Outbound & Sales Engagement Playbook
Part I: Cadence Flows
Learn the theory and practice to develop cadence flows throughout the entire funnel, increasing your efficiency.
A salesperson who can’t really generate value and engage the lead along the way, wastes a lot of them along the way.
This waste can arise from a bad buying experience offered by the seller that causes the lead to go straight to the competitor’s solution.
If you don’t know the impact that a shopping experience has on the sales process, check out this study by giant Oracle:
- 86% of buyers will pay more for a better experience, but only 1% of sellers are able to meet expectations;
Another point that sales teams have the power to control but do not always understand in depth is the contact attempts and the communication format they can have with their potential customers.
Just take a look at these numbers raised by Capital Smart City:
- 44% of sellers give up after the 1st follow up ;
- 80% of sales require up to 8 follow ups to materialize.
What does that mean?
44% of sellers have an 80% less chance of closing a sale.
The numbers are not encouraging, do you agree?
Whenever I show this data to our customers, they get goosebumps. After all, they know that their teams are failing in all the points mentioned in the survey.
They know that most of the leads being generated end up in a giant basin of waste: lost to competitors or the company’s detractors.
The truth is that the high competitiveness of the market naturally leads to a simple conclusion: it is getting harder and harder to sell.
Due to the difficulty in doing all the necessary follow ups with all the leads that are inside the sales funnel, salespeople end up giving up and investing in the apparently hottest ones.
This is exactly where the cadence flows come into play. Access our cadence streams playbook:
Cadence Streams Playbook
What is a cadence stream?
Cadence flow, or sales cadence, is a systematic plan of a series of interactions that use different methods of communication to increase the chance of contacting a prospect.
Got confused? Calm!
A cadence stream is a structure of contact attempts (or follow ups) made by various media with optimal spacing between them.
This structure allows you to stay in touch with leads for as long as necessary (flow duration), approaching them with the most relevant content possible for your ideal customer.
Is it clearer now? All these points form exactly the five elements of a cadence flow:
Blue World City usually say that a well-structured process is the difference between a high-performance team and low-performing teams.
Cadence flow is one of the main factors that separate teams that are hitting goals from those that are just chasing their tails, year after year.
Well, so let’s talk more about structuring your own cadence?
The two types of cadence flows
Cadence flows are characterized as to their type and profile:
- The type is what indicates whether the stream is single or mixed;
- The profile is what tells if the flow is automated or semi-automated.
First, let’s focus on both types of sales cadences. Then let’s talk about the two profiles. Closed?
The simple flows are those that have only one type of touchpoint or communication medium (one of the five elements of a flow), and are built exclusively with emails, calls, or social networks.
The mixed flows are those that have more than one type of touchpoint, or medium. They are built with at least two of these channels: emails, calls and social networks.
The main difference, in numbers, between these two types of flows is that mixed flows convert 5 times more than simple flows (data from Reev report).
If you have more than one way to communicate with your leads, why should you give it up? You need to beat the distraction, surround the lead on all sides, and make that connection effective.
The two sales cadence profiles
As for the profile, the cadence flows are divided into two: automated and semi-automated.
The automated flow is one in which all contacts are automatically sent to leads, with an interval defined by the salesperson at the time of construction of their cadence.
The semi-automated flow is one that has both automatic and manual contact attempts, allowing you to have a much more personalized approach with leads.
The main difference between the two is also in the conversion rate. Semi-automated flows convert 3 times more than automated flows (data from Reev report).
This loss in conversion happens exactly because when you gain in speed, you lose in quality and, in this case, the scale is unbalanced.
The more automatic and generic connection attempts, the less value you generate for your leads and the less they are interested in hearing what you have to say.
Cadence flows through the sales funnel
When looking at a complete sales process, one of the main analyzes we do is the distance between the different contacts each salesperson makes with leads.
When looking for a connection, for example, does he call or send emails every day? Does he contact you through LinkedIn? How long does he try?
And after connecting? How often does he get in touch? By which media? After qualifying, how many and which follow ups does he do?
After submitting a proposal, does he contact you every other day? Does he schedule new meetings? Does he still interact with the lead via social media?
The answers to all of these questions above, plus some parameters that must be taken into account, draw the cadence flows along the sales funnel.
We know that each salesperson has their own process and that each type of lead requires the flow to be built differently, depending on the market and even the size of the company.
As I said, the competitiveness of the market requires the salesperson to do more and more follow ups and keep the lead engaged throughout the entire process.
Precisely for this reason, another parameter that influences the construction of flows is the moment, or stage, when the lead contracts in your sales funnel.
Of course this is not a rule, as there is no outbound process that works for any scenario in which it is inserted.
However, nothing prevents you from having some base of good strategies to start, right?
What should I consider to structure my sales cadences?
There are 3 audiences you should think about when structuring your sales cadences.
The first audience is the buyer who will have direct contact with the communication of emails, calls or contacts via social media.
Keeping the experience of this audience in mind is essential to ensure the correct spacing, contact types and killer communication within your sales pitch.
The second audience is the seller or SDR who will perform the activities. Why it’s important that it be considered when structuring your cadence flow.
Simple, if he doesn’t engage he won’t want to run at the highest possible quality and the whole process will go down the drain.
Furthermore, we know that mixed and semi-automated streams convert much more. In the report with more than
15 million interactions, he made this clear.
And that’s exactly why well-trained salespeople will customize the message effectively getting greater connection and leverage of leads within the sales funnel.
The third audience is the manager himself. As much as he does not execute the process, it is his responsibility to monitor if the sales cadences are being executed correctly.
If the manager monitors the sales cadence within the CRM, he will have a big operational problem. There is a lot of wear and tear on the team as they will need to write down each task for each lead.
The operational work of the team will be immense and the employees themselves will be discouraged. In other words, we are not considering audience 1: sellers and SDRs well.
So, what does the manager need to ensure that he will be able to monitor correctly without harming the team by filling in information?
Sales Engagement and Cadence Flows
The last thing a manager doesn’t want to happen is that the work isn’t running. In sales, we cannot allow a lead to be stuck in the funnel.
You already know that this can be resolved with a good cadence flow.
Now, to manage cadences you need a simple way to make the manager’s job easier.
Considering that a B2B sales team needs multiple cadence streams not to waste leads, getting organized can be a bit complex.
That’s why Sales Engagement exists. For the team to carry out the entire process that it is responsible for and for the manager to be a facilitator in the area’s routine.
The good strategies to get started
I have to start by saying that each case is different.
You must analyze your market, the ease of contacting leads, the bureaucracy to hire new solutions, among other factors that can increase the number of contacts in the flow.
Anyway, I’m going to talk about the two most common strategies:
The 8×8 strategy suggests that you make 8 contacts in just 8 days.
It’s most often used during the pre-connect (or prospect) phase, when you’re still looking to get in touch with the lead for the first time.
However, he doesn’t necessarily have to be a daily contact. Your SDR team can make 8 contacts in 8 days, but spend some days without any attempt and others with more than one.
Another common strategy is 8×16, which acts almost exactly like 8×8, except with 8 contacts in 16 days.
The benefit here is that this strategy can be applied during the other stages of your sales funnel, not just being effective in the prospecting phase.
How to measure and optimize your cadence flows?
Every time we introduce the concept of cadence flows to our leads, some very frequently asked questions arise, especially:
- How often should I contact my leads?
- What is the variation by step in my sales funnel?
As I said, there are good strategies you can use to start structuring your cadence streams, but managers should be aware that this should be a continuous improvement cycle.
You can, for example, create two cadence streams for the same audience, put some leads to run on one and other leads to run on the other.
After some testing, you can see which stream had the highest response rate and highest conversion rate. This way, you identify which is the best strategy for that specific audience.
You will test and adapt according to the results that come up along the way. Remember: nothing is so good that it cannot improve!
Why should you start soon?
If your team follows a defined process, the manager gains in predictability. This is why every sales manager should work with cadence flows.
In addition, training becomes scalable, because all new professionals can have access to the flows that the team already uses, which will generate a good performance floor.
Finally, remember the metrics I started this content by talking about them: if your salespeople do less follow ups than necessary, you will be missing out on a lot of opportunities!
Setting a cadence, in addition to increasing conversion in your funnel, also helps to shorten the sales cycle.
How many deals disappear for lack of follow ups and come back naturally after a while? How many times does a salesperson try to contact a missing lead and manage to close a deal?
Think about it and see if it’s worth it or not to have cadence flows in your process! What’s left to get you started?
PS: Do you want to structure your cadence flows in an outbound tool that is a reference in the market? The Reev can help you with this!