Let’s start at the beginning: what is a sales cadence?
“A sales cadence is the sequence of actions you take in the hopes of closing a sale with a prospect. It includes every contact attempt a salesperson makes with a prospect, including emails, phone calls, voicemails, and social media interactions.”copper.com
Sales professionals know that selling is a challenging process. Thriving on the reactive nature of driving sales is what keeps many sales professionals moving. With so much to do, once they find a successful sales cadence, salespeople will often continue to use it.
After all, why fix what isn’t broken?
But no sales cadence is perfect and can always be improved to further increase success. This is especially true as our customers and markets change, making different elements of sales cadences more or less effective.
In this article, we run you through how to test your sales communication cadence and how you can improve it.
Know Your Current Cadence
Before you can improve your cadence, you need to know exactly which elements make it up. You may already have a good idea in your head of how your cadence works, but writing it down will help you test and identify areas for improvement.
Record your sales cadence, including
- Methods of communication
Identify Key Metrics
Once you have a clear idea of your current cadence you can start to identify key metrics that build up to a successful sale.
These metrics may differ from business to business, but may include:
- Requests for a call
- Request for a proposal
- Downloading files
- Replying to emails
- Asking a question about the product
- Email opens
When you have worked out which metrics and actions move your prospects closer to a sale, you can identify which stages are contributing more or less to your success. For example, if one of your key metrics is email opens you may see the following trend on days where emails are sent to a prospect:
- Email 1: 98 opens
- Email 2: 64 opens
- Email 3: 12 opens
- Email 4: 57 opens
This clearly shows you that your third email contact may need reassessing.
However, comparing these with other metrics and assessing the overall success of the cadence is also important. For example, email 3 may be directly asking for a sales meeting. If all 12 openers reply by accepting the meeting, then this stage may still be considered as valuable.
You should also consider that not every stage may be designed to drive action. Some stages may be used to build customer confidence or to educate them on your product or service. In these cases, few actions may be taken immediately, but are valuable in building more conversions at a later date.
Identifying key metrics and measuring them at each stage of your cadence will help you spot potential areas for improvement.
Once those are identified, you need to take action to try and make those improvements. The best method for doing this is to use A/B testing.
“A/B testing (also known as split testing) is the process of comparing two versions of a web page, email, or other marketing asset and measuring the difference in performance.” Crazy Egg
Using this form of testing will allow you easily and quickly measure the results of an alternative used in your sales cadence. To truly understand the impact of a change in your sales cadence, only one variable should be updated. If multiple variables are changed then it can be difficult to identify which one has had a positive or negative impact on your results.
There are many variables you can test in your sales cadence. These include:
Correct timing is crucial when it comes to successful sales. Leave communications too long and your prospective customer may lose interest, communicate too frequently and your prospective customer may get frustrated with your attempts to sell.
Testing different timing is a good way to improve the overall success of your cadence. To do this you may try extending or shortening the time between contacts. For example, if you are regularly contacting prospects daily, you may try leaving two days to see if this increases the rate of engagement.
You may also choose to test small tweaks to your communications. Although these are minor, they can have a profound effect on the success of your cadence. This is especially true if there is a small simple mistake you are making which is turning people off.
These small tweaks may involve switching up any element such as;
- Email subject line
- Tone of voice
- The phrasing of your offer
- The account from which you email
- Introducing colors, different fonts or images to your emails
The small tweaks you can make to your cadence are endless. It is crucial that you continually measure any improvements that these tweaks make to ensure that you learn from their implementation.
If your sales cadence performs poorly, or you are starting to see a drop in success, consider introducing something totally new. It might mean trying different forms of communications, such as direct mail, text message, or even DMs on social media.
You may also try completely switching your style from formal to informal, or having a different member of the sales team reach out on your behalf.
Test For Success
Even if your current sales cadence is working well, there is always room for improvement. By measuring key metrics that matter to you, you can test new methods and easily find ones that make the biggest difference.
The continued testing and tweaking of your sales sequence are crucial to ensure that you quickly and efficiently adapt as the market and your customers do. The methods you are using successfully now, may not work at all in 12 months.
How could you use the methods outlined in this article to test and improve your sales cadence?