Studies show that prospects who are in the midst of a “sales trigger event” are eight times more likely to agree to buy. So, what’s a sales trigger event? And how do you recognize one?
According to a comprehensive OneSource study, sales triggers are changes within a company or market that increase a prospect’s chances of saying “yes.”
The key is knowing when a sales trigger is about to take place and how to capitalize. Top organizations use these four strategies to do just that:
- Monitor personnel changes: Organizations that maintain up-to-date contact info for leads are proven to achieve better prospecting results than those that don’t. More importantly, in terms of sales triggers, personnel changes represent the biggest opportunity for sales pros to win more business. The trick: Knowing when those changes are about to take place, or if they already have. Here are two low-cost ways to stay on top of personnel changes at prospects’ companies, so salespeople are in a prime position to win more deals: 1) Send a mass email once every six months, asking prospects to take a moment and update their contact info (attach an incentive like a free white paper or e-zine subscription to boost response rates), and/or 2) hire an intern (or admin) to contact each of the companies in your lead base, gathering up-to-date contact info, including the names of key execs who can benefit from your products and services the most.
- Follow prospects into new markets: Most of today’s companies keep customers in the know about upcoming product launches, as well as changes to existing products and services. That may spell opportunity for sales organizations that can make a case for why (and how) their offer can help the prospect’s new initiative(s) succeed. Three low-maintenance ways for salespeople to stay on top of what’s changing at prospects’ companies: 1) sign up for company newsletters, email updates and special offers, 2) add the names of top prospects’ companies to your Google alerts, so you’re the first to know whenever the company’s name pops up online, and 3) bookmark prospects’ web sites, and visit them once a week to see if there are any new updates.
- Keep a budget calendar: Nearly a third of today’s sales execs say the most common objection they hear is that prospects don’t have room in the budget for any new purchases. The best way to overcome budget objections: Know when prospects plan to renew their budget for the year. Sure, a lot of companies renew their budgets at the beginning of each calendar year. But in certain industries, April and August are also prime months for budget rollover. Train salespeople to ask prospects when their budgets renew at the beginning of the sales cycle. Then maintain your own budget calendar, so you can frontload the lead pipeline with prospects who have a fresh budget to work with. Meanwhile, have salespeople set Outlook calendar reminders, so they’re reminded to contact prospects (and existing customers) when they’re in a position to make new purchases.
- Attend industry events: Try to have at least one sales rep attend every major trade show and convention, so they can report back about the new products and services top prospects are promoting. This way you can tailor value propositions to what each prospect is focusing on right now. You may also want to encourage salespeople to speak at these events, so prospects recognize them as experts in the field, capable of helping them overcome some of their biggest obstacles.