Recently I reread a report by McKinsey & Company on what customers care about most in B2B sales.
The article is called “The basics of business-to-business sales success”, and it contains some useful insight into the differences between what customers say they want, and what they actually want from a salesperson.
According to the report, the most damaging sales activity is when teams have too much contact with the potential buyer: this covered in-person, phone, and email contact. Only three per cent of respondents said they had too little contact.
To fix this issue, McKinsey recommends creating a strategy around contacting customers based on their needs and key events.
Red Flag Alert has Long Recommended a Trigger-Based Sales Strategy
This is a strategy we have long put forward as an effective way to create sales. We call these events ‘sales triggers’, and basing a sales strategy around these events can seriously help increase conversion.
Take the example of the financial broker featured at the bottom of the article at this link. The company’s conversion rate moved from 0.5% to 5.5% when they began to use Red Flag Alert in their sales process.
Looking for ways to make further improvements, they decided to follow our advice and put in place a sales strategy based on triggers. After implementation, the sales team’s conversion ratio shot up from the already decent 5.5% to an incredible 12%.
The key to creating a strategy based around sales triggers is to define events that make it more likely a company will need your product.
In the example above, the financial broker realised they were well placed to help businesses that had recently been unsecured creditors in an insolvency as these were likely to need a short-term cash injection.
Here are some other examples of how sales teams from various industries could use triggers in their strategy.
- Revenue growth: A manufacturer could target companies when they have just posted significant revenue growth. Revenue growth could suggest sales of the product are increasing, which could be a sign they need more help manufacturing their product. Even if the existing manufacturer can provide for the extra sales, the business may want to diversify the suppliers it works with to leave it less reliant on a single producer.
- Regional changes: Business that move into new regions often need a whole host of solutions to help them get set up. Office supplies companies, real-estate agents, IT services and recruitment consultants are some of the types of business which could benefit when a company moves into the area.
- New directors: When a company changes directors, it may be a sign that it is open to a new direction. If the new company director is someone your team is already in contact with, this could be an excellent chance to cross-sell your product.
- Financial Distress: When a company enters financial distress, it could provide an opportunity for companies that offer relevant services such as insolvency or leasing.
Sales teams can use sales triggers in several ways. They can use them as a sign that they should contact new prospects about their service, or they can use them to reignite contact with a lead which had previously expressed an interest in the service but never made a purchase. Finally, they can try to spot opportunities to upsell to existing clients that may need one of the other services they offer.
Red Flag Alert Helps Sales Teams Identify Sales Triggers
To implement a strategy that uses sales triggers, businesses need a way to see when key events occur in businesses. At Red Flag Alert, we provide a data set that gives you this valuable information.
Our data includes information on over 6.5 million companies in the UK. Those with access can discover a company’s size, industry, location and who the directors are, as well as in-depth insight into the company’s financial health.
What’s more, this information is updated in real time, meaning it is the perfect tool to monitor business changes and discover key triggers as soon as they happen.