If one out of every two selling opportunities resulted in a sale, we could all retire early. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. When you consider the typical prospect outreach methods, the actual close percentage is more like the single digits. Fortunately, you can increase your odds because, certain types of sales leads do close at a much higher rate. For example, by capitalizing on trigger events, you can propel a prospect from ambivalent to intrigued and from prospect to customer.
So how do you identify trigger events and increase your selling opportunities?
What Are Trigger Events
Trigger events are any occurrence that creates a sales opportunity. From a merger or acquisition to a shake up in the executive ranks, when properly executed, they increase the probability that prospects will greet your outreach with much greater interest.
Define Your Target Audiences’ Trigger Events
There are numerous common trigger events across the accounts you target. But, some vary depending upon the industry. So, develop an applicable list. Here are 15 examples:
- New buildings, stores, locations
- New name or branding
- New product or service
- A major competitor move
- Changes in hiring velocity
- New leadership
- New job/role for current contact
- Expiring contract
- Good financial report
- Bad financial report
- Hiring an outside consultant
- New legislation
- Filling out a lead form
Track The Trigger Events
When I first started in sales, I rode along with one senior account rep a few times during my training. “Ralph” only had a few accounts but he had a Rolodex (remember those?) that overflowed with contacts.
On our first outing together he took me to one large client. With numerous meetings schedule, we arrived early. And as employees were walking in to start their day, it was like he was one of them. Before walking 50 feet he had already spoken with four people he knew. Plus, his long time receptionist friend had our badges prepared and signed us in to the guest register to avoid any wait times. Furthermore, before we headed off to the first meeting, she pulled Ralph aside to tell him about a shake-up in the management ranks that occurred the day before and gave him contact information for the new employees.
As we moved from desk to desk and meeting to meeting, the people called him “The Mayor.” I didn’t realize it at the time but that was a term of endearment. He knew more about the company than they did. They asked him for the inside scoop on their own company; information which he was often able to provide.
So, if you have your hand on the pulse as Ralph did, you may not need a different system. But for the accounts where you don’t have those insights, set up alerts so you’ll know when a trigger event occurs.
For example, Google allows you to monitor up to 1,000 different alerts. You can set them up for brands, people, topics and more. Keep in mind that Google alerts don’t return social media results.
LinkedIn is another good source, especially when tracking position changes and people movement. This overview will help you get started.
Plus, there are dozens of other free and paid sources you may want to check into.
Define The Contacts That Trigger Events May Impact
It’s essential to know when a trigger event occurs. But further, once it does, you need to know where to present your solution.
In the accounts you know defining contacts is fairly easy, but it’s far more difficult in an account you are trying to break into. What’s more, when a trigger event does occur, you need to mobilize quickly. So, the more you can identify contact names in advance, the more quickly you’ll be able to capitalize on the opportunity.
But, knowing the contacts in advance of each event is impossible. Therefore, use LinkedIn or other data sources to get the details you need.
Prepare To Connect In Advance
Before you connect with the appropriate contact, make sure you understand their pain points. How does the trigger event impact them and how do your capabilities help them mitigate that pain?
Then, build content that speaks to those pain points to elevate your standing including:
- Phone call scripts
- Sell sheets
- Case studies
- White papers
- Blog posts
Strike When The Opportunity Presents Itself
Trigger events represent a key time for change in an account - one that can propel your capabilities toward serious consideration. With so much information available online, buyers continue to self-educate and formulate purchasing decisions before even speaking with a vendor. But, if you are the first company to connect with a buyer once they have a need, the odds of selling to them increase substantially. Monitoring trigger events are one way to identify a company at the forefront of their buying need.
InterEdge Marketing specializes in developing and deploying effective marketing programs, such as trigger campaigns, that increase sales and revenue. Contact us for more information.