We all know that B2B social selling is about building relationships with the principal decision makers and influencers at your target prospect businesses. You are cultivating connections, building trust, and becoming a trusted resource. It takes time. However, sometimes a shortcut to the sale may present itself if you are monitoring for sales trigger events.
What is a trigger event?
A trigger event is any situation or event that may cause a business to need or seek out services that your company provides. There are numerous types of trigger events to look for depending on the kind of product or service you offer. You might need to monitor for: mergers & acquisitions, a change in leadership, legislative changes, legal troubles or sanctions for your target prospect, industry shifts, societal or cultural shifts, manmade or natural disasters, new products releases, and more.
How do you easily monitor for trigger events?
You could spend time sifting through Google results and social media mentions, but that takes too long when you need to be selling. Instead, put these Internet tools to work for you to make your monitoring a bit more effortless.
Google Alerts will deliver news as it happens (or less often if you prefer) to your inbox or RSS feed. Set up alerts on target executives, target prospects, or specific trends that could create an opening for your company with other businesses. Use these updates to help you plan your social selling, email, and call outreach for the day.
If you are a social seller, you already use LinkedIn to connect. Are you using it to monitor influencers and decision makers at your current customers’ organizations? If a satisfied decision maker or influencer leaves your current client’s organizations, this can create an opening for you at a new prospective business. LinkedIn is an excellent way to track and respond to these people who are on the move.
Open Email Alerts
An easy-to-monitor trigger event is an open email alert. Your target prospect is demonstrating interest — or at least curiosity — when he or she opens your email. I don’t recommend that you immediately contact him or her saying, “Hey! I saw you opened my email.” However, you could use this as an opening to send a friendly and relevant LinkedIn message or tweet. Wait a little while, then send that helpful or informative social media message.
Marketing Automation Visitor Alerts
If your company uses marketing automation, talk to the marketing team about getting access to known visitor reports. Many of these solutions can track business names and even the individual visitors’ names if they are returning visitors who have a cookie on their browser.
Similar to the scenario with the open email alert, you don’t want to sound like a stalker in your follow up. Some people do get creeped out by that. Make your follow ups seem like synchronistic, serendipitous moments. If a known decision maker was on your site and visited a particular page, you can follow up by sending an InMail or tweet with a news article or latest blog post that speaks to the issues your product or service addresses. Start a conversation.
Hootsuite, both free and pro versions, offer social sellers super tools for monitoring Twitter. Set up Hootsuite to listen to specific target contacts. Create listening streams based on relevant keywords that may indicate readiness to buy. Monitor industry shifts, pending legislation, or other topics that could create an opening for your business to gain more sales. (Disclosure: I am a Hootsuite Ambassador, a volunteer role.)
IFTTT.com (if this, then that) is a time-saving solution to automate many different things. It can be easy to get overwhelmed on your first visit, but just focus on this one task first: create a line in a Google Spreadsheet every time someone uses a particular phrase or hashtag on Twitter. This spreadsheet report gives you a quick glance at specific phrases that potential buyers are using. Check in on your spreadsheet a few times per day to see if anything looks like a potential follow-up opportunity. You can do similar operations with other tools such as Instagram, Tumblr, and RSS feeds.
Are you monitoring social media for opportunities to engage or just people to engage with? Look for problems that need solving by monitoring sales triggers. It can be the shortest path to a sale.
Read Hubspot’s 30 Types of Sales Trigger Events and How to Track Them to learn more about tracking specific event types.