March 9, 2022

5 Best Practices to Build a Solid Sales Cadence

Written by The Apollo Team

Do people buy the first time they hear about a product or service?

No. And that’s why you need a sales cadence.

According to the Rain Group’s Top Performance in Sales Prospecting research, it takes an average of 8 touches to get an initial meeting with a new prospect. But that meeting is just the beginning of a longer sales process.

But how do you do sales prospecting without overwhelming potential customers?

What sales activities should you prioritize to be more effective at engaging with prospects?

Keep reading to find out how to build the perfect sales cadence.

[lwptoc]

What is a Sales Cadence?

A sales cadence is a sequence of touch points that a sales rep follows to connect with a prospect and start a sales conversation.

Mario Martinez Jr., CEO and Founder of Vengreso says that today’s modern sales cadence requires a modern B2B sales approach. 

“An effective sales cadence for prospecting in this digital era,” he says, “should be focused on driving buyer engagement and must include at least four, but for best results, all of these outreach strategies: Phone, Email, Text Messaging, Social Selling, Video for Sales, Digital Referral, Direct Mail, and/or Gift Marketing. This is called the omnichannel approach to your cadence. Leveraging at least 3-4 channels in your cadence can produce up to 4x the response from a prospect. Anything short of implementing this strategy is a failed strategy!”

How to Build a Sales Cadence

Whether you already have a sales cadence or you haven’t started yet, you can always tweak and add new steps to grab the attention of your buyer. 

Follow these best practices to build an effective sales cadence. 

1. Build a specific sales cadence for each buyer persona

Michael Hanson, Founder and CEO of Growth Genie advises not to have a general spray and pray cadence targeting all your prospects, because it will fall at the first hurdle. 

“Split your cadence into verticals in which you have case studies, job titles and trigger events (hiring a particular position, using a particular software, received funding). So for example, at Growth Genie we may run 2 cadences: 1 targeting marketing leaders hiring SDRs in the SaaS space and another targeting CEOs of sales outsourcing companies hiring account managers.”

2. Balance automation with personalization

The best sales cadences have the perfect combination of automation and personalization and utilize the strengths of both to its advantage.

Certain steps in the cadence may be okay to automate, but be sure to include personalization in some of the messages.

And for specific prospects that are of high value to you, personalize as much as you can to offer a better experience.

3. Add value to your outbound sales cadence

Instead of just giving a sales pitch, provide valuable content relevant to your prospect. 

For example, a link to a recent report for their industry, a video about best practices for their particular role, or a webinar that will impact their business.

Establish yourself as a source of valuable information, not just another seller with a spray and pray pitch.

Give before you ask; make a deposit before making a withdrawal.

4. Add social selling to your cadence

Social selling is simply using social media to engage with prospects and establish a relationship before asking for a meeting. It’s a way to earn the trust of your prospects and warm up the relationship so your cadence messages are not “cold”.

  • Start by optimizing your LinkedIn profile to be buyer-centric, explaining what solution you provide for your customers.
  • Consistently share valuable content relevant to the pain points of your clients.
  • Connect with potential clients but don’t pitch them right away.
  • Engage with their content, providing insightful comments on their posts and asking follow up questions.

Once you do this for a while, you’ll be top of mind for them and any email or call you make as part of your cadence will have a greater chance of success.

5. Test and improve your sales cadence

Analytics are an integral part of your sales cadence, because what’s not measured cannot be improved. 

When you use a sales engagement platform you can see the open and reply rates of your emails. Apollo.io also lets you know click rate, interest rate, and more detailed analytics you can actually use for better decision-making about your prospecting.

With this data, you can:

  • Optimize messaging and increase reply rates.
  • Run A/B tests throughout individual sequences to find the best subject line, hook, or any other variable you want to test.

Sales Cadence Examples

There are many sales cadence examples you can find online. From ambitious ones like the 30-touch cadence created by Michael Hanson, The Ultimate Outbound Sales Cadence, to the 5-step cadence by Sales Hacker CEO, Max Altschuler.

Here’s an infographic of The Ultimate Outbound Sales Cadence:

And this is what Altschuler’s cadence looks like:

Day 1: Email/InMail

Day 3: Email in the morning, Call in the afternoon

Day 5: Call in the morning, Call with a voicemail in the afternoon

Day 7: Email in the morning, Call in the afternoon with a voicemail

Day 10: Email and call in the morning

Start with a few steps and grow steadily, adding steps as you see fit. 

How to use Apollo.io to Create your Sales Cadences

Apollo.io has an entire feature dedicated to helping sales reps build out sales cadences or sequences.

You can create a successful sales sequence in Apollo with four types of steps:

1. Automatic Emails. Create your own targeted messaging to be delivered automatically based on the parameters you set.

2. Manual Emails: Set up reminders to edit and personalize follow-up emails in the sequence.

3. Phone Calls: Create reminders to make a phone call with notes, tips, and scripts (and use our Dialer to call directly from the platform and automatically record calls).

4. Action Items: These are customizable tasks you may need to set up as part of the cadence. 

Because our platform is both a sales intelligence and a sales engagement tool, you can create the perfect email campaign by finding the right prospects and adding them to a sequence right away.

“Apollo can help you split your ideal customer profile into different lists with different types of messaging for different verticals,” Hanson says. “Apollo for example lets us find companies that are hiring SDRs which is our main trigger event.”

Adding personalization with Apollo is easy as you have more than 200 data points. We also offer pre-defined personalization tokens and custom fields, so you can set-up personalized, multi-step sequences all from one dashboard.

You can also do customer segmentation to reach out only to your ideal customers using advanced filtering

Check out the links above for more details on how to use Apollo for a successful sales cadence. And if you have not tried our platform yet, you can get started for free.

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The Apollo Team