Top 6 Sources of Updates When CIOs and CTOs Changes Jobs.

http://www.ctosonthemove.com - 6 sources of leads

So by now we’ve established that information regarding career changes among CIOs, CTOs and other senior IT executives could be valuable and actionable for us as it helps engage these senior IT decision makers when they are most likely to respond.

Now where should we go to find these updates? There is no shortage of public and private sources to uncover these insights. The top 6 are:

1. LinkedIn updates

www.ctosonthemove.com - How to generate leads with LinkedIn updates

By keeping track of companies and executives on LinkedIn you can receive alerts similar to the one above on when your potential clients update their LinkedIn profiles. That’s the best time to reach out to them.

LinkedIn is one of the best sources of updates for technology companies looking to reach out to engage CIOs, CTOs and other senior IT executives. Almost purely business-focused in nature it has relatively more/better information relevant to B2B lead generation. At the same time, as content is purely user-generated, the two main issues are: 1) latency of updates and 2) executives who want to keep out of the public eye don’t self publish.

2. Facebook updates

www.ctosonthemove.com - How to generate leads with Facebook updates

Facebook has traditionally not been the best place to conduct business, especially B2B, however recently more and more companies are figuring out how to make Facebook work for them. This comes with a virtual explosion of information they disclose on their Facebook pages, including updates on their executive appointments and promotions. A simple search even if done periodically, can produce substantial volume of high-quality leads.

3. Company Announcements

www.CTOsOnTheMove.com - How to Generate Leads from Company Announcements

Every corporate page has a “News” section. This is the prime location for announcements on organizational changes, restructurings, new appointments and promotions of top executives. The best aspect of this is the fact that these updates are always timely – there is very little time lag. The problems are: 1) only senior executives get featured and 2) private companies tend not to disclose management changes.

4. Press Releases

www.ctosonthemove.com - how to generate leads from press releases

Sometimes, but not always, press releases pushed through BusinessWire or Newswire are identical to the ones found on corporate websites. It pays therefore to monitor distributors of press releases as they provide the bulk of management updates. A simple RSS reader, your team of interns or, potentially, your PR agency can do the job.

5. Twitter updates

www.ctosonthemove.com - How to generate leads with Twitter updates

Twitter has recently become the communication tool of choice and the richness and abundance of insight on Twitter is unparalleled.  Certainly, there is a lot of dust you have to sift through to find gold nuggets but there is no shortage of them on Twitter. There is a number of tools out there to search for timely updates around appointments and promotions of CIOs, CTOs and other senior IT executives out there. Follow @CTOsOnTheMove to stay in the loop.

6. SEC Filings

www.ctosonthemove.com - How to generate leads from SEC filings

Last but no least – all public companies are required by S.E.C. to disclose Appointments and Departures of key executives, including CIOs, CTOs and other senior IT executives. Usually, such filings are good sources of insights into comings and goings among senior IT executives of the largest corporations.

This post is an excerpt from the whitepaper “Introduction to Sales Trigger Events” that you can download for free here.

Sales Trigger Events

Advertisements

How to convert prospects from “I am just looking” mode into “do you take cash or credit card” mode?

Below you will learn how to use an easy 5 step process to convert occasional visitors into paying clients…. But first let me tell you a story:

About six months back I was crying on my friend’s shoulder:

“… I have an awesome product, I explain at length what it does for the prospects who come to my website searching for this very solution… and NO ONE bought anything today… What gives?!”

The crisis was existential and it made me question my product, the value of my work, my abilities as a marketer and a salesperson… it was so bad in fact that I could barely look at myself in the mirror.

My friend is an online marketer who, luckily, happens to know a thing or two about the industry. He sent me a link to a whitepaper from HubSpot that said:

“ 50%+ of qualified prospects are not ready to buy on their first visit.”

This statement hit me in a way so profound that I had to sit for a while. My buddy then unpacked it for me:

When prospective clients don’t buy that does not mean that they:

  1. Will never become your clients
  2. Are not compelled by your value proposition
  3. Do not have a need for your product/service

What’s going on here is really just a mismatch of perceptions. If you are a hammer everything seems like a nail to you. If you are a marketer/salesperson everyone seems like a qualified prospect with a “my hair is on fire”-type urgent need and a checkbook (bottom of the funnel).

At the same time, the reality is that most of the people are actually in another mode: “…I came across your stuff, it looks mildly interesting and I might use this at some point” (top of the funnel).

The real danger here is that if the salesperson doesn’t recognize this mismatch and adjusts messaging, offers, expectations – the communication will break down because both parties will be acting out of their divergent positions.

To put this in another terms: imagine for a second a guy walking into a bar, approaching the first girl he sees, dropping on his knee and popping a little black box out of his pocket. After the first “no”, not be deterred, he moves to the next one… How many “yes” replies you think he’ll get?

Yet this is exactly how a lot of salespeople – me included – oftentimes behave. What do you think is the ROI of such efforts? Zero? No, the ROI if such efforts is actually negative because not only the goal of closing the sale wasn’t accomplished, now all prospective buyers are alienated making any future sales all but impossible.

So now we know what NOT to do. Great. So what SHOULD we do? I am glad you asked…

Step 1 – Stop selling.

You didn’t see that one coming, did you?

Treat your first contact – a visitor who came to your website and left a name and an email, someone clicked on your ad, “liked” your product on Facebook, sent a cold email, etc. – not as a selling opportunity, but as an opportunity to establish enough trust so that to earn a chance for the 2nd contact… and a 3rd … and a 5th … you get the idea that we are going for a long haul here.

Now how you do that? Simply give them what they want and fast – a response, a whitepaper, a link – and then give them MORE.

Step 2 Provide value.

Don’t:

“I saw you downloaded our whitepaper. I am the VP of Business Development here and want to talk to you for 15 min about our product. What time next Tuesday is good for you?”

Do:

“I saw you downloaded our whitepaper on offshore customer support centers. I hope you found it useful – especially since I saw that you expanding your product lines recently.  As you may know, Acme Inc just went through a similar transformation and their three biggest challenges were…”

Step 3 Ask questions.

The reason to ask questions is to find out where exactly in the sales funnel they are so that you can tailor your communication, your offers, and your activities accordingly. By now you’ve built enough credibility and trust that this step should come naturally.

Step 4 Ask for small commitments.

So now we know to give MUCH more than we ask, however we still need to ask for small commitments from our prospects along the way. The point here is that by leveraging the principle of reciprocity (people are hard wired to give back) you gently walk the prospect down the funnel. Here are some of the examples of such commitments:

Time:

E.g.: Would you take 3 minutes out of your day to talk to your peer who is our current client?

Information:

E.g.: What is your budgeting cycle? Who needs to review/approve? What are your key initiatives for the next 12 months?

Introduction:

E.g.: Would you introduce us to your head of procurement?

Step 5 Calling in favors.

Closing the sale – this is the easiest step. By now the prospect received so much value out of this relationship, grew to trust you as an expert and an always-there friend, that this “ask” is not only not weird, but actually natural and expected.

It is all about sequence (give before ask) and amplification (give WAY MORE than ask).

Sales Trigger Events


How to Use Different Types of Sales Triggers to Boost Sales.

Now, there are two types of sales triggers: general and specific.

As we discussed previously, trigger events is about a certain change in the status quo that brings about a sales opportunity. From that change perspective, here is a descriptive, yet not exhaustive list:

–          Financial Change

  • Positive/negative earnings
  • Capital raise, funding, IPO
  • Bankruptcy

–          Personnel Change

  • Appointment/promotion of key executives
  • Job postings

–          Legislative Change

  • SOPA
  • SarBox

–          Growth

  • Expansion/ new locations
  • Patent filing
  • New product launches

Specific trigger events are only relevant to a certain industry or company. For example:

–          Engagement ring purchases are excellent sales triggers for wedding planners.

–          Issuance of building permits is a good trigger for construction companies and builders.

–          Hacker attacks are awesome trigger events for IT security companies.

–          Corporate debt downgrades are good triggers for turnaround consultancies and bankruptcy lawyers.

–          Etc., etc., etc.

Now to make this relevant, think hard what itch your product or service is helping scratch and, more importantly, what precursor events need to happen to for the itch to appear and – very important point – for your prospective client to become aware of the itch.

This point is paramount – for example, a hacker attack may go unnoticed and hence the prospective client may be unaware that they need to upgrade their IT security.

Now, go ahead and:

  1.  Make a list of conditions or events that need to be present for your prospective clients to realize they have a need for the benefit that your product/service delivers.
  2. Find sources, public or private, of this trigger event information. This can be Google Alerts, Factiva, various trade publications – both print and online.
  3. For extra bonus: think how you can introduce the trigger event into your prospects mind, so that you actively drive the process instead of reacting to outside events.

This last point begs an example: HubSpot, an inbound marketing company, recently introduced a free tool called WebSiteGrader that grades any website on parameters like SEO, social media, information architecture, etc. – you might have guessed that these are some of the services that HubSpot is selling.

The when you grade your site and find where you are lacking, it is only natural that you’d turn to HubSpot to fix your issues – a brilliant tool that creates sales triggers – realization that the website is lacking – out of thin air. Beautifully done.

You can find more on how to leverage sales trigger events – specifically, management changes – for technology sales at http://www.CTOsOnTheMove.com. Further, you can sign up for the limited, free version and paid, full version of the service at http://www.CTOsOnTheMove.com/pricing.html

Sales Trigger Events


Sales Trigger – Selling Umbrellas When it Rains

So what’s a sales trigger? “Sales trigger” is an event that changes the status quo for your prospect and therefore creates a potential sales opportunity for you.

“Selling umbrellas when it rains” is the best analogy I can think of.  If you live in New York City, you saw a million times those impromptu salesmen popping up on every corner with a selection of parasols with the first drops from the sky.

Now, the trigger event – rain – changed the status quo for the prospective buyer who is now looking at the $3,000 suit being destroyed by the downpour.  Immediately, the pain of the status quo becomes greater than the pain from parting with $5.

If you think of it, prior to the rain starting, the salesmen could stalk people on the street, shout about the weather forecast, deploy telemarketers, invest in social media; however I’d bet they would NOT generate the same sales because the immediate and urgent need would not be realized by all the prospective buyers.

How does this relate to you? If you:

–          Identify your market – prospective companies, specific titles/roles within those organizations

–          Identify the type trigger events – management change, capital infusion, bankruptcy, merger – that are most likely to create a sales opportunity for you

–          Design a process to track those events – through Google alerts, news clipping services, etc.

–          Integrate specific actions – dedicated emails, phone calls, etc. – into your current marketing campaign,

… then you may see that incredible lift in response rates compared to the traditional “push” type marketing and sales efforts.  All you may have to do to close a sale is to “make your prospects aware that it started raining…”

You can find more on how to leverage sales trigger events – specifically, management changes – for technology sales at http://www.CTOsOnTheMove.com. Further, you can sign up for the limited, free version and paid, full version of the service at http://www.CTOsOnTheMove.com/pricing.html

Sales Trigger Events


Recent Appointments of IT Executives, CIO/CTO Job Postings, Technology Events.

Best sales triggers are “events”. An event could be a management change, a job posting or and industry event. We’ve collated the most important ones below:

These senior IT Executives were recently appointed to their positions:

– Grisha Alpernas was Appointed as Information Technology Director at Washington State University in Vancouver http://bit.ly/ezZ5XL

– Ari Bose was Appointed as Chief Information Officer at Polycom http://bit.ly/i80EU

– Robert Brese was Appointed as Deputy Chief Information Officer at U.S. Department of Energy http://bit.ly/eGEwCm

– Dean Cookson was Appointed as Chief Information Officer at Airline Virgin America http://bit.ly/gQsWFz

– Stephen Davies was Appointed as Chief Information Officer at Savient Pharmaceuticals http://bit.ly/ezbFKh

– Ian Fletcher was Appointed as Chief Technology Officer at Miranda Technologies http://bit.ly/dH3pJN

– Rob Harpel was Appointed as Chief Technology Officer at Fitch Ratings http://bit.ly/foqHXJ

– Rajiv Laroia was Appointed as Chief Technology Officer at Sonus Networks http://bit.ly/dFIJQT

– John McKinley was Appointed as Chief Technology Officer at News Corp http://bit.ly/hEWFHS

– Paul Obermeyer Named Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Comerica http://bit.ly/goszOM

– Phil Sakakihara was Appointed as Chief Technology Officer at Lyris  http://bit.ly/fgsrQL

– Ravi Simhambhatla was Appointed as  Vice President IT at Tesla Motors http://bit.ly/g7hYdN

– Mike Toomer was Appointed as IT Director at VeriFone http://bit.ly/hkeUKA

– Janice Ward was Appointed as Chief Information Officer for SunGard Higher Education http://bit.ly/eyWjDV

– Deborah Zawisza was Appointed as Chief Information Officer at  Claim Services at Travelers http://bit.ly/gm3N4K

 

These organizations posted openings in the IT organization which indicates that IT budgets will be in motion:

–          Benchmark Brands in Atlanta, GA is looking for a Chief Information Officer http://bit.ly/fCofX

–          R/GA is looking for a Chief Information Officer http://bit.ly/edXfk6

–          City of Santa Cruz is looking for a Chief Technology Officer http://bit.ly/eTHlqQ

–          News Corp. is looking for a VP, Technology http://bit.ly/f2kjY3

–          Thomson Reuters is looking for a Chief Technology Officer http://bit.ly/hDnLln

–          Harvard University is looking to hire a Chief Technology Officer http://bit.ly/fZSuR2

 

These IT events are present excellent opportunities to strengthen relationships with existing clients and forge new ones:

–          CIO Summit, taking place in Scottsdale, AZ on March 13, 2011. Produced by CDM Media. See more at http://bit.ly/flc8aF

–          CIO Leadership Forum, taking place in Phoenix, AX on March 20, 2011. Produced by Gartner. See more at http://bit.ly/gLwmkD

–          The CIO Leadership Event, taking place in Ponte Vedra, FL on May 1, 2011. Produced by CIO. See more at http://bit.ly/e33GIJ

–          InterOp, taking place in Las Vegas on May 8, 2011. Produced by TechWeb. See more at http://bit.ly/hStQAZ

–          Sapphire, taking place in Orlando, FL on May 15, 2011. Produced by SAP. See more at http://bit.ly/gLI1Y

–          The CIO and IT Security Forum, taking place in Ponte Vedra, FL on May 22, 2011. Produced by Richmond Events. See more at http://bit.ly/gZogeC

–          Green Data Center Conference, taking place in San Francisco, CA on May 24, 2011. Produced by GDCON. See more at http://bit.ly/fsinRi


Trigger Events 101: How to Boost Your Sales Lead Generation Success with Insightful and Actionable Trigger Events.

First of all, what’s a trigger event? A trigger event is an instance that disrupted the steady flow, changed the status quo. On a person level this event could be birth of a child (need diapers), marriage (don’t need night clubs) or as simple as a headache (need aspirin).

On a business level such trigger events could be:

–          Appointment or promotion of a key executive

–          Acquisition of another company

–          Opening of a branch office

–          Raising capital

–          Merger

–          Going public

–          Disposal of a business line

–          Etc., etc., etc.

Why such trigger events are important? They are important for several reasons:

–          Change the status quo. They disrupt the status quo – the move the existing system of vendors, buyers, executives out of equilibrium, thus creating a perfect entry point for a new vendor – YOU! – to jump it.

–          Urge to buy. They create an authoritative, funded, unequivocal, and irresistible urge to buy. For example, if your company is going public, you, as a CFO, cannot NOT have auditors. Or if you opened a new office, you cannot NOT get it cleaned, etc.

–          Actionable Insight. They are immediate, time bound, actionable insight. They may not have existed yesterday, but they are here now, so that the nimblest vendor out there can capture this opportunity and gain an edge over the competition. Needless to say, trigger events are perishable – the more you wait to act on them, the less impactful they become as your competitors pile in, and the target company address the business need elsewhere.

So as a salesperson or sales executive, how could you use sales triggers to grow your sales pipeline, generate strong opportunities, and ultimately – sell more?

Step 1.  Identify Your Trigger Event

If you are sell bricks then issuance of a new building permit could be your trigger event. If you are a bankruptcy lawyer than a default on a credit line could be your trigger event. Think what circumstances generate the business need for your product or service.

Step 2.  Build Your Gathering System

This process could be as automatic as signing up for Google Alerts or as manual as calling experts “in the know” once a week. In reality it is probably a combination of RSS feeds, newletters, human curators and such. In the end, you’d want a process that generates a large enough number of insights per week to make it worthwhile.

Step 3. Act on Trigger Events

Yes. The most important part – act on these insights NOW. Not tomorrow, not after the holidays. Now.  Acting could mean picking up a phone a congratulating the newly appointed executive. Or sending a highly personalized email.

Step 4. Track Your Success and Optimize.

Over time you will have enough data points to analyze what works and what doesn’t. What sources of insights tend to be more reliable/productive. What actions of your produce the most results. Armed with this information you can tweak your trigger event gathering and acting on to achieve even better results.

Sales Trigger Events


How to Leverage Sales Trigger Events – Top 10 Ways to Engage and Sell More with Sales Trigger Insights

When a top decision maker changes jobs it is usually a strong signal to engage this person in a business conversation because your chances of success are that much higher. The reasons are simple:

Change is in the air. New executives tend to audit what they’ve inherited, and as they are charting their course going forward they tend to be more open to contacts with trusted advisors.

 

Strong personal relationships are disrupted. Pre-existing vendor client relationships are not as strong, and the time around appointments/promotions are some of the best entry points into a new account

 

Blind spot for other salespeople. The news and hence new contact details (emails, phone numbers) have not yet percolated throughout all sales lists and contact databases therefore the amount of inbound email and phone solicitations are not as large.

Personal ego. Most likely they were hired with a mandate to change things around, they want to make a name for themselves therefore they are likely to do something new.

Here is list of top 10 action items you could use to fully leverage the insights about career changes of IT executives:

1.      Email – send a congratulatory email to the IT executive who was recently promoted or newly appointed.

2.      Phone call – just pick the phone and call to congratulate the person on the career move. The script could be along the lines: “I’ve noticed in the news the announcement of your recent promotion and just wanted to tell you how happy we are to hear about your success…”

3.      Event – you can invite them to an industry event your are sponsoring or speaking at: Gartner, InterOp, Evanta, ComputerWeek or others.

4.      Webinar – invite then to a webinar you are hosting. The invitation could be along the lines: “John, we’ve noticed you recently assumed an important role at the company and we hope you will join your peers at the webinar we hosting on a topic that would be certainly important in your IT strategy”.

5.      Gift – send a gift. It could be as little as a classy business card holder with personal note, or as large as a bottle of wine. Be mindful that what you say in the gift card could be more important than the gift itself.

6.      Peer feedback – invite your current client who is a peer to the newly appointed executive to reach out and congratulate them on your behalf.

7.      Letter – with so many filters, from personal assistants to email filters, it is difficult to get through. Try sending a personal hand written note, it will surely stand out and more likely to get noticed.

8.      Face-to-face – invite them to a face-to-face meeting. Depending on the stature at the firm it could be as informal as a coffee (“I am in town meeting clients and would like to touch base with you on your IT strategy going forward.”) or as serious as a steak dinner.

9.      Appointment – ask for an appointment in a smart way: “Mary, I’d like to congratulate on your recent appointment. As you may know, a number of companies similar to your are our clients and we’ve done truly impactful solutions for them in the field of _____ which, no doubt, would be one of your focus areas going forward. Would you have 10min next week for a brief phone call? I am available on…”

10.  White paper – send them a white paper that is relevant referencing their new role, current mandate, previous positions, etc.

 

Sales Trigger Events