What are Trigger Events and How to Use Them Effectively

If you’re not using trigger events for prospecting calls, your entire team is missing out on a valuable sales technique. So what is a trigger event? It’s anything that signals a buying opportunity. A trigger could be a prospect changing their job title on LinkedIn, a company receiving a new round of funding, or even a news article highlighting a company you’ve identified as an ideal prospect.

There are many sales tools that can help you to track what’s going on with your prospects – from alerting you when they open an email to sending you a Google Alert when there’s recent news about their company. But that trigger event information is useless unless you use it to advance your sale. Here’s how to start using trigger events effectively on your prospecting calls.

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The Not-So-Cold Call

Instead of just going through a list of names and making cold calls, trigger events can help you better qualify and improve your prospecting list. Even if you have fantastic marketing qualified leads that have been warmed up by some smart content, some people may not be incredibly receptive to a cold call. That’s where trigger events can be a huge help and vastly improve the quality of conversations you have with prospects.

Without a trigger, you might open a conversation with a prospect by saying, “Let me tell you a little about my company and product.” With a trigger, you can call and say, “I saw on LinkedIn that you were recently promoted. Congratulations! How can I help you in your new role?” You can see how one conversation ends quickly, whereas the other feels more personal and useful to the prospect. Triggers can help create a feeling of a personal connection, humanizing you and making a prospect more likely to continue the conversation.

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Tools for Tracking Trigger Events

Trigger events sound great, but you also don’t want to have reps spending hours each day researching news on prospects before every call. Luckily, you can let technology do the work for you. There are many different ways to set up tracking for specific trigger events that signal a buying opportunity, including:

  • Social Listening – Tools like Hootsuite, TweetDeck and Social Mention can give you a heads up when prospects are discussing your company on various social media sites like LinkedIn or Twitter.
  • News AlertsGoogle Alerts, Newsle and Gagein will all send you email notifications about recent news focused on a company or individual you’re keeping an eye on.
  • Email TrackingYesware, Hubspot Signals and other tools can let you know when a prospect has opened your email.

For example, if you get a Google Alert that a prospect’s company is hiring a large number of new employees, you can call and make a specific pitch about how your product could help the company get more productivity out of all those new employees. This highly-tailored and company-specific pitch is more likely to get a prospect’s attention than a general pitch ever would.

Act Fast

It’s not just enough to track trigger events; you also have to act on them quickly, If you’re notified of a trigger event through Hootsuite, you have to make the call right away. Don’t wait until tomorrow – the sooner you call the more likely you are to have a productive conversation with that prospect.

In order to make sure this happens, you should integrate trigger events into your sales process and sale call workflow. Make sure every rep has trigger events set up correctly, is trained on how to use the tools, and understands the angle they should use when calling prospects after a trigger. One way to do this is to work with your team to come up with a standard sales scripts for some of the most common trigger events. If you’re often getting triggers related to startup customers that receive new rounds of funding, write a script regarding this trigger that all your reps can use.


Though it takes some up-front work to implement, using triggers events can be an incredibly effective sales technique. Once your team starts to use Google Alerts and Social Monitoring to track trigger events and tailor their sales pitch to the situation, you’ll start to see stronger prospecting results.

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