What are Sales Triggers?
25 min read
Sales triggers are a range of events that happen, triggering an opportunity for a business change. Also sometimes known as sales trigger events, event triggers, or market triggers, for a sales professional, any such trigger might indicate the potential for upselling, new business and customer acquisition. It can also offer market intelligence for competition monitoring too, providing insights and market trends for those monitoring their industry’s position.
An age-old problem faced in sales is knowing when is the best time to reach out to a prospect. This is where sales triggers can really make the difference to your success rate. Being able to monitor what is happening in a wider market, an individual industry, or to any specific company, can really put your ahead when it comes to reaching out. These business insights allow you to make the right calls and have informed conversations, at the right time.
Sales triggers provide actionable intelligence that keep you ahead of the competition. At Selligence we currently track 45 unique sales trigger events. But we go further than that too. Within these individual triggers, we also recognise a further 71 sub-types. That means we can be delivering 116 sales trigger types to you on a daily basis.
Here are the sales triggers tracked by Selligence – and a little bit about the insights they offer:
Any company with a big injection of cash will likely next look to improve their services or support their growth aspirations. A big funding round offers opportunity for a company to scale headcount, buy new software, upscale and upskill performance and capabilities.
- Debt Financing – this is a means of raising money through the method of borrowing. The money will be returned to lenders at a later date, but gives a company cash to invest in solutions they need right now.
- Credit Facility – this is a type of pre-approved loan allowing a company to borrow money on an ongoing basis, over a long timeframe.
- Crowdfunding – this is when a company raises a large amount of money from a large number of people, giving start-ups and scale-ups access to alternative funding. Typically each individual invests a small amount of money via an online platform.
- Venture Funding – also known as venture capital, is a type of private equity, usually only provided to early-stage organisations with high growth potential.
- Grant – this is essentially a gift, a fund of money given to a company, with no expectation of a later pay-back. They are usually granted by charitable organisations or public bodies to support a cause (such as research etc.), or acknowledge an achievement (such as ESG developments etc).
A company announcing their scaling plans is a good indicator of them being in buying mode and looking to develop and/or improve outbound performance. This could mean a team might soon need to consider a new sales enablement software, HR system, Marketing automation software, B2B data enrichment platform, version control system etc., or similar.
- New Team/Unit – a new team can have a wealth of unrealised needs. Whether it’s new tracking software, or a task management platform, these teams may not know they need you just yet, so reaching out now can solve their problems before they’ve even arisen.
- Team Growth – with a scaling headcount comes new problems. HR and operational needs will most likely increase, and with it, their need for better organisational solutions.
- Regional Growth – expansion into a new region or new market can lead to many challenges and can lead to the company having new needs to solve new pain-points, creating the ideal atmosphere for sales opportunities.
- Business Area – by scaling an existing business area, companies can set themselves out as industry leaders. To be at the top of their game they will need a fool-proof system behind them that makes their whole process run smoothly. Plenty of scope for new sales and upselling here.
- General Expansion – more generic announcements allow plenty of opportunity for you to form a new connection. Find out what growth they’re looking at, and whether the deal goes through now or not, keep this one on the back burner as it could lead to more specific needs in your field soon.
One of the most visible signs that a company is in spending mode, a new location can only spell growth and budget for the company in question.
- Headquarters – a new HQ is suggestive of a scaling company more generally. The possibility for new and/or improved HR and operational solutions is likely here.
- Office – generally in an underserved location or new market, this is a key indicator of a company’s focus on growth.
- Branch – generally associated with financial and legal organisations, these have a customer-centric focus. Improving customer service and growing client-base will likely be the focus here.
- Centre of Excellence – this tends to be a shared facility where a focus is placed on best practice, research, and development. Any solutions that can improve or enhance the work undertaken here could offer huge value and there’s good opportunity for referrals too.
- R&D/Tech Hub – these locations tend to house the specialists. It’s the designated space provided for research and development of new or improved products, services, or processes. A new hub will need the best solutions in place to allow for innovation and creativity.
- Data Centre – this will be a new site dedicated to housing the company’s computer and storage systems. High levels of security will be needed to avoid weaknesses in their data storage and protection.
Although these tend to be retrospective, these event triggers can demonstrate where recent spend has been allocated – which offers insight into the company’s focus and where they will likely centre their future development plans.
A new facility shows where a company is investing. Spending on the creation of a new site highlights the company’s focus and underlines what their growth strategy will be centred on.
There are a few reasons why a business might decide to expand their facility, but one thing is certain- they are rapidly growing. Whether a company is looking to implement new technology, focus on a particular area of their business or adapt to current market needs, facility expansion is a great indicator of what the company’s priorities are going to be.
Any new business can spell opportunity for sales professionals. A company with a limited headcount but big growth plans will need all the help they can get to maximise their efficiencies and boost their productivity. Tools that can offer them more data or intelligence can also prove valuable to a new company looking to make big waves.
Product Begins Manufacturing
A new product moving to production is a significant milestone and an indicator of potential post-sales service agreements, depending on the product. Competitors may look to develop competing products or improve their existing offerings to address gaps in the market.
New Product Developments
This is a good indicator that a company’s area of operation is growing. Expanding their product offering will lead to investing in new tools and technologies and putting new product management or manufacturing processes in place to support it.
- New Product in Development – This can give insight on where budgets and resources have already been allocated. Announcements like these are a great opportunity to reach out to a company before their new product goes live.
- New Completed – when a company releases a new product, they may be exploring new territory and, as a result, may need a different type of support or new vendor.
- Expansion Planned – no matter how good the product, a company entering a new market will have new challenges, as well as new needs and a new budget. In short, a new market means a new sales opportunity.
- Expansion Completed – the window of opportunity doesn’t close once a launch is complete – there will be demand for supporting products and services. Following launch, a company will need marketing services, sales training, e-commerce etc.
- Planned Upgrade/New Feature – this is a great insight into a company’s market intent and can be useful to understand competitor strategies and areas of focus.
- Completed Upgrade/New Feature – a great conversation starter if you’re genuinely interested in the product.
Product recall is about protecting the customer; this can often lead to improved safety and testing protocols. It can also result in spend on marketing and customer service too as companies look to do damage control to their reputations.
Patent monitoring is an important part of the product development process for both the companies making similar products and the companies looking to sell to those companies. Patent updates can also help you to keep an eye on the technological trends within your sectors of interest, identify any gaps in competitors’ innovations, and provide insight and opportunity to adjust your own intellectual property strategies.
- Filed – companies will always keep an eye on any new patents filed in their areas of interest, as it’s an effective way of tracking the directions their competitors are moving in with their product development. Newly filed patents can also be the quickest way to spot new entrants to the playing field, so that companies can protect themselves from new threats to their product portfolio.
- Granted – once a patent has been granted, the investor can restrict their competition from making, selling, or using a creation that is considered to too closely resemble their original invention. Monitoring the status of a patent will help keep you informed on what strategies you will need to take, and when.
Companies will license products from other companies to expand their portfolios or fill a gap in their product’s development. New products or technologies could lead to new requirements and obstacles for the licensing company, particularly when it comes to product management and strategy, so they may be looking for new solutions to manage their expanded portfolio.
Key Person Change
Changes in senior positions within a company can be an indicator of upcoming shifts in strategies and products and could provide an insight on future growth areas or the need for new tools and solutions for the team/ company. They are also a great place to start if you are looking for a decision maker to reach out to for new sales opportunities.
- Change Company – if you have an existing contact who makes the move to a different company this is the perfect opportunity to reach out and explain how you can help them make an impact in their new role.
- Promotion – news of a promotion can give you the name of a new decision-maker to approach or, if the person promoted is already a satisfied customer, they may be able to extend the use of your product within the organisation.
- Step Down – perhaps not an obvious sales trigger, but somebody stepping down from a senior role will usually mean a new hire to replace them. The incoming executive will likely be open to new ideas that will help them to prove their value.
- Retirement – the retirement of any member of the senior management team will make an impact – whether the retiree will be replaced, and by whom, provides valuable insight into what’s going on behind the scenes and potential strategy changes.
- Board Appointment – A new Board member may could signal a new direction for the company. The Board member’s expertise or business interests can indicate where the business’ focus could lie, and therefore where funds could be allocated.
This can be an indicator of many things, but most likely will lead to strategic changes. Whether a management shuffle stems from a cost-cutting exercise or the creation of a new department, the company could now be looking to invest in new technology or strengthen their departments in light of new managerial methods.
Multiple named senior appointments, can offer several insights, namely offering a person to reach out to, but also the implications that come with a new senior hire. Often in these scenarios, the newly appointed will be a team leader or decision maker; they will want to come into the role and put their own stamp on things, which can involve bringing new strategies, products, and solutions in the team/company.
Most (if not all) sectors are highly regulated, requiring businesses to obtain licenses to operate or offer specific services or products. A new license or certification are clear indications of not only where a company is looking to focus or expand, but also how they are progressing compared to their competitors.
- Regulatory Licence Secured – depending on where the license is issued and what it is issued for, a new license can either be an indicator of a company strengthening its place in the market, or it can indicate a change of direction or focus. Keeping an eye on where a company is licensed and for what, can illuminate the possible plans it’s working toward, while highlighting the gaps in their offering which competitors can seize upon.
- Non-regulatory Certification – a new certification, while not as momentous as a new license issued by a regulator, is still something to keep your eye on. New certifications mean a company is cementing its place amongst its competitors and could lead to those competitors scrambling to keep up. It can also be a good indication of the services or products a company is looking to focus on in the future.
This event trigger can highlight new opportunities for competitor firms to fill a void in the market that has been left by the exit of company from a particular location, enabling sales teams to expand their geographical impact or grow their customer-base.
This will highlight where a company is cutting back on spend. Knowing this can be good insight for making sure you’re approaching your prospect at the right time. Knowing market intent is important to ensure you’re approaching prospects with the right pitch for their current position.
If problems with a company’s inner workings reach the light of day, you know there’s probably an overhaul coming. A company overhauling its HR functions and internal processes will be open to hearing about quick solutions to what can be very expensive issues.
This signals that a business has fallen behind or failed to fulfil compliance requirements and could be facing fines from a number of Non-compliant companies will be looking to fill gaps in their policies and standards or to streamline their operations with the help of legal, compliance and regulatory solutions. They also risk reputational damage or legal action, which means that immediate action is key here.
- Investigated by Regulator – this event trigger is announced when a company is suspected of non-compliance. A company is likely to take immediate action to strengthen their procedures and ensure they are fully compliant with all governing requirements following this announcement.
- Investigated for Data Privacy Failure – in light of a possible breach of data privacy, a company will look to tighten up on their processes ensuring rules and regulations around GDPR are fully addressed. Any gaps they have will need to be plugged – fast.
- Investigated Section 166 – this is when the regulator has the power to require the company in question to provide a report by a skilled person. Alternatively, they may appoint a skilled person themselves with the instruction of producing the report.
- Fined by Regulator – this may occur following any non-compliance situation. Having been fined by a regulator, a company will take immediate action to restore client confidence, while also ensuring they have taken sufficient action to address the original issue and remove the chance of a similar occurrence.
- Fined for Data Privacy Failures – similar to the above sub-type, being fined for data privacy failures can amount to a hugely costly bill for the company. Remedial action and reputation damage-control will be a must following this news.
While this means a company may be looking to cut back on overall spend, that’s not to say they’re not spending at all. They could be in the market for one all-round solution instead of multiple, or may just be looking for cheaper alternatives – there is still potential for sales here.
A company having issues with their digital services signals they will need to implement new technology or tools immediately to help them get their services back on track.
Any company who is facing the threat of legal proceedings is likely to be looking to tighten up on their procedures. Ensuring they are aligned with all compliance and data privacy laws will be essential and any remedial action will be taken as soon as legal proceedings begin.
- Facing Legal Action – a tarnished company reputation is likely the first impact this event trigger will have on an organisation. Reassuring clients and investors will be top of the to-do list in the first reaction to this news.
- Undertaking Legal Action – a company looking to pursue legal action could do so for many reasons, such as protecting intellectual property from being stolen or copied. Companies in this position are likely to spend on protecting their products from future similar scenarios.
- Settles Legal Dispute – settling and putting an end to a legal dispute can mean one of several things. The company in question may recognise that they do not have enough evidence to support their claims and so a settlement is reached, it can also save on costly legal bills. Settling is less risky than going to court and guarantees the company at least some reparations.
- Loses Legal Battle – now comes the price to pay – not only in the shape of a costly bill, but also in reputation and brand damage. If the company can survive the blow, there will be a lot of work to do to get them back on track – and compliance will be their focus!
- Lawsuit Dismissed – once a case has been thrown out, attention will turn to reputation repairing. The company will now look to invest in customer relations and marketing to fix any broken relationships and mend lingering trust concerns.
Two companies partnering is a great piece of intel on their growth strategies and can indicate what areas of their businesses they are going to develop and what they are going to need new services and tools for. Also great for warming up conversations, it can give you an open to discuss which of their competitors is using your product already too.
- New – This is one of our main event triggers. It signifies that two companies are working collaboratively to expand their business. It could lead to increased funding for product development, marketing, and business development, and could lead to a great opportunity for salespeople to provide their services.
- Expanded – An expanded partnership is a sure sign that the business relationship between the two parties is going well. It shows that their current market strategy is strong, and they are looking to further capitalise on previous success.
A new website, logo, name etc, suggests a company is looking to market pivot or is setting themselves up to scale. A rebrand can be a sign of significant change in a company’s strategy. With this level of growth on the horizon, companies could also be looking for upscaling technology and support as they expand.
- M & A – following a merger or acquisition, often companies will rebrand one or both sides of the two original brands. Either a new entity will be created, often amalgamating the two identities, or in the case of an acquisition, the company bought out will often align its branding with the parent company.
- Market Pivot – when a company is looking to diversify or address a new market segment, they may use a rebrand as a device to appeal to a new market. Changing the name, website, and branding can create fresh appeal to a wider audience.
- Organic – a company may choose to rebrand at any point, sometimes just to update their look, celebrate a milestone, or simply because they have money in the budget that enables them to. A rebrand allows a company to reinvent itself, and with a new look comes a new attitude. Prospects at a rebranded company may be more open to new ideas and solutions, particularly while they have money to spend.
Funding Another Company
If a company is investing in another, they clearly have money to spend. This can be useful in that you may secure a number of referrals from the investing company, but they also may have need for investment and financial tracking products to support the monitoring of their investments.
With stringent laws now around data protection, cybersecurity issues are taken very seriously. If data, be it anything from intellectual property to health and personal data, is left accessible to theft or damage, companies can now be expected to pay huge fines that could even spell bankruptcy for the victim of the cyber-attack. Fast action is needed in light of a cybersecurity issue.
- Potential Breach – When a company announces a potential breach following a cyber-attack (putting customers/internal systems at risk), reparative measures are sure to follow. By strengthening their existing protocols, they can do damage control and reassure their clients, while providing future protection too.
- Confirmed Breach – a confirmed cyber security breach due to attack or internal failure will likely lead to many issues for a company. From an erosion of trust from the company’s clients to a loss of clients and even a loss of future sales. Damage limitation and stronger, improved security will be key.
- Ordered to Enhance Protocol – improving regulations will be the largest part of required changes. A company facing this action will need to prove they are taking necessary measures to tighten their security and ensure similar failings cannot reoccur.
M&A activity indicates change. Changes to hiring, funding and company operation can be expected, meaning potential for adopting new technologies and methods across the organisation. This event trigger is also a golden opportunity to cross-sell if one party is already your customer.
- Company – the acquisition of a company by another should indicate that investment is going to be poured into new products and services, and it can show that the acquiring company’s business focus is moving in a certain direction.
- Merger – when one business is bought out and absorbed by another, there can be great opportunity for upselling and cross-selling across both sides of the newly formed business.
- Facility – the acquisition of a facility will be indicating that production will likely be taking place at that location soon and could highlight the need for new management software to deal with the larger workforce, or to support what could be a new element of the business.
- Product – this event trigger can indicate that company funds will be allocated to the newly acquired product, whether in sales, marketing, or production.
Company Shut Down
Another great event trigger for competitor market intelligence. This event provides great opportunity for another company to swoop in capitalise on the fall out. This can be anything from picking up new clients, to expanding into a new market or diversifying a product to fit a need in the market.
Relocation (many people moving)
A company’s relocation to a new area allows fresh opportunities for competitors to move into the newly vacated region – or provides a new client list for those already operating nearby.
A staple event trigger for most investment companies, a newly launched fund allows companies to raise capital and attract investors. While these announcements are harder to find, they offer great intel on what areas of the market are still receiving fresh capital – this can give you good market insight while also providing the opportunity to jump on those benefiting from the fund once it is invested.
Unfortunately, this is one of those event triggers that can go either way. Mass layoffs suggest a large cost-cutting exercise. However, where headcount is cut, normally the company will be in need of improved services, and increased efficiencies to ensure they’re maximising on what they can.
A company announcing clinical trial updates can provide insights on several levels. There is a clear need for good notetaking and a means of recording clinical findings and observations. Companies running trials will also need to ensure they are protecting their patient’s wellbeing as well as their personal data. Clinical trials are highly regulated and so there is a constant need for compliance and privacy solutions too.
- Pre-Clinical – though it’s a very early stage of the trial process, announcements surrounding a pre-clinical trial are an important indicator that a company is making strides with its product portfolio. Early-stage intelligence is key for competitors, allowing them to make their own counteractions in response.
- Clinical – There can be a race to market with drug trials when competitors are working on similar solutions. Monitoring progress with such developments can lead to timeframes being imposed and an increase in marketing and brand building as they ramp up towards licensing.
Regulatory Licensing (Life Sciences)
Licencing announcements in the Life Sciences sector mean that businesses will have to immediately introduce new processes and tools to accommodate new clinical trials and drug development and approval processes. For all the Regulatory Licensing sub-types Selligence covers, companies must ensure they are fully compliant with the process; regulatory and compliance solutions will be of utmost importance.
- New Clinical Trial – a clinical trial will be given approval to begin once sufficient evidence and pre-trial data has been provided to support the theory that it will be of benefit to humans. Phase one (of a four-phase process) will now begin, testing the drug or appliance on a small test sample of healthy participants.
- Accelerated Review Process – this allows regulating bodies to speed up the approval of a drug or treatment for use if it fills an unmet medical need for a serious condition. Many of these then go on to full approval if clinical benefit can be demonstrated.
- Marketing Approval – this is when a licence is granted to place a medicinal product on the market, ready to be used by consumers.
- Emergency Use – Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) enables authorities to use medical treatments and drugs in a public health emergency. This mean products or medicines can get to market in a much faster route due to their necessity.
- Orphan Drug – Companies that develop orphan drugs are in a unique position in their market and have the opportunity to address an unmet medical need for their patients.
Financial Results Announcement
As an official public statement of a company’s profitability, these are always worth looking out for. Both good and bad financial results can provide a fantastic opportunity to introduce your solution. Often these announcements will also include information on product development plans or growth plans too.
- Positive Results – a company posting positive financial results will be more receptive to solutions that will further boost their success or accelerate growth. Firms with increased profits are likely to be particularly interested in business development, recruitment and tech stack solutions.
- Monetary Loss – on the other hand, a company losing money will likely be re-evaluating their existing resources; maybe your product is the solution they need to turn things around.
- Profit Warning – a profit warning can result from a variety of issues, but whatever the reason it’s a great insight into a company’s current challenges. A company forced to issue a profit warning will likely be looking for cost-cutting solutions and customer service or sales support.
- Pre-release Announcement – a pre-release announcement is usually bad news, indicating that earnings will be significantly lower than expected. Often a result of potential litigation costs, companies making these announcements will be looking to minimise the impact on their business.
- Dividend Announcement – companies “sharing the wealth” through dividend pay-outs are usually more established and stable, rather than those in a rapid growth phase, so this is a good indicator a company has stable cash flow and is generating profits they will likely be willing to spend.
This is an excellent trigger for competitor market intelligence. Where one company retracts, new potential opens for their competitors to step in and capitalise on the newly underserved.
A warning letter is a clear indication that a Life Sciences company has improvements it needs to make to its processes. There can be any number of reasons a company receives a warning letter, so this event trigger can work for you in many different ways.
Digital transformation is an event trigger which will never go away, but it may be hard to find. Companies will always be looking to improve their infrastructure and move away from outdated legacy systems, so an announcement like this offers the perfect opportunity to reach out and sell!
ESG/Corporate Responsibility Update
This event trigger works on two levels. It’s a great way to warm up your initial conversations with your knowledge of the company’s philanthropy or social responsibility, but it’s also a great selling point to candidates if you’re trying to make placements.
Knowing when a portfolio or fund is updated can offer significant value in your outreach. Keeping yourself informed of market trends, cutbacks or surges can help you adjust your pitch to ensure you hit the right note with your prospects.
A company being awarded a new contract is a great indicator of its trajectory. The larger the contract, the more likely it is the company will be open to conversations around project management tools, new sources for contracted employees, or even system optimisation solutions.
Company Receives Award
A great event trigger for warming up conversations! These leads also provide good market intelligence for competitors as they can highlight strengths and weaknesses within a company, or their market position. The competition can use this intelligence to recognise where they need to spend to improve their own offerings or fill any market gaps.
This event trigger is another great opportunity for conversation starting. It can give insight into what a company has been working on, or on what discoveries they have made. It could highlight potential leaders in the company that could be contacted and provide insight into the direction a company could be taking.
Whether you’re looking to fill a role, or are investigating potential growth areas, we publish tens of thousands of vacancies on a daily basis. Observing company hiring patterns can give you something to warm up your conversations with, while also providing intel on which offices or locations are looking to expand and may be of use for you to target too.