Sales Models, Metrics, and Motions Blog

Uncover a New Lead Source: Trigger Events for Sales

by Trish Bertuzzi on Tue, Jul 21, 2009

Craig Elias, the creator of Trigger Event Selling is today's guest blogger.

In your team's efforts to keep their prospect list clean, does a bounced email, or a returned piece of direct mail, trigger them to delete this person from their lists? If so, you are missing one of the biggest opportunities to increase sales.

Here's why...

One of the three keys to sales success is timing - getting to right person at EXACTLY the right time.

When you have the right timing the sale almost happens by itself - no challenges getting to the Decision Maker, understanding their dissatisfaction, presenting a solution, or closing the sale.

So how is a bounced email relevant to timing? Because it's a sign there has been a change in people at the organization. A change in people is the #2 Trigger Event to create timing.

When you harness a bounced email you can:

  • Increase close ratios
  • Shorten sales cycles
  • Sell at higher prices

So how does Sales harness this trigger event? Read on...

Timing and the Window of Dissatisfaction

The best timing is after a Decision Maker realizes that the Status Quo is no longer sufficient but before they start the process of Searching for Alternatives.

During this powerful selling window - the Window of Dissatisfaction - the Decision Maker wants to solve this problem but they are so busy that they haven't gotten to this problem, YET!

According to my research, the average sales person is 5x more likely to make a sale simply by getting to Decision Makers who are in the Window of Dissatisfaction, before the competition.

The Window of Dissatisfaction and Trigger Events

The Trigger Events that shift a Decision Maker from the buying mode of Status Quo into the Window of Dissatisfaction typically fall into one of three categories:

  1. Bad Experience: A decision maker has a bad experience with a product/service, with people, or with a provider.
  2. Change or Transition: There has been a change or transition in people, places, or priorities within an organization.
  3. Awareness: A decision maker becomes aware of the need to change for legal, risk-avoidance, or economic reasons.

I'm willing to bet that any Inside Sales person (with 3+ years selling) already has had several prospects become customers when a buyer, or decision maker, changed.

This change in people is the 2nd most powerful Trigger Event that creates sales opportunities for savvy Inside Sales teams.

The unfortunate thing is that the vast, vast, majority of Inside Sales Reps miss the Trigger Event of a bounced email to get in front of Decision Makers who recently entered the Window of Dissatisfaction.

Harnessing the Trigger Events That Create a Window of Dissatisfaction

Don't miss one of the biggest opportunities to create new customers or generate additional revenue from existing customers.

Know that the Trigger Event of a change in people creates a minimum of three opportunities for a savvy Inside Sales Rep to follow up on.

The next time you get a bounced email, don`t let this trigger you to take people off your direct mail or email newsletter list AND doing nothing else, have your finger on the #2 Trigger Event and follow up on:

  1. The person who left - where did they go?
  2. The person who left - who took their place?
  3. The person who took their place - where did they come from?

You can read more about Trigger Events by visiting

(Trish here again) Thanks Craig.  I have been in sales a long time and never thought about email bounces as a potential lead source.  So I ask you our readers, what other lead sources have been sitting right under our noses?  Share your thoughts please!

Topics: inside sales tips, sales techniques

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