The Modern Selling Podcast
Why Your Team’s Prospecting Methodology and Sales Cadence Is Broken, with David Elkington, Episode #108
Apr 6, 2019 · 54 min
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It’s hard to believe, but many sales professionals never give strategic thought to the implementation of their sales cadence. What is a sales cadence? It’s a strategic sequence of sales activities that increase connections and enable you to better qualify leads. Every sales rep with a list of customers has some kind of sales cadence, whether they know it or not - and most are not implementing it either strategically or effectively.

On this episode of #SellingWithSocial, I invited my friend, Dave Elkington, CEO and Founder of to share his data-based expertise on what makes for an effective sales cadence. He highlights many of the mistakes sellers make and explains how to fix them. He also shares a very helpful set of tips for making your prospecting emails more effective, so make sure you take the time to listen.

This podcast is brought to you by the Annual AA-ISP Leadership Summit. Receive a 30% discount on your registration. Join us this April 3rd – 5th in Chicago, IL - Visit and use the code Vengreso30%.

The Biggest Problems With Typical Sales Cadences

There are a variety of data points Dave draws from to highlight the best practices of what goes into a winning sales cadence. But before we get to the solutions, let’s look at some of the biggest problems his company’s research has found in modern sales cadences.

Most sales professionals believe that reaching out to a prospect 15 times is what research suggests, but Dave points out that it’s a belief supported by old data and myth, not fact.

In addition, most sellers are only utilizing 2 channels to connect with prospects - phone an email. But the data shows that’s not enough to move the needle significantly.

When it comes to email outreach, sellers are buying the same technologies, so templates and other resources look the same as those of their competition.

The problem is that we are stuck using the outreach methods and tools that feel comfortable to us rather than reaching out in a way that is meaningful to the prospect. Listen to this episode to find out how to fix these and other problems in your sales cadence.

Minor Changes That Can Improve Your Sales Cadence By 100% Or More

Data shows that most sellers are only using 2 methods of communication to reach out to prospects. But if you mix your communication methods, even adding only one additional source, you will get a 400% higher engagement than if you just use two methods of engagement.

Here is another small change that will make a big difference. When surveyed, most sales departments believe they are responding to prospect inquiries within 24 hours. The reality is that it’s far longer than that. But the good news is that data shows that if you can figure out how to respond to their inquiry within 5 minutes, you’ll be 100X more likely to get the prospect to engage.

Do you see how data-supported practices are incredibly powerful for the modern sales organization when implemented correctly?

The Simplest Way To Know If Your Sales Cadence Is Broken

Is your sales cadence broken? Are prospects falling through the cracks or not being contacted in a timely manner? You don’t have to dig into your CRM to find out. It’s a lot simpler than that.

Dave suggests you use a generic email address - that of your kid or your spouse would do - and fill out your own sales prospecting forms. Then sit back and watch what happens. Does your team respond in a timely manner? Do you get sent to the right person and are the solutions you inquired about provided to you effectively? Are the sales reps reaching out to you via a variety of methods?

It’s not rocket science and it doesn’t require a degree in Machine Learning technology to figure out. Take the time to test your own sales cadence. Is it getting the results you expect?

What Should You Be Doing To Prospect Effectively Via Email?

The typical seller does email prospecting when they feel fresh, early in the day. Data shows that's usually between 8 AM and 11 AM, with follow up being done later in the day. But Dave says that is backward from what the data suggests is most effective.

Most execs or decision makers are very busy early in the day. If you’re prospecting during that time your message is likely going to the bottom of the priority list. What does the data show is the best time to do prospecting? Four to Five PM in the prospect’s time zone is the absolute best time to send prospecting emails. It hits their inbox at the time they are most likely to give it attention.

Dave says that one change can get you a 21% higher open rate. If you’re sending an email that includes an attachment, you should bump your contact back one hour - between 5 and 6 PM.

Dave suggests that this finding can vary between industry and niche, so even though you just learned the general best practices, know your audience and know your market to dial it in for your specific needs.

Listen to this episode to hear the latest data-supported best practices regarding email subject lines, email length, and more. It’s all on this episode of Selling With Social.

This podcast is brought to you by the Annual AA-ISP Leadership Summit. Receive a 30% discount on your registration. Join us this April 3rd – 5th in Chicago, IL - Visit and use the code Vengreso30%.

Outline of This Episode
  • [1:54] Dave’s story and the history of how Inside Sales came about
  • [7:16] What is AI and what should sales pros be doing about it?
  • [12:58] Applying AI at work to increase effectiveness
  • [17:40] The typical sales cadence problems and how to fix them
  • [30:35] A LinkedIn outreach campaign that revealed prospecting effectiveness
  • [37:48] Email prospecting tips for better effectiveness
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