Leveraging Sales Triggers in Your Prospecting Efforts
Like a lot of things in life, sales is about timing. If you called a prospect right after they signed a deal with one of your competitors do you think they will have much of an appetite for your offerings? Probbaby not. If you call your prospect and ask for a meeting shortly after they outsourced their IT department, do you think they will want to meet with you discuss how your two organizations can work together? Again, most likely not.
Wouldn't it be great if we had some sort system-a beacon if you will-that could tell us sales people not only when we should call on our prospects, but what we should be talking to them about? This is what trigger event selling is all about.
Trigger evens are events that have taken place within or around your customer or prospective customer’s business that directly impact them. Trigger events typically come in three different forms.
- Problem Indicators: Information suggesting their struggling with issues that you and/or your offering can resolve
- Opportunity Indicators: Information highlighting goals & objectives your client or prospective client is trying to achieve that you can help them achieve
- Change/Transition: Information suggesting the company is experiencing some sort of change or transition that you and your offering can assist with. This type of trigger event represents change in the company such as hiring a new CEO or executive or a recent merger and acquisition.
The challenge with trigger events however is that most trigger events are not as obvious as a tweet or LinkedIn post announcing, "I'm looking for a new IT staffing firm. Most times, salespeople will have to tune in to the right channels to detect the subtle shifts that can warm up a cold outreach.
The other challenge sales people face when leveraging trigger events is being able to link the trigger event back to their service offering. Remember, the trigger event is no use to you unless you and your offering can help the customer either 1.) solve the issue, 2.) achieve the goal, or 3.) aid in the transition.
Take for example your prospect whose office is right down the street from you. Suppose you just read a press release indicating that they acquired competitor. Do you know and understand how your IT staffing service offering could aid them with that acquisition? Or suppose they announced that they received funding to build a brand new sales force. Do you understand how you could help them with that initiative? That is what I'm referring to when I say "connect the dots between your service offering and the trigger event." To do this requires some business acumen.
On the flip side, what I really like about trigger events is they give the sales person something to talk to their prospect about other then their service offering. They help the sales rep avoid the old "check in" call. With a trigger event, the sales person can take the pressure off of him or herself because they shouldn't feel like they have to "sell" something but instead can focus the conversation on the trigger event and the client.
In my next bog I'm going to share with you some common trigger events that you should be looking for on the web including some of your favorite prospecting web sites.
About Dan Fisher
Dan Fisher is founder and owner of Menemsha Group, a provider of sales enablement solutions dedicated to helping IT staffing firms improve win rates, shorten their sales cycle, and increase revenue per sales rep. Since launching Menemsha Group in 2008, Dan has consulted with over 200 IT staffing firms and has invested over 5000 hours coaching IT staffing sales reps. He’s authored is his own proprietary sales methodology and has previously spoken at Staffing World, TechServe Alliance and Bullhorn Live 2012. Prior to launching Menemsha Group, Dan spent 16 years in the IT industry running local, regional and national sales teams. Dan worked for Kelly Services, Oracle Corporation and Alliance Consulting. Dan currently resides in Boston, Ma.