The Advantages of Using Sales Triggers
When time is money (and the country is facing a recession), it’s important to make sure that you’re working at your most effective and reaching out at the right time. In fact, many sales professionals will tell you that timing (and wasting time) is an age-old problem within the industry. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. The sales industry is learning a new way of working, that navigates some of the more time-costly difficulties they have previously faced.
Sales professionals are beginning to use sales triggers to help find opportunities and act on them, at the right time. Sales triggers are specific events or actions that indicate the potential for business change. So, by using sales triggers, sales teams can focus their efforts on the most promising leads, increasing the chances of closing a sale.
The problem with the sales industry
The sales industry is actually hampered by many factors that make it increasingly difficult to succeed. Understanding these difficulties is the first step to overcoming them:
- Competition: The sales industry is highly competitive, with many companies vying for the same customers and deals. In fact, research by HubSpot showed standing out from the competition is the most common challenge listed by salespeople today. Staying organised is key to getting ahead of the competition, so there’s also a need to keep track of leads, appointments, and customer interactions.
- Sales cycles: The sales process can be lengthy, with multiple stages and decision-makers involved. According to Cognism, the average sales cycle length is now 84 days! This can make it difficult to close deals and achieve targets. The longer the process, the more risk there is of things falling through.
- Building relationships: Building trust and a positive relationship with potential customers is essential for success in sales. This can be challenging, particularly for new salespeople. Proving credibility can help inspire trust, but you still need to stand out from the crowd.
- Keeping up with technology: The sales industry is constantly evolving, and salespeople need to stay up to date with new technologies, methods, and techniques to remain competitive. When time is already stretched thin, having to learn the ins and outs of a constantly changing tech stack doesn’t help!
- Pressure to meet targets: Salespeople are often under pressure to meet targets and quotas, which can be stressful and challenging. Whether working toward a team quota or individual target, the pressure to achieve these can be overwhelming. Rejection is a natural part of the sales process, but it can also be hard to overcome.
While many would argue that a healthy level of pressure is helpful in the sales industry for motivation and fostering a sense of competition across teams, it needs to be managed carefully. Stress can negatively affect performance, mental and physical health, and overall well-being. It can lead to burnout, absenteeism, and increased turnover. In addition, stress can negatively affect an employee's ability to think clearly, make decisions, and manage time effectively.
Time for change
We know that time and timing is essential for the successful salesperson. To negate time pressure, which can also be a source of stress (leading to errors, lack of focus, and decreased productivity), it is important for you to understand and identify better time practices.
The sales industry is now turning to sales triggers as they help you to separate hot leads from cold ones. Reaching out to a company at the right time allows you to speak to decision makers when they have a need for a service or product, rather than trying to get them to consider spending when their need is unrealised or not as great.
Using sales triggers means you can also reach out ahead of your competition. You don’t need to wait for a company to start looking for a solution themselves but can read triggers as indicators of opportunity.
What are the advantages of using sales triggers?
By automating certain aspects of the sales process, sales triggers can help sales teams to be more efficient and effective. This allows them to focus on more high-value activities, such as building relationships with customers and closing deals. So, what are the main advantages of using sales triggers?
- Make it personal – sales is now a personal business and the ability to build relationships and trust is essential in an increasingly competitive market. You wouldn’t buy a car from an unknown, unreputable source; neither will your prospects buy from you if they don’t feel they know or trust you. Event triggers allow sales teams to personalise their outreach and messaging to the specific customer, which will increase the likelihood of a sale.
Stand out from the crowd by proving you really know the company you’re targeting. Using sales triggers means that you can monitor specific companies closely. Following their media presence will give you a thorough, well-rounded view of what they care about, what they’re working on, and what their pain points are. You’ll also find out plenty about their scaling plans this way too!
Sales triggers can be used from your first point of contact to the last. Each decision maker you speak with will need to trust you, so at each point use this research and knowledge to demonstrate your deep understanding of the company and their current (and future) needs.
- Be more efficient – the sales industry is research heavy, but by setting up sales trigger alerts, you can save hours of research and admin time every day. In fact, the average salesperson spends around 15 hours a week on research, manually looking for sales event triggers.
Using Google alerts, social media alerts, and CrunchBase alerts, is a great way to get started, but you’ll also need to be using social listening tools, reading industry newsletters and blogs, checking quarterly earnings call transcripts, reading company press releases, and checking financial reports, to get a thorough understanding of what’s going on across your verticals.
But there’s an even better option available. All-round solutions like Selligence will automate the checking of all of those sources for you and integrate to drop the intel straight into your CRM or inbox, as needed. With just one place to check, you can gain back that research and admin time, further improving your efficiencies.
An all-round solution can further help you and your company too. By reducing your tech stack, not only can your company save on unnecessary outgoings, but this will streamline work for your sales team. When you have four or five solutions in your tech stack, that’s four or five lots of admin and management for your team to worry about. Claw back precious time by integrating with one solution that will allow you to cut back on multiple products!
- The right time – reaching out at the right time is pivotal to your success. Rather than reaching out cold to a prospect you’re not familiar with and haven’t researched, reaching out after a sales trigger alert guarantees that there is already potential and opportunity at your target company.
When making a good first impression is essential, you don’t want to reach out at an inopportune moment or show yourself as unaware – or worse, ignorant. The first sales professional to reach out, at a relevant point, will be far more memorable than someone who gets on the phone weeks after a trigger event alert and isn’t even aware that they’ve missed the boat.
Following news of an expansion, perhaps a new office, you can reach out knowing that company will be looking for help. They’ll need to staff the office, furnish it, and may well need support with regulations if it’s a new region for the company, or perhaps an HR or operations management support tool for extensive growth.
Getting in and making contact early can serve both you and the prospect well, as often they won’t have had the time to research and compare you with the competition. If they’re not aware of the competition, or haven’t had time to look into them, you’re more likely to secure a yes earlier in the process.
- Improve your pitch – by using sales triggers, you can base your pitch around the prospect’s real-world, current-day problems.
Use their existing situation to your advantage and tailor your pitch specifically to their needs. If you’ve just read a trigger about them reducing headcount or cost-cutting, show them how your product can help streamline their processes and help them save in other areas too. Or if they’re eyeing up new growth, a product that can help them scale with their ambitions will be of real interest.
Reaching out with relevance is the key thing to remember in getting your pitch off the ground smoothly. A sales trigger denotes changes within a company, and this gives you a window of opportunity to get in touch and line up a sale. This window won’t be open forever, and if you don’t jump on it, your competition will. At the point of a sales trigger alert, a company is primed for change, so act in a timely manner and gear your introductions around the sales trigger to get off to the best start.
You can also help reduce the need for as many discovery questions by doing your homework in advance and use the information you are gathering to further personalise your pitch as you meet with key decision makers. Knowing what the company has recently achieved, what their targeted growth areas are, or how their most recent financial results were, can save you time in getting to the nitty-gritty details. When talking with decision makers, they’ll be impressed to see you’ve done your homework and understand them as an individual business too.
- A done deal – although you may have already signed and sealed with a client, there’s often still opportunity to be had. You can also use sales triggers to drive cross selling and upselling opportunities.
Using a positive sales trigger about an existing client (for example, the announcement of a new office) gives you great intel to act on, and the perfect reason to reach out. Use this opportunity to start a conversation about their recent achievements. Understanding how their growth strategies and goal may have changed gives you a great opening for keeping your client happy but also offering more services that will benefit both parties.
You have a captive audience with existing clients who are already happily using your product or services. It can be much easier to get someone interested and open to the potential of what you’re offering if they already know you and have gained value from your services before. Sales triggers will help salespeople capitalise on such opportunities to sell additional products or services, increasing customer loyalty and, ultimately, revenue.
So, it’s clear that salespeople should be using sales event triggers for multiple reasons, not least because they allow you to take control and be more proactive in your approach to selling. Instead of waiting for a potential customer to reach out to you, sales triggers allow you to act on the offensive and identify sales opportunities earlier in the process.
By targeting your approach and using specific events, you can focus your efforts, and those of your team, on the most likely prospects, increasing the chances of closing a sale. A timely approach will allow any salesperson to act promptly, get ahead of the competition, and will help to establish a mutually beneficial relationship with the customer right from the off.
Selligence is the industry leader in providing sales triggers for you to use as actionable intelligence. We recognise 46 unique sales triggers and an additional 71 trigger event sub-types which put you ahead of the competition. With 116 different types of event trigger to build into your sales strategy, you won't need to worry about missed opportunities or bad timing again.
If you’re interested in capitalising on the advantages of using sales triggers in your day-to-day and want to dramatically reduce the time you spend on prospecting, get in touch now for a demo of the Selligence platform.