Timing is everything. Ok, perhaps it’s not everything, but it is crucial and often out of our control.
One of my all-time favorite people and VP of Sales colleague at NPAccel, Jon Bennion likes to say, “Sales is like dating…” And you know what? He’s not wrong.
If inbound lead nurturing puts your brand in demand, then you can pretty much take that as a “swipe right” on your business’s products or services. In a world where dating no longer relies on a phone call, the question still stands: when do you call?
Your Marketing-to-Sales Cadence is an overall business strategy and timing pattern which you can leverage to your advantage. A well-implemented cadence will form the basis of your overall business flow — allowing you and your team to improve the effectiveness of your sales and marketing processes.
While the call-back is everything to a sales member, a truly effective sales team will join forces with their account management and marketing departments for a 360-communication approach. In other words, you’ll meet the customer on their own terms, in their own way, on their own turf. But even then, it is just as much your decision as it is the decision of your potential customer as to whether or not this is love at first sight!
The Customer Swiped Right — Now What?
The swipe-right doesn’t mean you’re a match made in heaven. Even if you manage to get in sync for a nice, long chat, that doesn’t mean the relationship will last more than a few preliminary weeks. So, how do you know if this is a relationship meant to last?
Decide what you’re looking for in a relationship
Work directly with your marketing team to determine your company’s sales personas. Utilize past data and competitor analysis to determine who the ideal match would be for your business.
You know the “love yourself before you can love someone else” concept that you heard over and over again growing up? The concept isn’t that far fetched as a business.
In order to find and vet the right prospective leads and close deals, you have to know who you are as a company first and foremost. What are your company values? Who is going to be the best match for what you have to offer?
Are You A Match?
How Long Should You Wait to Call Someone After a First Date?
When dating, some people swear by a 24-hour rule. Others would rather wait longer in order to still appear interested, but not desperate.
Several veteran sales managers swear by the hang-up-and-dial-again rule, ensuring that customers are more likely to answer a second time due to the increase in call-screening.
While your sales cadence should function similarly to first date rules, your long-term marketing game will rely heavily on first impressions. Decide now what type of impression you want to make as a business? What are your company values? At this point, you’ve researched your personas and know what you’re looking for. So, now is the time to decide exactly what you will do to lock that relationship in. How important is that connection to you? Are you the go-and-get-it type, or do you feel like the right person should come to you?
Why Your Current Sales-to-Marketing Cadence Might Be Falling Short
Even if you haven’t established a sales-to-marketing cadence, you already have one whether it works for you or not. Your overall sales process may be letting you down due to a lack of focus. Without a well-defined gameplan and feedback loop, there is a good chance that you are missing out on some precious opportunities.
The first rule of any sales relationship is don’t waste each others time! In dating, they’d simply say, “Don’t lead someone on!” If you respect your client’s time, they’ll respect yours. Set boundaries and limitations. Don’t go too far, too fast. Overcommitment in sales often leads to scope creep and cancellations in the short term. See: Sales is like dating.
Don’t Show Up With Baggage
If your team doesn’t have a defined frequency for your sales prospecting or marketing, they will be depending on a mix of past experience (aka baggage) and ultimately causing a little PTSD for all involved.
Showing up without established confidence only creates decision fatigue. If you want this to be the beginning of a long-lasting relationship, keep things simple and be upfront. Don’t focus on menial tasks, focus on the big picture.
How will you provide long-term value and keep the relationship interesting over time? Talk about that!
In truth, “what have you done for me lately?” is more than just a marital spat, it’s the foundation of every business break-up as well.
Your cadence should be preprogrammed and automatic in both implementation and tracking. Talk about what will happen immediately in the relationship and where you see yourself in the future.
Provide value by being completely transparent with tracking. Show, don’t tell!
Your clients want to know that you love working with them by seeing it in the work itself. So why not share what you’re working on like a relationship shares their feelings? Put it out there. This is your vulnerable moment, and I promise it will pay off where it counts.
Contact Cadence Calendar
The most effective prospecting comes from a combination of communications rather than just one all-important elevator pitch. The timing will vary according to your business and you will know best how to adjust the stages to optimally benefit your processes.
A broad list of steps could look something like this:
- Inbound Lead
- Quick phone call
- No answer – Automated message, “How can we help? Let’s book a meeting.”
- Sales continues to call up to three times.
- If no answer, marketing steps in: Customer support & education lead nurturing
- Lead chats in, messages on social, etc. customer support & marketing team responds
- Marketing qualifies lead through live chat/social interaction, assigns sales
— Rinse. Repeat.
Each team member should know which stage they are at with each prospect at all times. This information should be stored centrally to allow others to jump in or take over when necessary.
M&M’s (Managers & Meetings)
Your cadence will ideally streamline your review meetings, allowing for shorter but also more productive team contact. A leader should have a fixed, scheduled team meeting with a consistent agenda at an appropriate interval. Some teams find that a Sprint-style stand-up meeting for 15 mins every morning is effective. It helps to keep everyone in the loop and give the leader a great overview of what is happening and who needs support.
Team members should come prepared to discuss their progress, current workload, and expectations for the short-term. Feedback from clients can always be shared to give all the opportunity to learn and improve.
Alongside having a pattern for your team’s internal efforts, all feedback and progress from marketing and sales efforts should feed into a reporting, discussion, and next-steps system internally.
Getting your team onboard is imperative for an effective cadence. If your teams are not open to a management rhythm, there is a good chance your team communication is suffering.
This process should make their lives easier and help them to improve their performance. This might entail retraining some ingrown habits, but it will pay off in the long run. Having your whole team enthused about being on the same page and schedule is the unifying goal.
Any deficiencies in your cadence will be compounded as your business grows. The earlier you define your cadence and get your team practicing it, the more you will benefit from it in the long-term.
The earlier you notice potentially negative behaviors in your team, the quicker you can course-correct and replace them with positive habits.
Issues might include:
- Late, missing or dishonest reporting
- Non-communicative team members
- Miscommunication misunderstandings
Fostering a culture of accountability, honesty and a team-first attitude is what you want for the best performance for your team.
Reflect, Adapt, Refine
Monitoring your team’s progress is the first step to being able to improve it.
After implementing your sales or marketing cadence, you should track the effectiveness of your chosen rhythm. As indispensable as having a cadence is, adapting and refining it for your business is what will really produce long-term success.