Reaching out to prospects at the right time is essential to your B2B company's success. You may only have a short window to pitch a product or service. Failure to contact prospects during this window may result in them choosing a competitor's product or service. With buying signals, however, you'll know when prospects are ready to make a purchase.
What Are Buying Signals?
Buying signals are hints that a prospect is ready to make a purchase. They can be explicit or implied. Explicit buying signals are those in which a prospect states his or her intentions to make a purchase. Implied buying signals are those in which a prospect suggests or implies his or her intentions to make a purchase. Regardless, they indicate a prospect wants to make a purchase.
The timing of your communications with prospects is important. In the B2B industry, prospects consist of business owners, Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and other decision-makers. They typically purchase products and services from B2B companies to solve a problem within their own business's operations. Maybe a prospect's business is struggling to meet customers' demands, or perhaps a prospect's business wants to shorten its manufacturing cycles. Problems such as these require a solution.
You can pitch your B2B company's products or services as a solution. But you'll want to target prospects at the right time. If you're too early with your sales pitch, prospects may not be convinced that your B2B company is the best choice. If you're too late with your sales pitch, on the other hand, prospects may partner with a competitor. You only have a short window to target prospects with a sales pitch, but buying signals can reveal these windows.
How to Spot Buying Signals
You can spot buying signals in several ways. If you have a sales form on your B2B company's website, for instance, you should monitor it for new inquiries. Prospects who are ready to make a purchase may complete the sales form. Depending on how the sales form is set up, it may automatically send you an email inquiry to your inbox.
If your B2B company's website has a search function, you should consider tracking the keywords for which prospects search. Keywords can have purchase intent. Prospects may search for keywords like "buy [product or service name]" while browsing your B2B company's website. Assuming a prospect is logged in to his or her account while performing this search, it's safe to assume the keyword is buying signal. You can then contact the prospect to try and close the deal.
Another way to spot buying signals is to use a chatbot. A chatbox is a website app that's designed to answer questions while mimicking human dialogue. If a prospect has a question about your B2B company -- or any of your B2B company's products or services -- he or she can ask the chatbot. The chatbot will process the prospect's questions, and in the blink of an eye, offer an answer. Some questions may indicate that a prospect is ready to make a purchase.
There are firmographic-based buying signals. Firmographics is data about a business. It's the equivalent of demographics, but while demographics represents people, firmographics represents businesses. Firmographic-based buying signals consist of firmographics. Like all buying signals, they indicate that a prospect is ready to make a purchase. Businesses that issue new rounds of funding, for example, may be ready to make a purchase. Alternatively, businesses that shake up their executive leadership may be ready to make a purchase.
Google Alerts can help you spot buying signals. It's available by clicking here. If you know the name of a prospect's business, you can create an alert for it. Google will then monitor the internet for mentions of the prospect's business. Upon discovering a new mention, Google will send you an alert notification. Rather than looking for buying signals manually, you should take advantage of this free Google-powered tool.
Tips on Using Buying Signals
Buying signals only reveal when prospects are ready to make a purchase. You'll still need to take action after identifying them. Failure to take action will ultimately hurt your B2B company's ability to sell its products or services.
You should reach out to prospects as soon as possible after identifying a buying signal. The longer you wait, the greater the chance of prospects choosing a competitor's product or service.
Some buying signals can reveal additional information that, when applied to your B2B company's sales strategy, can increase your chance of closing the deal. Firmographics-based buying signals, for instance, consist of business-related data. You can use firmographic-based buying signals to learn more about prospects' businesses. If a business recently issued a new round of funding, it may have a surplus of cash. If a business appointed a new leader, it may be looking to change its operations. You can use this information to customize your sales pitch so that it resonates with the prospect.
Another tip is to categorize your buying signals. All buying signals indicate that a prospect is ready to make a purchase. With that said, there are many different types of buying signals. Explicit buying signals involve a prospect explicitly seeking to make a purchase. Implied buying signals involve a prospect suggesting he or she is ready to make a purchase. Firmographic-based buying signals, on the other hand, involve business-related information. There are also event-based buying signals that involve events.
You can also use buying signals to personalize sales messages. Prospects are more likely to respond to personalized sales messages than generic sales messages. To personalize a sales message, though, you'll need to know information about the prospect. Buying signals reveal information about prospects. Before contacting a prospect, create a personalized sales pitch using information from the buying signal.
Buying signals offer insight into prospects' intentions. Whether explicit or implied, they indicate that a prospect is ready to make a purchase. By contacting a prospect immediately after identifying a buying signal, you'll have a better chance of closing the deal.