A recent survey by the research firm Xant shows that there are distinct patterns to reps’ sales cadences that lead to a maximum number of successful contacts. A sales cadence is defined as the sequence of activities that every sales rep conducts that increases contact and qualification rates. Greater or fewer than the ranges uncovered in the survey were shown to be often significantly less effective, suggesting the rep’s time would be better spent on other tasks.
There are no hard and fast rules, of course, but the research examined four main areas that, targeted properly, consistently maximize a rep’s ability to successfully contact and qualify prospects.
A 2017 study found sales reps made an average of 12.1 attempts to contact prospects, using phone, email or voicemail. However, contact success rates dropped over 62% after seven attempts. After that, the rep’s time is better spent on other tasks.
There are six types of media channels in common use to reach out to prospects: phone, email, voicemail, social media, mailers, and text messages. (Video and chat have come into more common use recently, but were not measured in the study.)
The use of two channels, such as phone and email, increased contact rate by 161% over phone-only contact (29.1%) and three channels (54.6%). Also, beginning the cadences with a phone call was 20% more effective than starting with email. However, email engagement drove up to a 4X increase in contact rates, strengthening the idea that combining media channels boosts contact rates.
The optimal cadence duration rate (time from first attempt to conclusion of the cadence) was found to be six to eight days, far shorter than the 29.3 days that most reps reported their cadences lasted. Within this shorter range, average contact rates were from 31.8% to 58.7%, with significantly lower rates outside the range.
Spacing between touches matters just as much as the number of touches themselves. The ideal was found to be one to two days; contacts in this range were over 42%. Also, responding to immediately to engagement (less than 24 hours) resulted in over three times the contact rate compared to over 24 hours.