Want to pull ahead of the SDR pack? It’s as simple as recognizing and properly responding to a few key triggers.
You’ve heard me say that the more intel you collect, the better your chances of landing that meeting, solving your prospects’ problems, and closing the deal.
But the thing is, there’s a lot of intel you can’t get by asking — and if you’ve asked, it’s likely already too late.
Triggers are any major events and market shifts that could reignite opportunity for you to save the day for your prospect (and of course, make a sale). It’s human nature to dwell on the problem, but your prospect likely isn’t thinking about how you may fit into the picture. That’s your job, remember? Identify the problem, offer the solution.
New problems and opportunities show up for your prospect on a daily basis, but SDR’s often think too big-picture to see them. That’s going to change right here. It’s time we open our eyes and stop missing ripe opportunities.
If you’re an SDR, make checking for these TRIGGERS a part of your daily routine and basic call prep. If you’re a sales manager, you can train your SDR to go after them. But do it FAST. You don’t want to spend half your day looking for juicy triggers.
Trigger 1: What’s the Big News?
Rather than asking for the latest news and updates (and risk sounding like you’ve been living under a rock) set a Google alert to be notified of any news articles and mentions on social media.
Things to look for:
- Industry Events / Tradeshows
- Company Name Mentions
- Executive Name Mentions
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Opening new location
- New inventions
ALL news qualifies as a TRIGGER, even unfavorable mentions. Reputation management is the name of the game here, as your product or service can help them to really capitalize on a good situation, and remediate a bad one.
How: Set up your own Google alert at google.com/alert. From now on, you’ll get daily, weekly, or monthly round-ups of any mentions of your prospect’s company name by email. It’s a one-stop-shop for peace of mind — Google rarely misses anything. Try it now.
Trigger 2: New Blood
We all know it’s bad form to ask if there have been any new hires in a company, à la “Who’s your boss?” So you’ll need to get this information yourself. Once you have it, you now have a springboard for a powerful, needs-based conversation with Mr. prospect.
TRIGGERS to be aware of:
- Creation of a new department
- Elimination of an old department
- Promotions and big adverts
- Hiring spree
Shifts in hiring and leadership open the door to new opportunities and open minds. Internal promotions are something to look out for as well.
How: “Follow” the company on LinkedIn to get alerts on their new positions and hiring practices. “Follow” all executives in the company and you’ll be alerted of internal promotions as well. You’ll soon see that LinkedIn makes it extremely easy to be well-informed.
Trigger 3: Industry Shifts
This is a big one. The following are industry shifts that count as TRIGGERS.
- Major mergers and acquisitions
- New legislation
- Changes in consumer tastes
- Changes in consumer spending in different sectors
- Fast growth
- Economic / Political tension
- Price increases in materials
I would include major gains and losses made by your prospect’s competitors in this category as well. You want your prospect to know that you know just as much (if not more) than they do on the topics that matter to their bottom line. Thankfully, it’s not up to you to know how everything impacts your prospect’s industry.
How: Rather than letting all the news overwhelm you, read an article a day with your morning coffee, and select your sources carefully.This is where it pays to follow industry news and trends by way of subscription to an industry-specific news site or a professional association.
Typically, there’s a minimum subscription fee to belong to an association or trade group’s mailing list, so come with your wallet open. You’ll be glad you did. Additionally, if you’ve never invested in a white-paper or report from an association, it’s time you start. Such industry surveys can be quite telling.
Trigger 4: Marketing Plays
Noticing what’s happening from a consumer standpoint is an important element of understanding your prospect. How has your prospect positioned themself in the marketplace? If you don’t understand this, you are missing out on a huge piece of the sales puzzle. And if your information is out-of-date, you are working on the the wrong puzzle.
Look for the following TRIGGERS:
- Sales and marketing pushes
- Tradeshow appearances
- New products / services
- Partnerships and cross-promoting
How: Simply following the company on social media, mailing list, and reading blog posts or press releases on the company’s blog should do the trick. After all, it’s their marketing team’s job to get the word out, and if they haven’t done so, they’re either dropping the ball OR the news just isn’t noteworthy enough for you as a salesperson to mention or utilize in a strategic manner.
Trigger 5: Increased Interest
It often seems this comes all at once. A prospect will suddenly get warm, then red-hot. But miss it, and they’ll go with the other guy, who already had his glove on for the fastball.
Your prospect may be ready to upgrade, switch providers, or revisit an old conversation with you. Don’t you wish you could read their mind?
Here are some TRIGGERS to look for:
- Email opens
- Ad clicks
- White-paper downloads
- Blog readership
- Likes / Comments on social media
How: Applications like HubSpot track and alert you when your prospect has opened one of your emails or is browsing your website. It’s not a foolproof system, but it can give you some of the “mind reading” ability you’re looking for. Pay attention when a prospect re-tweets you or likes something you put out on social media. These are all indications of interest and warmth.
If tracking each of your prospect’s relevant news stories, industry shifts, hiring practices and marketing plays, all while staying fully responsive and top-of-mind seems daunting, you’re right. Next-level selling to score that big account requires it, though.
We keep quality data on C-Level execs from countless industries and overlay it on impressively curated market trend intel. So feel free to get in touch with us here at C-Level Partners if you want a shortened sales cycle and increased revenue.