5 Cadence Creation Tips for Salesforce Sales Engagement [Former High Velocity Sales]
If you’ve been looking around the interwebs for tips or general info related to High Velocity Sales (HVS) long enough to stumble upon this blog entry, then you’re probably aware HVS is not a simple Application to configure. If you are interested in ways to fully utilize all that HVS has to offer, you’re probably going to need a tip or two in the beginning. Whether you’re looking for a specific solution to a problem or just looking for new ways to use HVS, I hope you find something useful in the ramblings below!
If you have no idea what HVS is but you’re still reading because you made it past the first paragraph but then before you looked away you got sucked into this run-on rant and now you just want to know where this intro is even going, and you want to stop reading it but now it seems like it might be interesting and if you don’t read the whole thing you may find yourself dealing with some major FOMO tomorrow so now you’re probably going to read it anyway (and may I also suggest all my previous blog posts… just to be safe), it’s ok; Oh and if that rant was so long you forgot what I was even talking about and now you’re debating going back to the beginning of the post to re-read what you forgot in case it was important… well, that’s okay too.
However you found this page, be it from clicking that random link or spiraling down that clickbait rabbit hole that ultimately led you here. Don’t turn back now. Keep reading, you won’t walk away having learned NOTHING… I promise!
1. Flowcharts are your Friend
If you don’t already know, HVS has its own drag-and-drop cadence builder built-in. If you’re familiar with tools like Visio or Lucid chart it’s very easy to pick up the basics and start creating your own cadences. You’re probably asking yourself ‘if HVS is a flowchart-centric cadence builder why would I want or need to make a flowchart before I make a flowchart?’
Simply put… If you dive into HVS headfirst and start creating your cadence without working through the branching logic and edge cases beforehand… you’re very likely going to find yourself discovering branches and scenarios you accidentally overlooked. If you’re lucky, you may even find a few of them before it goes into production.
Using flowcharts as a starting point can be well worth the extra time if you keep them clean and simple. With that in mind, here’s four Ss to remember as you work through your next attempt:
- Simplify Everything
- Stay Organized
- Simplify Everything again… but do it more!
- Stay Hydrated
While I won’t be elaborating on these four points explicitly, they are at the core of everything we discuss from here. Just keep them in mind as you continue reading and hopefully an echo will remain bouncing around your head whenever you make new cadences in the future. Especially that last one… did you know that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, and that dehydration can cause Foggy Memory, Irritability, Migraine Headaches, and More?? Well… you know now! [And as promised, you just learned something!]
Moving back to the topic at hand, there are many reasons why a preliminary flowchart can be beneficial. For starters cadence steps are not always linear. There is a limit to how many nodes you can have per cadence and for cadences with complex SLA’s the standard HVS tools are insufficient on their own. Think of it this way, for every logical branch in your cadence two new cadence paths could open, which could each open another two cadences, and on and on it goes. You really do not want to try building that directly in HVS. Trust me… been there, done that, hated it.
If you begin your cadence planning with a flowchart, you can easily cut/copy/paste your decision nodes or form new branches without limits on size or complexity. Doing it this way can give you a clear picture of the cadence in its entirety so that you can break it down into sub-sections and refine the process further. In addition, I find it easier to identify edge cases that would otherwise not have popped up until production, probably at the worst possible time imaginable to boot! [since we all know from experience that when something goes wrong it happens at the worst possible time…].
A bonus to creating a flowchart first is that it’s much easier to explain the cadence structure or business process to a stakeholder, or even a new team member, from a single diagram than it is to demonstrate the logic by clicking through eight cadences and twenty steps every time someone needs an overview!
Bottom Line, if used smartly flowcharts are most definitely going to help you gain clarity on your cadence structure from the beginning. Be proactive, not reactive!
2. OOP(s) I did it Again
Continuing the topics of point #1, the basic concepts of Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) can be useful while creating and reviewing your shiny new flowchart.
When simplification is necessary (I mean… when is it not?) you can easily look for ways to split and reuse the sub-sections of your cadence if it’s already mapped out in a flowchart. While you could create a single massive cadence and make it work it’s better to have several linked cadences both for maintainability and reusability. The major downside of linked cadences (aside from how they work with Opportunities) is that in the past you could not edit a cadence once it had been activated. This was problematic when combining small edits to daisy-chained cadences. Particularly when considering the topics covered in tip #4.
In OOP you treat your logical components as ‘Objects’ and relate them to one another to perform actions, store data, etc. in a way that you can reuse them, sometimes in different ways, to make things simpler to maintain (among other reasons). The same approach applied to your cadence will help you to shrink the complexity of your cadence into a small set of reusable cadence ‘objects’. Aside from being able to reuse a cadence within a larger cadence flow, you now have smaller pieces that you can clone and modify slightly if a need arises. Much more efficient than re-creating it from scratch, and you know it’s functional since it’s been in use already!
Take for example the diagram in fig 1.a below. A simple cadence that can be used to cover sales engagements over multiple days, but it is relatively wasteful in terms of overall productivity as shown. If you simply wanted to change the email template for day 3 you must figure out which branches could be a day 3 and update each one. In addition, the Work Queue is only going to show there’s N prospects in Cadence A. It doesn’t show you where they are in the overall cadence or allow you to group them as such in the work queue… THERE HAS TO BE A BETTER WAY!!
… And there is! If you take all the common areas of this chart and break it into smaller pieces you can reuse a single, smaller portion again and again with only minor changes. If that wasn’t good enough, you can also combine this with creative naming conventions to make your Work Queue easier to manage and prioritize immediately (Huzzah!). See tip #5 for more details*
One option of consolidating fig 1.a could involve splitting the flowchart into 2 (or more) reusable cadences and link them together with the ‘Exit to Linked Sales Cadence’ feature as shown in fig 2.a. Doing this makes things much easier to maintain and scale since now it is a simpler reusable flow with a wide range of potential. Now in the future any cadence that has this structure can be created in a few clicks to clone it vs manually adding each node. Work smarter, not harder!
3. Branch Management 101
["Fool me once, strike one. Fool me twice, strike three." – Michael Scott]
When you add branching logic it’s also helpful to think through the mapping of your disposition codes to the 5 possible call result buckets HVS allows you to choose from. There may be dispositions that don’t fit well in those buckets, so planning how to handle those is critical to the order of your branching. You should always start your cadence with the first branch covering your most common call results, and with each subsequent branch use the next most common. When you’re done you should have your default scenario which you will cover when all else fails. By starting with common first, you can also reduce the risk of an accidental misclassification of a good lead due to an improperly structured branching matrix.
As an example, assume you have 7 disposition options in your org. 5 are exact matches to those shown in fig 3.a and the other two are ‘Follow up in 6 months’ and ‘Not Interested at this time’. The ‘Call Back Later’ and ‘Not Interested’ branches, along with their related actions, may not fit these disposition categories. In that case, making sure you leave them to be covered by the final ‘no decision’ branch gives you the freedom to add a custom step for these outliers OR allow it to exit the cadence peacefully.
[Did you know: If you’re really motivated and know your way around apex and Change Data Capture, you can also use automations to branch your target into completely different cadences based on their exact disposition code? You can even have a 2-way synchronization between cadence steps and target assignee statuses… but that’s a story for another time!]
Another point I’ll mention briefly is how branching into a new cadence can be used to keep your work queue organized into buckets with some simple naming conventions. Consider how any time you use a wait step, hold off on a callback until the next day or longer, or branch into a step that completely changes the status of the prospect you could make a meaningful progression with the target assignee that would not be easily distinguishable from the work queue at a glance.
For example, someone is interested in product 42 but has an urgent concern to address before they can discuss their interest further. Perhaps something like “I’m interested but I read this blog recently that said I should stay hydrated so I’ve been keeping a gallon of water with me at all times, but I knocked it over & got my Mogwai wet last night and then the refrigerator door was wide open when I woke up… so can you call me back in a few hours after the sun comes up?”). If you branched into a cadence for ‘Contact: Gremlins Loose – Call back’ you would easily know the next day which calls had Gremlin Incidents. You could even use that as an icebreaker!
In other words, a meaningful name for branched cadences can be a great and simple configuration choice that has a big impact with minimal effort.
Another example, in fig 3.a there are four 1-day waits, meaning that you could easily be in days 1 through 4 of the cadences at any given time for any number of leads. While you could name the cadence steps accordingly, you would not be able to visually identify them easily in your Work Queue unless you expanded sections or clicked around a bit.
Use Branching in your steps to go to a new Cadence when an appropriate disposition is logged however, and you have much more control over how you display the cadences to your team. I think we can all agree that fig 3.b is much easier to prioritize than fig 3.c!
Remember, your reps can’t sell what they can’t see. Keeping them on task and focused is much easier when everything is clearly defined and well structured. Help them help you win those deals!
[PSA: Don’t feel bad if the quote for this tip didn’t make any sense. It’s pretty much irrelevant but I couldn’t mention Branch Management without throwing in at least one Michael Scott quote ☺]
4. The End is the Beginning is the End
Here’s a tip that applies mainly to those of you that read tip #3 and either tried it and got stuck, want to try it, and will get stuck, or anyone that will use branching to move into another cadence. In other words, unless you use HVS for Simple cadences (in which case… HVS was probably not the right tool for the job), keep reading.
There you are, sitting at your desk with your energy drink in one hand and your Cheeto-dust covered mouse in the other as you finish your first cadence. It looks great, all you must do now is branch it to the next cadence.
Oh $***, where is the next cadence? You mean you didn’t do the last one first!? Well, that’s pure nonsense. What were you even thinking, starting at the beginning? Oh well, don’t cry over spilled Soylent Green. I got you.
When linking cadences together, you need to work backwards. That’s right, start with your last cadence first and build everything in reverse.
I see you’re skeptical… so let me elaborate further. To link a cadence to the next cadence, the cadence you want to link to has to be an activated cadence. This can be hard to grasp for some so let’s look at a few examples.
In fig 4.a you’ll see cadences A, B, C, and D. From A you can branch to B or C. From C you go to D then B. Finally for B you exit the cadence completely.
This next bit is also hard to follow but hang in there, it makes sense eventually!
Once you start converting this flowchart into an HVS cadence you’re naturally going to want to start at Cadence A, but this is incorrect. You need to start with cadence B since it is the last cadence before it exits. You can only link a next cadence to an activated cadence; therefore, you cannot start with C or D either.
If you start with C and activate it you would be able to do cadence A and link A to C, but to link C to D or B you would have to clone A and C then activate B or D before you could link them to the clone of A!
Starting with B, you can activate it and start building D. Activate D and move on to C, activate C and move to A where you can now link A to B or C. Now you can activate A and you’re ready to go! Easy right!
[♫ now I’ve said my A-B-C’s... ♫ next time will you think of me? ♫]
5. Hi, my name is…
We covered this a little bit already but there’s a lot more juice we can squeeze out this lemon so here we go!
Naming conventions can help you stay organized even more than just grouping together cadences that fit a specific criteria or timeframe, like the ones we discussed in tip #3 fig 2.a. You can also use it to keep track of the sObject the cadence is related to by adding a prefix to each cadence you create. By doing this, you also let your reps know immediately which cadences in their work queue are for leads & opportunities that you want to give priority to, and which are for contacts that may be of lesser importance timewise. In fig 5.a you can see how this addition can help you with your work queue organization.
You want your team to fully utilize HVS and take advantage of every second when using their work queue. Anything you can do to make them comfortable using it will pay off in the long run. Your goal should be setting them up for success, so they hit their phones each morning and they know exactly who to call, when to call them, and why they are calling. You don’t want them to start every morning thinking
- Hi! My Cadence name is (what?)
- My Target name is (who?)
- My Work Queue is (disorderly)
Alright, you made it this far into the blog and you deserve a reward for sticking it out with me. So here you go, a BONUS tip just for you! [Unless of course you skipped to the end… yeah... I’m looking at you Tom. NO BONUS FOR YOU!]
BONUS TIP: Stagger vs Swagger
[It’s easy to do. You’ve probably even done it before. You let your swagger get the best of you. Maybe you finished building a cadence, writing some apex, or running an errand your wife asked you to do 3 days ago and you just remembered to do it on your own so you’re super stoked and you want to show everyone how you did this great thing so you rush to show it only to find out you got 4 loaves of bread and forgot the avocados (it was really her fault though right? I mean she did say ‘get a loaf of bread from the store and if they have avocados, get 4’… they had avocados! I did what she asked!!)]
Moral of the story is… don’t get overly confident in your cadence design and rush it out to the entire team without running it through the proverbial ringer a few times to iron out the kinks. Too much swagger can leave you in total disarray when a cadence bug pops up or the team has trouble learning the steps to a new cadence during peak hours and everyone is struggling to keep up.
Drop the Swagger, Stagger the rollout.
Take small groups of users and let them start working the new cadence for a few days, a week even, to make sure things are airtight. I find it’s best to have a mix of power users, intermediate users, and at least one or two users that would need tech support to find their monitor if it wasn’t connected to their computer (aka they are not tech savvy). The mix will give you a good sample of how the entire team will react and learn. Once the group has completed a week or two, repeat the process with the next group until the rollout is complete.
[With each new group, the prior groups will have gained more experience and be able to help the newer users if they stumble. That means less on your plate AND an increase in your Happiness levels… nice!]
Thanks again for reading, and if you didn’t get enough out of this post don’t worry! There’s a lot more to discuss when it comes to HVS. Keep an eye out for the topic we are going to cover in our next blog A Few Cadences More… (Aka 5 steps to maximize user adoption and productivity in Salesforce High Velocity Sales).
If you have specific topics you’d like covered in a future post, drop a comment below and I’ll try to work it into a future post. Don’t forget to like and share if you enjoyed the read!