A regular sales cadence for small B2B organizations is rarely at the top of anyone’s priority list. Early on, it’s easier to get away with not having a formalized sales process. However, as your business grows, you will need to develop a repeatable process for your sales team to follow when interacting with prospects.
A sales cadence is simply an informed, intentional list of steps. Each step in the process includes what should be communicated, how it should be communicated, and when it should be communicated.
In this post I’ll break down the prep work and planning for a solid sales cadence that we’ve used with our B2B software prospects who need a new CRM solution.
I’ve also included a video that shows you exactly how you can put this planning into action. It will help you build a sales cadence you can measure. You’ll also learn how to monitor and refine your sale cadence as you unearth what works for your team and sales prospects.
Building a Better Sales Cadence: 3 Reasons to Invest Your Team’s Time
We have found three compelling reasons to create or keep refining your team’s sales cadence:
The right sales cadence will help you scale your sales operations. That’s because it removes the guesswork for each salesperson trying to figure out what works. You’ve already done the work for them. This simply helps them be as efficient as possible. That gain in efficiency will translate into even more open leads.
The second reason to create a reliable sales cadence is faster onboarding for new team members. As you bring on additional business development representatives, they won’t need to know every detail of how your product works to start selling effectively. But only if you’ve already done the work of scripting out emails and phone conversations for them.
And finally, a sales cadence makes a big impact on your reporting. When all your leads follow the same basic steps, you can easily and accurately generate better reports. The data will show where leads are in the process and how likely they are to close.
What Do You Want Your Sales Prospects to Do?
Before you begin developing your sales cadence, be clear about the objective for your sales prospects. And consider how that relates to the typical length of your sales cycle. If it’s a shorter sales cycle, you might just be trying to get them to buy something.
At Cobalt, we’re selling high-value software solutions and that often means a much longer sales cycle. If your team has a longer sales cycle as well, then early in your sales cycle you might just be trying to get them to take an hour-long meeting or an initial demo of what you sell.
Establish Sales Cadence Benchmarks
Once you clarify what you are trying to get prospects to do, the next step is to establish a benchmark. We use (and sell) Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales, and it automatically tracks outreach activity in our CRM.
That means we can see exactly how many phone calls, emails, and LinkedIn InMail messages it took to get a prospect’s attention. That makes it easy for our team to analyze this information and get a reliable benchmark.
If you haven’t started tracking your sales outreach, now is the time! You can even do this in a spreadsheet if your organization hasn’t invested in a true CRM system yet.
An Ideal B2B Sales Cadence
Let’s highlight three important things our sales team has discovered about developing and refining our sales cadence over the last 26 years.
Segment Prospects for Your Sales Cadence
Segmenting your potential prospects is probably the single most important task, here. Those segments should be built out in line with buyer personas based on job title and function, industry, company size, and potentially by region. You will have unique sales cadences for each persona.
Let’s say you are selling HR software. The Director of Human Resources probably has different goals for HR software than the CFO. So, it is important to segment out your list and deliver content to prospects based on what their specific needs are.
Use Multiple Channels in Your Sales Cadence
The second valuable lesson we live by is using a variety of channels for sales outreach. You should use at least three different channels to contact prospects. We like to use phone calls, emails, and LinkedIn InMail messages.
If you don’t already have a CRM, make sure to choose a system that allows you to automate outreach through a variety of channels as much as possible. You might not be able to automate phone calls, but you can use a CRM that makes emailing prospect (and tracking that information) pretty painless.
Pick Sales Cadence KPIs
Lastly, let me encourage you to choose specific KPIs to measure success or room for improvement with your new sales cadence. Generating reports with mechanisms you already have in place is so much easier than trying to do that after the fact. This also makes it easier to monitor your cadences and quickly change if they aren’t producing results.
Building, Monitoring, and Refining a Sales Cadence
I mentioned that we’ve been in the high-end software industry, selling CRM solutions as a B2B tech company for 26 years. Let’s walk through our proven process for developing an effective sales cadence using Dynamics 365 Sales.
In the walkthrough video I’ll cover three things:
- How to segment your leads using the segmentation tool in D365 Sales
- How you can build an automated sales cadence that communicates with prospects across a wide range of channels
- How to use the pre-built reports to analyze outreach results
The Difference a Sales Cadence Makes
Creating and maintaining an effective sales cadence does take groundwork and ongoing attention. You’ll need planning, sales team buy-in, and consistent monitoring and adjustments once the cadence has been implemented.
We know firsthand at Cobalt this isn’t all as simple as it seems. We’ve explored a lot of sales cadence options for B2B software sales over the years. We also know firsthand how Dynamics 365 Sales makes the hard work as painless as possible.
We use D365’s flexible sequence builder and reporting capabilities every day. It has been indispensable for our management team. They can analyze our outreach efforts and make quick, data-driven changes confidently, when needed.
Even better? Our sales team actually likes using Dynamics 365 Sales — because it makes their lives easier. They get to spend less time doing data entry and more time actually talking to people.
We’re ready to hear about your business and sales team needs and answer your CRM questions. Request a product showcase so we can highlight the specific tools and value of Dynamics 365 Sales for your team.