As a sales leader if you have built a strong sales cadence within your team you are likely to be successful, if you haven’t, work might feel a bit hectic, difficult and unenjoyable.
For me cadence is about building an optimum rhythm of working. You can physically feel it when you have a quality sales cadence in your sales team, culture is great and targets are being met. Unfortunately this is not always the case and for many sales leaders this is a source of huge frustration.
Before we dive into discussing cadence, it is important to realise cadence can only be achieved when you have completed two very important exercises. You must have a clear understanding of who your ideal customers are and you must have a very well defined sales process effective across the whole sales journey. There is an old adage that if you are going in the wrong direction, then the last thing you want to do is peddle faster. Instead you need awareness, education and support to change direction.
When I think of cadence I think of a professional cyclist constantly generating forward motion on a bike. At times the rider will be moving at different speeds based on road gradient or weather conditions but they are still going forward. They will be consistently cycling, they won’t need to stop for directions or to pump up their tyres. They are not solo, they are supported by a great team. They will live and breathe their goal, they will have the best available bike, the best technology to track how they’re cycling and make adjustments if need be, they will know the direction they are headed and won’t be side-tracked by an easier one.
For a sales person to do great work they also need the same attributes as a top cyclist including clear goals, quality technology, clear understanding of the direction they are going in, an ability to view their results and input on their performance, all the while tracking towards the ultimate goal of success as a team. Most of all they will have a rhythm, meaning that they are getting traction every day and not burning themselves out when they are behind the game.
Just like any team, each industry and sales process is different, so it’s important to understand what is ideal for your team. For some salespeople who are operating in a largely transactional environment they will be peddling faster and be more agile as opposed to salespeople who are focused on large sales who are working in a higher/lower gear but with bigger hills to climb.
So how do we create sales cadence in our business?
Understand what success looks like
Set clear targets and goals including activity for your sales team
Map your sales process from start to finish and look to remove any friction
Understand which areas technology can support and which areas need human touch
Make sure each part of the sales funnel is consistently focused on i.e. prospecting, closing, account management etc
Create rules around expectation – what does good look like, how quickly should you respond to an enquiry (good tip – as fast as possible)
Monitor your whole sales process, piece by piece and look to clear blockages
Keep iterating and looking to improve
Have a culture of proactivity and don’t wait for sales to come to you
Be proud that you are part of a well-functioning team with great cadence and celebrate it
There is so much technology available to help you with your journey and these are a fantastic resource…but that’s a whole other blog and I’ve lost the cadence of this one!
In short, you know when you’ve got it, you can feel it. Until then, the steps above may help, keep up the clarity, proactivity and iteration and allow the cadence to take hold.