Sales cadence do you have one?
How do you connect with potential new customers?
Your ‘sales cadence’ is basically a sequence of activities, where you connect in some way with potential customers. If we were to believe the figures from CEB in the USA we need to connect with potential clients about 12 times before we ever get a chance to pitch for any sale. That figure may seem way too high to Irish sales people, but it probably includes many social media touches, because social media marketing is a much bigger thing in the USA.
Marketing techniques used in sales cadence
Whilst it is great to see companies invest in their marketing the truth is that many people blow the budget with scattergun precision. They advertise to everybody with a beating heart in the hope that somebody will connect with them. Some through television or radio, some through printed media including magazines, trade journals and newspapers, others exclusively through digital channels.
With a bit of attention to figures it is possible to invest less money and time to get better returns. Instead of a scattergun approach the marketing emphasis should be directed to whichever market sector is actually proving successful for you currently. Look at your past orders and determine where the sales were coming from, rather than guessing or hoping. Get to know your numbers inside out.
Regardless of how you do your marketing, you will still have a cadence of some sort. Initially you may write a physical letter to potential clients or send them an email introduction. Then you may use printed media or social media marketing to get in front of them and be seen. But after that you may make a phone call or even pay a visit, maybe do a demonstration. Many companies will advertise through social media or Google Adwords to get people to their website, at which point they may offer a free guide or cheat sheet in order to get contact details. With contact details at hand, they could then send an email to follow up with a phone call or post out samples or arrange a meeting or that product demonstration. This is their cadence or flow, which they study and try to perfect with lots of practice.
What is your sales cadence?
You may have one and simply may not have documented it yet. Or maybe you just do it in a slapdash way. In which case it is time to look at the way you are doing things and work on getting a cadence that works well for you. If you need to, then by all means niche down your target market and focus your advertising on a smaller number of potential customers. You will spend less money and have more time to connect with the right type of client. When you get this right you get to the point where your measured input will deliver a standard expectation of output. For example if you email every bakery to promote your self raising flour, then follow that up with social media advertising or placement that is directly marketed at them through remarking to create brand awareness. Then you can make a call to arrange a tasting, a demo, a meeting, whatever it takes to prove that you can add value for them. Once you have the cadence right, you will be able to work out what return you get for your input. At that point you can do more or less of the same to increase or decrease leads generated and sales made.
WOMM – Word of Mouth Marketing
Most of our own business comes from word-of-mouth referrals and from existing clients, with a good percentage also coming from our own website. Therefore we have a cadence for each of the three processes that get us leads. If you are reading this article, then you are seeing part of our cadence through our Monday Mailshot or on our own website blog. Likewise, many of you will see our advertising in your social media stream. And, IF you are a potential client you can expect an email and then a phone call, if we feel we can add value to your business. Say yes and we will promise to ad value – guaranteed !
Our secret sauce sales cadence
There is no secret to our sales cadence. The trick is knowing which potential clients we can add value for, before engaging in the emails or phone calls or meetings. Again, to use statistics from the USA most salespeople have a 20% success rate when they get to make an actual sales pitch. If they could focus their advertising and improve their sales cadence, there is no reason why they could not double their sales with the less calls or pitches. Being a busy fool will not generate more sales, it is a waste of potential selling time. So get your sales cadence right, to reduce your overheads and increase your sales, as well as shorten the sales cycle. If a kicker in soccer only scored two penalty from ten attempts, he or she would be replaced, as a 20% strike rate would not be accepted from a professional player, never mind a professional sales person.