Article | 12 min read

How to absolutely nail a sales cadence: Tips and examples

A sales cadence is a sequence of different outreach methods with a prospect or lead. Optimize your cadence with these best practices.

By Donny Kelwig, Contributing Writer

Last updated June 29, 2022

Day-to-day purchases happen in an instant. We go out to dinner or stop in a boutique and hand over our money without batting an eye. The big sales, though? They take commitment.

In today’s market, it takes an average of eight touchpoints to make a sale. This number will vary depending on your industry and buyer type, but most sales teams need to reach out eight times to get the coveted “yes.”

Long buyer journeys aren’t always a bad thing, but with more time comes more opportunity for mishaps or mistakes. Every new touchpoint gives reps a fresh chance to fail or succeed, so a detailed strategy is key.

That strategy is your company’s sales cadence.

In this article, we’ll discuss what a sales cadence is, what you need to know to create a successful cadence for your team, and a few examples to help you get started.

What is a sales cadence?

Sales cadence, two fingers touching

A sales cadence is a sequence of touchpoints between your organization and a prospect, designed to deepen relationships and enhance engagement throughout the buyer journey. A typical cadence will follow a carefully developed schedule in order to maximize success and help reps take advantage of optimal times and channels.

In today’s market, it takes an average of 8 touchpoints to make a sale.

Using these tactics (or prospecting tools), reps can use various outreach methods and communication types to better connect with buyers. There’s no one sales process that works for every single buyer or rep, so there will likely be different cadences used within the same company.

One sales cadence could involve daily emails, while another could include emailing a prospect on some days and calling them on others. These touchpoints all work together in different combinations to make communication more effective with potential buyers.

B2B sales cadence vs. B2C

The main difference between B2C and B2B cadences is the content. B2C cadences may be more general because they’re created to appeal to a wider range of audiences. B2B sales cadences, on the other hand, are typically targeted toward prospects with much greater involvement in the sales process. For these higher-reward prospects, cadences will include more detailed information like statistics and case studies.

That said, the philosophies behind both B2B and B2C cadences are largely the same. Whether you’re creating a B2C or a B2B sales cadence for your sales prospecting strategy, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind.

Sales prospecting cadence considerations

Between industries, buyer personas, competition, company size, and a slew of other details, sales prospecting cadences have to account for dozens of different inputs. Here are a few tips to help you get your outreach strategy in motion without getting overwhelmed:

  • Consider your outreach channels

    Consider your outreach channels, hands reaching out

    Prospects that already spend 24 hours a day on the phone for their job don’t want you adding yet another call. Send them an email and let them get back to you in their own time. If you need to make it personal, try a text. It’s more direct and personal than a chain of automated emails, and a buyer trapped in corporate lingo all day will appreciate the effort.

    Be mindful of outreach content as well; after all, form should follow function. Phone calls are great when you need to be direct and personal. Emails excel when you need to include case studies, white papers, or social proof to shore up buyer trust. Texts, on the other hand, are for short reminders only. We all complain when a meeting could’ve been an email—you don’t want that feedback from your prospects.

    Each prospect is going to interact with your lead funnel differently, so stay flexible. If your team’s prospects aren’t responding to emails, shift reps over to social media for a different approach. The right content in the right channel makes all the difference.

  • Consider your timing

    Consider your timing, hourglasses in hands

    Timing and frequency are everything. Great cadences take advantage of your prospects’ schedules to send the right messages at the right times. If their workload doubles around noon, leave them alone. They don’t want to hear from you.

    Speed is just as important. You need to move people through your sales funnel efficiently, but overwhelming them with too many messages at once can scare them off. Find a balance that keeps your workload manageable while inspiring your prospects to continue engaging with you.

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Sales cadence best practices

Once you have your sales cadence in place, you can still optimize its success with a few best practices. Here are five tips for improving your cadence and lead management process:

1. Reach out at the right times

When making a phone call, you’ll want to catch your prospects at just the right moment. This will often be from 11 am to noon when they’re getting ready to go to lunch, or from 3:30 to 4:30 pm when they’re finishing up for the day. Catching them during downtime makes them less likely to hang up in the name of other projects.

If sales emails are more your style, try sending them when your target is getting their daily tasks in order. Most people will check their emails when they start the day between 9 and 10 am. If you time your email right, it’ll pop up at the top of the inbox and engage your prospect immediately.

2. Don’t come on too strong

Aggressive sales strategies are off-putting, especially if people see the same salesperson pop up five or six times in their notification feed. If you try to rush, you can lose trust and make closing more difficult—the last thing anyone needs.

Every touchpoint you tack on in quick succession risks frustration, so keep them simple. It’s crucial to limit the number of outreaches you make in a day on whichever sales engagement platform you use. A general rule is to only use multiple touchpoints in a day if someone doesn’t respond to your first touchpoint.

For example, if you make a call to your lead and there’s no answer, you can leave a voicemail and then send them an email to refer them back to your call. That gives your buyer more opportunities to see your outreach and leaves the ball in their court.

3. Switch up your communications

When you limit your company’s outreach methods, you’re limiting the ways you can reach your audience. If a sales team only uses cold calls to reach out, then they’re only offering one way for sales leads to answer back. Sales cadences offer salespeople a way to branch out with their communication strategy and create more connections with more people.

If you’re testing outreach strategies and you notice that potential buyers stop interacting after the fourth email, try adding a phone call for a fresh approach. Remember, it’s not all about you. Prospects have lives. If someone doesn’t interact well with calls and voicemails, see if they respond to a text. Many busy people prefer communication that allows them to reply in their own time.

By adding different channels of communication to your cadence, you can give your potential customers more ways to learn about your company and interact with your sales reps.

4. Seek out feedback

Prospecting tools tell you a lot about your target audiences and buyer personas, but they can’t tell you everything. The best way to improve your sales process is to get feedback from customers.

If a rep wins a sale through your new sales prospecting cadence, ask that new client why they decided to sign on. This gives you real-time information about what was successful during that sales process.

If things go sour and your lead doesn’t make it through the sales cadence, their input is even more valuable. Even if you lose the sale, reach out and find out what happened. The reason might have nothing to do with your company; but if it does, you need to know. Gathering these crucial insights lets you consistently improve your sales cadence, your sales funnel, and your lead sources.

5. Learn when to quit

It’s important to be persistent with potential buyers, but at some point, you have to cut your losses. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean all that work was for nothing.

A great way to end a buyer journey is to send a breakup email. These are last-resort emails that offer a more genuine ending to a sales cadence. Breakup emails often feature apologies, helpful info, open communication, and sincere language.

You never want to tell prospects they’re dead to you forever. A breakup email shows prospects that there’s always a chance to come back if they change their mind. It often builds trust and leaves a good impression for the future. After all, things change. You want them to come back if they need your product or service down the line.

Additionally, by having a final touchpoint with your lead, you ensure more time isn’t wasted trying to nurture them. There’s no need to send emails or make calls if the lead isn’t going to buy. Closure helps you focus your team’s resources more effectively and creates a batch of “re-visits” for a future sales cycle.

Sales cadence examples

We’ve provided you with some tips and sales cadence best practices. Now, let’s take a look at a few examples of outreach strategies for different sales teams.

  • Outbound sales cadence example

Day 1: Email or LinkedIn message

Day 2: Email

Day 4: Phone call with a voicemail

Day 8: Email

Day 11: Phone call

Day 15: Breakup email

This sales cadence focuses on nurturing leads that might show interest in the future.

Since outbound sales revolve around the sales team making the first move, there’s no reason to spend too much time on a single prospect. By starting with two emails and a LinkedIn message, then moving to a phone call, you can make sure that potential buyers receive the message you’re trying to send out.

Then, by varying channels toward the end of the sales cadence, you can offer more effective ways for prospects to interact with your content without being too aggressive.

This cadence also spaces out communication attempts. Instead of sending a single notification every day, this sales cadence creates more room for prospects to interact with content before the next message appears.

Let’s look at what a sales cadence might look like for an inbound sales strategy.

  • Inbound sales cadence example

Day 1: Phone call

Day 3: Email

Day 5: Phone call with voicemail and an email in the afternoon

Day 8: Text or LinkedIn message with a phone call in the afternoon

Day 11: Email

Day 14: Text or LinkedIn message

Day 20: Phone call with a voicemail

Day 30: Email with a phone call

Day 60: Email with text or LinkedIn message

Every 30 days afterward: Email

In this example, the sales cadence is a bit more aggressive. Because inbound prospects enter the sales pipeline when they independently show interest in your product or service, there’s a strong push to reward their initiative and get them on board. More phone calls, more diverse channels of communication, and more frequent outreach let sales reps grab inbound leads before they disappear.

With outbound sales, there’s no evidence that your prospect has a direct interest in what you have to offer. An inbound sales cadence is worth spending more resources on as they’ve already shown interest in a partnership.

In this cadence, you can see that every type of communication is used by the end of the first week to ensure every possible line of communication is open. Once that’s done, the speed of the outreach strategy starts to slow down in order to give the prospect space to think.

For a more specific example, let’s go over a sales cadence for a B2B client who starts a one-month free trial with an organizational software company.

  • B2B sales cadence example

Day 1: Email

Day 2: Email

Day 4: Email

Day 6: Phone call

Day 9: Email

Day 14: Phone call with a voicemail and an email

Day 21: Email

Day 25: Phone call and an email

Day 28: Email

Day 30: Email

Day 36: Phone call

Day 45: Email

Day 60: Phone call and an email

Every 30 days afterward: Email

This is a much more in-depth scenario for an outreach strategy. The prospect started a free trial, so they’re already a sales qualified lead. As a result, the communication channels here are more limited. These companies established lines of communication via email and phone during the trial set-up, so there’s no need to get in touch in other ways.

Content within the first 30 days of this cadence will likely be helpful guides, tips for getting the most out of the system, and check-ins. The touchpoints are also closer together toward the end of the trial to create more opportunities for feedback and pricing options.

Does sales cadence software help?

Sales cadence software, person on laptop

Software that simplifies or automates any part of your sales process helps your company. Sales cadence software can offer automation, templates, email analysis, and recommendations for a sales team’s outreach strategy.

Sales cadence software also acts as a lead generation tool. It discovers clients that show interest in your content and automatically sends them the first email. It also notifies your team and lets them make the first call through a power dialer. When your outreach is aligned, you can engage leads while they still have your product or service fresh on their minds.

Cadence software even keeps track of where reps and prospects are in the selling process through software for scoring leads. This feature ensures that important, top-qualified prospects are getting the content they need at each touchpoint.

Data analysis is a vital tool for outreach strategies, and sales cadence software allows you to take raw data and discover actionable insights. With this software, you can keep track of response rates, open rates, or unanswered calls so that outreach methods keep improving. Keeping your team informed means keeping your team on track.

Build better connections with your potential buyers

Every touchpoint is a chance to engage with prospects and increase the chances of a sale. Don’t let a single message go to waste.

With lead management software through Zendesk Sell, you’ll be able to track every potential buyer in your pipeline in real-time. You can see who’s interacting with your content and who’s losing interest, and then take action to reinvigorate prospects’ interest and strengthen engagement.

Request a demo of Sell today to experience how a powerful CRM can keep your potential buyers hooked during every step of your sales cadence.

The motherlode of sales email templates

We’ve compiled 24 email templates that cover every sales pipeline stage, from prospecting to closing.

The motherlode of sales email templates

We’ve compiled 24 email templates that cover every sales pipeline stage, from prospecting to closing.

View free templates now