Does “congrats on the funding” still work? How do new senior-level hires respond to sales outreach?
Let’s face it – sales is a tough game. Made even tougher if you don’t use the right tools or follow best practices – let alone create your own.
A lot has been written about sales trigger events as a catalyst to give your sales team the context to proactively reach out to a prospect or client.
Not all trigger events are created equal or carry the same weight. A new webinar from your target company could still provide useful information; however, a newly-hired decision maker could be better intelligence to use.
Any and all changes can mean opportunity – and a reason to reach out. There are many different types of triggers and the importance or depth of those triggers determine your specific course of action, but as a general rule, anything that you can use to personalize your sales outreach will make the difference in landing an appointment and eventually, a deal.
We are going to focus on why two important trigger events – new funding and decision-maker job changes – are good catalysts for sales outreach.
Let’s take new funding. Yes, it’s still a good reason to reach out. Just think, a company has made an announcement that they are flush with new cash and may have even indicated in their press release what that cash will be used for.
If the company specifies that some of that money will be used to build up and improve their sales force and you happen to have a company that specializes in sales training, for example, that is the perfect time for proactive outreach because they have publicly expressed their need for a better, stronger sales force.
Whatever the money is used for, it’s probably not going to be spent solely on a lavish holiday party. A more likely scenario is to drive an initiative, fuel growth, research, anything to progress a key element of their story and standing as a business.
Funding is a sign of movement in that direction, which can require changed systems and processes. Your team can be the vendor to help with that, if you’re prepared to develop that relationship.
There are many ways to make the approach.
Now, just a simple “hey, congrats on the funding” message on LinkedIn really isn’t going to do much to move the relationship forward. It’s time for some serious homework.
Dig in deep and do some research to see if there are indicators of what your target company will do with the new funding. Perhaps you could share ideas that may help them, which are completely unrelated to the product or service that you offer, so you don’t come off as completely self-serving.
If you offer up something of value in the form of another non-competing service or case study that you’ve seen, this could help during a strategic allocation of any new company funds.
Numerous sales people (including your competition) will line up to extend useless platitudes and make feeble outreach attempts such as, “hey congrats on that 5 million bucks, now spend it on me.” A steady stream of backslapping and congratulatory emails will flood their inboxes because there’s new green to be spent.
This is not the time to be self-serving or lazy. Other than online searches or Google alerts, there are ways to uncover your target company’s plans.
LeadSift can help you leverage relevant information based on the content they consume, competitors they engage with, or relevant social media posts.
And armed with this new-found knowledge, you can tailor your outreach accordingly: “Here’s what I helped X competitor do and the lessons they learned in that process when they also tried to work on X, the same as you are doing with your funding”.
Because of established relationships or loose connections with your target prospect, messaging surrounding decision-maker job changes is not nearly as complicated.
Or course, your outreach will still require sophistication, timing, and the right strategy to connect with someone who will most likely respond positively.
If you are lacking a direct connection to a newly-promoted CEO, but you’re close to the VP of sales, for example, perhaps your best angle is to work your network relationships and begin with the sales VP first, working your way up the ladder with your messaging.
As with new funding announcements, many people will come out of the woodwork to congratulate this person on his/her promotion. Many of those kudos will be sincere, many will not. It’s transparent. Which will your messaging reflect?
Don’t position yourself as a self-serving salesman only thinking about your own quota, and you may land a new deal.
This isn’t a one-and-done kind of thing; you’re congratulating somebody and of course, you’re looking to cultivate and nurture a relationship.
It’s a good practice to include open-ended questions in your communications, hoping to prompt a response that leads to additional discussion and ultimately, some type of sales call or conversation.
Authenticity is key here. Be a human—not a sales-y robot.
Yes, we all want to make sales, and we all want to be the salesperson who wins the business, but that’s not always going to be the case. Even you’ve timed this trigger event properly, played your cards right and made the perfect outreach, a deal may not be immediately forthcoming.
How you handle yourself in this type of situation strongly reflects your character. So maybe that individual wasn’t in a place or position where s/he can help you this time, but perhaps in the future s/he will be able to or s/he can refer you to somebody else who can.
And don’t think just because someone has laterally moved or you think that they may not be influential, it’s ok to overlook them.
The sales professional who continues to cultivate his/her network, cultivates the people that s/he knows on all levels of the ladder of success, and continues to serve and reach out and communicate and engage with the people on the bottom rungs as they continue to move up, reap great benefits when these people advance.
And these people remember. Trust us.
Sales is hard work. Your sales team needs to do its research and needs to be prepared for the right trigger opportunities and leverage the data that you have.
LeadSift provides valuable, competitive intelligence data to help you craft a poignant message to a highly prized prospect. It’s about helping you be smarter with your outreach.
This information can help to initiate a conversation, which leads to a demo, which leads to a stronger relationship and ultimately, a sale.