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Inbound Cadence: Book Meetings With Inbound Leads in 20 Days

Want higher conversion rates?

Then you need an effective inbound cadence!

Actioning inbound leads at speed is key. You need to get through to your prospects as quickly as possible before they think about your competitors.

Cognism’s ultimate inbound cadence is the blueprint for doing this. Here’s what you’ll find on this page:

  • What an inbound cadence is and what the workflow looks like.
  • A breakdown of the cadence, including email and cold calling steps.
  • Results from the cadence.
  • B2B sales top tips from a range of industry thought leaders.

Scroll 👇 or use the menu to get started.

What is an inbound cadence? | Inbound cadence workflow | Inbound cadence results | Inbound cadence timeline | Top tips | Make meaningful connections with Cognism

What is an inbound cadence? 

David Bentham, Cognism’s Director of Sales Development, gave us this definition:

“An inbound cadence is the process of calling, emailing and LinkedIn messaging that helps marketing development reps (MDRs) to never miss a beat on any inbound leads.”

“It’s a really essential part of making sure we’re following up with any inbound leads or anybody that’s interested in our products.”

Inbound cadence workflow

What tool is best for running an inbound cadence? 

David recommended Outreach and went on to explain the workflow:

“We use Outreach to set up the cadence. As soon as anybody is flagged up as inbound, the notification is sent to the inbound MDRs, and it’s also added to the cadence itself.” 

Discover the ultimate B2B prospecting cadence - press ▶️ to watch Cognism’s sales training video.

Inbound cadence results 

Where’s the proof that Cognism’s inbound cadence actually works? 

There are a couple of key success indicators. First of all, our MDRs have regularly smashed their target number with it

But more importantly, the cadence has delivered an incredible response rate. David said:

“Based on the latest stats from Outreach, the response rate is 99%. We’ve literally only missed 1 prospect.” 

How can your MDR team achieve the same results?

David identified a few key areas that help with success:

“The SLA we have is the most important piece of the puzzle. Making sure our reps follow up in the first 5 minutes probably accounts for 90% of the response rate. Because people have just registered, so they’re probably on their computer or laptop, looking for tools similar to ours. So it’s a really good time to call.” 

He added:

“It’s also down to the persistence of the cadence. Lots of cold emails, lots of cold calls, and we’ve even got LinkedIn steps that people can respond on. It makes sure we’re reaching people as quickly and consistently as possible through Outreach.” 

Inbound cadence timeline

Day 1

Step 1: Set a service-level agreement

The persistence is clear from the very start. 

David said:

“The most important part of our cadence is the fact that we set an SLA (service-level agreement) of 5 minutes for responses to inbounds. And to hold the team accountable to that, an automated marketing email goes out to anyone who has been registered as an inbound, from our CMO Alice de Courcy’s email saying: 

“Hey (first name), you can expect a call in the next 10 minutes, and if you don’t then please reply.” 

This is crucial:

“Reps are pushed to pick up the phone and call within the first 5 minutes. And to be honest, about 80% of all inbounds will respond just based off that single part of the cadence.” 

Why is the email sent from our CMO’s inbox? David told us:

“It’s key to helping our inbound reps build trust with prospects.”

Step 2: Email

The best outbound sales emails are simple and to the point. 

At this early stage in the cadence, they shouldn’t contain strong CTAs or wording that’s too sales-oriented.

Here’s the format:

Hi (first name),

I saw you registered for a demonstration on our website. 

We like to run a quick phone call to discuss your requirements. Feel free to book in a time and I will call the number you have provided then:

(sender calendar url)

I look forward to hearing from you. 


(sender name)

Step 3: Phone call

Because the lead is still hot and time is the primary factor, we’ll follow up the email with a call straight away.

Day 2

Step 4: Phone call

The cadence’s second day begins with a follow-up cold call.

Why do we do this?

It all comes back to persistence - you need to make sure you’re at the top of your prospects’ minds.

Step 5: Email 

Why do we use a mixture of phone and email during the cadence?

David said:

“We need to try and catch people on the medium they enjoy the most. That’s why we continue to do both throughout the sequence.” 

He added:

“The calendar URL has proven to be quite successful for us.”

Here’s the format of the email: 

Hey (first name), 

Following your demo registration earlier, I wondered when you would have time for a quick call to discuss your requirements and find a convenient time for a demonstration? 

Feel free to select a time to suit you directly from my calendar:

(sender calendar url) 

Look forward to hearing from you. 


(sender name)

Day 3

Step 6: Phone call 

Step 7: LinkedIn message

Every SDR knows about this.

Sometimes, leads leave fake phone numbers because they don’t want to be called. They may also leave a generic info@ email address. 

That's why we add LinkedIn into the mix on Day 3. This is the wording we use:


I'm not sure if my emails are landing in your spam, but I haven't been able to get hold of you since your recent demo request. 

Are you still interested in viewing the platform?


Day 5

Step 8: Phone call

Day 7

Step 9: Phone call

Day 10

Step 10: Email

At this later stage in the cadence, it’s time to get specific. 

David said:

“At this point, the email is part of a new thread. And it’s suggesting specific times as well as the calendar invite.”

Here’s the wording:

Hi (first name), 

Shame we haven’t been able to connect so far. I was following up on your demonstration request and would love to showcase our platform to you. 

Do you have any availability this (2 business days from now) or (3 business days from now) afternoon? 

Alternatively, book time on my calendar here: 

(sender calendar URL)


(sender name)

Day 15

Step 11: LinkedIn message

If the prospect still hasn’t replied at this point, send them another LinkedIn message.

Hi (first name),

Not sure if my emails have gone to your spam. You registered for a demo 2 weeks ago and it'd be great to find time to connect.

How are you looking on (day/time)?

Alternatively, book time on my calendar here: 

(sender calendar URL)


Day 17

Step 12: Phone call

Day 18

Step 13: Phone call

Day 20

Step 14: Email

This is the last email in the inbound cadence.

Hi (first name)

Shame we haven’t been able to connect, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I was not trying. 

If you are still interested in Cognism and our prospecting solution please let me know. It would be great to look at how we can work together. 

Please let me know when would be a good time to speak. 

Alternatively, (sender calendar URL)


(sender name)

Inbound cadence top tips 

Looking to make the most out of the inbound cadence?

Here are some of our top tips:

Keep it simple 

  • Just get straight to it.
  • Personalisation, empathy and humour are not as relevant as they are with SDR cadences. 
  • So remember - no fluff!
  • Just get your message across quickly and efficiently.

Qualify out and in 

  • When you get your prospect on the phone, you might find they’re not a good fit for your product.
  • If this happens, don’t panic! It doesn’t mean your cadence hasn’t worked. 
  • Remember the inbound cadence goal = to reach prospects on a call.
  • Qualifying prospects out is just as essential as qualifying them in. 

Hire great MDRs 

It’s important to have a good, solid MDR hiring process. 

Your cadence is only as good as the people working with it. Choose consistent outbound performers as you build your team, and make sure they’re multitaskers. 

Optimise and refine your cadence

When it comes to your inbound cadence, practice makes perfect. 

Never think that your work is done. Always think about how you can make it better. 

David explains why it’s important to do this:

“As a business, inbounds are our best leads. These are the people who are in market, so we apply an appropriate level of seriousness to those inbounds in terms of the process that we’ve designed.”

And because they’re the best leads, refinement is crucial:

“Any negative feedback or a time when a prospect doesn’t get reached out to quickly, we will do everything we can to edit the process so it doesn’t happen again. That feedback loop has been super important in helping us get to the 99% response rate.” 

Also remember: test, test, and test some more! 

Because your cadence should be a living, breathing document; you should be making constant tweaks to it to discover what does and doesn’t work. 

Carry out some A/B split tests with different messaging. You might find a new way to reach your leads. When it comes to conversion rates, marginal gains can make a significant difference. 

Make meaningful connections with Cognism

Ever thought that connecting with your ideal prospects in minutes can’t be done? 

Cognism makes it happen! We give you access to data that’s: 

  • Global - tap into your target market and forge genuine connections with buying committees.
  • Correct - increase your connection speeds and have more meaningful conversations every day.
  • Compliant - stay ahead of international privacy laws with data that meets all GDPR and CCPA requirements.

Find out why Cognism is every rep’s favourite 👇 

Book your Cognism demo