Learn the Basics of Sales Cadences

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
  • Describe the challenges of managing large numbers of active sales prospects.
  • Explain what a sales cadence is.
  • Describe how sales cadences can help streamline the sales funnel.

Nurturing Prospects—There’s a Lot to Track

Jose Figueroa is the sales manager at Cloud Kicks, an up-and-coming apparel maker specializing in footwear. Over the last year, he’s grown his inside sales team to respond to all the leads they’re getting from their website. Now that they recently launched their new line of shoes called Green Kicks, they’re getting a ton of extra traffic, and a lot more leads to manage. Jose needs help fast, and he’s hired you as his new assistant sales manager.

As Jose was ramping up his sales operation, tracking where all those new prospects are in the sales process became a serious challenge—and took a ton of time. With so many prospects in the sales funnel, his sales reps were spending too much of their time tracking where each prospect is in the outreach process. Figuring out next steps for each prospect by looking at their Activity Timeline just wouldn’t scale.

Jose says he’s hired you as assistant manager to help him grow and train the sales team to be as efficient as possible. He also wants you to help him shorten the onboarding process for all the new sales reps you’ll be hiring.

You give Jose a puzzled look. And then you ask him, “How on Earth do we make tracking all these prospects easier and shorten the ramp-up time for new sales reps?”

Sales Cadences to the Rescue

Jose tells you that Cloud Kicks recently started using High Velocity Sales (HVS) and its sales cadences to manage their prospecting. He tells you that with sales cadences, you can program your sales outreach playbooks directly into Salesforce—with minimal effort.

A sample sales playbook.

When you and Jose decide what reps’ outreach sequence should be, you can quickly create a sales cadence and begin assigning prospects to it. This way, your sales reps never have to figure out which of their prospects are due for the next email or call. Sales cadences manage all that for them automatically.

Jose tells you that for each call or email outreach you add to a sales cadence, you can specify a script or template so your reps know exactly what to say or what to write for each outreach along the way. When it’s time for reps to send the first email to a Green Kicks lead, they can use an email template describing all the environmental benefits of the new Green Kicks shoes, with links to a discount coupon and a list of conservation efforts the lead can get involved with. You can even set a sales cadence to send an email automatically.

The Green Kicks email template.

When reps open their Work Queue at the beginning of each day, they instantly see who is due for a call, an email, or any other type of outreach you include in a sales cadence.

And if you and Jose want to use a different playbook for a specific type of product or prospect, you can just create a sales cadence to match it. As long as you only put each prospect into one sales cadence at a time, you can set up a sales cadence for prospects interested in sneakers and another one for prospects looking at sportswear.

You tell Jose you’re still wondering about the onboarding process. How can we shorten the time to get new reps up and running?

Jose tells you that’s the other side of the coin. When you and Jose hire new sales reps, you don’t have to train them on how and when to reach out to prospects. Your sales cadences ensure that all your reps know exactly how and when to reach out to each potential customer. They can learn the sales playbook on the job.

You can see Jose is excited about the simplicity and efficiency of High Velocity Sales. He launches into describing the options your team has for tailoring outreach to different types of prospects.

“We can build as many sales cadences as we need. We just have to think through how we want our outreach to be different for our different audiences.”

“How many different kinds of customers do we have?” you ask.

Jose anticipated your question.

“Well, right now, we’re thinking about sneaker customers and sportswear customers. We think we should treat them a little bit differently. We’ve got a separate lead-generation form on each of those sections of our website. We’re thinking of putting the sportswear leads into one sales cadence and the sneaker leads into different one.”

You ask Jose to elaborate on the differences in the sales outreach you might do for each group of leads.

“Well, we’re not sure yet, but we’re going to start with using different language in the emails we send. We don’t think we’ll need to make changes to the timing of the emails, but once we get started we’ll use the built-in sales cadence reports to see what’s working and what’s not.”

You’re thinking sales cadences sound like something that can really make your team’s job easier. You want to get started building sales cadences right away, but Jose’s answer makes you realize building a sales cadence just because they’re as cool as a pair of sneakers isn’t going to help the team go the distance. You need to think about what to put into your sales cadences.

What Sales Outreach Is Best for Your Business?

Before you build any sales cadence, you’ll want to think about what kind of sales outreach your prospects should go through to get them qualified and converted.

Before adopting HVS, Cloud Kicks was having enough trouble tracking all their leads without trying to segment them into different audiences. Now Jose is thinking about starting with a two-segment approach and then doing further segmentation based on your results.

Ask yourself questions like these.

  • What series of touch points and conversations should prospects have with your sales reps? Should you email them, call them, use social media, or meet face to face?
  • How much time should pass between outreach attempts?
  • Should you do different follow-up outreach depending on whether a phone call goes well or a prospect opens an email?
  • Should you use different outreach schedules for different kinds of prospects or products?
Jose thinking about his sales playbook.

That last one is a big one that only you can answer for your business. Just keep in mind that you can create many different sales cadences to suit your business. You can use different email templates, different call scripts, different outreach schedules, or any combination of these. And if you’re not sure, you can set up two or more different sales cadences and then compare the results.

You know what Jose means. You tell him that at one of your previous companies, the sales team called their strategic accounts every few days, and called the rest of their accounts every 30 days. He tells you that at his last job they rated all of their leads and then spent a lot of time on the best leads, and less time on all the rest. With sales cadences, you can set up any outreach sequence that makes sense for your business.

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