In sales, as in most things, change equals opportunity. Change can be gradual, subtle or immediate and in-your-face. These are called trigger events.
According to Hubspot methodology and training, a trigger event is an occurrence that creates an opening for a marketing or a sales opportunity. A sales trigger event is an event that creates an opportunity for sales.
What makes trigger events important, and why should your sales team care?
Because trigger events let you get your product or service in front of the right person at a time when they are most likely to buy due to some catalyst. It’s knocking on the door when you’re welcome and needed.
A sales trigger event can also be viewed as a change in the status quo that forces a prospect to take some form of action in response to the catalyst and change the current situation.
Eight out of 10 B2B purchases are unplanned and are a result of trigger events. Take a business that gets additional funding, it might make a number of unplanned purchases like an upgraded CRM, a new project management app, marketing automation tool, analytics tools, and lead generation tools that supply you with behavioral intent data.
Trigger events provide your sales team with an opportunity to contact a prospect. They have a legitimate reason to proactively reach out to the prospect based on this new change. So constantly monitoring for trigger events will put your team in a better position to generate new sales.
Trigger Events Are All About Timing
Trigger event selling is all about timing and the salesperson who gets to the prospect after a trigger event happens wins the sale 74% of the time.
Generating and converting leads gets a lot easier if you understand what triggers your prospects and how the trigger event will cause changes that you can capitalize on.
It all comes down to tracking all the critical events.
The following is a list of 3 key B2B triggering events that your sales team should be constantly on the lookout for.
- Management Trigger Events:
New executive, merger, layoffs, relocation, new office, change in strategy, restructuring, resizing, partnerships, etc.
With every new decision maker in the company, your team needs to keep up with the influencers in the company, perform a search and try to connect on LinkedIn with them, find commonality, make the intro, or get a contact in there to connect you.
New funding: did they get a new series of funding, or is this the initial round? Who/where did funding come from?
Do your research on the hedge fund or private equity firm making the investment. Was it an up or down funding round? That will help you position the pitch and how you can help.
Up-funding gets congrats and positions your team on how your product or service will strengthen, while down funding can indicate a possible slowdown. The company leadership will be looking for new solutions to change their course and get their financial backers happy.
With mergers, there may be new blood in the water. Where do your contacts stand, is it a merger of equals? Is there a lot of overlap necessitating huge changes or a merger of complementary services where wholesale changes are most likely not to happen?
Leverage your experience in how companies transition and offer value in the form of information and positive suggestions.
In the event of an acquisition: OK, your prospective company just spent money. Why? To take out a competitor that was stealing market share? Because they stopped growing with products so the only way to grow now is through acquisition? What’s their long-term strategy? What type of takeout was it? If it’s a public company, was it a cash deal or stock deal?
The type of deal determines the impact and determines the commitment level. Why wasn’t it in cash? What were the terms of the deal? Is the acquired company cashing out or is leadership staying on? How will these actions affect your contacts, influencers, and relationships within the company? Your sales team will then want to make contact and make introductions.
- Sales Trigger Events:
Increase/decrease in customer-base, sales team training, new product, increase/decrease in sales, product issues, etc.
Whether it comes in the form of a press release or in reported quarterly earnings, sales and revenue targets can be tracked and analyzed.
News about the loss of a key client can be found along with other information by setting up Google Alerts.
Any new partnership or alliance that strengthens the client and gives them a larger footprint to sell in or expand operations with a new channel partner gives you an opportunity to not only connect with the new partner but also show how your solution can enhance that new partnership.
How about news regarding your main competitor? There are deals going down right this second, that you are not aware of.
Knowing about this and getting your foot in the door before it is too late is surely a good thing.
Legislative events can mean big changes. FDA rulings, EPA, etc., can all have a major effect upon a company’s bottom line. Be the first one in with a solution for their hardship, or the first one in to help them manage the windfall.
- Marketing Trigger Events:
Increase/decrease in the marketing budget, new CMO, new target marketing, new target segment, change in the marketing channel, new book, webinars, new marketing material.
If the prospect produces webinars or published new content, like a new eBook, you’ll want to sign up for the RSS feed or newsletter for alerts about it. Your team should ensure to register for and/or attend be the webinar or watch it soon after to provide feedback and listen for potential opportunities.
Share any new content assets – like that new ebook – with others on social media. Other strategies include writing an Amazon review, sharing content on LinkedIn and tagging the author, and providing a brief, favorable synopsis.
This will call attention to the author. And to your team, as well.
Ready, Aim, Fire
When a trigger event occurs, you sales team must mobilize to be the first one to reach out to the prospect in order to capitalize on it.
Have a plan in place to get in touch, generate the lead, and convert it. Then chalk another sale up in the closed/won column.
The point is to get notified well before others, so you get that chance to reach out by phone call, email, or meeting.
The sooner you can take action, the better. To see for yourself, contact us today if you’d like to get strategic info on 50 of your target accounts and see what trigger events are occurring.