Sales Play Series: How to Spot & React to B2B Sales Triggers

How to Spot and React to B2B Sales Triggers Part 1

The digital revolution has fundamentally changed B2B sales. There is more information available at a prospect’s fingertips than ever before, and buyers are using that information to research products, services and markets before they even speak to a sales rep.

This wealth of information means that prospects are keen to understand how your solution fits their particular needs and understanding, rather than being led by a snazzy sales script.

If you can demonstrate that you understand their needs and that your solution is an ideal match, all while forging a personal relationship, then you’ll stand an excellent chance of making the sale.

Sales reps who cling to outdated sales behaviours will falter while those few who embrace genuine customer engagement will perform better than ever.

It all comes down to turning raw insights about prospects into positive sales behaviour; spotting digital triggers that might lead to a mutually beneficial sales opportunity. Sellers who act on these triggers are 26% more competitive, on average, but spotting these triggers isn’t so straightforward.

Customer Engagement: Creating a Customer Connection

There are four key factors in the customer buying decision.

  • 30% understanding their situation
  • 29% offering the best solution
  • 25% chemistry
  • 16% politics

In order to truly engage a potential customer, you’ve got to act on sales triggers to show that you are interested, curious and have a good understanding of their business and market. But how can you spot those triggers?

Check Their Company Website

Sometimes it’s best to go directly to the source, especially when it’s often the first point at which information is released to the public.

Regularly checking the careers section of a prospect’s website, for example, lets you know what sort of skills the company is lacking. High turnover might indicate that there are internal issues or cutbacks being made – either situation presents an opportunity for you to step in and help.

A company’s blog is another good resource for industry news or recent hire updates. Many companies write a post about new employees when they join, signal strategies and interests in the topics they cover, and talk about new client wins.

If that’s the case, you can begin following your prospect’s new account to stay on the pulse of any big developments or opportunities.

Follow Them on Social Media

Companies take to their Twitter and LinkedIn accounts to publicise new products and spotlight their high-profile accounts. They’re also likely to share industry news which they find relevant, giving you a hint about their potential strategies and company direction.

Employee’s personal social media accounts can be valuable, as well. Following a contact on LinkedIn will ensure that you’re always up-to-date on their job title and responsibilities, and you’ll get an idea of what they like, their interests and hobbies, making it easier to engage them in conversation.

Subscribe to Email Alerts

If you don’t have time to do the research yourself (or even if you do), email alerts are a quick and easy way to stay on top of prospects and industry news.

By subscribing to Google Alerts around key terms, including brand names and industry jargon, you’ll be automatically informed each day of the latest news relevant to you and your clients.

From events as big as mergers and acquisitions to something as simple as a charity project a client took part in, every bit of sales intelligence is an opportunity to send that email or make that phone call.

Turning Insights into Opportunities

These are just some of the main places to check for sales triggers. For a play-by-play breakdown of 21 different sales triggers and how to act on them, download our Sales Playbook. It’ll show you how to spot the triggers and how to turn those opportunities into successful sales.

Sales triggers present you with new opportunities for customer engagement for clients and prospects alike. The next step is bridging the gap between insights and action to achieve a positive sales outcome.

For more practical guidance on identifying and using triggers download the sales playbook – designed for B2B sellers with a relationship sale.

Savvy sales reps are out-playing their competition by adapting to the modern, digital marketplace.

Buyers have access to more information than ever before, allowing them to thoroughly research your market before they even get in touch. And they expect B2B sellers to do their research thoroughly too! Nearly a third of survey respondents said that “understanding my situation” was a key decision-making factor in their purchases – the most frequently cited factor.

Interestingly, humour, personal appearance, leadership and personality are the least cited qualities buyers look for in a seller. It really isn’t all about personality anymore, it’s about a trusted partnership.

Buyers want to be engaged on their specific needs, pains, concerns and desires. They want to feel listened to and understood, collaboratively reaching a buying decision. They want to engage with someone credible and knowledgeable who can clearly and succinctly communicate the value of their solution.

Yet, how do B2B sellers balance these reactive qualities while still proactively selling?

The answer is sales triggers: signals sellers put out into the world which indicate they are likely in a position to buy. Then it’s all about matching your solution to their needs.

If you’re wondering how to spot sales triggers in the first place, get our free Sales Playbook now.

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3 Types of Sales Triggers

There are three major types of sales triggers to look out for:

  1. Internal changes
  2. External changes
  3. Customer changes

Within each camp, the triggers could be positive – a new deal or client, for example – or negative – legal issues or low staff retention.

This gives us six clusters of potential triggers to respond to. The key variable when responding is whether the change is positive or negative, while the type of change – internal, external or customers – comes more into play when researching and formulating your response.

Get the Sales Playbook for individual insight on 21 potential sales triggers.

Responding to Positive Sales Triggers

If the changes are positive, then you have a prime opportunity for engaging buyers. They will be recruiting like mad to fulfill a new contract, or scaling up their software licences to fulfill their ambitious growth plans, for example.

The key thing to remember is that they know and understand the change and its effects on their business. To fully engage a buyer in this position means digging deep into their business, finding out what is driving the change and what they need to be successful.

The great part is that if the change is positive, they’ll likely have more budget to burn. Once you’ve done some initial research on the organisation, it’s time to reach out.

Curiosity will go a long way here. If you can quickly demonstrate that you are aware of the change (it’s always nice to congratulate them), its reasons and effects, and then gently probe them as to their dreams and nightmares, you’ll be in the perfect position to pitch your solution.

Responding to Negative Sales Triggers

Losing clients, staff or money – negative changes also represent an opportunity for many B2B sellers. Organisations will be looking to reduce their costs and stem the bleeding. If your solution can help, then you have a perfect ‘in’.

Bear in mind that these types of prospect will be more price sensitive than others. It pays to do some in-depth research into the organisation and the potential reasons for their negative outlook.

Find a way to reduce their spend, optimise their supply chain, respond to a disruptive competitor or improve their staff retention, and you’ll not only make the sale – you’ll be their personal hero!

Engaging customers better with well-researched responses to their sales triggers will have a transformative effect on your sales team.

Research and prospecting tools will be fully utilised while a stronger focus on understanding the buyer will prevail, helping you sell quicker, more efficiently, and more effectively, with delighted customers to show for your effort.

For more practical guidance on identifying and using triggers download the sales playbook – designed for B2B sellers with a relationship sale.

Savvy sales reps are out-playing their competition by adapting to the modern, digital marketplace. Buyers have access to more information than ever before, allowing them to thoroughly research your market before they even get in touch.

And they expect B2B sellers to do their research thoroughly too! Nearly a third of survey respondents said that “understanding my situation” was a key decision-making factor in their purchases – the most frequently cited factor.

Interestingly, humour, personal appearance, leadership and personality are the least cited qualities buyers look for in a seller. It really isn’t all about personality anymore – the days of sealing a deal by wearing a sharp suit, taking the prospect for a nice lunch, and dazzling them with bullshit are gone.

Buyers want to be engaged on their specific needs, pains, concerns and desires. They want to feel listened to and understood, collaboratively reaching a buying decision. They want to engage with someone credible and knowledgeable who can clearly and succinctly communicate the value of their solution.

Yet, how do B2B sellers balance these reactive qualities while still proactively selling?

The answer is sales triggers: signals sellers put out into the world which indicate they are likely in a position to buy. Then it’s all about matching your solution to their needs.

If you’re wondering how to spot sales triggers in the first place, get our free Sales Playbook now.

Take a trial of Artesian today – insights for B2B sellers looking to uncover opportunities, manage risk and accelerate sales.