The Problem With Using 'Sales Triggers' on LinkedIn
Relevant Seller or Lazy Spammer?
In a rush to be seen as relevant, most sellers see work anniversaries, promotions and job changes as good excuses to start conversations with potential buyers they're connected to on LinkedIn. Sounds smart, but in practice trigger events are becoming precursors to massive spam campaigns from low-skilled social sellers.
“The CEO posted! The CEO commented! The CEO had a work anniversary! And everyone is going after the CEO at the same time — based on those triggers,” says Mr. Johnston who warns against using such triggers.
For example: A promotion or change of job position triggers dozens (or more) sales people sending, "congratulations on your promotion, John. I'm with XYZ Company and we sell ABC product/service. When is the next time I can get 15 minutes on your calendar to sell you my thing?"
Thus, LinkedIn-generated (tech) triggers are increasingly ineffective method to start conversations. Instead, qualitative research on prospects is needed.
Instead, Look for These Triggers
LinkedIn allows sellers to monitor for anecdotal events — not true sales triggers. Instead, dig deeper into what LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Google Alerts and other research tools offer. Look for qualitative triggers.
Eric Quanstrom, CMO of KiteDesk, gives us a few, “Dead obvious examples: A company announces a new funding. They have an evident budget and need for growth. While this may translate into headcount, it can also signal need for services like: sales training, product packaging and graphic design, rebranding, product marketing materials, content and social media campaigns, just to name a few.”
Other common trigger events he points to include:
- new product
- news article/quotes
- new building
- regulatory change
- new legislation
- new CEO
- new owner
- stock swing up or down
- analyst opinions change up or down
- rapid growth feature story
- upcoming industry event
Garbage In, Garbage Out
The fact that your target got promoted or had a work anniversary does not make you more relevant! Beware of shallow triggers ... weak excuses. Instead, get back to researching prospects.
Good triggers offer “signals of intent,” a term Mr. Quanstrom uses that I really like. Watch for your potential customers:
- complaining about products or services like yours
- talking about looking to purchase products/services like yours
- discussing topics and issues in your field
- asking for help with something in your area of expertise
Do these trigger events and signals take time to discover? Yes. And that's why the payoff can be so much better than cheap, software-generated anecdotes.
“During transitions, you are also much more likely to catch the ear of a decision maker as they deal with change,” says Mr. Quanstrom. “You are in a position to help them decide to take action move forward successfully. They will be less resistant to changing from the status quo, because change is inevitable in any case.”
What do you think? What has your experience been using trigger events on LinkedIn?