Is your sales team swamping clients and potential customers with contact requests? How long should you wait between contact attempts? What methods and media should they be using?
Thanks to the findings of a new report, sales teams can now benchmark their practices against industry averages to see how they compare – and identify where there is room for improvement.
The Cadence Audit 2017 by InsideSales.com is the product of an analysis of data gleaned from the sales practices of over 8,000 companies in order to establish the most common number of contact attempts, response types and persistence periods – what it refers to as ‘sales cadences’.
These cadences are determined primarily by sales reps’ intuition regarding the company and contact being pursued, including how many times they should attempt contact, what methods are most likely to result in a conversation, and what messaging will resonate with the potential buyer.
The report drilled down into five specific components of sales cadences to find industry averages:
Attempts: The total number of touches.
Media: The pattern of media used.
Duration: The length of time from start to finish.
Spacing: The time gap between attempts.
Content: The messaging utilised.
The findings reveal the following:
Attempts - The average number of attempts per lead was 4.05.
Media - The most common touch pattern was a single email with 32% of respondents using that method, accounting for 61% of first contacts. The second most utilised cadence is a single call and voicemail (6%).
Duration – The study determined that the median period between first and last contacts was just under five days. However, the findings show that this varies significantly from industry to industry. For instance, software representatives have the longest median duration, at 61 days; while the transportation industry’s median was the shortest at 12 days. There are also cultural differences, with the research revealing that UK salespeople attempt to contact a lead for almost three days longer than their American counterparts - 7.4 days compared with 4.9 days.
Spacing - The median gap between the first and second touch is typically the shortest, at around 16 hours, 45 minutes. After each subsequent attempt, the gap reaches its maximum between attempt numbers seven and eight, at six days, 21 hours. Finally, after eight attempts, the median gap hovers at seven days.
Content - The typical length of an email was 362 words and nearly half of voicemails left were over 30 seconds.
“Sales techniques evolve with new tools and technologies, but one thing that remains unchanged is the need to perfect the cadence in which sales reps engage with a potential customer,” said Martin Moran, international managing director of InsideSales.com. “Analysing data can help sales teams make better informed decisions in how and when they approach a prospect.”
Neil Davey is the managing editor of MyCustomer. An experienced business journalist and editor, Neil has worked on a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites over the past 20 years, including Internet Works, CXO magazine and Business Management. He joined MyCustomer in 2007.