The Best Sales Triggers To Find New Clients

Ever wondered how to find clients who need your solution? This article’s for you. Sales triggers show you exactly who is looking for your solution while they’re in buying mode.

There’s a popular anecdote about a business professor who asked his students what they’d need to make a hypothetical hotdog stand a success.

The students came up with all kinds of answers. “A great location,” one shouted. “Better buns,” called another.

But the professor just smiled, and waited while they rattled off ideas. He eventually pointed out that all they really needed to succeed was a starving crowd.

The lesson holds up well in B2B. All we need to do is find clients who need our solutions. If they’re ‘hungry’ enough, sales success is all but assured.

In this article we’ll look at sales triggers you can use to identify companies who need your help. And they’ll be happy to hear from you when you reach out.

Let’s get started!

What Are Sales Trigger Events?

A sales trigger refers to an action, event or situation that creates an opportunity to make a sale. If you’re a roofer and your neighbour’s roof flies off in a storm, that’s a sales trigger. They’re probably going to want to fix that roof sometime soon!

Carefully planned sales triggers are awesome because they massively increase the probability of closing the deal. 

These opportunities work because you’re contacting your prospects at the perfect time. You know they need your services, so it makes sense to reach out to connect. The event or situation creates the impetus that drives the sales cycle.

Another nice thing about sales trigger events is they create the personalization and relevance that’s so often lacking in cold email. Triggers inform your copy and make it relevant. You can speak to their situation in specific terms, and offer more value as a result.

And finally, B2B sales triggers give you a chance to get a leg up on your competitors. While they’re still waiting for the phone to ring, you’re filling your calendar with prospect meetings.

Contact Newly Established Companies

When a company is first starting there are TONS of services they need, right out of the gate. Here are some examples:

  • Website development
  • Marketing services
  • Office equipment
  • HR tools
  • Hiring solutions
  • And so on

New companies need EVERYTHING. And they often have the start-up capital in place to make reasonable purchases. Depending on your solutions, they might be perfect targets for you!

So how do you find new businesses?

There are lots of ways of course. But here are three easy ones.

Develop Strategic Partnerships

In any industry, some companies are well positioned to act as referral conduits. Because of their positioning, they can send business to companies in non-competing fields.

Consider accountants and incorporation experts. They set up new business entities and take care of all the government paperwork.

Guess who partners with them? That’s right. The banks want new corporate accounts. So they work closely with accountants and incorporation teams. These banking relationships enable accountants to provide better service to their clients. And (if it’s legal), they may receive a referral fee for doing so. 

You can take the same approach to strategic partnerships. Ask yourself who your ideal business customers are meeting before they speak with you. Then pay those people well to send valuable referrals your way.

A marketing specialist could collaborate with web design companies.

An office furniture sales rep can partner with corporate real estate companies.

And so on – you get the idea.

Acquire Government Data

Need to find companies that have been recently incorporated? In some places the government has you covered. Log into the State or National Corporate Services website and you’ll find a fresh list of new companies, recently formed.

Most of the time you’ll need to pay for the data, so make sure you can put it to good use!

One of the problems with contacting new companies is that most of the time they’re TOO new. If you’re selling websites, that’s probably not a problem. Most companies make their website an early priority.

But for most other solutions, contacting companies that have just been incorporated is probably too early. Many of them don’t even have social media accounts set up yet.

Create a Saved List in Sales Navigator

Saved searches on Linkedin Sales Navigator are the easiest way to find new companies that are a great fit for your offering.

Sales Trigger 90D New CEO

There are a couple of ways to find new companies. One way is to find new company owners instead of new companies.

Input the criteria you want to search for into Sales Navigator. In this example I’m looking for owners of small marketing companies in Florida.

And hit search.

The key criteria is the SPOTLIGHT filter where I’ve selected people who have changed to their current role in the past 90 days.

Sales Triggers - Spotlight 90D

When your target filters are in place, SAVE the search. You’ll get updates every few days with new leads that meet your targeting criteria.

This process isn’t perfect. And there are a LOT of false positives. So review the leads carefully before you contact them. But it’s a fantastic way to build a prospect list of new owners in your target industry

Company Expansion or Relocation

Companies are constantly moving and creating new branch offices. And these changes might be the perfect sales trigger event for your business.

New locations need new designers, new furniture, new IT support, new… well pretty much everything. 

As mentioned above, you can do B2B prospecting by creating strategic partnerships. A corporate real estate agent knows exactly who is moving in or out. And may be able to help you, depending on the restrictions they need to abide by.

But a simpler way to go about finding companies on the move is to monitor industry news. Or just check Google.

Sales Trigger - New Office

Every day Google is chock full of news articles about companies that announce plans to open new locations all over the world. Use search queries like

Announce + Singapore + ‘new office’

And you’ll find new target companies every day. 

To get the best results possible, select TOOLS and choose a daily or weekly time frame to focus on your results.

You can even set up Google alerts to notify you when results appear that fit your search criteria. 

Increases In Hiring Velocity

Another great way to look for growing companies is to watch for an increase in hiring velocity. The faster companies hire, the more likely they are to need a raft of services to support their growth.

A business is an ecosystem. When you change one part of the business, other areas are affected. Imagine a company that needs several new engineers. That’s a small change, but now they need additional HR staff to support the new employees. And since expenses have increased they need more revenue. Which means they need to make investments in sales and marketing, too.

The cycle never ends. And growing companies need solutions like yours to support their growth.

Here’s how you find companies with an increase in hiring velocity.

Sales Triggers - Hiring Velocity

Go to Sales Navigator and click on the ‘Accounts’ filters tab. Select your targeting criteria like location and headcount. Then select your Target Headcount Growth. 

That’s all there is to it.

Choose a starting percentage that makes sense. You’ll need to tweak it according to the norms of the industry you’re targeting.

Alternatively, you can start at 5% and slowly increase the number until you’re left with the fastest growing (i.e.) 5% of companies in that niche.

If you’re creative, there are lots of ways to use hiring velocity as a sales targeting tool

You can use hiring velocity to figure out which companies will need your solutions before they know it themselves! For example, real estate agents can see they’re rapidly running out of existing space and will need a new location soon.

Monitor Job Openings

One of the best B2B sales triggers is to look for companies making new hires in a role that overlaps with your expertise.

They obviously need some help. So why not work with you instead of hiring someone in-house?

For example a company hiring an in-house SEO expert might be open to a freelancer instead. Why spend weeks recruiting when they can work with you now? 

The process is very simple. Just monitor job postings for roles that you’d be perfect for. Then reach out to introduce yourself, and share some examples of your work. 

Boom, instant deal!

OK, if this seems a bit too easy, then you’re right. So what’s the catch? Why isn’t everyone doing this? 

In some industries it works great. In others, not so much…

The first problem is that it’s quite time-consuming. Finding companies that are hiring is easy. But it takes some time to identify the right decision makers and then find their email addresses. If you’re contacting dozens of people a day then you’ll need to allocate a few hours a day for research.

Another issue is that it’s sometimes hard to find the right person to contact. HR might be in charge of hiring for the role. But they probably won’t be in charge of hiring an external vendor. And unless you contact the right people, you have no shot at getting the project.

Finally, many of the companies are deliberately looking for an internal hire. They may have been burned by external experts in the past. And have no intention of repeating the experience. Or they want to work with people who share geographical proximity to themselves.

Check Your Website

One of the BEST places to find intent-driven data is on your own website. 

Every day your website gets visitors from people interested in your content and your solutions. Those are PRIME opportunities. 

Someone looking for information about the exact services you provide is probably in buying mode. And there’s no reason why they shouldn’t buy from you.

Here’s how you can take advantage of these incredible opportunities.

First, segment your website content by its position in the buying funnel.

Some content on your website is purely informational. And it doesn’t reflect any buying intent. There’s not much need to monitor this kind of content.

Focus your attention on pages on your website that reflect your services or the problems you solve. People who visit those pages are great potential customers. After all, they’re literally searching for the solution YOU provide.

Find The Companies

When someone visits your website their visit includes their IP address information. 

If the person is working from home, or working for a small company then this information isn’t very helpful.

But mid-sized to large companies frequently use static IP addresses. This means that when someone from the company visits your site, you can reconcile the IP address with the company name.

You’ll be able to see what companies visit your website. AND you can see what pages they visited. 

That’s pretty useful information!

To do this effectively you’ll need an IP lookup tool – there are LOTS. Examples include Leadberry, Leadfeeder, Lead Forensics. And there are many, many others.

These tools will score your leads for you, so you can focus on the best possible prospects. You just need to figure out who is the right person to contact.

Prospect Data Improvement 

The nice thing about this technology isn’t the 10% of IP addresses they can associate with a company.

The real value is the visitor behaviour diagnostics that come as part of the package. If someone entered your website via a generic blog article and browsed several pages then they probably don’t have high intent. Even if they register for more information.

But what about target companies that visit your website via a low-funnel page? That’s a high-potential sales opportunity. They’re obviously in buying mode for your solution.

In short, IP lookup tools can help you see who is visiting your website. And give you insights to identify the best sales opportunities to focus on

Look For Technographic Changes

Sometimes the best way to find sales opportunities is to look at what technologies they’ve adopted.

For example, if you sell a solution designed for ecommerce companies then identifying companies that use Shopify would be a great way to build a prospect list

But what if your sales team doesn’t want to contact the same companies your competitors have already contacted? Instead, they’ve identified the perfect sales trigger event as NEW users of a specific technology. 

No worries – it’s easy to do. Here are a couple of options:

Hire a Virtual Sales Assistant

Virtual sales assistants have access to all the data sets you need to find companies that meet specific criteria. Just tell them what technology you want to identify. And they’ll find you new adopters along with ideal contacts in the organization.

Subscribe to BuiltWith

BuiltWith is probably the best tool on the internet for finding sites that use a specific technology. With a subscription you can get a regularly updated list of companies that they’ve found with your target technographic profile.

Use a Lead Generation Database

Many B2B lead generation databases have technographics as one of the default search parameters. Depending on the tool you can request updates to your search results.

Alternatively, do a monthly export and add the results to an existing list in Google Sheets. Use a lookup function to identify websites that have been newly added.

Save A List In Sales Navigator

Sales Navigator has an account filter to identify companies using a known technology. Create your target account list and then save it. When Linkedin finds new companies matching your technographic criteria they’ll show up as new account opportunities in your saved list. 

Watch Your Collateral Engagement

Have you ever gotten a FAX or email from a Nigerian prince? Maybe something similar? You probably have. 

One theory about these ‘transparent’ scams is that they’re deliberately ridiculous. By making the whole premise a farce, they can focus their attention on victims who are truly naive. They believe the people who reply will also fall for the next step in their swindle. 

You can apply this same ‘wisdom’ to your sales collateral. 

Not everyone loves you equally. And some people will engage more with your content more than others. So focus your sales team’s efforts on the people who spend the most time reviewing your content.

These days, content like cold emails has tracking pixels embedded in the content. This makes it easy to know who opened your content, and how many times.

Which is a better prospect? Someone who opens your email once? Or a prospect that opened it 8 times? Probably the 2nd one!

So engage with them across multiple mediums (i.e. social media). A little extra attention to the right people goes a long way.

And it’s not just cold email. You can monitor opens on lots of different types of types of collateral. Sales videos like Hippo Video will tell you who opened your video and how long they watched it.

Similarly, you can track PDF opens, presentation opens, or even proposals.

The Good Thing About Elected Officials

How many politicians does it take to change a light bulb? Two. One to change the bulb and one to change it back again. 

I know, I know. Sometimes it’s hard to find something nice to say about our elected officials.

But if nothing else, we can thank them for providing us with some of the best sales trigger events. 

When laws change, companies are affected. Look at Europe’s adoption of the GDPR framework. A quick search turned up 33 MILLION search results. This law clearly affected a LOT of businesses.

So monitor your industry news. Pay special attention to changes in legislation that will affect you, or your prospective clients.

When you find a regulatory change, reach out to existing customers and potential customers to guide them through the new rules. Even if you don’t know much, you want to be in a position to provide guidance and early information.

Taking a leadership role in legal actions will make you a reliable resource in your industry. And it’ll be a great opportunity to remind your target companies how you can help them.

Contact Companies With New Funding

Every day companies receive early stage or additional funding. These funds often indicate they’re going into a growth cycle and have a budget for your solutions. 

So find companies that have received recent backing and introduce your value proposition.

Change In Key Roles

An easy sales trigger to search for is to look for changes in key company’ roles. For example, if you sell to CTO’s then you’ll want to be notified when someone new takes that role at one of your target company accounts.

Fortunately, this is pretty easy to do!

Go to Sales Navigator and click on the LEADS filter.

And just like before, input your target role. And add a 90 day filter to the SPOTLIGHT section. This will show you all the people who have taken over this role in the past 90 days.

Existing Contacts Change Companies

At some point, employees of your existing clients will leave them for another firm. This creates an incredible sales opportunity. If they’ve been a strong supporter of your solution in the past. Then there’s no reason they shouldn’t do the same in their new role, too.

Just be sure to give them a chance to settle into their new job!

You can use Sales Navigator to monitor your important contacts. Or just stay in the habit of keeping in touch so you’ll automatically know when they experience big life changes.

Change In Input Costs

The world is always in flux. And according to basic economic theory that means there is endless opportunity.

When prices change for a resource or input, you have an opportunity to sell your solution as an alternative.

For example, imagine you sell domestic paint and many of your target clients use an imported competitor product. If the price of oil goes up, the cost of imported paint will probably increase, too. Which makes your solution more competitive than it was when import costs were lower.

Take advantage of cyclical fluctuations to capitalize on broad market opportunities that periodically arise.

The Big Advantages of Sales Triggers 

Sales trigger events are insanely powerful because they take care of the problem of timing. You know your prospect is in the market for your solution. Or they should be soon.

In this article I’ve covered the sales triggers that most companies will be able to apply right away. 

What sales trigger events do you use? I’d love to hear about what works well for you.

You can message me on Linkedin or send a message on our contact page.

Look forward to hearing from you!


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Here’s the exact process we used to generate over 4000 B2B sales leads



Matthew Murray

Matthew Murray

Matthew Murray is the Managing Director of Sales Higher. He knows any company can THRIVE with enough qualified sales leads. So he’s spent the last decade helping companies meet engaged prospects and win new deals.

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