With RampedUp’s new Functionality of Identifying Decision Makers that have recently changed jobs – we were very excited to work with someone who coined the phrase Trigger Event. Our special Guest Blogger is Tibor Shanto, Chief Sales Officer of Renbor Sales Solutions and Co-Author of Trigger Event Selling – Shift Selling.
A few years back I went to see the legendary Brian Tracey present in Toronto, gotta respect the pioneers. When I came home, my wife asked me if I learned anything new. “No, but I was reminded of several fundamentals I used to do, that work, that I’ve stopped doing,” I replied. Not only did these things work and added life to my pipeline, but I had fun rediscovering their effectiveness. It is always good practice to review how you execute your craft, in our case sales. Ensuring you are focused on the core fundamental elements of success.
Sometimes we review them get a deeper understanding and reinforce your abilities to perform those fundamentals. Having co-authored an award-winning book on Trigger Events, I find revisiting the fundamentals to be important and an enlighting experience. In many ways, my thinking around triggers and trigger events has evolved since the book. The focus here is not to highlight the difference between how I see triggers now versus then, but how, despite my evolution, the fundamentals of trigger events are still valid.
What DO You Want To Trigger?
Often people speak about trigger events in a much too simplistic way. An event occurs, unanticipated or otherwise that changes the “path” a prospect was was on at the time. A simple example would be a regulatory change that requires markets to act, therefore, an opportunity. Or a situation where market realities force companies to take action, see how an event forced two leading telco’s change their plans and actions. https://www.thestar.com/business/2008/10/10/bell_telus_to_upgrade_networks.html.
Most people look for events that don’t necessarily give them an edge — events that trigger action from sellers, but not buyers. A popular example is financing announcements; announcement triggers sellers to engage and propose how they can help the buyer; I mean what could be better, the buyer ticked the “budget” box on their own. Of course, every other seller following that company will see the same notice. This puts the focus of differentiation back to how they execute on the event.
Used proactively, there are ways to gain an edge. It takes planning and putting things, assets, in place you can leverage as soon as an event occurs. Given that few trigger events are extraordinary as the Olympic example above. Most are mundane like the financing; you need to spice up your execution.
Get A Job
Here are two examples to illustrate, both involving change of employees.
I have a resume on all major job boards; I am not looking for a job. I am just setting tripwires. Like a spider, you want to be alerted to potential events as far in advance as possible, giving you a first-mover advantage. The reason I post my resume is that each of these services allows you to create an alert for jobs fitting your profile. The alerts I set up are based on my target organization, the most common positions that I have had success with. Every time a company posts a position fitting the profile, these service providers are nice enough to send me an email alerting me to a new opportunity.
The e-mail triggers a call from me to the VP of that sales asking “what do you have in place to ensure this new rep ramps up and contributes early and consistently?” In their mind, they are weeks away from a shortlist and a final candidate, and here I am asking about how they will ensure a pay-off. Leads to some great conversations leads to training the whole team, not just the recruit. This is an event that happens regularly, not as sexy as a financing round of $100 Million, but at the same time more leverageable.
Change Is Good
Most people know how to leverage and jump on an announcement of a change in executive involving their offering. Sellers jump into action wooing the new person; incumbents work to reinforce their position, while other sellers circle the building. But this one event triggers three opportunities. There is the one we mentioned, the company where the change occurred. But the executive that has left will need to make decisions when they arrive at their new company. Then there is the company where the replacement comes from, they now have an opening, a new conversation to come.
The key in any of these is to have a plan and assets in place so you can act right away rather than waste time thinking. This involves looking for events that lead to engagement, meaning that less is more. I find the job alert trigger leads to more than others. Rather than preparing for an event, prepare to act; draw out the scenario, and then a corresponding action plan, including assets. When the event happens it needs to trigger your ability to act, execute and win.