June 12, 2023

How sales triggers can help personalise your outreach

15 min read
Looking for a game-changer in sales that will unlock more meaningful connections? The solution is a surprisingly easy one: personalisation. Now a fundamental aspect of modern sales strategies, revolutionising the way businesses engage with their customers, personalisation is the key to opening the door into a world of open and engaging conversations.

In today's market, where consumers are inundated with generic messages and offerings, personalisation is fast becoming a powerful tool that can help to cut through the noise, ensuring you stand out, and helping you to build meaningful connections. High levels of competition mean that sales professionals must ensure they are tailoring their sales interactions, recommendations, and experiences to individual preferences and needs. This personalisation helps to create a sense of relevance and value for customers. By leveraging data-driven insights, sales teams can anticipate customer behaviour, deliver targeted solutions, and ultimately foster stronger relationships.

However, in the world of revenue generation, personalisation and customisation are not just buzzwords – they are a strategic necessity that drives customer engagement, boosts conversions, and differentiates businesses from their competitors. Long-gone are the days when sales was a numbers game and the method-de-jour was spray and pray. In fact, quality is the new standard by which we must measure everything in the revenue cycle. So, how can we bring personalisation into the sales cycle to improve outreach?

What is personalisation in sales?

Personalisation in sales goes beyond generic pitches and ensures that every conversation is relevant, valuable, and insightful. Personalisation means you will be crafting tailored messages that resonate with your prospects or existing customers by addressing their unique pain points, needs, and goals.

By making customers feel understood, they will also feel appreciated. Incorporating this personalisation enables sales teams to establish stronger connections, which in turn drive better outcomes. When generic messages offer no value to the client, it’s unsurprising that they generate more negative responses (or lack of responses) than meaningful engagement that displays value and truly speaks to the individual organisation.

What are sales triggers?

Sales event triggers highlight an event that provides an opportunity for business change or growth. These event triggers, known more broadly as sales or market intelligence, provide valuable pre-intent data that allows sales teams to outpace competitors who rely solely on intent data buying signals. By identifying early-stage indicators, sales triggers offer a significant advantage and a potential head start of around three months over competition.

Instead of waiting for intent data to signal a prospect's active search for solutions (which may not accurately predict their readiness to buy), sales triggers offer actionable insights at the first point of relevance, when initial changes are occurring within prospective companies. Sales triggers enable revenue teams to leverage actionable intelligence which will drive a sales strategy that’s unique to each tracked prospect.

Sales triggers for personalisation

What can be more personal than using your direct knowledge of a company’s events to recognise their needs or growth strategy? Sales triggers allow your revenue team to identify the patterns and behaviours of your prospects and existing clients that indicate potential for change or growth at the company in question.

Gone are the days when your generic email, probably the same unedited email you sent to hundreds of other contacts, would get the positive response you were after. Whether left unopened, or left on read, a bland, impersonal email just isn’t going to capture anyone’s attention – particularly when your email is just one of a list of similarly dry and dull emails.

Sales triggers can help on several fronts. Not only can you add relevance and credibility to your outreach by showing you have a genuine interest and know a bit about their company, but they can also offer insights that even the company themselves may not yet be aware of. For example, a company that has just won an award can expect to see a clear uptick in interest in their business, leading to an increase in demand, and a surge of growth.

While growth is something all companies aspire to, it brings challenges of its own. The likelihood of a younger, smaller company having the headcount, skills, or time to deal with these challenges is much smaller. Ergo, a perfect opportunity arises for sales professionals to spot an upcoming opportunity and address the need before it’s an urgent situation. This displays to the company in question not only that you understand their business, but also that you can be the safe hands in which they place their trust to see them through this next phase of their journey.

Benefits of sales trigger personalisation

So much of the challenge of sales is getting a proverbial foot in the door. Very rarely is the market not saturated with solutions similar to the one you’re trying to sell, so how can you make getting that first step in the journey easier?

First, know your unique selling point (USP). Unless you’re the market leader in your field, it’s unlikely your company’s name alone will carry sufficient weight to get you through to the decision makers you want right off the bat. You need to stand out. This extends beyond your company and deep into the individual and your own outreach. In today’s market, competition is everywhere, so before you can even hope to engage a prospect in conversation, you’re already facing an uphill battle just to get a response. That very first outreach must be powerful or intriguing enough to spark a response, buy a few minutes of your contact’s time, or better yet, get them to open conversation with you.

Of course, it’s also important that you take your company’s USP and demonstrate to your prospects exactly why they need your solution or services. But showing them how they’ll benefit from them is equally important. This is where sales event triggers come into play.

How to personalise your outreach

Personalisation in email marketing or sales outreach holds immense potential to enhance engagement, drive revenue, and foster customer loyalty. Nevertheless, it’s essential to exercise caution and avoid going too deep into the company or contact’s history, so as not to appear intrusive or alienate your recipient.

Keep in mind that your means of personalisation should be kept business focused. Stalking your prospect on social media and using what you find there to your advantage is a big no-go. You need to build (and keep) a professional relationship, so be aware of the boundaries between personal and personalisation. By following a few basics, it’s easy to strike the balance and find the middle ground that resonates positively with your audience. Here are our five top tips for adding personalisation to your outreach practices:

Differentiate yourself from the competition

When being the first to speak to a buyer increases your chances of closing a deal by 74%, it’s essential that you’re doing what you can to be that first contact. Ensuring that you stand out from the crowd is one way to get you into the coveted first-contact position. Sales trigger events offer insight at the very first point of the buying cycle, when the initial business change occurs that allows for future growth or change.

Using this sales trigger in your outreach will not only put you months ahead of your competition, who are relying on intent data triggers that will occur months later in the buying process, but also gives you a topic to provide warm outreach, and will support your credibility that you know about the target company and their market.

In a highly competitive landscape where countless cold emails flood the inboxes of your prospects, it's crucial to acknowledge that a generic, one-size-fits-all approach just won't make the cut anymore. Sales and revenue teams now need to consider what they can do to ensure their email is the one to grab the prospect’s attention. Here are two easy ways you can bring a more personalised approach to your emails:

  1. Use your prospect’s name: Based on the findings of "The Power of Personalization: 2021 Email Marketing Report" published by Campaign Monitor, personalised email messages have a 29% higher open rate and a 41% higher click-through rate compared to non-personalised messages.

    Start off on the right foot and address your prospect by name in the subject line – before they’ve even opened the email – to really grab their attention. Using someone’s first name also fosters a sense of recognition and will make your prospect feel like they’ve already forged the beginning of a relationship with you.
  2. Add a grounding fact, such as a nod to the month or season, or recognition of their geography. By presenting a statement that adds another layer of relevance, you can also help create a sense of interest for your prospect. By presenting a specific location, rather than a simple “in your area”, there’s another sense of individualism and relevancy presented. This personalisation will make the email feel like it has been specifically created for your prospect alone, which increases value for the client.

    For follow up conversations, take the opportunity to refer to something happening in their life that you might have broken the ice with before. Perhaps they mentioned going away for a wedding or staying with family for Christmas. Linking back to a previous conversation will demonstrate to the prospect that 1) you were listening to them, but also 2) provides an opportunity to deliver some free value and gain some trust and goodwill.

By introducing personalisation techniques in these early stages of the sales cycle, you can ensure your outreach breaks through the noise, captivates your recipients, and puts you on the path to higher levels of conversion.

Introduce a personal element

What’s more annoying than phoning up to speak to someone and getting an automated service that can’t understand the prompts you’re giving? As buyers or clients, we want to be taken seriously, to be understood, and to feel like we have a connection with someone. Generic messaging runs the risk of sounding too robotic and dehumanises the interactions you’re having. When 82% of US customers (and 74% of non-US customers) have stated that human interaction is key in the buying process, ensuring your email doesn’t sound like a sterile, sent en masse, generic message is essential.

Building relationships takes time and is, now more than ever, central to the sales process. Start off on the right foot by initiating a real human-written email, inject personality, and make it personal to them. Offering something of yourself is an easy way to stand out from the hundreds of other template emails your prospect will be receiving. Add into your outreach an anecdote, a personal experience, a genuine opinion, or a recommendation to really set yourself apart.

Need some inspiration? Try one of these as a guide:

  1. Mention a shared connection or interest:

    "Hi [Recipient's Name],

    I noticed that we both know [Mutual Connection's Name] from [Mutual Company/Network]. They spoke highly of your expertise in [specific field/industry]. As someone who shares a similar passion for [shared interest], I thought it would be valuable to connect and share a few thoughts on ways I can help strengthen your own strategies.

    Looking forward to hearing from you,

    [Your Name]"
  2. Refer to a recent achievement or publication:

    "Dear [Recipient's Name],

    Congratulations on your recent feature in [Publication/News Source]! I read the article about [specific topic] and found your thoughts really insightful. Your expertise in [relevant field] caught my attention, and I believe we can collaborate on [specific project or idea] to achieve enviable results.

    Let's connect and discuss further,

    [Your Name]"
  3. Highlight a common challenge or problem:

    "Hello [Recipient's Name],

    I came across your [blog post/article/video] on [specific topic] and was impressed by your analysis of [common challenge]. It's a complex issue that many professionals in our industry are facing. As someone who has also been grappling with this challenge, I believe we can benefit from sharing insights and exploring potential solutions together.

    Let's connect and exchange thoughts,

    [Your Name]"

Remember, personalisation should be genuine and relevant to establish a meaningful connection with the recipient. By giving a little of yourself, you are far more likely to pique the interest of your prospect and get a response than you are to follow the same old, cold outreach methods as your competition.

Demonstrate your understanding of the challenges

Only 13% of buyers believe a salesperson understands their needs, so using sales triggers will keep you informed on a specific business's growth strategies and pain points. By proving that you really understand their company, their history, scaling plans, and challenges faced, you will position yourself as a knowledgeable, credible partner – one who appreciates the nuances and intricacies of their operations. By proving yourself to be a safe pair of hands, you are far more likely to win the prospect’s confidence and ultimately motivate them to buy your solution/services.

Personalised outreach demonstrates to the prospect that you are prepared to invest time into them as a customer and will earn you good favour with them right from the off. When a company is facing challenges, there is often no easy way out, and solutions take time to start paying off. By showing your prospect that you’re patient and dedicated (by investing time in your outreach), you can expect to see it pay off in two ways:

  1. By taking the time to add relevancy for the company (sales triggers are an easy way in here), you will learn more about them and in turn, be able to tailor you messaging accordingly, making future correspondence that much easier and more effective too. Take note of the company culture, their values, and their mission; align your outreach with a corresponding tone and approach to really show that you’re in sync with their needs.
  2. You can create a feeling of camaraderie which will help to build rapport. While your outreach might be taking you a little longer to finesse, the outcomes will pay you back tenfold. The same is true for your client: they may be facing a bump in the road now, but if you can show them that you are in their corner, you can instigate a much more open and trusting conversation.

    By using sales triggers to recognise scope for improvements for your prospect, you will be able to guide them through the tough times, provide them with a solution that will future-proof for them, and will get them back to flying. Don’t shy away from something that seems slow to come into fruition. As the saying goes, good things come to those who wait, and this can be true for you and your prospect.
Engage your client and keep them sweet

It's not enough to simply phone up a prospect, tell them what you’re offering and how it can benefit them, to get the deal signed. With buyers stating their increased want for more human interaction from the companies they are buying from, there is an increased need to woo your prospects – and keep at it.

Once your prospect has become initially engaged, you need to keep them there in the hot seat. Demonstrating knowledge and experience will inevitably be reassuring for them, but they also want the buying process to be more of an experience. They want to know who they are doing business with, what kind of a company you’re representing, and why you’re the one for them. Sense of humour, quick thinking, and relevance will be essential to keep them engaged throughout the process.

Use personality and sales triggers to keep the client wanting more by identifying who their competition is and identifying some of their recent sales triggers too. You can use them as a cautionary tale, perhaps an opportunity they missed, or better yet, if it’s someone you’ve been in conversation with, hint at the interest they’ve taken by a little causal name dropping. “John from Company X was telling me about their growth into a new market...”. If their competition has just got a new tool to get them ahead, your prospect won’t want to be left behind.

Carefully placed messaging can add enough sway to get them across the line or can keep them interested if they’re still not quite ready to commit. Using their competitor’s news can be a great way to get your prospect to nibble and find out more – then it’s up to you to demonstrate the value you can bring to your prospect and how you can help them get back ahead.

The added bonus of personalised outreach is that targeted communication is far less likely to irritate your prospects or cause them to lose interest. By integrating sales event triggers into your outreach, you can demonstrate a range of skills that will set you apart from your peers: knowledge, credibility, efficiency, insightfulness, and competitiveness. By displaying traits that your client can benefit from, they will be more likely to forge a connection without risk of losing interest in a bland or repetitive email sequence you might otherwise have used.

Not only this, but if we go back to the start of the process, these personalised sales triggers will also help ensure you’re improving your targeting. When your sales efforts are focused on a particular niche, it's essential to communicate in a way that resonates with that specific audience. Your prospects are well aware that generic outreach approaches often disregard their unique needs and objectives. By investing the effort to personalise your message, you significantly improve the likelihood of gaining a positive response from the company, improving your chances of securing a call or booking a meeting.


By embracing personalisation in your outreach efforts, you can start having a huge impact on your sales success and unlock several compelling benefits which will support you in other ways too.

Personalisation increases the likelihood of receiving repeat business from your customers. According to a Wunderman study, a staggering 79% of customers consider only those brands that demonstrate genuine care and concern for their needs. By tailoring your approach and showing customers that you understand their needs and challenges, that they truly matter to you, you will not only secure the initial sale but will also lay the foundation for a lasting and meaningful relationship which can grow in the future. Personalisation becomes the catalyst for customer loyalty and ongoing engagement – and recurring revenue!

That's right, personalisation directly translates to progress towards your targets, not to mention more money in your company’s pockets. By bringing more personalisation into your sales strategy, you enhance your return on investment (ROI) and unlock the potential for increased revenue generation.

Ultimately, personalisation is the key to making your customers feel important and valued. Using sales triggers, alongside investing time and effort in understanding their specific industry and needs, you can create a personalised path to profit for your sales team. By prioritising personalisation as a foundational aspect of your sales approach, you demonstrate your commitment to delivering exceptional customer experiences and forging long-term success. To stand out from the competition, cultivate customer loyalty, and drive revenue growth, personalising your outreach is key.

To see how Selligence can support your personalisation and outreach strategies, get in touch for a demo of the Selligence platform.

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