December 15

Get better lead generation results with trigger events

Lead Generation


Have you ever wondered why some sales happen twice as fast as others?

This is a true story.  I’ve changed my friend’s name because she didn’t want her competitors to know what she was doing and she is busy like all of us. Let’s call her Kristin.

Kristin, a marketing manager, works for a B2B company that sells to executives in mid-sized to Fortune 500 companies. Last year, her marketing budget was cut by 50% mid-year, yet her CEO expected her to still meet her revenue contribution goal. She told me about how she used to trigger events to focus her marketing efforts and exceed her revenue targeted by 25%! Here’s her secret…

Her key to success
In short, she studied, trigger events. She only targeted companies that were highly likely to need their solutions based on their trigger event and ideal customer profile.

Her VP of Sales requested a meeting. It turned out that he wanted to know, “what she was doing?” Bottom line: he was seeing more sales activity and hearing good things from his sales team.

He shared their revenue forecast. Later she took that information and plotted out her lead generation results against his sales forecast. She compared leads to trigger events against those leads without trigger events. Companies with trigger events appeared 400% more likely to buy than companies without trigger events.

Kristin’s initial trigger events list

  • New funding?
  • New product introduction or New Services?
  • Significant announcements?
  • Key Hires or changes? New hires or expansion?
  • Recent Moves? New location?
  • Recent Merger or acquisition? Change of ownership
  • New customer?

What are your trigger events?
Below are some questions to help you define your events.

  • What happens to fuel interest and focus it on your solution?
  • What creates the urgency to move sooner?
  • How is interest created? — Where does it start and what is it driven by?
  • Describe an initiative (need) that would involve your Solution?
  • How does this initiative or need solidify into a plan of action to buy?

Collecting trigger events?
You can research new business opportunities based on trigger events, for little to no cost, by leveraging press releases, websites and news wires. If you have a corporate librarian or business library they can help you find what you need.

I personally use technorati watchlists, google alerts and yahoo RSS feeds.

About the author 

Brian Carroll

Brian Carroll is the CEO and founder of markempa, helping companies to convert more customers with empathy-based marketing. He is the author of the bestseller, Lead Generation for the Complex Sale and founded B2B Lead Roundtable LinkedIn Group with 20,301+ members.

  1. Brian,
    I’m a marketing consultant working on a lead generation project and found this blog entry on trigger events very interesting. I’d like to learn more about Kristin’s experience. Would you be willing to put me in touch with her?

  2. Thank you Kristin! Thank you Brian! For the referral to I needed this so badly for my firm to succeed. I can’t wait to sign up with them. I would have never found out about them if I didn’t run into your site Brian. Thank you!!!

  3. Knowing if and when ‘Trigger Event’ has happened greatly increases your lead generation results

    When doing lead generation use the opportunity to understand which of the following three buying modes the buyer is in:

    “Status Quo: The buyer is completely happy with what he or she currently has. There has not been a Trigger Event in the recent past, but there may be one on the horizon. You may think this person is a waste of time and may want to move on to the next person on your list. Actually, if this person has money, authority, and influence, this is a great long-term opportunity. A strategy for this type of call is to start the relationship building process. I would also suggest that you check back in on a monthly basis to see if a Trigger Event has recently happened.

    “Searching For Alternatives: This person is unhappy with what he or she has, has spoken to several suppliers, and probably already has a favorite. A Trigger Event took place a while ago, and they’ve already taken action on it. You may think that this is a short-term opportunity … because the buyer is actively talking to a number of potential suppliers. This is in fact probably a medium term opportunity … because it is highly likely this buyer already has a first choice! Selling to buyers under these conditions typically results in a lower close ratio and a longer sales cycle – exactly the problem that you are experiencing. A strategy for this type of call is to position yourself as the buyer’s number-two choice — so you get called first if the buyer’s current favorite falters. You should check back every other week to see where you stand.

    “Window of Dissatisfaction: A Trigger Event has recently taken place and this buyer knows that what they are currently using is no longer sufficient, but has not done anything about it yet. Because they tell you to call back in two months, four months, or six months you make a note to do that and move on to the next person on your list. Wrong answer! This is actually a short term opportunity, because the buyer is not talking to your competition — yet. When you call back a few months later, even if you call a few weeks early thinking it will give you and edge, it’s very likely they will already be talking to your competition. The strategy for this type of call is to identify the business opportunity and pursue it immediately — with as much happening on this initial call as possible and future contact taking place in the very near future. You must find a way to push a little bit and learn more about the Trigger Event, then try to set a near-term course of action.

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