How to Identify B2B Sales Trigger Events

How often do you call a prospect to present your company’s offering and hear them say, “You called at just the right time. I was looking for [what you offer].” Or even if they don’t state that explicitly, you know it’s true because of how receptive they are to your call. It probably doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it feels good.

Would you like to increase the frequency of reaching prospects at just the right time?
To elicit more positive responses from prospects, it’s helpful to do some sleuthing to detect sales trigger events. What is a trigger event? Most often, it’s a personal, organizational or environmental change. This disruption in the status quo spurs opportunities for new vendors.
Here are some examples of trigger events:

1. New Job/Promotion

When people change jobs, for a couple of reasons, they are often more open to considering new vendors as well.

If, for instance, Mary moves from ABC Company to XYZ Company, she may prefer to use a vendor that she worked with at ABC than the one XYZ currently employs. After all, she has a relationship with them, and they have done an excellent job for her. If your company worked with Mary at ABC, the door at XYZ might now be open to you.

To recognize this sales trigger event, stay in touch with your clients, even if the job for which they hired you is finished. Also, connect with Mary on LinkedIn. That way, even if you’re not in touch with her when she jumps ship, you’ll receive a notification from LinkedIn when she adds her new position to her profile.

Or let’s suppose Mary did not have a vendor providing the services your company offers when she was at ABC. There still may be an opportunity. That’s because she is going to look at the vendors at XYZ with new eyes. If she discovers one of them offers poor service or makes mistakes, she may be more open to making a change than her predecessor who initially hired that vendor and developed a relationship with them. In their minds, the devil they knew was better than the devil they didn’t know. It’s a case of inertia. On the other hand, Mary is not used to this vendor, and she doesn’t like dealing with sloppy work or sub-par service.

Again, you can turn to LinkedIn to find this trigger event. You will need a premium service, such as Sales Navigator, which allows you to filter by or “years at current company.” Select one year, and it’ll bring up a list of all the people at their companies for a year or less — prime “trigger event” targets.
The same driving forces hold true when someone is promoted, and you can track them down again using LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Just use the filter “years in current position” and select “one year” to identify these prospects.

2. A New C-Suite Member

When a new person moves into the C-Suite, they want to make their mark, so they will be stirring things up.

If you sell IT solutions, for example, you might want to keep track of CIOs who move to new organizations. Even if you don’t target them directly, the new installation of someone at the C-level means the time might be ripe for switching vendors or launching new initiatives anywhere in the IT department.

A new CIO is newsworthy, so in addition to keeping a watch on LinkedIn, you can find out about it by checking your target companies’ websites for press releases. Or make it easy on yourself and set up Google Alerts for each of them.

3. Company News

Major company news events often signal opportunity. These include company relocations, mergers and acquisitions, new product and service offerings, additional funding and significant company growth or decline. Stay alert to what’s going on at your target companies. Read your industry news, the companies’ websites and, once again, track them with Google Alerts.

4. Market Changes

The external environment also affects your target prospects’ willingness to make changes.
Perhaps there are new laws they need to comply with, such as the recent European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that affected marketers at all companies that conduct business in the European Union. They had to start managing their marketing lists within the bounds of the new privacy guidelines. When the law went into effect, companies that offered data and list management services had an opportunity to introduce themselves and provide a valuable service.
Also, in the current environment of escalating trade wars, an industry may be hit with tariffs on an essential material. If you offer a substitute, your outreach to them would likely be welcomed.
So keep an eye out for regulations, market trends and competitive moves that could affect the companies with which you want to do business.

There are many more sales trigger events, but there is a common thread that runs through them all — something changed. If you call target prospects when you see shifts in people, organizations and/or markets, you’ll be more likely to find a receptive listener on the other end of the phone.