personalizing, make sure that your salespeople understand each step of the sales cadence and can execute it differently for each persona.
The outbound sales cadence can be completely formal (if you’re dealing primarily with high-level executives) or somewhat informal (if you’re selling to mid-level staff or B2C buyers).
One thing you should watch out for is that personalizations should never overlap across personas, even if they have something in common. This is because some prospects may prefer being reached through one channel and receiving follow-ups through another. For example, cold calling and leaving a voicemail, then sending a follow-up email.
It seems like an obvious part of ‘personalizing’ the experience. But it’s easy to get details mixed up when there are multiple similarities across a broad audience.
How to personalize the sales cadence
Every step in the sales cadence should include the ideal prospects, time, channel, and content.
You can personalize the cadence by considering the following persona factors:
- Preferred channel
- Number of outreach attempts
- Timing of contact attempts
- General messaging
- Content design
- Timelines for the next steps
The content is the aspect of your outreach that benefits the most from personalization. Just ensure that while it can be different to some extent, it should not stray too much from the brand identity.
Offer more value through outreach
Each step in the sales cadence should bring value and streamline the process. So, evaluating each step and determining their necessity is essential.
According to research by PwC, only 30% of customers hold high levels of trust in companies. Focusing on and offering what consumers want can increase their trust. Affordability, treating your employees well, and high-quality product/service variety are among the top ways to build consumer trust.
How to increase value through outreach
Value can take many forms, such as:
- Information: Ensure your sales cadence includes information that helps prospects understand what makes your product worth purchasing.
- Resources: You can utilize various resources that explain the measure of a great product.
- Soft skills: Active listening, asking the right questions at the right time, and focusing on solving prospects’ problems are effective ways to increase value.
Soft skills are especially important because most sales reps talk about the product itself instead of what that product can do for the prospect.
Decide on the right number of outreach attempts
Earlier, we stated that most prospects say ‘no’ several times before saying ‘yes.’ This is where the importance of the right number of outreach attempts comes in.
Some prospects may respond after two to three phone calls or emails, while others may require more. Consistency is always great when building relationships with potential customers.
However, that consistency should not translate to the number of times you reach out.
Instead, decide the right number of outreach attempts by looking at existing sales data and established prospect personas.
It also helps to think of outreach as meeting someone for the first time with the intention of becoming friends. You may have to contact them a few times for that to happen, but not so often that you drive them away.
How to determine the number of outreach attempts
Deciding the right number of attempts comes down to:
- The expectations set during the initial conversation
- The prospect’s schedule
- Whether the salesperson had a connection with the prospect before the first contact
The number of outreach attempts is determined case-by-case until you can add the findings into a solid persona.
Best practices for a sales cadence in 2023
Here are some things you should consider when designing a good sales cadence for prospects who understand sales:
- Know each individual prospect: This seems like a lot of work, especially if you’re working with a large number of diverse customers. However, it pays to know the prospects before heading into the sales cadence's main points. You can do this by creating highly detailed prospect personas and gathering data on incoming prospects via the channels they’re coming through.
- Prospect experience matters: How the prospect feels at any point in the sales process defines the value and effectiveness of your process and salespeople. Make sure your sales cadence centers around the best prospect experience possible, and you’ll be able to close more deals.
- Experiment and test: If you have the opportunity to do so, tweak your sales cadence according to conversion rates and experiment with new techniques. Remember, selling always has been and will be a process based on trial and error. Test your cadence with different sales tools and platforms to find out what works best for you.
- Don’t rush it: The entire point of a sales cadence is to set the pace of the sales process according to the involved touchpoints. If your pace is too fast or too slow, you risk decreasing the effectiveness of each touchpoint and the overall strength of your sales strategy. The best way to shorten a sales cycle is not to rush it in the first place.
- Incorporate prospect needs with goals: Most importantly, include the prospect with your sales goals in the sales strategy. This means focusing on their needs, preferences, and how they can benefit from your product.
Making the most of an effective sales cadence
Selling to savvy buyers requires identifying their viability as a prospect. This ties back to creating a prospect persona to craft your sales methodology around.
With such a wide buyer diversity in today’s B2B markets, it’s tough to know exactly who the buyer is and how valuable they could be.
UserGems can help solve that riddle by identifying prospects who are most relevant to your brand. This way, you’ll be able to create an effective sales cadence, optimize your outreach, and grow your sales pipeline more efficiently.
UserGems is a pipeline generation software that helps revenue teams generate and protect revenue efficiently. With UserGems, companies can track and automate outreach when their champions change their jobs, and capture the buying groups to find the warmest path into every account.
Companies like Mimecast, Greenhouse, Medallia use UserGems to reach their revenue goals, quickly and efficiently.