As a sales rep and as a BDR/SDR you MUST be doing timely sales prospecting. If you are a sales rep then you need to stay on top of the companies you are working by having a more timely sales process.
What is timely sales prospecting?
- Prospecting good fit companies that you know might have a need for your product or service based on what you have researched about them.
- Every lead you work should have a reason to be worked.
- You should never work an inbound lead for the hell of it or source a lead just because. That is a waste of your time.
- If you figure out what makes a lead or company a timely, good fit lead for reaching out NOW then you will have a faster sales process.
As a sales rep you have to make decisions as to which companies you invest your time into. One of the easiest and most effective ways to do this is by staying up to date on timely trigger events for your target market.
What are Timely Trigger Events?
1st thing you need to do is understand what makes a company a good fit to reach out to. You must know why a company would want to use your service and software before you can figure out how to do timely sales prospecting.
Once you know that you should start to recognize trends in your sales process around WHEN a company buys and WHY they buy.
These things should become known on your sales team as trigger events.
Your sales reps should use your company's trigger events to help them to do more timely sales prospecting.
Shorten your Sales Cycle by Using Trigger Events in the Sales Process.
If you want to up your chances of not having long sales processes you should start doing timely sales prospecting. If you know that the companies you are reaching out to in the prospecting process are likely (based on your research) going to have timely reasons to want to talk to you it will make it easier for you to help them at the right time.
Every company has different kinds of trigger events that they should be following. I cannot tell you what those are for your company but I can provide you with an example of how I think about it for my job here selling HubSpot software.
1st off in case you don't know what HubSpot does it is a marketing platform. It helps a marketer or marketing team do their job in one platform of tools. Sales reps can think about it similar to the way a sales rep uses a CRM all day long to do their job. A good analogy to help you understand it (if you are not a marketer) is CRM is to a sales rep as HubSpot is to a marketer.
Here is an Example of How I Use Trigger Events to have a More Timely Sales Process at HubSpot.
Since I sell software to marketing teams and marketers I need to figure out why a company would have a need for improvement in their marketing efforts. Simple enough...that means they likely need to grow, are focused on improving lead generation, want to improve on marketing strategies in general, etc. I could go on for days but hopefully you get the gist.
These timely reasons are the basis for how I decided to use trigger events here at HubSpot. The kinds of trigger events I typically use here at HubSpot to research companies where I know that (based on research) they could have a timely reason to want to talk to me about marketing are things like:
1. VC funding- this typically means they are growing and that means that marketing and sales is important to the company. In funding round announcements and news articles on the funding you can typically read a bit about why the company closed on the funding and what the funding is for. This is a great way for me to start talking to a marketing team because I know that what we sell could very well help them and could be timely.
Some of the tools I use to follow VC funding round announcements are:
- Angel List
- Google Alerts
- Technology blogs, news sites
- MatterMark (I am trialing this now but I like what I see so far...I will keep you updated on what I have learned about this product and how I think sales reps can use it on their day to day job).
2. Press releases in general- news articles about companies that you have decided to work are a great way to stay on top of your leads and opportunities. If you see something relevant announced about a company that you are trying to work or are already working you should read it! Take what you read and see if there is anything that relates to what you are trying to sell them. Use this knowledge as a way to reach out to them in a more timely way.
3. Trade show/events- if a lead of mine is attending trade shows and events I know that leads matter to them. Lots of companies get their leads from trade shows and events. This means that inbound lead generation could be helpful in helping them to build out an organic lead gen program for their sales reps. On top of that I know that HubSpot can help marketers manage the marketing around a trade show or event.
4. Personnel announcements- Stay on top of the companies you decide to work via linkedin and google alerts. If you see that there is a job change you should act on that. If there is a new marketer on staff reach out to them. If they just changed up some people on their executive team do some more research...it might be because there is a shift in the business model and that could be timely for what I sell.
5. Lists/Achievements/Awards- Once again it is a nice thing for you to be on top of the companies you are talking to. If you stay on top of things like this next time you reach out or talk to that company you can mention what you read about them. This makes you seem more informed and helps you to help them better because you have more knowledge of what is going on with their business. Another great thing about awards lists is that you can typically find a good use case for sourcing leads through them.
6. Growth Goals- I see this alot when a company has announced some kind of funding. There are other indicators of this. You can watch things like the site traffic to their site and if it is going up or down. If it is going up you can likely determine that there is more demand for what they do and people are catching on. Another way is just by setting up alerts on things like google alerts and linkedin so that when something is announced about a company you care about you will get notified and can respond the right way.
7. New Product Releases/services or updates to products/services- when a company is releasing a new product or enhancement on a product feature that means marketing is important. That means that they need to somehow push that to market. Well, since I sell marketing software that might be a good in to get the conversation going.
8. Corporate Expansion- If you read about a company that you are following moving to a bigger office that means they are growing! That might be a good reason to check out if they need help with something to do with their growth which in my case could be marketing software.
Has your sales team adopted trigger events into the sales process? If you have I would love to hear other examples from different kinds of companies as to what kinds of sales trigger events you use and why. Also if you have other tools you use in the sales process to stay on top of timely trigger events please comment.
Here's to more timely sales prospecting and more timely sales processes!