Updated on March 16, 2022
You might have 99 Problems but Sales Triggers won’t be one, after this article.
In the world of business, timing is everything. For this reason, small and midsize businesses (SMB), like ourselves, rely on sales triggers to hit and exceed sales quotas and move beyond the average sales results.
This is achievable because sales triggers let you know when your prospect is in need of your product or service and is ready to buy it. It is no wonder then why marketing and sales teams rely heavily on different sales signals to alarm them that due to this-or-that event NOW is the right time to reach out to their prospect and close more deals.
What is a trigger in business?
In the B2B industry, Sales Triggers (or buying signals) are trigger events or changes in the business environment that present an opportunity for collaboration between two businesses for mutual benefit. A sales trigger can be a new C-level executive appointed in your prospecting company or a new tool adoption by the same company.
The most popular triggers for customer prospecting include company expansion or relocation, merger or acquisition, new product/service announcements, increase in business expenses, layoffs, or change in the marketing channel. Almost any change in the industry can be a sign of a sales trigger. Such as new legislation, a competitor launching a new product, or major industry developments.
Your prospecting company is dissatisfied with a current vendor? Had a recent change in management strategy? Maybe it entered into a new market. Or you noticed an increase or decrease in customer base, or even in their sales? Funding rounds, receiving awards, and recognition are all trigger events demanding your attention. Because these events are your windows of opportunity to introduce your solution to another business.
In other words, that’s how you acquire new lifetime value (LTV) customers in the B2B SaaS industry.
Why Sales Triggers are important?
Being time-related, the main purpose of a sales trigger is to guide you to take action as soon as the ideal conditions for buying and selling between yours and another business arise.
Another key point why B2B sales triggers are a necessary component of any sales strategy is that they help you to customize and personalize your sales pitch. Because they not only provide you with the optimal time for contacting your prospects but at the same time, the sales triggers provide a reason for your cold outreach. And when you have a reason for reaching out to your prospects, they can easily find the meaning behind your message and respond.
As a result, each sales trigger gives you the golden opportunity to target the right audience at the right time with the right message.
Important to realize is that in the highly competitive SaaS industry tracking the right sales triggers for your business is crucial in order to make a relevant sales pitch before your competitors notice the same opportunity.
This article will help you recognize the power of sales triggers and understand how your business will benefit once you start using them. After all, their huge potential makes them a key part of any sales and marketing strategy.
To support the insights shared here… 🤭
If you are a sales professional, you might have already heard about Craig Elias. If not, I’m sure you will be glad you did here. After all, the findings of our in-depth research on B2B Sales Triggers presented in this article, wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the author of “Shift!: Harness The Trigger Events That Turn Prospects Into Customers“.
Craig Elias is considered #15 Top B2B Sales Expert in the world and the prime mover of the concept of “Trigger Event Selling”. He is known for training and advising on the one thing his experience has shown to have the greatest impact on sales – Timing.
Here are some of the hard facts and “micro secrets” of his own personal experience and expertise on the subject shared in his webinars and corporate speaking presentations. You can find the presentation and more of his accomplishments on Craig Elias LinkedIn profile.
- Out of 206 in total, 20% more of the sales development representatives that used Sales Triggers achieved their sales quota;
- Acting on Trigger Events, marketers reported 80% savings in direct marketing costs;
- The best leads are those recently dissatisfied with the Status Quo, who are up to 10X more likely to switch vendors.
Sixty-three percent (63%) of Best-in-Class firms currently deploy formal trigger event tools – notifications, RSS feeds, alerts, posting / tagging updates and the like – among their front-line sellers.aberdeen
Table of Contents
- Company Expansion or Relocation
- Competitor Launched a New Product
- New Tool Adoption
- Creation of New Job Title / Hiring Intent
- Entrance into New Market
- Increase/Decrease in Customer Base
- Increase in Hiring Velocity
- New C-Suite executives
- New Job/Position of a Current Contact
- Merger or Acquisition
- New Product/Service Announcement
- New Website/Major Website Changes
- Website Security Issues/ Prospect’s website gets hacked
- Funding Rounds
- Increase/Decrease in Sales
- Shift in Sales Channel (Inbound vs Outbound)
- New Legislation
- Major Industry Developments
- Dissatisfaction with Current Vendor
- Positive Press Coverage
- Negative Press Coverage
- Increase in Business Expenses
- Change in Management Strategy/Restructuring/Reorganisation
- Increase/Decrease in the Marketing Budget
- Change in Marketing Channel
- Change in Web Traffic
- Increase in positive Employee Reviews
- Increase in Negative Employee Reviews
- Event Announcements
- Analyst Reports
- Good Quarter
- Bad Quarter
Trigger 1: Company Expansion or Relocation
Get notified when a company from your ICP starts expanding & onboarding new employees as a result of rapid business growth and with the aim of better access to the talent pool and customers.
This usually means that they are in need of new tech equipment, furniture supplies, new hires, or maybe new HR management software to manage their growing user base that you can provide.
Maybe the prospect’s office has relocated to your hometown, or they are opening a new office there. This can be the perfect excuse to connect, share some local know-how, and start building a promising business relationship.
How to track company expansion or relocation:
- In Google Alerts set up search strings for “company plans to expand”, “announces new building” etc.
- Use search strings to track listing changes in real estate sites like LoopNet(free)
site:loopnet.com/listing “new construction”
- If your business is largely dependent on relocation, then it’s ideal to use a tool like Visualping(freemium) to track changes in the contact section of websites.
- Also, use an RSS reader, such as Feedly, to aggregate your prospects’ latest articles and monitor for growth or relocation announcements.
Trigger 2: Competitor Launched a New Product
Almost any action from a competitor is followed by a reaction from the other players in the industry. This buying signal can help you to develop or strengthen your Unique Value Proposition (USP), focus all efforts on product development, make improvements around your service by taking advantage of your competitors’ weaknesses, and more.
How to track competitor’s launch of a new product:
- Track “”Your competitor” + product” or “”Your competitor” + launch” using Google Alerts.
- Use the tool Awario (14-day free trial), to create an alert for the names of your competitors’ CEOs or other C-suite executives. Select YouTube as the source for the search.
- For Google Alerts of third party comparisons featuring your prospect and competitor, use:
intext: “”prospect”” OR intext: “”competitor”” – site:prospect.com – site:competitor.com (to avoid mentions from their own sites).
If you’re a development agency interested in analyzing these happenings and pitching solutions to prospects, this article by Mike Rubini on how he built a profitable product by analyzing data from people discussing a competing product can come in handy.
Trigger 3: New Tool Adoption
Be the first to know when your prospects are looking to buy and adopt a new tool in their workflow because it just might be your tool that they are looking for.
Better still, if your service offers native integrations with one of your prospect’s newly purchased tools – there you go.
How to track this sales trigger:
Primarily, be present on social media channels + Reddit / Quora. Because your prospects will be asking questions for help-specific terms, such as product recommendations, tips, ideas, and generally more information around the specific topic. And you just might bump into their questions.
Intent data can be a leading indicator for your sales strategy. They might spend a reasonable amount of time on your product pages or download your e-book detailing all the features of your service.
And you will want to know this since this will be your call to action.
Tools like Bombora are designed to track and tell which of your target accounts are researching topics relevant to your services. If their content consumption on a specific topic involving your business is significantly above average, then it’s time for you to present yourself.
Trigger 4: Creation of New Job Title / Hiring Intent
The creation of new job titles is an indicator of the transformations that businesses (and society in general) are undergoing. Improvements in the economy, the rise in technology, consistent work overflow, and clarity regarding who is responsible for more specific tasks are a few of the reasons why new job titles are being created and then sought after employees to fill them.
As a buying signal, hiring intent can let you know that the prospecting company is in good shape and in buying mode. If they are hiring for new positions this indicates they are ready to invest. And specific job titles specify in which area they are currently investing. Are they hiring for SDRs, Talent Acquisition managers, DevOps/SRE developers, SEO Specialists?
Each one of these suggests they might be in need of a new Sales enablement software, HR system, Marketing automation software, data enrichment platform, version control system like GitHub, etc. Or if you are a hiring agency, then they are in need of you.
How to track this sales trigger:
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Trigger 5: Entrance into New Market
When entering a new market the first step is, of course, to conduct industry and cultural research. Companies need to assess what in their Smarketing strategy needs to change. From the content to the messaging, positioning to visuals, pricing, etc. Marketing and selling to US audiences can be quite different from marketing to Europeans.
Besides, Porter’s competitive forces come into play as well.
- Industry rivalry (the degree of competition among existing companies): if the competition is intense, bear in mind that could lead to reduced profit potential.
- The threat of substitutes (products or services): Are there already available many similar substitute services to your own? If so, this will limit your ability to raise prices.
- The bargaining power of buyers: Powerful buyers have a strong influence and impact on prices.
- The bargaining power of suppliers: Established suppliers can limit your profit by demanding premium prices.
- Barriers to entry (threat of new entrants): These can act as a deterrent against new competitors.
In short, new market = new challenges, new needs, new pain-points. The ideal atmosphere for a new sales opportunity.
High-performing global businesses have developed an ecosystem of channel relationships, resellers, and partners to help them expand internationally. So when you receive a sales triggers that your prospecting company is entering a new market, reach out and be that partner that helps them through the darkness to expand in the new territory.
How to track this trigger event:
Keeping up to date on industry news, press releases page, and implementing tools like Artesian.
Trigger 6: Increase/Decrease in Customer Base
Customer retention is measured to understand the fluctuations in a business’s customer base and revenue by looking at key customer retention metrics like customer lifetime value and churn rate.
These sales triggers shows you the current challenges your prospects are facing. Such as cash flow management, responding to competition, customer service success, net promoter score, etc.
How to track these sales triggers:
- It is true that following the founders on Twitter for milestones and searching for keywords like “crossed+mrr” on Twitter search or mention.com is a good place to start.
- You can use BuiltWith to understand mom growth for web technologies. With a paid plan, BuiltWith identifies websites/companies that are using specific software/ technology and analyses customer churn between competitors.
- The rise in ratings and reviews on websites such as Shopify store is typically due to an increased customer base. (p.s. here you can find more info on the best Loox Reviews Shopify app alternatives for further investigation.)
Trigger 7: Increase in Hiring Velocity
Hiring velocity is the average amount of time it takes the hiring team to move a candidate one step further down the candidate’s journey.
Undoubtedly, any major shift in hiring velocity can be a worthy sales trigger event – depending on what you sell, of course.
This trigger is ideal for recruitment teams, employee engagement specialists, HRs, IT providers, and more.
How to track an increase in hiring velocity:
- Use LinkedIn Premium or Sales Navigator to track company headcount growth.
- Mattermark will let you track, for example, Saas companies with headcount growth of 50% in the last 6 months.
- Check the Hiring Surge Explorer in Glassdoor.
- You can use a simple google search like site:docs.google.com/spreadsheets + “Keyword” to find public spreadsheets.
Also, keep an eye on remotive.io‘s monthly update.
Trigger 8: Layoffs
Naturally, layoffs are always unfortunate. Nonetheless, firing employees is an incredibly important buying signal to keep on your radar because there are ways where you can provide value. The prospecting company would be interested in providing short-term career support for their laid-off employees. If you are in recruitment or an outsourcing agency, this is your time to shine because opportunities for outsourcing may also arise.
How to track the layoffs sales triggers:
- Candor (a salary negotiation company for top tech professionals) has developed a list of companies that is updated live and shows you which companies are hiring, freezing hiring, or have had layoffs.
- Use tools like layoffs.fyi/tracker or layoffs.tech/tracker. Both are free.
- Set up an RSS feed using FetchRss for individual tags of publications. For example prospectcompany.com/tag/layoffs
- Or again, just set up a Google Alert: “layoffs + your industry”.
Trigger 9: New C-Suite executives
A newly hired member of the C-suite most likely has the motivation to make an immediate impact on his/her role. Since they don’t have established themselves in their new company this makes them more open to new ideas that will help them to prove their value. If a company you are B2B prospecting appoints a new executive in a decision-making role this is your sales trigger to act upon.
How to track this action trigger:
- Use Linkedin Premium to see who has changed jobs in the last 90 days.
Also, don’t forget to follow your contacts on LinkedIn to check if they’ve moved into new roles.
- Subscribe to industry publications and alerts.
- Subscribe to a service like Boardroom Insiders.
Trigger 10: New Job/Position of a Current Contact
If a satisfied customer switches to a different position in their company, then they may be able to extend the use of your service in their new role or department.
If they move to a new organization, reach out and see if they’d like to bring your product or service with them.
Emma Brudner puts it perfectly: “If your offering made them look good in their last role, they’ll be eager to spread the gospel in their new one“.
How to track this trigger event:
- LinkedIn: This only works if you are connected with your potential prospects and can see their activity. You will receive ‘Notifications’ when any of them has started a new job. Reach out with congratulations on the new job!
- The tool jobtitle.io helps to get real-time notifications when your contacts change jobs.
- Google Alerts: Set site:linkedin.com/#profile#
Trigger 11: Merger or Acquisition
Businesses carry out mergers and acquisitions (M&A) for different strategic reasons.
From synergy (to gain the benefits of a combined effect, which is greater than the sum of their separate entities), to eliminating/reducing the competition by buying out the competitors.
Mergers and acquisitions used as buying signals can bring sales opportunities for your business as well. They let you know that now you can extend your offer to new parts of the organization. If one party is already a customer, why not include the other? Cross-sell and big up your offer.
How to track this sales trigger:
If you can’t figure out what company is the acquirer and what company is being acquired find out where the headquarters of the new company will be located and who will be the new CEO. These clues will help you determine the new ownership after the merger/acquisition.
- Press releases pages & industry news;
- Use Dataset Search, Google’s search engine for data sets. With a simple keyword search, you can discover data sets hosted in thousands of repositories across the web;
- Look for acquired deals on flippa.com;
- Google Alerts for “Your industry” + merger or “Your industry” + acquisition.
This trigger event can be ideal for marketing teams because it’s a great opportunity for SEO consultants to specialize in merger and acquisition challenges.
An acquired organization’s website naturally has some level of search equity — the B2B marketer will have to redirect all or some portions of the acquired organizations’ web properties to their new, now primary website.
Trigger 12: New Product/Service Announcement
When your prospecting company announces a launch of a new product or service, they set sail into uncharted waters. ⛵
“The waters may be rough, but a well-protected boat can navigate the toughest of swells and the strongest of currents.” -RM-
This is the right time to offer your support (and protection.) by sharing insights, e-books, or maybe your SaaS solution to help them spread the word?
It can be a genuine conversation starter if you’re simply interested in their new offering.
How to track new product/service announcement:
Set Google Alerts for site:[prospect’s url] “”Has anyone tried” [prospect name]””
Additional weapons: press releases page, industry news, social media.
Trigger 13: New Website/Major Website Changes
Websites can subtly uncover essential company changes within their messaging, pricing, product, and team updates. If they change the copy on the website, a significant change in strategy might be going on behind the scenes. Product pages can be updated for various reasons, usually due to changes in business strategy.
When a website gets a complete makeover, it’s usually a sign that something big is happening. It could mean that their strategy has changed toward more professional verticals and that they’re switching their targeting to new business types of customers. Are they getting closer to you?
Or it could be as simple as announcing that they are not a small business anymore but have dramatically expanded their organization and it is time for a more serious website look to suit their new image. Is your product just the right fit for them at this stage? Let them know.
How to track website changes:
- Google Alerts “Setup alerts for “”Announces New Website””;
Alternatively, track website agencies in your niche to see who they showcased as their new clients recently.
Trigger 14: Website Security Issues/ Prospect’s website gets hacked
This sales trigger can be of crucial importance to companies in the internet security domain, but in some cases quite useful to PR agencies too.
How to track this trigger event:
- Use Google’s Advanced Search Operators. This great, in-depth article by Ahrefs will help you get around Google search operators and their functionality and how you can use them to track this trigger.
- Use Google Alerts. This short but valuable article by Moz will guide you on how to use Google Alerts for Domain Alerts.
And just like a guardian angel, you can come to the rescue during their worst nightmare and save the day.
Trigger 15: Funding Rounds
Funding Rounds are the events of receiving financial support that startups go through.
A funding round happens anytime money is raised from one or more investors for a business. A letter is assigned to each funding round, such as A Round, B Round, C Round, etc. because each round follows another. And these letters identify which number of rounds your prospecting business is on.
Yes, this buying signal is probably the most overused, but for a good reason – funding rounds are always relevant. Consequently, many vendors will be reaching out to your prospect, so we suggest you find additional intent signals before making your pitch.
How to track funding rounds:
- Owler.com has the perfect tool to track the companies that matter to you. Use it to gather funding news from the web relevant to you.
- CrunchBase tends to be the best aggregator of funding information and their discovery tool offers an advanced search for funding rounds.
- Sign up to GrowthList to get a report of well-funded tech startups. It is a newsletter that curates and shares funding news.
- AngelList is another great source of data, especially for Angel/seed level investments.
Trigger 16: Increase/Decrease in Sales
This buying signal is usually hard to track for private companies since most of them don’t reveal private or sensitive information like these numbers. Tracking Increase/Decrease in sales can be a powerful ally for any business, but it can be of even greater importance if your services are sales enhancement tools or SaaS customer support.
But still, there are ways to track them.
How to track your prospect’s increase/decrease in sales:
If you manage to find interviews with the VP of sales of your prospecting company, the chances are – they’ll have to share some numbers there.
BareMetrics features a page called Open Startups (the land of the brave 💪!), filled with companies that are embracing transparency and openly share their revenue numbers and metrics with everyone.
For Shopify, Sumo has come up with an amazing hack:
“1. Buy one of the cheapest items from their online shop on the first day of the month and get the order number (you can find this on the last page of the checkout process and in the Shopify order confirmation email).
2. On the last day of the month, buy that same cheap item using an alias and get that order number.
3. Find the difference between the order numbers (since Shopify assigns sequential order numbers to orders, doing this will tell you how many items were purchased throughout the month).”
On the other hand, If you’re tracking Amazon’s sales, consider using tools like JungleScout’s estimator, and DataHawk.
Trigger 17: Shift in Sales Channel (Inbound vs Outbound)
Depending on the sales practices of the company and the skill set of the existing team, their sales efforts could be either largely inbound or outbound. A shift in strategy from one to another sales channel can bring opportunities to relevant products and service providers.
How to track this buying signal:
Of course, signals will arise as they start to scale operations by hiring more employees. Or adopting new technologies (such as sales automation software), and develop new working processes.
- Track if an outbound/inbound job position has been added to the company. Or a new sales tool has been added to their stack. For tracking their use of web technologies use BuiltWith.
- Partnering up with a new agency can also signal this shift. Monitor your prospects’ “clients section” (automatically of course, not manually) using a website change tracking tool like VisualPing to see their latest client additions.
- Another sales trigger that you can track is them hiring a sales expert in a particular (outbound or inbound) sales domain.
Trigger 18: New Legislation
Every year, new and updated regulations tie the hands of thousands of companies forcing them to adapt their whole organizations rapidly or face an expensive penalty.
GDPR created greater security awareness among the business community which turned out to be a great challenge to overcome for many companies. It required them to make drastic changes in their working ways that they have been using for years to make a profit. On the other hand, this benefited a lot of companies in the data security space.
Patrick McFadden, in his medium article, shares another wonderful example.
“When the Affordable Care Act came down, businesses that never previously had to offer health insurance to employees were suddenly mandated to. In order to determine which employees were eligible and which were not, these organizations had to scrutinize the amount of hours employees worked according to very specific rules. And if the company didn’t have a sophisticated time tracking system in place? Ouch.”
Identifying these pain-points ahead of time can open a door for ideal sales opportunities for companies that can help solve the pain.
How to track this sales trigger:
- Subscribe to industry newsletters and podcasts according to your country.
- Set Google Alerts for “” your Industry “” + legislation+law+policy”
Trigger 19: Major Industry Developments
Staying in touch with the developments in your industry allows you to establish a better connection with your prospects than just generating random cold pitchers.
Of course, it’s hard to know what your buyers’ priorities are. Or how they have shifted in the last period during the new industry developments. But, there are tools that offer sales teams a peek inside.
- Bombora(free trial) will help you stay on top of relevant industry publications.
Trigger 20: Dissatisfaction with Current Vendor
If your prospect is dissatisfied enough to go the extra step and publicly announce that their current provider is not meeting their needs, then you be kind enough to offer them your take on their problems.
Pay attention to include forums like Quora and Reddit in your research efforts besides social media channels. Their dissatisfaction will not always come in a social media post. It can be subtly expressed in more intimate environments, such as niche communities, Fb, or LinkedIn groups – make sure you are an active member of them.
Also, It won’t hurt to look for news articles or legal actions that speak to an estranged relationship.
How to track your prospect’s dissatisfaction with the current vendor:
- Use Directories (depending on your niche & industry). Directories like G2Crowd, Gartner, Capterra, CabinetM, SaaS Genius, and Trustpilot among others, prove to be a treasure trove for honest reviews from your prospects of their current vendor.
- Use tools like PublicWWW(Freemium), Wappalyzer(which is both free and Open Source), WhatRuns(Free) or NerdyData(Freemium) to find the vendor they’re using.
- Then, you can track the social accounts of their employees using social listening tools like Hootsuite, Mention, Buffer, Sprout Social, etc.
- Talkwalker Alerts(free) is a good alternative to Google Alerts to track forums.
- A search or alert for “Looking for suggestions+product” can be very helpful.
- Read this great article on how to “steal” your SaaS competitors’ users.
Trigger 21: Positive Press Coverage
Every startup and SMB benefits from positive press & media coverage.
Positive press articles build brand awareness and credibility. This in turn generates more web traffic and more social media followers. In short, positive press coverage gets the business in the public eye, and that drives sales.
Many companies consistently receive good press coverage but without much impact on their bottom line. 😕
Maybe they don’t know how to measure its impact? Or they lack content analysis – did the reporter mention their brand’s key messages? Did the article receive enough social media shares? How about the website traffic, did it improve?
If your business offering is anyhow connected to measuring these metrics and improving them, be their knight in shining armor and help your prospect overcome their obvious struggle. This sales trigger is ideal for PR or traffic optimization agencies.
How to track a company’s positive press coverage:
- Use popular media tools like Muck Rack, Mention or AgilityPR to monitor media coverage across online, print, broadcast, and social media.
- Combine your efforts with Google alerts for phrases like [brand name] + intitle:review.
- Using Startup Tracker(free to begin) or Mattermark(14-day trial) you can track company updates in one place. It works because companies mostly share positive news on their social feeds. This can be your chance to help them really reap the benefits of their exposure.
Besides, if a prospect has recently received great public exposure they might be interested in solutions that help maintain their position.
Trigger 22: Negative Press Coverage
While generally in Marketing there might be some benefits to being Notorious, (getting brand awareness at all costs) in the B2B environment we prefer to stick with “the nice guys” that are classy and follow the best practices in the business society.
So when your prospecting company receives negative online coverage their priority will be to minimize the damage by finding a great Press/PR agency to help them get out of trouble.
How to track negative press coverage:
- Using TalkWalker can help to find Spikes in negative PR early.
- As with positive PR tools like BrandMention, Brandwatch and others can help you track negative news as well as mentions. Buzzsumo(7 days free trial) can help to identify the most shared content on social media related to a specific topic or keywords.
- And again, set up Google Alerts to notify you on:
“Your Prospect’s Brand” + hate / broken / too expensive / terrible
Trigger 23: Increase in Business Expenses
A substantial increase in your prospect’s expenses creates an opportunity (buying signal) for your sales team to act upon. The thing is if a company has an increase in business expenses they will be open for new vendors with equally or more effective and cheaper solutions.
How to track an increase in business expenses:
Start with SEC Filings – regulatory documents that companies must submit to the Securities and Exchange Commission on a regular basis for the purpose of providing transparency and information to regulators, investors, analysts,.. and thanks to Sec.gov Edgar Search – to you.
Additionally, install and set up a Distill.io chrome extension on their company website or SEC filings page. It will notify you automatically when something changes on their website, such as a new report filed by the company, information about a merger, etc. This article lists the steps you need to follow to track the latest SEC Filings.
The biggest slice of the business expenses’ pie usually comes from an increase in the overheads of wages and benefits, rent (or mortgage), marketing and advertising, etc. Therefore, when it comes to more private companies, tracking their headcount growth serves the purpose.
Jason Lemkin, an author at Saastr, shares a magic formula for getting the gist of the revenues of any pre-public SaaS/web services company. Here it is:
“Take the # of employees the SaaS company has, as reported on LinkedIn’s Company profile for that company and multiply by $150,000 if well-funded; $200,000 if modestly funded.” – (Thank you, Jason!)
Trigger 24: Change in Management Strategy/Reorganisation
Factors that influence changes in management strategy may be internal or external to the business organization. Some of them include management functions, restructuring and reorganization, competition from other businesses, social and cultural factors, and technology.
These triggers are ideal for strategic consultants, the IT industry, market analysts, recruiters, etc.
You can track these sales triggers by analyzing these details in the investor relation pages and financial reports such as here Box Investor Relations.
Trigger 25: Increase/Decrease in the Marketing Budget
An increase or decrease in the marketing budget is usually followed by an increase or decrease in marketing activities across different digital channels.
Is a target company making a big marketing push with a new campaign? Are you seeing their brand on social media, display ads, even PPC? This is the first signal of an increase in their marketing budget and spend.
In contrast, a decrease in marketing budget doesn’t always mean that agencies or vendors aren’t welcome. They might simply be reducing the marketing budget to the desired level by employing less expensive strategies. New purchases, however, will be more scrutinized, so the challenge will be on you to deliver a win-win situation for both of you.
Track the increase or decrease in the marketing budget of your prospect company by paying attention to their plans for the future. They could reveal their sentiment on the subject in podcasts, interviews with the CEO, and such.
An increase in marketing budget is also related to increases in hiring for their marketing department. You can track this using LinkedIn.
Use SEMRush ADs Research tool to get an estimation of their paid traffic cost. SpyFu also provides a similar feature, and by using their tool for Ad history PPC research you can find every ad your prospect has run over the past 9 years.
Trigger 26: Change in Marketing Channel
When working within the limits of a budget, digital marketers need to choose the channels that will cost-effectively help them to reach the set objectives. Understanding how to allocate your budget is essential to know what is the best way to optimize your spending.
Whether they are organic, paid or affiliate, companies regularly test the waters for finding the ones that work best for their business.
Affiliate marketing can provide a number of benefits to the affiliates, including increased traffic and income. In addition, it’s easy to get started with little or no investment required from you.
How to track this trigger event:
Track change in your prospect company’s marketing channel by keeping an eye on key new hires in their content/marketing department. For instance, hiring the first SEO to the team suggests they have decided to double down on their Domain Ranking position on Google.
Monitor their backlinks to find if your prospect business is building backlinks in new areas. Ahrefs is the magic wand for discovering your competitor’s organic keywords and backlink strategies. I personally love it.
Trigger 27: Change in Web Traffic
A prospect that is experiencing a recent spike in web traffic may be interested in tools or new employees that can maintain (and increase) the traffic while also efficiently converting the visitors to customers. This could present opportunities for your solutions, such as chatbots, speed optimization tools, landing page optimization specialists, UX / UI designers, etc.
Track changes in website traffic as a sales trigger:
- Check Any website’s traffic using SEMrush, Amazon’s Alexa Traffic Checker, etc;
- Follow this step-by-step guide for tracking website traffic by Robbie Richards.
Trigger 28: Increase in positive Employee Reviews
Consistent growth in positive employee reviews suggests that your prospect is a company that understands it’s their people who make their business successful. This makes them be more open to ideas leading to higher satisfaction among employees. Consequently, their employees go the extra mile simply because they want to contribute to an organization that cares about them.
Employee satisfaction is the key to increasing positive employee reviews.A company’s reputation is on the line with each negative review. If you want to avoid this, it’s important for your employees to be satisfied and happy with their work.
Track this sales trigger by monitoring reviews in companies’ ratings on employment sites made for this purpose. Like Glassdoor or Vault, the company section on Indeed, CareerBliss, and their alternatives.
Are you are suspicious of the validity of a company’s reviews? On the Glassdoor website when reviewing a company there is a link titled “Rating Trends”. The rating trends graph will help you find out if the reviews are fake or genuine. A non-consistent spike in positive reviews is usually a bad sign.
Trigger 29: Increase in Negative Employee Reviews
Negative feedback often contradicts the stories companies tell about themselves. But without feedback, especially a negative, there wouldn’t be many possibilities for business growth. Are most of the employees are leaving negative comments about some common issues in their organization that has been persisting for a long time? There is your conversation starter if your product solves any of those problems.
In addition to using the same ways to track this trigger as the previous one (for positive reviews) you can also set Google Alerts for [brand name] + intitle:employee review
Trigger 30: Awards/Recognition
Your target company gets an award in their industry/niche or receives an award for one of their products? Let them know you noticed, congratulate them, and offer your help to keep them on the rise! Make sure they understand how you can help them put their competitors far behind them and keep the distance.
Track this trigger event using Google Alerts and keep up to date with industry news and press releases.
Follow these two sites for valuable insights – for the American Business Awards;
– for the European Business Awards.
Trigger 31: Event Announcements
Is your prospect preparing a webinar (during the Covid-19 lockdown, webinars were blooming!), maybe recording a new podcast, planning a conference, or any other kind of event? If so, they might need your assistance – lend a helping hand.
How to track this trigger:
- Set Google Alerts for “Call for speakers”+ Your industry to discover events before they happen and get yourself involved while they are still in the planning stage.
- Find out which trade shows they attend. You can do this by writing their company name in the Google Images search. When their logo appears, right-click the company logo and choose “search Google for image.”
In the pre-loaded search bar add additional keywords related to your search, e.g. “+conference” or “+exhibitor”, “+event” etc., and review the results for events they will be attending, sponsoring, or hosting.
Trigger 32: Analyst Reports
Each industry has its own analysts who regularly research and rate companies vertically. Once you find leading analyst organizations in your target market, be on the lookout for new research launches. Organizations that rank high will attempt to capitalize on their position. Whereas those that sink on the bottom will look for ways to rise from the ashes.
How to track this buying signal:
- Get your most recent reports per industry on Broadcom.
- Read analyst reports, research, and news for cloud applications, sales, marketing, emerging technologies, and more on Oracle’s corporate analyst reports.
- If you are new to this subject topic, here is a guide on how to access analyst reports online.
- If you really want to access the treasure trove for analyst reports, use Thomson ONE. But bear in mind that Thomson ONE only works using Internet Explorer. (though workaround is available).
To find analyst reports (also known as sell-side reports or equity research reports) for a specific company, search for that firm’s ticker symbol or name in the top left corner. Then, on the Company Views menu, click on Research.
To screen for analyst reports based on a set of criteria, click on the Screening & Analysis tab. Then, click on Research, then Research Search. You can enter a screen for reports by industry, geography, contributor, keywords in the text, and more.
For instructions on how to download analyst reports from Thomson One, take a look at Lippincott’s Datapoints blog post Wrestling with Analyst Reports: A Guide to Downloading from Thomson One. (Source: lippincottlibrary)
Other ways to track this sales trigger include analyst websites, industry news, and the good old Google Alerts.
Trigger 33: Good Quarter
Companies that had a good quarter naturally will be more receptive to solutions that could help them continue driving the high road. Or even amplify their growth and success.
This sales trigger is ideal for recruitment agencies, IT companies that offer tech stack solutions, new market specialists, business developers etc.
How to track if your prospect had a good quarter?
- Again, the SEC filings, since “All public companies in the United States must file quarterly reports, known as 10-Qs, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) at the end of their first three fiscal quarters.” (investopedia)
- Combine it with Distill.io chrome extension as mentioned above, under Sales Trigger no 23 – Increase in Business Expenses.
Trigger 34: Bad Quarter
Bad quarter makes businesses focus on their available resources and reevaluate all the different factors that play a role. If your prospect company is losing money fast and you have a solution that can turn the tide and reverse the situation – they are expecting to hear from you.
Tracking this buying signal is ideal for redundancy specialists, employee assistance programmes (EAP), IT providers, business consultants, and practically any other business whose solution can help.
You can track this sales trigger in the same way as the one above ☝️ (Good Quarter).
Also, SymbolSurfing can be quite handy when it comes to tracking company earnings dates.
On a final note…
At Sales.Rocks, as the name suggests, our main focus is to improve and ease the sales processes of any salesperson out there. Whether it be providing nuggets of information from our own experience in the industry, such as this article, or through our SaaS solution. It is only natural since our SaaS is an all-in-one sales & marketing automation platform.
In doing so, we are constantly inspired by the experts in the industry and we are eagerly following the latest trends in our niche to stay on track and deliver greater value to you and our clients.
As the B2B space demands, one of our goals is to achieve a complete alignment between our marketing and sales teams. And we are firm believers that that is the right path to sustainable business growth. So here you can find the combined fruits of our labor. It is with great excitement that we share these Sales Triggers with you, as we are working on incorporating even more of them as part of Sales.Rocks’ platform.
Until then, I hope this guide on tracking the most relevant B2B Sales Triggers will prove to be of great value to you and your business.
Additionally, to assist and justify your cold outreach to your prospects, we share 10 of our highly targeted B2B cold email templates. They are carefully structured to address specific sales triggers and send the right message at the right time. Good luck! ✌️