Would you just go up to a random person and start blabbing about your company?
Would you just go up to someone at the bar and start talking about how great you are?
If you finally had a chance to talk to the CEO of a company you were following would you just start talking about your product?
I hope your answer to these questions are NO.
In sales you have to prospect. There is no way around it. If you want to start a conversation with a company you have to pick up the phone and call them. Once you get the person on the phone that you want to talk to so badly what are you going to say...
You don't want to trip over your words when you finally get your point person on the phone. You need to be prepared and have a reason to talk to them. You need to be able to quickly and easily explain why you are reaching out and why you think what you do could be timely or help them.
The 2 main things you should think about before reaching out to any prospect are:
1. Why are you calling them?
2. How can you help?
If you ask yourself those 2 things every time you get to a lead record in CRM that you want to work and you go for the phone...make sure you know how to answer those 2 questions.
To find a reason to call someone and try to start a sales process with them you need to think about why they might have interest in talking to you. To find those reasons your sales team needs to start thinking about trigger events.
Trigger events are researched reasons why you think that the company you are prospecting could have a reason to want to talk to you about your product or services. They are things that tell you that maybe what you sell could be timely for their organization or helpful for their business or role at the company.
Remember in sales, your job is to help your prospect. To help a prospect you have to find reasons that you think you could help.
Here is my list of 5 easy ways to find trigger events for sales prospecting.
When you find a lead that you want to work you should always setup a Google alert. Google alerts will allow you to get notifications to your email every time that company you are targeting in your prospecting releases something new to the internet. A lot of times I get notifications about things like product releases, new person being added to the company, etc. You can use these alerts as a way to reach out to the prospect. Your reach out makes things timely because you are reaching out about something you know is happening at their company. Make sure you find a tie in to that trigger event though when you reach out.
Sign up for their email list on their website. Look around their blog and website to find a way to subscribe to their email list. This will allow you to get updates from their company. You will learn things from the way they market so you can use those things in your sales prospecting. Always have a tie in to whatever trigger event you are using.
Save their company to sales navigator lead list in Linkedin. To be able to do this you will need to upgrade to Sales Navigator in Linkedin. Here is some information on how to do that. What this allows you to do is have a list of leads/companies that you can follow in linkedin so you can get updates from those companies and people on linkedin. You will quickly start to find trigger events that give you reasons to do smarter prospecting to that company with these kinds of alerts coming to you.
Create a private Twitter list on Twitter so you can add your companies you are prospecting to it. Each time you pick a lead that you want to start working add the company to the private twitter list labeled prospects. You can then go through that list from time to time each day to respond and interact with the companies you are working. I use Social Monitoring in HubSpot to do this.
Find out things that would make your product relevant to the company or person you are prospecting. These things will be different for every company who starts to use trigger events in the sales process. I sell marketing software to marketing teams and CMOs so I look for things like companies who are actively focused on growth. I look for things like funding rounds where they are using the funds for growth acceleration, new VP of sales, new Marketing Director, new product launch, etc. I am looking for reasons that marketing software would be timely for the organization. You should think about what makes a company a good fit for your product or services and then find ways to find those types of reasons.
Your main goal with trigger events is always to find a reason to reach out and try to start a sales process. Be smart, creative and think about what would make someone a fit for your product or service. Use those trigger events to reach out to your prospect in a smarter way than all the other sales reps that are reaching out to them.
Smart prospecting will allow you to be seen by your prospects as having done your homework and they will be more likely to respond and want to hear what you have to say.