Sales managers are always looking for opportunities that will give them a compelling reason to meet with new clients or secure bigger deals with existing customers. For a sales professional, the best time to move is when one of these trigger events creates a sense of dissatisfaction with the status quo.
This allows you to guide the prospect towards the solution that you have to offer, without having to overcome preconceived notions of how the problem should be solved.
To do this properly, you have to make a concerted effort to monitor the compelling events that are taking place in your market, from both people and infrastructure points of view. Whenever there is a significant change in an organisation – whether positive or negative – that is the time to strike.
Here are some of the top trigger events to watch out for:
- Poor quarterly earnings
All companies have to publish their financial statements. Whether they are shooting the lights out or performing badly, you may have a solution or product to help them.
- New products or services
New products and services can create demand for supporting products and services that can fuel sales growth for the new product. Also, new products often lead to the arrival or departure of employees, leading to secondary trigger events, such as new funding and executive departures.
- Changes in executive staff
New management, changes in ownership and other moves at executive level are all important trigger events. New incumbents are typically hired to make a difference, and they want to do it fast.
They are looking for any kind of assistance, and they often need to buy solutions and services so that they can make their mark. That opens an opportunity to sell – it’s easier for the new management to change suppliers because they can say that a previous poor choice was someone else’s decision.
- Organisational name change
When a company’s name changes, it usually signals a change in strategy and a high-level repositioning of the brand. Again, this opens up opportunities to sell.
- Venture capital
When a business announces that is has acquired venture capital, you can be sure that the new shareholders are determined to see growth and expansion. This is a great opportunity for you to capitalise on a new development.
- New premises
The announcement of a shift to new headquarters or the opening up of additional branches provides an excellent opportunity for you to help the company in its new geographical region. Also, a new head office may well signal expansion.
Also known as rightsizing, companies that are in this process are generally seeking greater efficiencies within the organisation, which you may be able to cater for.
- Mergers and acquisitions
Corporate acquisitions and mergers involve changes in executive roles which often ripple throughout the entire organisation, creating multiple trigger events, each of which can be leveraged into a sales opportunity.
- New customers, new accounts
When a company wins a big new customer or account, you may have a product or service offering that is aligned to that account. This provides a great opportunity to go in and pitch.
- New legislation
When laws change or new acts are promulgated, the way people conduct business may change too, offering a chance for savvy market watchers to step in. Just think of how the Credit Act altered the way companies have to lend credit. For suppliers, the opportunities could be huge.
- Natural disasters
Occurrences such as fire, flood and other disasters may well open up new markets and drive the demand for your products.
- New technologies
Technology is changing and evolving at a rapid pace. Companies are always on the lookout for ways in which to enhance their competitiveness, which may offer all sorts of opportunities for suppliers of ICT.
Monitoring trigger events
Keeping an eye on the market enables you and your team to respond quicker than your competitors, and can really give your business the edge. The key, however, is to ensure a steady flow of information of this type into your organisation.
You can do that for free by going into Google Alerts and setting up terms related to the companies that you are watching, reading the news, and keeping an eye on executive staff movements with LinkedIn.
Because that requires a lot of work, it’s advisable for companies which have the resources to find trigger events more automatically. There are several organisations that track all sorts of company information through a formalised methodology, which will ensure that you always have the latest data at your fingertips. That will give you first mover advantage.