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    10 Social Selling Triggers To Use On LinkedIn. (With Bonus Sales Navigator Strategies.)

    10 social selling triggers to use on LinkedIn blog image

    Speed has always been seen as a competitive advantage and that’s certainly true with sales trigger events, where there’s a critical window of opportunity if you act before your competitorsNowadays, those triggers can be found much more easily on social media, especially LinkedIn, and there are unique social selling triggers you should look for, too. 

    Even the smallest innocuous step – such as joining a specific group can be a social selling trigger event you should act on quickly - just not in the “old way” but with your newfound social selling skills! 

    The trick is knowing what social selling triggers to look for and where and how to use them to your advantage.  

    So we’ve outlined the 10 best social selling sales triggers to look out for on LinkedIn and what they can mean.  

    While we’re strong advocates of LinkedIn Sales Navigator, we appreciate that licences are often expensive and limited, so we’ve included triggers any salesperson can look for. However, we’ve added some “bonus” tips for how to use Sales Navigator to prevent missing social selling triggers or minimise the time you spend searching for them. 

    (You can read more about how to use the many LinkedIn growth trigger features here). 

    Read on if you’re looking for a social selling edge! 


    C-Suite Changes 

    A change of leadership can bring about more than just a change of faces. Sometimes, new leaders are brought onboard to deliver a change in direction of some kind - and they’ll want to make their mark quickly in the business.  

    Look at what their press release and social posts celebrating the new leadership say. Often, they’ll include exactly why they have taken someone new onboard, for example, if it’s to do with implementing change (versus the previous person just moving on). Sometimes, though, social media can give you even more insights. With LinkedIn you can dig a little deeper into the executive’s background and activity to see where their potential strengths and current interests lie.  


    Bonus For LinkedIn Sales Navigator Users 

    LinkedIn Sales Navigator notifies you of news for specific accounts and leads and you can also search for it too – meaning you’ll never miss an important news announcement again! 

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    You can also search for new hires and filter by seniority. 




    A Contact Changes Roles  

    If a contact changes roles within their company, they may then become a relevant prospect. So ensure you reach out with a congratulatory InMail or comment on any new job change. It can be as simple as wishing them luck and then following-up later on.  

    If your contact is a satisfied client that’s moved to a new, relevant company then you can be even more direct and ask if they need help making their mark in their new company at the same time as wishing them congratulations! (You know your relationship and whether a cheeky outreach or a softer approach would work.) 


    Bonus For LinkedIn Sales Navigator Users  

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    Again, LinkedIn enables you to see at a glance the latest career changes for your saved leads.  


    Prospects Are Talking To Competitors 

    If you’re following your prospects on LinkedIn, your news feed should show when they’ve shared or commented on a competitor’s post. If they’re in talks with your competitors, they may be in the market for their services - and yours too. 

    As sales triggers go, you could end up jumping on the back end of their buying decision process, but you could also spot these conversations when your buyers are still in the awareness stage. And as you’ve seen what competitor content has sparked their interest, you’ve already got an idea of what their pains and motivations are.  


    Bonus For LinkedIn Sales Navigator Users 

    Use the alerts filter to look for specific leads and see what they’ve shared recently. 

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    They’ve Viewed Your Profile Or Sent A Connection Request 

    If someone is viewing your profile or requesting to connect with you, it could be nothing more than they can see you have a shared interest or connections in common. However, it could also mean that they wish to pitch you their own products or services!  

    If a post you’ve shared or a comment you’ve made has sparked their interest - that could well be because they’re in the market for your products or services (or are going to be in the future). Or even better, they may actively be looking for services or products and you’ve appeared in their search results/been recommended through their network.  

    So, while this isn’t a red-hot sales trigger, it’s one you should always act swiftly on. Send them a message to thank them for the interest and find out why they’ve contacted you. 


    Bonus For LinkedIn Sales Navigator Users 

    As we’ve said, people can view your profile or request to connect with you for various reasons. However, if a lead has visited your company’s LinkedIn page or website that’s a stronger buying signal to act on.  

    With LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you can set up both Leadership and Employee Buyer Interest Alerts so that you get alerts the minute this happens.  


    Funding Rounds 

    Funding rounds mean that a company is going to invest money but where will often depend on what stage of investment they are at. In the first round, they’re likely to need to establish product/market fit. However, at later stages they are usually looking to scale their product/services or expand their geographic base. 

    All of which you can potentially help with. Any pitch attempt should always be well-researched and an: “I see you’ve got money to spend” will obviously be a bit too forward! 

    If your prospect announces a new funding round, then the most obvious place to check to get an idea of what they’re planning to do with it is their press release. You should also go further and check their social posts to determine what they’ve been doing to date on these initiatives - as well as combine with other growth sales triggers you identify.  


    LinkedIn Funding & Innovation Groups 

    Funding rounds may be a great sales trigger, as spending is inevitable, but the chances are that your competitors are also quickly jumping on this news. With LinkedIn you may be able to spot less obvious potential funding before it’s covered in a press release.  

    For example: The UK government wishes to promote and invest in R&D and so various government and research bodies will publish regular funding calls – i.e. they announce that they will offer grants for particular issues they wish to address.   

    Organisations include Innovate UK and the Medical Research Council, but you can find a full list of relevant bodies via the UKRI.  

    It’s worth following relevant LinkedIn groups to keep an eye on funding calls that may affect your sector. As well as the far-reaching Innovate UK, there are industry-specific groups dedicated to helping businesses access funding and R&D grants, such as the Energy Innovation Centre and local council initiatives.  

    Are any of your prospects also members? This may suggest that they’re hoping to access funding or have ongoing/upcoming R&D projects.  


    Growth Triggers 

    Whenever a company announces one of the following, then they almost invariably indicate that they will need new solutions to help them achieve their growth goals: 

    • Launched a new product/service  
    • New funding rounds 
    • Mergers/acquisitions 

    With funding it will depend on the stage of funding. If it’s new, they’re likely to need to establish product/market fit, but at later stages they are usually looking to scale their product/services or expand their geographic base. 

    Again, as well as looking at what any press release/social post says (which any salesperson can do), check what they are saying on their social posts. See if you can identify what they’ve been doing to date on these new initiatives and combine with other growth sales triggers to build out the bigger picture.  


    Competition And Market Triggers 

    LinkedIn is one of the easiest ways to stay up to date with the latest industry news. By following target companies, their competitors and those within their supply chain you can quickly spot sales triggers such as: 

    • A new entrant to the market 
    • A significant new product/service launch by a competitor 
    • A change in supply and demand  

    In the case of the first two, your prospect may be looking to make a bold move in response. And in the case of the latter, they’ll want to be the first with a solution before their competitors jump in.  


    Marketing Ramp-Up 

    If you notice a ramp up or change of direction in the content your target account is sharing on social media, then it signals that they will be doing the same with their products or services.  Marketing teams often begin campaigns ahead of launching new products or services - this is a sales trigger that you can try to harness before the competition does.  

    By following your target accounts and prospects and keeping a regular eye on your newsfeed you should hopefully develop an intuitive feeling for any change in marketing strategy. If not, then it should become apparent when you perform profiling refreshes (if done regularly enough). 


    Bonus For LinkedIn Sales Navigator Users 

    It can be easy for marketing strategy changes to slip through the net, especially with such busy newsfeeds.  

    While you could commit to regular profiling refreshes, with LinkedIn Sales Navigator you can check alerts for when prospects share any new content - meaning you don’t miss anything, and you can act much quicker.  

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    Hiring changes 

    Whether a company is hiring or laying people off, it can give you a good indication of current growth plans, focus areas and potential efficiency issues within the company. All of which could be an opportunity for you to provide products or services to help. 

    When you follow a company on LinkedIn you may see them promoting new roles via their social posts, but it’s also worth checking target companies’ company pages as part of your weekly prospect profiling.  


    Bonus For LinkedIn Sales Navigator Users 

    This is one area where LinkedIn Sales Navigator offers many more insights than free or premium licences.  

    It will show you the following:  

    • How employee count has changed over time  
    • Distribution of headcount by roles 
    • New hires 

    You can therefore more easily spot trends that suggest one-off project needs or gradual growth or decline in certain areas. 


    Employee count over time



    Distribution of headcount by roles



    New hires




    An Example Of How It Works In Practice 

    Here is an example of how it works:  

    One of my clients had been trying to penetrate the C-suite of a highly regarded financial institution here in the UK.  

    Leadership changes was one trigger we established to monitor, because eventually a changing of the guard would help my client get their foot in the door. Another trigger was earnings.  

    A few days later, I saw a press release announcing the retirement of the current CIO. That meant we needed to pay close attention to the next trigger I knew was coming – the announcement of the new leader assuming the role.  

    At the same time, we read through the quarterly earnings report and boom – there it was. Earnings were down and one reason cited was  a cyber-attack - though thwarted, it put their security systems at serious risk. Now we had something to go on.  

    The board would certainly insist that the new CIO put security at the top of their list of priorities. My client sells the kind of software that the CIO would want to know about. The moment we had the name of the new CIO, my client went to work to find out who they knew that could help them secure a meeting.  

    As it turned out, they were well connected to someone in their network who knew this CIO very well. In a matter of days, the meeting my client hadn’t been able to pin down for two years finally materialized. 


    As I said at the beginning, timing is everything with trigger events in sales. And the beauty of social selling triggers is that you can receive alerts the minute something happens – giving you an edge if you know how to combine this with other social selling skills. 


    If you want a taster of what social selling can do in practice for your sales goals then why not sign up for our Social Selling Taster Webinar 



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