What SDRs Need to Learn Before Getting Started with Cadence Tools

A Variety of Different Building Tools Organized Neatly on a Wooden Floor


The Problem

Are cadence tools killing Salespeople?

Every onboarding plan for an SDR team involves sessions around technology. How to use Salesforce, Marketo, Refract, LeadIQ, Salesloft, Outreach, Vanillasoft, etc etc etc. Often these sessions are of a similar length to the sessions provided on ICP, learning how to cold call or what the marketing team does.

This means that right at the start of their journey, they are focused on using the tools they use at the same level of focus as other potentially more useful topics.

Do these look familiar?

‘Hey {First_Name},

I noticed your profile on LinkedIn and saw that you are the {Job_Title} at {Company}.’

Ring Ring: ‘Hey, I wanted to follow up on my email…’

‘Hey {First_Name},

Did you know that companies in {Industry/Vertical} are using our platform to help them achieve better results?

Here is a case study for you to read.’

It’s not you, it’s me. It’s time for us to break up. I understand you are busy so please respond with the number that correlates with your situation.

  1. You are not interested
  2. Etc etc etc.’

This is superficial personalisation and poor execution scaled for optimum performance.

Or, to be more blunt, this is the type of sales approach that gets you blocked and burnt out. This “throw enough mud at a wall” strategy will leave you, as a rep, either replaced by the technology you’re using to optimize or let go in an economic downturn.


Why This Happens

It all comes back to the first principles of building a SaaS business that becomes a Unicorn and beyond:

Step 1 – Find a problem that needs to be solved.

Step 2 – Build an MVP.

Step 3 – Find the product-market fit.

Step 4 – Scale to infinity and beyond.

With this well-trodden blueprint being laid out in predictable revenue, followed by the SaaS explosion of companies finding every nook and cranny of efficiency to pull out of a process, you have tools built to remove everything you do more than once.

Guess what you do more than once as an SDR?


In a drive to milk every ounce of productivity out of an SDR, leaders and buyers have bought technology for every moment of the SDR prospecting process. This is actually a wonderful thing in and of itself, however, as with every purchase, the pressure then gets applied to sweat these assets as much as possible. Therefore, the action – not the intention – becomes a focus on using the technology more than how it should be used.



Straight up terrible, tone-deaf emails.

It is great that you can find sequences that your cadence tech provider recommends. It is wonderful that you have educated yourself on countless ‘Top 10 Sequences and How to Write a Break-up Email’ blog posts (does it break the fourth wall to reference blog posts in a blog post?) (editor’s note: yes, it does.). But none of that tells you anything about how your emails resonate with your audience, buyers, and prospects.

Have you heard anyone reference the ‘death of the average salesperson’? Because if this technology-focused approach to your cadence strategy is yours, it will hit you in the face.

If you are a rep, then you need to own your cadences. That doesn’t mean that you don’t use your team’s cadences, and learn what is working from other members of your team. And therein lies the key – learn what is working for your team.


How to Not Be Killed by Cadence

Obviously your role has an impact on how you can solve this, but whether you are a Sales Leader looking to make your team more effective, a Sales Development Manager building an onboarding program or an SDR looking to ramp in your new role, it is about focusing the learning you do or deliver on the following areas:

  1. Who your core customer is and what their problems are.
  2. How your customers speak, listen, and read. What their tone of voice sounds like, and the language they use to talk about their problems.
  3. What a good conversation and a good email look like.

Once a rep understands and is competent in the above things, using cadence technology (and any other technology for that matter) becomes the fuel to add on the fire that is already burning.


Become a Killer with Cadence

When I ran Sales Development at NewVoiceMedia, we provided a click-to-dial-solution for sales teams to make calls directly out of Salesforce. We had a team of reps that were accomplished in using our tech, but more importantly, were accomplished in communicating with our prospects.

When we developed a power dialer that would automate the process of finding the next prospect to call, we were able to implement and immediately see a huge increase in calls and conversations because our team had a thorough understanding of those three focuses.

My point here is that sometimes, the tech gets in the way of the key things you need to learn. Efficiency in a bad system makes you more efficient at being bad.

Good emails are relevant to the person receiving them, they highlight things that the person is likely to be thinking about and make them think. When you have mastered this, and only then, you have earned the right to use cadence tools and more to accelerate the velocity at which you can prospect.

You can be a killer with a cadence.

Anyway, all of this requires a good copy for your emails.

So, here is my example:

Dear Reader,

Noticed you have got to the end of my blog post – which tells me you have been thinking about the quality of your email and cadence approaches in your Sales team.

Companies like Outreach, Salesloft, and Vanillasoft are helping businesses like yours to accelerate their highly personalised and relevant prospecting approaches by teaching their SDRs to think like their customers, recognise the challenges they have, and speak their language BEFORE teaching them how to use their technology.

What would be the best way to get you to do the same?


All buyers everywhere.


John runs ExP, who help software businesses to hire, train and coach SDRs in the UK, Europe and North America. If you want to learn more about ExP or John you can find them here on LinkedIn or their website.