4 common features of effective sales cadences

The most effective sales teams use sophisticated sales cadences which are built on real data insights. The steps that you include and the timing of those activities are vital components of a winning cadence. From the number of steps that you include to the time durations between the various sales contacts that form part of your sales approach (everything from emailing to calling to chatting on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, for example), these are all important cadence considerations.

Research indicates time and again that there are four common features that pop up when it comes to examples of such cadences. Here they are:

Step Types

The first element here is the step types that you will include in your cadence, and this all boils down to knowing your target audience in detail. That is because it is this information that will help establish the step types that you utilize: it is impossible to identify the correct steps if you have not conducted this kind of research because no two sales cadences will be exactly alike. So from the mediums that you use for contact (phone, email, social media etc.) to the time and frequency that you do it, everything is structured as it is because of your audience’s needs and habits, so to establish the types that you want to incorporate, get your audience information first.

“Winning cadences employ the types that best reflect their audience and which utilize a greater variety in the means to carry out those steps. A combination of communication platforms is usually recommended here,” advises Daniel Lenihan, a marketing expert at Australia2write and Writemyx.

Step Timing

Once you have established the different step types that you want to build into your cadence, you now need to consider the timings that will optimize your sales cadence. Timings matter more than you think. Everybody knows anecdotal evidence of individuals who painstakingly plan when to text back someone they are romantically interested in, and it’s the same when seeking to make a sale: evidence suggests for example that 80% of the 100 best-established cadences use an initial email and follow-up phone call on the same day. It’s a surprising reveal perhaps, but just proves the value of data.

“This is exactly why you should be collecting data connected to your sales processes: in order to see the timings that generate the best results,” advises Carli Browning, a marketing manager at Brit Student and Next Coursework.

Step Count

How many steps exactly should be included in your sales cadence? You will not be surprised at this juncture to learn that there is plentiful evidence here to suggest that the best number of steps to include in your cadence has been identified, and that between five and 12 steps is the winning number. Of course, this is a broad enough number to be creative and to tailor your cadence perfectly for your needs but it also shows that overly long cadences (in this case, more than 12 steps) are counterproductive. Make sure that every step is a real action too, meaning that you are not including inconsequential steps, and never repeat anything: that harms effectiveness.

Cadence Length and Type

Cadence length is the number of days between steps, and as already mentioned, sometimes performing certain steps on the same day can work. As for type, this really refers to the purpose of the step, and also your overall approach to the sale - a phone call, an email outreach, or sending a chat via LinkedIn are all good examples that you can use in different situations. The important thing to think about here is that length and type should be molded to reflect the outcome that you are looking for, and not just an overarching length and type that permeates all of your sales approaches.


The biggest takeaway from all of this should be that in order to maximize your cadences, testing and optimization should be core activities within your sales teams’ activities. Although these four reveals tell you what winning cadences look like, the fact is that the very best are tailored specifically to the industry, business and target audience that you are working with, and it is only hard data that can give you that level of insight. In a winning sales cadence, nothing is left to chance, and nothing exists just for the sake of it. It is efficient and effective.

About the author

Writer Martha Jameson is a an educator at PhD Kingdom and Academic brits as well as a content editor and proofreader. She writes about her insights and experiences on blogging sites such as Origin writings.