Post-Cadence Syndrome: The Leaky Bucket

I’ve found the perfect prospect! This prospect aligns to all aspects of my companies well researched Ideal Customer Profile here at Sigstr. I give myself a quick pat on the back, and move forward with outreach. I put them into a proven *cadence with personalized value statements to drive home how {insert value prop} aligns with his or her goals and responsibilities at {{company}}.

*Quick definition: Defining cadence as the total collection of touch points (calls, emails, social, pigeon carrier, etc) over a set time.

I excitedly execute every touch point knowing once they pick up, man oh man, I know exactly how this person and company could benefit from our solution!

But this prospect moves stubbornly through my cadence. And they never respond… not even to the break-up email with a funny GIF! Why? I don’t know, maybe X, Y, and/or Z. Doesn’t really matter for me at this point, I can’t know for sure. My initial enthusiasm has subsided, what happens now?

Here’s what I’ve done historically…. Put more people into the cadence!

Common sales funnel mentality is as follows: sales is a numbers game. X amount of prospects go into the funnel, X multiplied by my conversion ratio will be successes, and I gotta stack the top of the funnel with enough X to hit quota.

As a result of this mentality, I’m guessing this specific prospect will begin to suffer from Post-Cadence Syndrome (PCS).

The first symptom of the syndrome includes a sudden drop in outreach activity. My cadence is done, I gave it my best shot, I got nothing left. As PCS intensifies, this prospect will begin a slow drift from memory into the abyss of a CRM database. With the extend of the syndrome only detected only by the “Last Contacted/Activity Date” field. Hopefully this prospect will be found by a well targeted search or report…but probably not (I’m to busy stacking the funnel).

Now my “enthusiastic” “persistent” “relevant” touches will fade into this prospects distant memory as he or she continues to get bombarded by other reps running them through their “Cadences”…And we all collectively continue to play the numbers game that our cadence catches the prospect in their evaluation/buying window…

With these Post-Cadence Syndrome suffering ideal prospects (poor fella’s), I’m often, self declared, to busy stacking the top of the funnel to do the “nurturing” required to build value over enough time to correlate with their buying window. But if I’m honest, I’m not even sure I have a defined “nurturing” process, let alone a consistent one.

Maybe I’ll see them get funding, and send an email with the article linked “thinking about you”?….yikes…. Weak follow-up is a tell-tale sign of PCS.

“Just checking in” — yep, that’s another!

At the same time I spend so much time and energy on the initial outreach:

  • Craft the perfect subject line
  • Identifying the best ways to personalize at scale
  • Align value based on company and responsibilities
  • Incorporating calls, email, social, etc
  • Checking and re-checking response and conversion rates
  • Etc
  • Etc (I can spend hours looking at this stuff)

I spend significantly less time on the prospects who I never reach. Even though by the numbers, that population is much larger. Andrew, we have a problem here! My prospect bucket is leaking.

As a given, we all (should) be asking the question, why should this specific prospect respond to this specific cadence. But then we also need to posit, what happens next if they don’t? If I did my research correctly, nothing about them or their company being a fit for our solution has changed except my message didn’t resonate at this moment.

But I usually just let them slip, with no bucket to catch them.

Why Post-Cadence Syndrome happens — For me:

  1. I get caught up playing the numbers game and accept that prospects will fall to the way-side (and they will, some prospects will never answer), and prescribing different prospects as the antidote. This is only one part of the solution.
  2. Tools…Not blaming sales tools, blaming the mindset I fall into when using tools. If I’m using a prospecting tool, I get silo’d in thinking about the 20 prospects I want to find. If I’m executing outreach in a call/email tool, my mind focuses on finishing the task these specific prospects have landed on so my activity is “done” for today. In the moment, I’m often not thinking about how the overall adding of prospects and completion of activity is contributing to connecting with companies.
  3. Similarly, getting caught up trying to convert an individual instead of an individual inside a company. Depending on your solution, there are probably many different stakeholders, users, and potential beneficiaries of who the solution affects.
  4. I don’t have a Post-Cadence Cadence…

The result of this happening:

What’s the point of identifying an Ideal Prospect if we give up on them that quickly? My addressable target market will become a scorched earth of “touched” leads. Like cutting down every tree in the amazon, taking one branch, and then wondering where all the wood is when I’m done.

Giving up must bring this thought to the prospects mind. “How convinced is this vendor that their solution is best fit for me, if they give up after a month or two?” Perseverance exudes confidence in the message.

If all I’m doing is adding one-off prospects into generic outreach campaigns with no rhyme or reason, it’s gonna look like I’m reaching out without any rhyme or reason…and that’s not going to have a high conversion rate.

How to prevent it:

Start by tracking it — The SDR’s at Lesson.ly keep a constant eye on their lead retention rate (Definition: Number of prospects converted divided by total prospects targeted in a given time frame). See what your retention rate is, see what your colleagues’ retention rates are, make a goal, and keep monitoring it. Aiming to improve this number helps decrease the chance of your prospect contracting PCS.

Focus on the account — The rise of Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) tactics, I believe, will help not only convert more prospects, but give long(er)-term vision for how companies are reached in their buying windows. (Salesloft has great content on “What is ABSD?” and other pieces on implementing the strategy.)

Also, just thinking it through — Putting in the time. Dedicating time to find my prospects who “Last Contacted Date is Greater Than a Month”, and then blocking “nurturing” time on my calendar are action items I personally need to enforce. Writing this post will help me stay accountable to that goal!

Recently, I’ve added an additional task to the end of my initial outreach so every time someone exits a cadence I’m prompted to 1. Move the current prospect to a defined nurturing strategy and 2. Add a new contact from same account. Spread the net and hit different stakeholders.

Going Forward:

Really interested in getting thoughts from teams that have standardized best practices in place to prevent Post-Cadence Syndrome, and what those results have looked like long-term!

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