There is no doubt about the value that is achieved by SDR teams whose goals are to codify their sales processes and increase go-to-market efficiency.
There is also no doubt about the value that can be achieved when other teams involved in the customer lifecycle, such as Account Executives and Customer Success Reps, deploy cadences to help improve efficiency and deliver a better experience.
For those of you who are like.. “Dude, I get it, we use cadences beyond our SDRs”, read on. There’s still something here for you.
For those of you who are all… “Wait, what?”, read on. Let’s get you up to speed.
First, some call them cadences, some call them sequences. For the sake of this conversation, I’m using cadence. But I will reveal a little secret: Regardless of what you call it, it’s simply a sales process.
With sales engagement technology, teams now have tools to set up the steps of the cadence in advance, then enroll prospects and customers into the process. It’s no wonder why these tools make tons of sense for inside sales teams. We can all imagine both inbound and outbound motion aimed at connecting with a prospect.
For example, a lead comes in, and you set up a cadence to handle multiple attempts to connect with the new lead. Done and done.
Or, an outbound rep who needs to prospect 25 net new accounts this week and still has follow ups with the 25 from prior week, and the week before that, and the week before that…. BOOM, set up a cadence!
But what’s all this talk about deploying cadences beyond these inside sales use cases, you ask? Let’s get into it….
Cadence Strategy is Rooted in the Buyer Journey
I’ve written about the importance of understanding and mapping your buyer’s journey. The secret revealed on that one is that creating a buyer journey map is not an end-state. Rather, it’s an intermediate step to enable a gap analysis against your current sales and marketing practices.
When the team here at InStereo completes a buyer mapping process for a client, the next step is to facilitate an analysis and brainstorm to discover opportunities to better support the buyer’s goals and questions at each stage of their journey.
To do this, we explore four categories of ideas against the buyer journey: Inbound, Outbound, Opportunity Lifecycle, and Customer Lifecycle.
I think we all have a pretty decent idea of what kinds of ideas might surface when we brainstorm Inbound and Outbound motion.
So let’s spend our time on Opportunity and Customer Lifecycle ideas:
What are we talking about here? It’s probably obvious, but think of the kinds of things that happen (or don’t happen) once prospects enter into a deal cycle with your firm.
There are many actions that Account Executives proactively take to keep a deal moving forward, such as setting reminders to check in, working to get the next meeting, and engaging executives in the process, amongst others.
But inevitably, prospects go dark. It seems like all you do is wait for their responses to prove there’s enough of a pulse to keep the deal moving forward.
Instead of a email-then-wait-and-see approach, Account Executives can be more proactive at significant milestones within the opportunity lifecycle so that they can keep engagement high and next steps present with the prospect.
For example, a demo of your product is a significant milestone in the process. Imagine creating a cadence that begins the day before the demo, as a meeting reminder, and continues post-demo to provide timely follow-up, set next steps, and offer high-value resources to help the prospect in their decision process.
Another example is the delivery of a proposal. Imagine setting up a cadence that starts with the delivery of the proposal to the prospect, and includes proactive outreach in the following days to schedule a review, get feedback, and to establish the calendar of next steps that aligns to your mutual success plan.
Not unlike the Opportunity Lifecycle, there are so many reasons to engage with your buyers once they become paying customers. And, surprise surprise, those reasons are ripe for the use of cadences. A couple examples…
How do you onboard new customers? Think about how you thank them for their business, introduce them to implementation teams, customer success, and support. All of these post-sale communications examples can be run through cadences and executed by other team members who participate in the customer lifecycle.
How about renewals? Do you sell a product or service that runs the risk of expiring at the end of its term? The renewal cadence has become popular because it establishes a rhythm of communication that engages the customer 90+ days before the renewal event.
Instead of hammering the customer in the final weeks before renewal, Account Managers and Success Managers can engage in value-added, low intensity conversations to confirm the value the customer is getting, identify additional needs, and set the stage for thoughtful renewal conversations.
Taking the next step with your cadences
Now that we’ve made the case for the use of cadences beyond inside sales teams, it’s time to start planning how you can roll them out to the rest of your team.
First, have a solid handle on your buyer’s journey. The better you understand the buying stages they go through, and the goals and questions they have at each stage, the better chance you have of delivering value when you engage.
Second, overlay ideas by starting with the four engagement categories: Inbound, Outbound, Opportunity Lifecycle, and Customer Lifecycle. To get to the opportunities, simply brainstorm as many engagement ideas as you can that provide mutual value to you and your buyer.
Next, take your list of ideas and prioritize them based on which ones can have the most positive impact to your buyer’s experience and your deal cycle.
Sounds easy, right? It isn’t necessarily hard, but it does take dedicated time from both sales and marketing team members to drive success. InStereo has helped dozens of companies work through the challenge of developing a sales strategy that spans all engagement categories. Reach out if you need to juice up your cadences across all of your teams!