There is perhaps no greater opportunity for a business than reaching the right person with the right message at the right time.
But how do we know when the sales stars are aligned? When events are unfolding with prospects, experienced sales people know that their prospects are more likely to quickly place an order. Such events are typically referred to in business to business sales as “sales triggers.”
Using sales triggers results in vastly higher rates of sales conversions than more routine sales approaches. Big data, predictive analytics or account based marketing are offering new opportunities to systematically capture these events. Yet, they all require testing, perseverance and money.
Are there sales triggers that work across most industries that are easy to spot? Answer: Yes, there are many. But at least five of them are prominent and proven:
A first sales trigger is the launch of a new product or service line. With a new product or service comes a broad range of needs, especially in marketing and communications and sometimes operational support.
Like many other sales triggers, new products and services also point to another trait of a company: It’s growing. And like any significant change, growth serves as one of the ultimate sales triggers for the company itself.
Some product/service launches create tectonic shifts within an industry. Tesla and Amazon.com are great examples. These are changes that represent opportunities within an entire industry. You can follow these industry-wide opportunities on company releases, analyst reports and business press such as WSJ watch list, FT alerts or NYT my alerts.
A second sales trigger is the arrival of a new executive. No matter what the role (CEO, CFO, CIO, CMO, etc.), the first 90 days of a new executive’s arrival is precisely the time when an executive is most likely to assess vendor and other relationships and sometimes make sweeping decisions or recommendations about them.
New executives typically approach their new job with a fresh sense of energy and very often the mandate to right a corporate function that’s gone astray. The best sales approach is to jump in with a concrete, compelling proposal to assist.
To spot a new executive in the very early days of his or her position, use the news for the listed companies such as Street Insider, the press release watch services such as Newswire or dedicated email services such as The Official Board’s alerts.
A third sales trigger is the expansion of a company’s sales and marketing commitments. New advertising campaigns, customer events, press events or entering a new market are a useful triggers since they typically indicate a fresh commitment to a company’s messaging, or an increased focus on new sales development.
A fourth sales trigger is the opening of a new office for a company (whether it is caused by a company expansion or a company’s relocation). As with new executive personnel, the opening of a new office very commonly is associated with a fresh review of vendor relationships, providing an ideal sales trigger.
The opening of a new office also is very commonly indicative of a company’s growth, which in turn typically increases the prospects for sales of most products and services. Those office openings can be found on company releases, Google alerts or with the advanced search of Newswire.
A fifth and final sales trigger is changes in the company ownership or in its financial results. Whether coming from additional funding, an IPO, a merger, an acquisition or a good or bad financial quarter, these changes indicate the company is moving or must move in new directions. This is creating an opportunity to sell a service to sustain the growth or to help reverse a company’s negative trend.
Act fast. “Life is about timing,” the American sprinter Carl Lewis once said. It is a philosophy that earned Lewis ten Olympic medals. But in business, acting fast is a philosophy that, leveraged with your creative and successful use of sales triggers, should earn you and your company a boatload of sales opportunities.