Ensure you have the right information and use it in the right way
Timing in sales, as it is in any business activity, is essential. Because purchases are largely need-driven, with the aim of correcting a problem, or filling a void, the opportunity window for a sale can be relatively small. The bigger the need of a customer is, the bigger the opportunity for a sale is, but the timeframe for making the sale often shrinks in relation to the level of demand. Desperate customers want to make a purchase immediately, and if your business isn’t there someone else will be.
Conventional sales wisdom is focused on a strategy of building relationships with prospects with the aim that should they need to make a purchase, they will then come to you first for help, advice, and the products they need, because of that relationship.
While there is no argument that building relationships is key, the problem with this strategy is that it puts the emphasis on the customer revealing to the sales team when they need a new product. Without further information, the sales team is left waiting on the prospect.
Take the Initiative with Data-Driven Sales Intelligence
Data-driven sales intelligence is the best way to reverse this trend. By taking advantage of trigger events, changes in the industry or prospective business that create a purchasing desire, sales teams can reach out to businesses and offer solutions when there need is greatest.
With an intelligence-led approach, it doesn’t matter if the business hasn’t sought you out, or even that theymay not yet recognize that they have an urgent need for your product.
Sales teams have long used intelligence-gathering to boost their sales abilities. We all know that if you turn up on a prospect’s doorstep asking the most basic of questions, without knowing any idea about their business, you’re unlikely to impress them very much. Data-driven sales intelligence takes this process one step further, by providing your team with the information necessary to locate the current hottest prospects.
What is a Trigger Event?
A trigger event is simply something that happens that creates a sales opportunity. While a business will sometimes come to you, announcing that they’re looking for a product or service like yours, many won’t.Instead, they’ll signpost their need much more subtly, through job changes, interview comments, announcements, or more.
Here are a couple of common examples:
Changes in Decision Makers
A newly hired executive has both the desire and the opportunity to make changes to the business’s current plans. They won’t have the same ties to existing providers as the predecessor and will often look to make changes and to bring new value to the business. This makes a new hire a key trigger event.
Another common hiring event is when a key contact moves to a new role in a different business. This is a great opportunity to reach out and see if they wish to continue or expand upon your existing relationship in their new role. If you’ve already provided them with a good service in their previous job, they should be keen to bring you on board and establish a quick win at their new company.
There are always new startups entering the market. Although they might not be big enough to be your ideal customer from the start, they may well grow into an excellent prospect. Keeping track of signs of growth in these companies can help you find these potential customers before your competitors do.
Key signs to look out for include:
- Announcements of investment.
- Announcements of business landing a significant new client.
- New offices or expanded offices.
- Increased levels of hiring.
- Receiving business awards.
Are You Pitching the Right Person?
Identifying the trigger event is just the first step. Businesses must also understand who they’re targeting. A common problem for sales teams is that they make contact and build relationships with the wrong person who isn’t the key decision maker.
Sales intelligence is essential for keeping track of who the decision makers are in a business. By using this knowledge in conjunction with sales triggers, your sales team can reach out to the right person, at the right time, with the right message.
Act Within the Correct Window of Opportunity
Another common mistake is to believe that the sales trigger and the window of opportunity are one and the same. Sometimes the trigger means there will be an opportunity for making a sale, but not quite yet.
A great example is when a business hires a new key decision maker. This is a key sales trigger, but it would be a mistake to assume that because that person has entered into the job they are immediately seeking to evaluate their suppliers.
In fact, the best time to contact a new decision maker is three months later, by which time they’ve settled into the job and are starting to assess where they can make improvements and savings. Contacting them too early will only result in a switch rejection – they’ll be too busy to consider your offer.
How Can You Find Out About Trigger Events?
These trigger events aren’t a secret, in fact, most businesses publicise many of these events on their company website and blog. Other key areas for information gathering include LinkedIn, press releases, industry news sites, and social media.
The issue isn’t a lack of information – far from it! There is so much information out there that most businesses don’t have time to search through it all to find the key trigger events.
Cognism is a next-generation sales platform designed to help sales teams take advantage of sales triggers by tracking potential clients and notifying your team when a relevant trigger occurs. Rather than wasting time following up weak leads, sales teams are provided with strong leads, so they waste very little time spend prospecting. Cognism frees up sales teams to build relationships and make sales.
Cognism tracks more than 200 sales triggers, identifies all the key influencers at a business, and pushes all this information to your sales team. You receive a constant stream of opportunities, backed up by high-quality quality information, and company timelines that ensure you have all the essential information about your prospect to hand ready for your first call.
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