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Craig Elias, Creator of Trigger Event Selling

Craig Elias

Does your sales team wish it could reach the best prospects at exactly the right time?

Most sales reps do because they realize that in sales timing is everything.

Research shows the odds of winning the sale are 74% when you reach decision makers at the right time and help set their buying vision.

If your sales team struggles to reach decision makers who are receptive to change, it’s because they spend too much time sending emails and leaving voice mails with people who are in the wrong buying mode.

3 Buying Modes

To have the right timing, you need to understand that decision makers are always in one of three buying modes:

1. Status Quo: This is when a decision maker is happy with what he has and sees no reason to change. When you find somebody who’s in this buying mode, the odds he becomes your customer in the next little while are pretty much zero.

2. Searching for Alternatives: Here decision makers are unhappy with what they have and are reaching out to vendors. The research I’ve seen says your odds of winning the sale once a decision maker is already in this buying mode, on average, are only 16%.

3. Window of Dissatisfaction: This lesser-known buying mode falls between “Status Quo” and “Searching for Alternatives.” During this powerful selling window, a decision maker is dissatisfied with the status quo, but she’s so busy solving other problems she hasn’t gotten to this problem yet. Research by Forrester shows that when you are the first viable vendor to reach a decision maker during this buying mode and you help set the buying vision, the average close ratio is 74%.

You are 5 times more likely to win the business when you reach decision makers who are in the Window of Dissatisfaction before your competition.

The best part is that when you reach decision makers while they are in the Window of Dissatisfaction, not only do you win the sale more often, but you get the best customers. These customers are loyal, profitable and give us what we all want: testimonials and referrals.

Trigger Events and the Window of Dissatisfaction

In order to be the first viable vendor to reach decision makers in the Window of Dissatisfaction, you need to understand that dissatisfaction with the status quo is triggered by an event or a series of events – what I call trigger events.

Don’t mistake a pain or a circumstance with a trigger event. It is crucial to understand the difference.

For example, a married man who’s going bald wakes up every day older, heavier, grayer and balder. These are circumstances or pains. He doesn’t do anything about his circumstance or pain until he experiences a very specific trigger event. That trigger event is becoming single. When he becomes single, he buys a new car, goes to the gym, buys new clothes and starts using Rogaine. The same is true with decision makers and B2B purchases.

For B2B decision makers, a circumstance might be a company’s falling stock price or shrinking margins. Maybe for some reason they’re unhappy with their current solution or vendor, but that’s not enough to cause them to change their priorities and all of a sudden buy something different.

Your prospects must experience an event that shifts their priorities and triggers their desire to change.

3 Types of Trigger Events

1. Funnel Fillers: These trigger events create dissatisfaction with the status quo and make decision makers want to change.

2. Funnel Movers: These trigger events give a decision maker the time she needs to evaluate your solution or the money to buy it.

3. Funnel Shakers: These trigger events provide a decision maker with the justification to make the purchase.

Examples of Trigger Events

  • A change in decision makers: A new decision maker is up to 10 times more likely to become your customer than the person who was there before.

  • Winning a large contract: When your prospect wins a large customer contract, they now have more money. As soon as they experience an event where they can afford to change, they’re up to 8 times more likely to buy from you than before they won that contract.

  • A product launch: When one company does something, it creates a ripple effect in the industry. Often, that company’s competitors are in a hurry to do something similar.

Winning 74% of the Time

This is how you win the business 74% of the time. You reach decision makers at the right time by learning of the right trigger events. Then you help these decision makers define the problem, design the solution and you develop the relationship.

The simplest way to learn of the best trigger events for what you sell is to conduct a Won Sales Analysis – which I covered in my 30-minute presentation at the Inside Sales Virtual Summit.

In that presentation, I also shared four of my favorite Sales 2.0 tools – below – and how you can use them to get a 74% close ratio.

1. iSell by OneSource: Get customized trigger alerts that put you in front of the best decision makers at exactly the right time.

2. ToutApp: Get more lead nurturing done in a day and learn which leads are most likely to buy.

3. BriteVerify: Validate email addresses and follow contacts within your accounts when they change jobs. Users of your product/service who have just moved to a new company are your No. 1 lead source.

4. LinkedIn’s Saved Search Feature: Learn of job changes within your network. Decision makers who are new in their job are your No. 2 lead source.

You can watch my full 30-minute presentation in the video below.

Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or Google+ then request a free copy of my award-winning sales book SHiFT! Harness the Trigger Events That TURN PROSPECTS INTO CUSTOMERS.

Get access to all of the information-packed presentations from the Inside Sales Virtual Summit by clicking the image below.

Inside Sales Virtual Summit

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