June 20, 2023

7 ways to track top sales triggers

25 min read
The sales industry is highly competitive and increasingly demanding. For sales professionals today, there is a constant demand to achieve targets and drive revenue growth, creating an environment where individuals and organisations strive to outperform one another. Over the last couple of years, additional pressures such as a global pandemic, political fallout, and multiple markets facing recession, have added to these already-pressured conditions.
Globalisation and advancements in technology have expanded market reach, leading to further increased competition from both local and international players. In this fast-paced and dynamic landscape, it’s easy to see why sales teams need every advantage they can get.

This is where technical advancements, such as market intelligence software and sales automation, become crucial. When time is precious (and expensive!), sales teams need to be working with maximum efficiency to ensure targets are being hit and revenue growth is achieved. These technological advancements, such as sales enablement tools, provide valuable insights into market trends, customer behaviours, and competitor strategies, empowering sales professionals to make informed decisions and tailor their approaches accordingly. Not only can an effective tech stack save you time, but it can also help you stand out from the crowd and increase your billings too.

By leveraging market intelligence software, sales teams can gain a competitive edge by identifying opportunities, anticipating customer needs, and developing targeted strategies that get them ahead and give them an edge in a fiercely competitive market.

What are sales triggers?

A sales trigger event is an occurrence that paves the way for a potential sales opportunity and is the first actionable step in the sales/buying cycle. Also known as buying triggers, market triggers, or sales events, these opportunities highlight a business change within a company that can trigger a need for growth or change.

Going one step further than intent data, sales triggers don’t just wait for a prospect to start looking for a solution before triggering an alert, but instead arm sales teams with market and business intelligence that allows them to act earlier in the buying process. This means sales teams can get months ahead of their competition with timely and relevant outreach, putting you in a stronger position to be the first sales professional to speak to your prospect.

Why you should be using sales event triggers

By automating certain aspects of the sales process, sales triggers can significantly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of sales teams. This allows them to prioritise high-value tasks such as building customer relationships and closing deals. So, what are the key benefits of using sales triggers?

  1. Personalise your approach: Sales is all about building personal connections and fostering trust, especially in a competitive market. Instead of using a generic message, adding event triggers into your outreach allows sales teams to tailor their messaging to individual customers. This personalisation increases the likelihood of making a sale as buyers state human interaction, rapport, and trust are increasingly important in their decision making.

    Additionally, standing out from the crowd involves demonstrating a deep understanding of the targeted company. By monitoring specific companies closely and staying informed about their interests, projects, and pain points, you can establish a well-rounded view and present yourself as a knowledgeable partner.
  2. Boost efficiency: The sales industry requires extensive research, but with sales trigger alerts, you can save hours of valuable time spent on manual research and administrative tasks. While using tools like Google alerts, social media alerts, and CrunchBase alerts is a good start, most sales professionals also rely on social listening tools, industry newsletters and blogs, earnings call transcripts, press releases, and financial reports for a comprehensive understanding of their verticals.

    Using an all-in-one solution like Selligence allows you to automate the monitoring of these sources and seamlessly integrates the gathered intelligence into your CRM or inbox. By consolidating your research process, you can reclaim hours of time and improve your efficiency, while also streamlining your tech stack.
  3. Seize the moment: Timing is crucial for successful outreach. Instead of reaching out to unfamiliar prospects without prior research, reaching out after a sales trigger alert ensures that there is already potential and opportunity within the target company. Making a positive first impression and demonstrating awareness of relevant events will make you more memorable than someone who contacts the prospect weeks after the trigger event.

    Whether it's news of an expansion, a new office, or any other significant change, reaching out at the right time increases the chances of engaging with the prospect when they’re actively seeking solutions. By capitalising on these trigger events, you can position yourself as a timely and relevant partner.
  4. Improve your pitch: Sales triggers offer valuable insights into the prospect's real-world challenges and situations. By leveraging this information, you can tailor your pitch to address their specific needs. For example, if you discover a trigger indicating cost-cutting measures, you can demonstrate how your product or service can streamline processes and help them save in other areas.

    Similarly, if the prospect is eyeing new growth opportunities, offering a solution that aligns with their ambitions will pique their interest. Relevance is key when launching your pitch, as sales triggers indicate changes within a company and provide a window of opportunity to initiate contact.
  5. Expand existing relationships: Sales triggers are not only useful for new prospects but also for nurturing existing client relationships. When positive trigger events occur, such as the announcement of a new office, it presents an opportunity to engage with the client and discuss their recent achievements. Understanding their evolving growth strategies opens the door for cross-selling and upselling opportunities.

    Capitalise on these trigger events to initiate conversations about how your additional products or services can benefit the client. Building on existing customer relationships can yield higher success rates and increase customer loyalty, ultimately driving revenue growth.

By harnessing the power of sales triggers, sales professionals can enhance their approach, streamline processes, and maximise their chances of success at every stage of the sales cycle.

How to track sales triggers

Tracking sales triggers doesn’t have to be as hard as you’d think. Yes, research and industry reading can take hours out of your working week, but by using the below methods, you can reduce that time dramatically. SaaS solutions will save you the most here, so if improving your efficiency and saving time is important, have a look at some of the top market intelligence providers. Here are seven ways to track sales triggers to put you at the top of your game:

  1. An all-round sales trigger tracking service, like industry leader Selligence - this is your best option for a wide number of triggers tracked and for general improvement of your revenue team efficiencies. Selligence, for example, tracks 116 event types that you can capitalise on for warming up your outreach, so no matter what your target industry is or specific triggers you’re interested in, you’ll be covered, saving you hours of research time. You can then get these leads delivered straight into your CRM or inbox to save you even more time.
  2. Google Alerts – by using key words you can track specific companies or events to provide rudimentary updates on your areas of interest. This is a great way of doing a broad search, but be warned: to get volume on some pretty niche areas, you’ll need to invest a lot of time into setting up and optimising as many searches as you can.
  3. LinkedIn saved searches – good for market movers, but you’ll need a paid subscription to get the most out of the platform. For the best searching and saved search facilities, you’ll probably need to consider Sales Navigator or Recruiter, but it’s worth remembering that these will really only help you with just the one sales trigger...
  4. Company news/blog pages – straight from the horse's mouth is perhaps the most reliable way of sourcing credible news, but this is a timely process and not all companies will conform to this practice either. If you have a few select companies you want to track closely, make sure you’re reading their news pages regularly, or add their blog to an RSS reader.
  5. Get yourself an RSS reader – this is a time-intensive way of finding your news as it can take hours to not only source the RSS feeds you want, but also add them to your reader and ensure you are routinely maintain, fixing, editing, or removing feeds that are no longer working. If a thorough view is what you want, but you’re short on time, a sales trigger tracker would be a better option for you.
  6. Industry news pages – these can be great for getting a general overview of trends in a market. They can indicate companies already impacted by an event, and other companies that may be next to follow. By following this news on a regular basis, you will quickly develop your overall market knowledge too.
  7. Layoff trackers have sprung up everywhere over the last few years – they’re an excellent place for revenue teams to spot who is reducing spend or streamlining their operations. For recruiters they also offer an excellent talent pool with most layoff trackers also providing a list of many of the affected company’s former employees who are now looking for new roles.

Tracking 7 top triggers

Now you know the main ways to track sales event triggers, but which triggers should you be tracking? Here are seven hot trigger events you should be interested in – and a bit about why you should incorporate them into your outreach:

1. Funding Round

A funding round refers to a financing event where a company raises capital from investors in exchange for equity or other securities. These rounds can take place at different stages of a company's growth and the funds obtained can be used for various purposes, such as expanding operations, developing new products, increasing the workforce, or paying off debts.

When a company secures a significant investment through a funding round, it usually indicates its intent to develop capabilities, introduce new products or services, or sustain existing expansion goals. A recent funding round can provide several valuable insights about a company:

  • A successfully closed funding round signifies that investors have faith in the company's vision, management, and future growth prospects.
  • The amount of funding raised and the involvement of investors can offer indications of a company's potential for future growth and success.
  • How a company plans to utilise the funds obtained from a funding round can offer insights into its strategic goals and priorities.
  • A funding round can also shed light on a company's market position and its competitiveness within its industry.

How to track it: Tracking funding rounds is essential for staying up to date in the business world. When it comes to monitoring this information, Crunchbase is frequently the preferred choice, offering a comprehensive database of funding round news. Additionally, various companies and resources have emerged to curate and consolidate funding news, expanding your options for staying informed.

Don't overlook the tried-and-true method of checking the press release pages of the companies that pique your interest—they often will also provide valuable insights into what the funding will be for more specifically.

2. Key Person Change/Market Movers

Changes in senior positions within a company can serve as indicators of upcoming shifts in strategies, products, and growth areas. These changes, also known as market movers, offer valuable insights and opportunities for sales professionals seeking new sales prospects. Market movers or senior person changes provide salespeople with crucial information about the company, depending on the specific change and its context:

  • A change in senior leadership can indicate a shift in the company's strategic direction. For instance, the appointment of a new CEO with expertise in product development may signal a greater emphasis on innovation and product design.
  • Changes in senior leadership often reflect shifts in the company's organisational structure. For example, a merger with another company accompanied by new leadership may imply changes in management style or decision-making processes.
  • Senior leadership changes can impact investor confidence in the company's prospects. An unexpected departure of a high-profile executive may raise concerns about internal issues or challenges within the company.

Although senior leadership changes can be complex, staying informed about who is moving where and when allows professionals to understand the dynamics within a company and identify the most suitable person to approach. Additionally, new appointments in the management team are often made with the intention of driving change and improvement, presenting significant opportunities for sales professionals. At Selligence we track 5 different sub-types of this event:

  • Individual transitioning to a new company.
  • Promotion of an individual to a new role within the company.
  • Individual stepping down from their current position.
  • Retirement, typically accompanied by a formal announcement.
  • Additions or alterations to the company's Board of Directors.

How to track it: To effectively monitor senior management changes, you will need to set up some alerts. LinkedIn provides a convenient platform for this purpose. Whether you have a Premium, Recruiter, or Sales Navigator license, you can set up a search to identify individuals who have recently changed jobs. Make sure to review the past 90 days of activity to avoid overlooking anyone who may have been slow in updating their profiles. You can also use Google Alerts to receive email notifications regarding C-suite personnel movements.

3. IPOs

An IPO, or initial public offering, signifies the sale of company shares to the public for the first time. It grants investors the opportunity to purchase a stake in the previously private company. An IPO sales trigger can provide valuable information to salespeople, depending on the specific context and trigger. Here are a few examples:

  • If the IPO is linked to changes in the company's financial performance, such as revenue growth or profitability, it offers an indication of the company's standing within its industry. This information is crucial as it reflects market demand for the company's products or services.
  • Changes in consumer behaviour or economic trends may prompt a company to pursue an IPO. A successful IPO indicates significant interest in the company's offerings and positions it for new growth with stronger financial backing.
  • The level of investor interest surrounding an IPO strongly reflects investor confidence. A lack of interest suggests potential instability for the company, whereas substantial investor interest bodes well for its future. Additionally, changes in investor sentiment, such as shifts in the stock price, may also accompany the IPO.

An IPO provides critical insights into a company's financial and strategic position, as well as the broader market conditions it operates in. However, it's important to note that IPOs are complex transactions involving multiple stakeholders, and their impact can signify various factors. As a source of market intelligence, IPOs offer significant revelations about a company's potential for future growth.

How to track it: The market you’re interested in may determine the best means to track this event. To ensure comprehensive coverage of IPOs that align with your interests, it's best to use a combination of Google Alerts, company press releases, and regular monitoring of stock exchanges. While Google Alerts and company press releases provide a good starting point, regularly checking stock exchanges will provide you with the most thorough and up-to-date information on relevant IPOs.

Some of the bigger exchanges in the Western market would include: London Stock Exchange (London, UK); New York Stock Exchange (New York, USA); National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (New York, USA); Euronext, the European stock exchange group with multiple locations including Amsterdam (Netherlands), Brussels (Belgium), and Paris (France); Deutscher Aktienindex (Frankfurt, Germany); Xetra (operated by the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and used primarily for trading German equities and other financial instruments); and SIX Swiss Exchange (Zurich, Switzerland).

4. Expansion Plans

When a company declares its growth intentions, it indicates a proactive stance towards expansion and the allocation of budgetary resources. The announcement of scaling plans by a company serves as a strong indicator that they are actively seeking to make purchases and signifies a shift in its strategic focus, as it aims to enhance its outbound performance and strengthen its capabilities. Such an event may involve various aspects, such as increasing headcount, introducing new products, or implementing a strategic shift.

It's evident that a scaling company possesses the financial resources to support its expansion initiatives. This sales trigger serves as a clear sign of opportunity. Whether it's generating new business or exploring upselling prospects, any company that announces its expansion is committed to achieving positive growth. Selligence tracks five sub-types of this event that each can indicate something specific too:

  • New team/unit: When a new team is formed, they often have unaddressed needs. By reaching out proactively, you can stay ahead of the curve and provide solutions to their problems before they even arise.
  • Team growth: As a team expands, there's a greater demand for HR and operational support. This growth also necessitates improved organisational solutions, presenting an opportunity for SaaS salespeople to offer their expertise.
  • Regional growth: When a company expands into a new region or market, they encounter new regulatory, compliance, language, and cultural challenges. These business triggers create an ideal atmosphere for sales opportunities, as companies seek solutions to address these specific pain points.
  • Business area: Scaling an existing business function often involves striving to become an industry leader. To achieve this, companies require reliable systems and tools. During this phase, there are ample opportunities for new sales and upselling to support their growth aspirations.
  • General expansion: Growth announcements provide an excellent opening to establish new connections. By understanding their growth plans, you can anticipate their future needs and position yourself as a valuable resource in your field, even if an immediate opportunity may not exist.

How to track: By using Google Alerts, you can configure search queries for specific phrases like "company plans to expand" or "announces new office." Additionally, you can monitor changes in listings on real estate websites to stay informed. To stay up to date with press releases from your targeted companies, you’ll need to use an RSS reader and add their press release pages. This way, you can directly track and access their latest news as soon as it's published.

5. Non-Compliance

A non-compliance sales trigger signifies that a company has failed to meet one or more regulatory requirements, potentially leading to fines imposed by regulatory bodies. Companies affected by this sales trigger will seek to address policy gaps and enhance their operational standards.

They’re likely to seek assistance from legal, compliance, and regulatory solutions to prevent future non-compliance issues. The company may also face reputational damage and legal repercussions, necessitating immediate action. The specific type of non-compliance event provides valuable insights into the implications of this sales trigger for a company. Consider the following types as broken down by Selligence:

  • Investigated by regulator – this refers to a company that is suspected of non-compliance. In response to an investigation, the company will take immediate action to strengthen procedures and ensure compliance with governing requirements. This presents a significant opportunity, as the threat of more severe action can serve as a compelling motivator in your favour.
  • Investigated for data privacy failure – when a potential breach of data privacy is reported, a company will focus on tightening processes to ensure compliance with rules and regulations, particularly those related to GDPR.
  • Investigated under Section 166 – the Section 166 of the UK Companies Act 2006 mandates directors to promote the company's success and exercise reasonable care, skill, and diligence. An investigation under Section 166 indicates concerns about whether directors have fulfilled their responsibilities. The investigation will determine any wrongdoing or negligence by the directors and take appropriate action to address the issues.
  • Fined by regulator – any non-compliance situation can lead to fines imposed by a regulator. After being fined, the company will take immediate action to restore client confidence, rectify the original issue, and prevent future recurrences.
  • Fined for data privacy failures – similar to being fined by a regulator, incurring fines for data privacy failures can result in substantial costs for the company. Remedial action and damage control are crucial in such circumstances.

While this sales trigger may bring serious negative consequences for the company involved, it presents a huge opportunity for regtech, legal, compliance, and public relations companies to step in and offer solutions or mitigate the fallout from such events.

How to track: Typically, companies will try to keep this type of news as quiet as they can, making it challenging to track such events through general industry news sources. While keeping an eye on industry news can be useful, it may not be the most efficient method.

Tools like Google Alerts will allow you to set up alerts based on specific key phrases of interest, such as “Section 166”. However, for the most comprehensive coverage, it's best to gather this news directly from authoritative sources. Several websites collate news for specific regions, but regularly checking the following sources will provide the most extensive coverage for Western markets:

6. New Office

An announcement of a new location is often a major indication that a company is actively investing and expanding. Such trigger events provide valuable insights into a company's growth plans and budget allocation. Different types of new office announcements convey distinct messages. Selligence tracks six subtypes of this event for you to consider:

  1. Headquarters – the establishment of a new company or regional headquarters signifies overall scaling and presents opportunities for implementing new operational solutions.
  2. Office – the announcements of new offices typically revolve around underserved locations or new markets for the company. These indicate a strategic focus on expanding into specific regions.
  3. Branch – financial and legal organisations with a customer-centric approach often announce new branches. These expansions emphasise enhancing customer service and growing the client base.
  4. Centre of Excellence – shared facilities dedicated to best practices, research, and development are known as Centres of Excellence. They offer excellent referral opportunities and should be a priority for maximum outreach potential.
  5. R&D/Tech Hub – these designated locations focus on research and development of new or improved products, services, or processes. Establishing a new hub requires cutting-edge solutions, emphasising innovation, creativity, and stringent security measures.
  6. Data Centre – data centres serve as dedicated sites for housing a company's computer and storage systems. The need for a new data centre indicates recent or upcoming growth, while also highlighting the importance of robust data storage and security to avoid potential breaches or legal consequences.

To capture your prospect's attention, it is crucial to reach out early, before they become overwhelmed by your competitors' noise. Seizing the opportunity at the right time will enable you to establish meaningful connections and differentiate yourself in a competitive landscape.

How to track: To track some of the most promising leads, using a range of various sources like Google alerts, press releases, and general industry news will be best. By setting up search strings for specific phrases like "company announces new building," you can stay informed and uncover valuable opportunities. Stay proactive in monitoring these channels to identify potential leads that align with your business objectives.

7. Job loss/layoffs

Layoffs or job cuts involve the permanent termination of employment for a group of employees by a company. These actions are often driven by the need to restructure, downsize, or implement cost-cutting measures. Employers initiate layoffs to reduce expenses and ensure the company's financial sustainability.

Although layoffs are typically associated with negative news for a company, they serve as a significant sales event trigger. These cuts indicate a need for the company to realign its spending and avoid more critical situations. For a salesperson, it's important to recognise that when headcount at a company is reduced, that company usually will require improved services and increased efficiencies to operate at its best.

While layoffs are unfortunate for those affected, they present valuable buying signals. Even though the company may aim to reduce salary expenses, there are still opportunities to demonstrate how your product can help them save in other areas.

How to track: In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent impact on businesses, various layoff tracker tools have emerged to help you stay updated. Explore websites like layoffs.fyi/tracker or layoffs.tech/tracker to access valuable information. Additionally, you can rely on the trusty Google Alerts to receive notifications. It's also worth monitoring LinkedIn as an increasing number of companies, and even their CEOs, are turning to the platform to announce recent workforce reductions.

Don’t forget

The beauty of sales triggers is two-fold. One, by tracking sales triggers, you can start acting on sales signals at the earliest point in the buying cycle, rather than waiting for intent data to alert you (and your competition) months later. Two, regardless of your market, or how niche your interests are, there is a sales trigger event for everyone.

With Selligence, you can gain access to a comprehensive range of 45 distinct sales triggers and an additional 71 sub-event types. This means that Selligence can effortlessly deliver all the mentioned breakdowns we’ve looked at here (and so many others) with just a simple click. If your time is valuable, why waste it sifting through irrelevant leads from generic Google Alert searches?

Instead, a sales intelligence provider like Selligence can do the hard work for you, save you hours of research and admin time, and streamline your workflow so that you can focus on the high-value activities and tasks that truly matter.

Want to know the benefits of tracking more top events and filling your CRM with actionable leads? Get in touch today for a demo of the Selligence platform and see exactly how sales triggers will get you to the top of your game, increase your billings, and make life that little bit easier.

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