Imagine picking up the phone for a cold call, getting the right decision maker on the line, delivering your sales pitch and then hearing this: “Thanks for calling, your timing is great! We’re just in the need of what you’re offering. Tell me more.”
This little dream scenario might sound silly here, however, the idea of reaching out to a company that can clearly benefit from your offer just as they’ve seen an increased need for your product or service can definitely happen. And, it’s not just about getting lucky.
You will have a significantly better timing in your sales outreach and win more deals when you
- Include the right buying signals in your Ideal Customer Profile, and
- Find out how you can (use a sales intelligence platform to) track these relevant changes that reveal a window of opportunity in your target accounts.
How? We'll tell you that in this article.
Once you find a correlation between a happy new customer and a signal, you'll easily find a large number of warm, actionable leads.
Buying signals, sales triggers, trigger events – is there a difference?
Short answer: No.
There’s a Swedish proverb that translated into English reads: “A beloved child has many names”, suggesting that well-known and appreciated phenomenons are being referred to in a number of different ways by different people. What we call buying signals here is often called both sales triggers, trigger events, company events and also, a bit confusingly, sales signals.
What’s a buying signal?
A buying signal is an occurrence that creates an opening for a sales opportunity.
It can be a company relocation, new hire, closed funding round, merger or acquisition or launching of a new product, among other things.
Most buying signals are, in other words, not as obvious or easy to detect as a LinkedIn or Twitter-post announcing: “I’m looking for a new vendor for [purpose]. Any suggestions?”
Tracking buying signals can help you:
- Be more timely in your sales. You can find out what companies are in the market for a new vendor like yours and reach out to your prospects even before they begin researching. This ensures your message will be received with much more interest.
- Prioritize the right companies out of a longer list of prospects. When you already have a long list of leads, signals can help you know what companies to prioritize now.
- Carry out smarter conversations with your prospects. By knowing what’s going on inside of an organization you’re targeting, you can tailor your pitch based on their current situation.
What buying signals should you track?
Short answer: That depends on your sales organization and what you’re offering. I’m sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news, but there’s no one-size-fits-all solution here.
Selling translation services?
Then knowing when a company is expanding to a new market overseas is probably relevant for you.
Working as a salesperson for a real estate company offering office spaces?
You’re probably interested in knowing what companies are recruiting heavily right now or what businesses recently announced significant down-scalings as they might just both need a new office space suitable for their current organization.
Finding out what buying signals you should look for works similar to knowing your Ideal Customer Profile. You’ll have to do some legwork on your end to understand what signs to look for that would indicate an uptick in buying probability.
A first step to determine what buying signals to keep an eye out for is to look closer at your existing customers. What happened in their organizations before they became customers? If you know your customers well, you might already know the answer but, even if that’s the case, make sure to validate your gut feeling with data-insights before you make this hunch your truth.
One way is to have your Customer Success team carry out short interviews with your most happy customers. Another way is to import a company list into a Sales Intelligence software like Vainu and have it help you detect what buying signals occurred in the majority of the companies right before they signed a deal with you.
If you can identify an actionable lead through one, or a series of signals, using this data should be the basis of your prospecting.
How should you track buying signals?
The answer is no longer to subscribe to hundreds of company newsletters, read numerous printed media outlets every day or spend hours and hours scrolling through your social media and Google Alerts.
Today, the most easy and efficient way to track buying signals is to invest in a smart sales intelligence tool that tracks buying signals for you.
Working around the clock, sales intelligence software collects real-time information about companies faster than human team could ever do. With the help of Artificial Intelligence and advanced Machine Learnings, the right company event is tied to the right business entity in a dynamic company database like Vainu. This then allows you as a salesperson to search for companies that recently send out selected buying signals, or track when a specific event occurs in one of your target audiences. You then receive an instant notification telling you about the news.
Identify warm leads through negative search
No matter how good of a fit your product or service is for a prospect, they’re not going to bite if you contact them right after they bought an expensive competitive product.
Not all signals indicate a good time to make contact. In fact, some signals will instead tell you the opposite and when you shouldn’t reach out. Modern Sales Intelligence and Sales Prospecting platforms not only allows you to filter companies with specific qualities, they also allow you to exclude those with a specific feature out of your search result.
Timing is everything
The best sales are those where you don’t have to grind too much to make the sales. Don’t you agree? By tracking and acting on buying signals, you can make sure to spend your precious time only on companies that are likely to purchase from you right now.