Mastering Account Based Marketing with Trigger Events


This guest contribution comes from Craig Elias, creator of Trigger Event Selling™.

Every single day there are thousands of decision makers who become dissatisfied with their current supplier and are prime pickings for those savvy enough to use account-based marketing.

In the past, sales organizations targeted specific decision-makers at accounts using personas. Today, high performing organizations target accounts using some form of an ideal client profile, and then target as many people as possible at the account when the time is right.

To mastering doing the right things at the right time it’s critical understand critical to first understand that prospects (potential customers) are always in one of three different buying modes:

  • Status Quo is when prospects are happy with what they have and see no reason to change. Here the odds of making a sale in the next little while is pretty much zero.
  • Searching for Alternatives is when prospects are unhappy with what they have and are actively searching for alternative solutions. This is the point at which a prospect typically reaches out to potential suppliers. Research by the Aberdeen Group says the odds of making a sale are now about 16% - or one out of every six or seven.

In between these two, however, lies the buying mode with the greatest opportunity.

  • Window of Dissatisfaction™ is the lesser known of the three buying modes and exists when prospects know what they have is no longer sufficient but they have not found time to start searching for alternatives…YET!

Be the first vendor to reach prospects while they are in the Window of Dissatisfaction™ and you get to help them define the problem, design the solution and you start developing a relationship before the competition even knows there is an opportunity!

Research by Forrester and InnerSell shows that when you do this your odds of winning the sale are, on average, 74%.

In other words you are 5 times more likely to win the sale just because you were the first vendor to proactively reach out to a prospect while they were in the Window of Dissatisfaction™.

Trigger Event Selling™ is about understanding and leveraging the Trigger Events that shift prospects from one buying mode to the next.

  • The first Trigger Event is one that makes someone want to do something different. This first Trigger Event pushes prospects out of the Status Quo and shifts them into the Window of Dissatisfaction™.
  • The next Trigger Event is typically one that gives decision makers the time to look at your solution and the money to buy it and they move into the buying mode of Searching for Alternatives.
  • Often prospects don’t buy even after the second Trigger Event, they need a third one – the Trigger Event that helps them justify their decision to others.

All three Trigger Events are excellent opportunities to move a sale forward but the most important Trigger Event is the first one because it allows you to start the problem definition and relationship building process when you have no competition.

If you want to learn the best Trigger Events for what you sell you can download, at no-charge, the Won Sales Analysis™ template and instructions at WonSalesAnalysis.com.

About the Author

Craig Elias is the creator of Trigger Event Selling™, author of the award-winning sales book “SHiFT! Harness The Trigger Events That TURN PROSPECTS INTO CUSTOMERS”, and a contributing author to the #1 Selling Book on both Amazon and The Wall Street Journal "Masters of Sales”.

Craig’s knowledge of Trigger Events resulted in his first company winning the $1,000,000 prize in Tim Draper’s original Global Billion Dollar Idea Pitch Competition, and earned him coverage on NBC news, in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The National Post, and Sales and Marketing magazine, and having his company twice named by Dow Jones as one of the 50 most promising companies in North America.