I’m a salesperson to my core. From the psychology of overcoming objections to building effective sales systems. Give me a CRM, email and a cell phone, and I’ll feel like a kid in a candy store. When I started Flight Media, our sales process was pretty much just that. Add leads to CRM. Email leads a few times. Call occasionally. But at the end of our 3rd year in business, I realized that to grow revenue predictably, we needed to add another component to our sales process. Enter: The Sales Cadence. Most salespeople have either never heard of a sales cadence or don’t fully understand WHY they need it. In this post, I’m going to break down what a sales cadence is, why you need them, and how to track them, and then give a few examples of how we use a sales cadences to close deals left and right.
What Is A Sales Cadence?
A sales cadence is simply a sequence of sales activities that you follow for certain leads. For example, if you offer a free consultation on your website and someone fills out the form, the cadence is the list of things you do to finalize/schedule the first meeting. It might look something like this: Day 1: Send “Book a Time” email and call the lead to try and book an appointment. Day 2: Connect with the lead on LinkedIn and endorse them for their skills. Day 3: Send “I Didn’t Hear From You” email. Day 4: Call. Day 5: Send “Breakup” email and message on LinkedIn. If the lead responds on Day 2, then you no longer need to continue the cadence, because they’ve already booked the meeting or told you “I’m not interested.” Just like a drummer keeps a beat for a band, a sales cadence will keep a steady beat for your sales pipeline.
A sales cadence typically includes three different touchpoints: Email, Social Media and Calls/Voicemails. The cadence you develop for different sales pipelines may differ, but it should always include a combination of these three forms of communication.
Why You Need A Sales Cadence
If you want to scale your business, having effective systems in place for every department is vital. Just like your products are created the same way or your services are delivered the same way, your sales process should follow suit. Having a cadence does two very important things:
- It creates predictable revenue. You only receive so many referrals and inbound leads each month. Having a sales cadence for target accounts (people or companies you would like to be your customer) will allow you to intentionally pursue new business systematically.
- It provides a framework for your salespeople to follow. It eliminates the “free-for-all” mentality. Everyone follows a proven cadence that will guarantee you more deals closed and your salespeople more commissions earned.
Chances are, your business has a slow season. (So does ours.) Having proper sales cadences in place can help you gain momentum in your slow season and mitigate lost revenue. Quick story: Every year, December is a super-slow month for us. However, by the 3rd December we were in business, we were prepared. We ramped up our target accounts sales cadence (more on this later) and closed nearly $100,000 in new business in a matter of <45 days. Needless to say, it was an unbelievably profitable December.
How To Track Each Cadence
By now, you probably realize how valuable sales cadences are and that you need them. But what if you have a 10-day sales cadence and you put 10 people/day into it? That’s a TON of steps to track! It is – unless you have a good system for keeping track of where each person is in your cadence. Sure, you can technically track where each lead is in your cadence inside a spreadsheet, but that will quickly become a nightmare. To track efficiently, we highly recommend you use a CRM. A good CRM will allow you to attach dollar amounts to each lead, take notes on them, track their stage in your pipeline, etc. At Flight Media, we use Hubspot. But there are a few other tools that can get the job done:
- Active Campaign
- Trello (This is a project management software, but I know people who use it successfully for cadence tracking!)
We’ve found the easiest way to track each lead in your cadence is by using a visual card-like system. Here’s an example of what our cadence looks like for target accounts in Hubspot. As you can see, on the far left, we have all the new leads ready to begin the cadence in the target accounts column. Each day, a salesperson slides 5-10 people from the target accounts column into the Day 1 – Email/Message column. After he emails/messages all of those new people he enrolled in Day 1, he’ll then go to all the Day 2 – Social Touch people and slide them into the Call/Voicemail column after he calls them. You get the idea. The first 3 to 4 days, it will be easy. After you have two weeks’ worth of people in your sales cadence, it’ll become a bit more time-consuming. But stick with it and you’ll be closing deals left and right. Side note: We recommend having a 10-12 day cadence. We don’t recommend that you “touch” the leads every day, so be sure to designate a few of the days as “rest days.”
A Few Sales Cadences You Need To Have
With your CRM in place, you’ll need to establish a sales cadence for the different scenarios your business encounters. To do this, you must first ask yourself: Where do all my leads come from? Create a bullet-point list of how people become leads for your business, and then create a cadence of what you should do each day until they book a meeting with you. Here are a few things your list should include:
- Free Offer Downloads (Ebooks, Templates, White Papers, etc.)
- Free Consultation Requests/Demos
- Target Accounts (People you want to become your customer)
With that list, go to work developing a sales cadence for each. Bonus: Craft templated emails for the messages you send each day and a general list of things to cover for each call you make. This will help further systematize your sales cadences! 🙂
Having sales cadences for your different pipelines can make the difference between expansion or reduction. While most companies let their salespeople run wild and with minimal direction, the most successful companies have the sales framework in place to expedite growth and ensure revenue. Cadences are part of that framework. What does your sales cadence look like? What are some scenarios you use a cadence? Share your thoughts in the comments below.