10 Sales Triggers to Utilize for Outreach

10 Sales Triggers to Utilize for Outreach

A sales trigger is any event that creates a good opportunity for a sales rep to reach out, strengthen a relationship, or make a sale to a buyer. 

Timing is everything in B2B sales. Reaching out at the right time can literally make or break a deal. 

Fortunately, sales and marketing teams don’t need to guess when a prospect will be most receptive to their outreach. 

Sales triggers (also known as “trigger events”) help sales reps know exactly when to reach out with relevant, personalized sales content. 

In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about sales triggers, including how to identify ten of the most common types, how to measure the impact of your trigger-based outreach, and more. 

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is a Sales Trigger?

what is a sales trigger?A sales trigger is any event that occurs that creates an opportunity for sales reps to reach out to buyers. 

B2B sales triggers come in all shapes and sizes, so to speak, and can happen at any point during the sales process. 

sales trigger events

B2B is a very time-sensitive field. Timing matters — a lot — and sales triggers help sales reps reach out at exactly the right time, when they’re most likely to be receptive. 

Sales triggers also help sales reps reduce the amount of the time it takes to make contact with ready buyers. 

Research shows that sales teams that reach out sooner than later are significantly more likely to convert leads. sales triggers: the five minute ruleAnd while there’s no arguing that the data is very compelling, sales reps actually appreciate sales triggers for a much more practical reason. 

For new leads, sales triggers represent a logical, natural opportunity to initiate a conversation. 

For existing prospects and customers, sales triggers are a great reminder to strengthen the relationship on a more personalized level and nurture them through the funnel as needed. 

Sales and marketing teams can also use sales triggers in their automated workflows. Some sales intelligence software platforms allow users to identify and flag sales triggers that generate personalized, timely, and relevant email outreach.

cursor-clickInbox sales trigger alertsKnow when recipients read your emails, click on links, and view attachments

10 Types of Sales Triggers

The exact sales triggers that are most meaningful to your sales funnel will be unique to your sales team, as well as the behaviors/preferences of your target market. 

That being said, there are several that are universally impactful, and represent good opportunities for sales email outreach (regardless of the specifics of your buyer and/or sales process). 10 types of sales triggers

1. Job Changes

Many sales reps have success with reaching out to prospects and customers after they start a new position. Whether they’ve been promoted internally, or accepted a position at a new company, buyers in new roles often need new tools to support them.

Keep an eye on LinkedIn and other social media, as well as general industry news to track potential job changes. This sales trigger makes it easy to reach out with a simple “congratulations” and an offer to help them through the transition. 

Tip: 40 ways to use LinkedIn for sales.

2. Company Announcements

General company announcements (e.g., a change in leadership or c-suite executives, company expansions, new product launches, mergers/acquisitions) are also lucrative sales triggers. 

Many of these events represent significant revenue changes for the target company, or may include new and influential personnel that will be eager to prove their worth in their new role. 

Many sales reps follow target brands’ LinkedIn and other social media profiles to stay up-to-date on company announcements. 

3. Funding News

Most sales reps know to strike while the iron is hot once a company announces funding news. This is a very successful B2B sales trigger because it means, in no uncertain terms, that your target company is about to come into a big influx of cash. 

To capitalize on this sales trigger, sales reps should reach out as soon as possible after learning funding news, and with confidence in their offer. 

This is an especially effective tactic for previously-engaged prospects that went cold due to budget constraints. 

To track funding news, follow analyst reports, company filings, and share prices. 

4. Legislative Changes

For some industries, legislative changes and updates to regulations can mean a need for new solutions. 

Businesses often need to update or change their tools to adapt to changes like these, and sales reps who can demonstrate expertise and trustworthiness (with more than just good rapport) are in a good position to take full advantage of this sales trigger. 

Follow industry news with Google alerts, LinkedIn alerts, etc. to stay on top of changes to laws and/or regulations. 

5. Company Performance

When a company communicates about their performance, many sales reps treat this as a sales trigger — regardless of whether the company releases good news or bad news. 

If a prospective company is performing well, they may be more likely to spend on solutions that will scale their success. 

On the other hand, companies whose sales performance miss the mark will likely be searching for products that will help them improve their results. 

Sales teams should also keep an eye on overall market fluctuations that may affect a target company’s performance, as this can give them a head start, and put themselves in an ideal position to reach out when the timing is perfect. 

Company newsletters, financial filings, and industry news can help sales and marketing teams keep track of this sales trigger. 

6. Hiring Increases/Decreases

The rate at which a company is adding or letting go of employees can also be very telling as far as overall performance is concerned. 

Growing a team, adding new roles, and laying people off are all important sales triggers that indicate a potential need for further solutions. 

You can track whether a target company is adding or letting go of employees by keeping an eye on their LinkedIn. Google alerts can also be helpful for tracking this sales trigger. 

7. Company Relocation

Though companies relocate for many reasons — positive, negative, and everything in between — all of them are sales triggers that need attention. 

When a company moves their physical location, it’s almost always a surefire sign that they’ll be in need of new temporary or permanent solutions to see them through the transition and beyond. 

Sales teams can set up Google alerts to keep an eye on any relocation news. LinkedIn, company newsletters, and press releases can also shed light on any upcoming moving plans. 

8. Trade Show Appearances

Meeting a prospect at a trade show, conference, or other industry event can be an easy and straightforward way to create genuine, engaged sales relationships

These in-person meetings are designed specifically for networking and to create connections, so most prospects will be expecting some kind of interaction and won’t be put-off by any attempt at outreach.

To make the most of this kind of sales trigger, it’s important to be well-versed in what topics will be covered at the event, as well as which prospects/target companies you expect to be in attendance. Press releases, social media, company newsletters, and industry news can also offer insight into what to expect at certain events. 

9. Major Order

Some sales reps track their target companies’ contracts and plan outreach around major orders and high-value customer acquisitions. 

Companies that have recently landed a lucrative new account may be more likely to spend on new solutions to help them manage the increased workload. Sales reps can keep an eye on these transactions to know when to reach out to increase their chances of success. 

10. Competitor Announcements

Whenever your prospect’s competitor makes a move in the industry, it’s reasonable to expect that your prospect company will likely follow suit. 

With that in mind, if their competitor invests in a solution or upgrades their technology, your target account may be ready to hear from you. 

Be ready to reach out with an enticing new marketing campaign, some recent tangible customer wins, and/or compelling case studies. Your prospects won’t want to fall far behind their competition, and will likely be very receptive to an engaging sales conversation about your solution. 

Tip: When you reach out to buyers after the above sales triggers, make sure your email is personalized and relevant, here are some email templates to help you send messages that will generate replies:

18 Proven Email Templates for SalesWinning email templates for cold outreach, follow-ups, and nurturing relationships – backed by data and real-world examples.

How to Identify Sales Triggers

There are many ways that sales reps track the sales triggers that matter most to their process and their market. 

Here are just a few ways to keep an eye on specific buyer behavior that indicates readiness for outreach:

  • Google alerts
  • LinkedIn alerts
  • Social listening via social media profiles
  • Industry/sector news
  • Company newsletter
  • Press releases 
  • Company filings and annual reports 
  • Earnings calls 
  • Company websites

For the most part, sales triggers represent positive news for the target company (e.g., new funding, a big new customer, business expansion, etc.). 

With that in mind, many companies announce and even proudly broadcast their own sales triggers. This means that sales reps can easily access at least some sales triggers simply by keeping an eye on their target companies’ announcements. 

Fortunately, for the harder-to-find sales triggers, tools exist to help sales reps know the exact moments when prospects are ready to hear from them. 

Yesware, for example, makes it easy for sales reps to pinpoint the exact moments when prospects are most engaged with your emails and attachments. 

sales triggers: email tracking

Yesware software also generates reports about which individual emails, email campaigns, and attachments are most successful with your target audience. 

sales triggers: template reporting

Successful use of sales triggers relies on a sales team’s ability to track them with deep insight and in real-time, and Yesware helps sales reps do just that. 

How to Craft Your Sales Trigger-Based Outreach Strategy

Sales triggers offer a great opportunity for sales reps to personalize their outreach. The buyer behavior that catalyzes the trigger will help marketing and sales teams understand the exact kind of sales collateral they need at the moment to move them through the funnel. 

Here’s a relevant and personalized email example of an email that a rep sent after noticing a hiring-based sales trigger on LinkedIn. 

This cold email is from a sales rep who was keeping an eye on the hiring needs at one of their target companies. They used that as a segue to introduce themselves and start the conversation about a potential partnership based on their hiring needs. 

hiring sales trigger

Here’s an email outreach that was generated after a prospect viewed a previous email. 

Using email tracking software will help sales reps identify when prospects are reading their previous emails, which is when you and your product are most top-of-mind.

email open sales trigger

And lastly, here’s one that a sales rep wrote after reading about a recent accomplishment from the target company. 

Opening your email with congratulating the prospect is an easy way to build rapport right off the bat.

company announcement sales trigger

Timing your outreach perfectly can also help maximize your impact. According to Yesware data, the best times to send an email that are most likely to get a response are 1:00 pm and 11:00 am. 

sales triggers: best time to send email

Yesware’s email template feature helps sales teams save their most successful emails, and you can automatically send them at the exact time when prospects are most likely to engage. 

And with our easy-to-use personalization features, it’s easy to send targeted, personalized messages at scale, on time, and automatically. 

Best Practices for Sales Trigger-Based Email Outreach

If you plan to use sales triggers to help strategize email outreach, keep the following best practices in mind. 

Mention the Trigger

It’s a good idea to mention the sales trigger upfront; this will help the prospect understand why you’re reaching out, and hopefully encourage them to be more likely to engage and respond. 

There’s a bit of nuance here, as you want to avoid sounding pushy or overeager. Try to stick to phrases like:

  • I noticed on LinkedIn…
  • Congratulations on…
  • I saw that you…

These help connect the recipient to why you’re reaching out, but don’t put any pressure on them or unintentionally allude to overbearing research habits. 

Get Personal 

Just like any other sales outreach, trigger-based sales emails need to be personalized and highly relevant to the recipient. Buyers today expect nothing less than total personalization. sales triggers: buyer personalizationSales triggers should always be accompanied by research on the ideal company profile and buyer persona before outreach. 

sales triggers: ideal customer profile and buyer personasYesware was built to help sales reps personalize their email outreach. Our powerful reporting and analytics generate easy-to-read, actionable reports that help sales teams understand how and when to reach out to buyers in a way that moves the needle within the sales funnel. 

sales triggers: campaigns reporting

Include a CTA

B2B sales triggers indicate that a buyer may be ready to engage, but the trigger itself is usually not enough to get them locked into the sales funnel. 

Your email outreach should include a clear call to action (CTA) that helps them take action and officially engage in the sales process. 

Calls to action are short but require careful thought. Many teams choose to A/B test these phrases to find the exact verbiage that’s most compelling to their target market. sales triggers: sales email CTA examplesProspects who are already engaged in the sales funnel will likely generate sales triggers, too. Those CTAs should encourage those buyers to move forward to the next stage of the sales funnel and move closer to closing. 

How to Measure the Impact of Sales Trigger-Based Outreach

Keep an eye on the following sales metrics to understand how effectively you and your team are responding to sales triggers. 

  • Email open rate
  • Email reply rate
  • Email engagement rate 

Measuring the impact of your sales trigger-based outreach is relatively straightforward, if not tedious. It also requires careful accuracy among many moving parts.

Fortunately, this process can be completely automated with the right tools. 

Yesware gives sales teams a direct view into their email recipients’ behavior, including how long they spend reading your emails/attachments, what content is most important to them, and what times are most likely to generate a response from them. 

And with real-time alerts, sales reps will never see another sales opportunity slip through their fingers. 


Sales triggers offer highly relevant and timely information about when their prospects will be most receptive to their sales efforts. 

Many sales reps react to sales triggers — which can, of course, be an effective way to meet the needs of your market. 

But tools like Yesware can help sales teams become proactive and strategic about how they manage sales triggers. 

Yesware integrates with Gmail and Outlook in less than two minutes. Sign up for a free trial today to experience firsthand how tracking and responding to sales triggers can revolutionize your sales process. 

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