21 Buying Signals To Use in Your Outbound Sales

Learn how to identify buying signals to improve B2B sales by monitoring online content consumption. 90% of pre-purchase research is done online so that understanding signals can set you apart from competitors.

When B2B buyers search for solutions to their problems, they often turn to the internet. They visit websites to read blog posts, watch product videos, or download guides. With 90% of pre-purchase research being conducted online, monitoring this content consumption can provide valuable insights into buying signals. Identifying and understanding buying signals is essential for outbound sales, allowing you to stand out from the competition.

📘 Outbound sales refers to the process of actively reaching out to potential customers to book a call demo. This can be done through various methods such as cold emailing, calling, or even social media messaging via LinkedIn.

Buying signals are clues or indications that a potential customer is close to making a decision. This is a key time for sales staff to contact them.

How to Spot Buying Signals?

They can be verbal, for example in a meeting, or non-verbal, and a Sales Team or Growth Team needs to be able to identify and respond to them to increase their chances of closing a sale.

Verbal buying signals include phrases such as "I'm interested in learning more," "I'm ready to move forward," or "We have a budget for this." These phrases show that the prospect is actively considering going further in the exchange, and that's an excellent point for us.

Nonverbal buying signals can include fundraising, publication of an annual report, and publications, interactions or comments on Linkedin.

All these buying signals can be signs of prospecting depending on each industry and business model. An HR firm will be very attentive to new publications on job boards, for example.

21 Buying Signals You Should Track

With an understanding of buying signals, it is important to determine which ones to consider.

Here are 21 buying signals for personalizing cold emails, video messaging, calls and optimizing your outreach strategy for relevance, specificity, and timeliness.

1. Company closes a round of fundraising

A signal detected for Aircall = Fundraising

Company funding is a crucial buying signal to track, as an influx of money from investors indicates growth and a larger budget. To focus your search, consider benchmarking companies that have already raised significant funding.

e.g. You know a company is an interesting target for you after they raised their Series B funding.
The predefined icebreaker could be:

  • "Congrats on raising a {{amount}} Series B to {{reasons_for_raising}}"

2. Publication of annual report

An annual report can be a good signal for a company prospecting because it provides valuable information about its financial performance and growth. It can help you understand the company's revenue, expenses, and profits, giving insights into their ability to invest in your product or service.

It can also give you an idea about the company's target markets, customers, and the industries they operate in. This can help you tailor your pitch to their specific needs and interests, increasing the chances of closing a sale.

3. Lack of technological tools

A company lacking technological tools can be a good signal for a sales representative to prospect them because it may indicate that they require assistance managing and optimizing their process.

This presents an opportunity for sales to offer solutions that can help streamline the process and improve efficiency.

Additionally, a company that is not using technology may need to be more knowledgeable about the latest tools and trends in sales, which presents an opportunity to educate them on the benefits of incorporating technology and how it can improve their results.

4. Prospects participate in an event (including virtual event attendance)

A prospect's participation in physical or virtual events indicates that they are actively seeking out new information and solutions in their industry. Events provide opportunities for attendees to learn about new products, services, and trends in their field, which means that a prospect participating in these events is likely to be open to learning about new solutions that can help their business.

It can be a good indication that they are a key decision maker or influencers in their company.

5. Hiring in progress for a specific need

Hiring in progress can also indicate that the company is growing and expanding, signaling that they have the resources and need to invest in new solutions.

🗣️ For a company that sells Sales tools, just the fact that a company is recruiting Sales reps or Sales ops is an excellent sign of the right moment. If a company is actively hiring for a sales representative, it can be a signal that they are looking to expand their sales team and increase their revenue.

This can be an opportunity for you as a sales expert to offer your services and help them achieve their goals.

Similarly, suppose a company is hiring for a specific role in a particular department, like IT. In that case, it can indicate that they are looking for new solutions to improve their operations in that area and that your solution could be a good fit for them.

It's important to understand the context of the hiring and the company's business goals before prospecting them.

6. Presence (or not) in a ranking

Suppose your Ideal Customer Profile is companies with a specific ranking like FT120, Crunchbase, or Forbes 40. In that case, it can give you insight into the company's industry standing and reputation. You need to focus on any changes in rankings.

7. Geographical proximity

Suppose you are selling a product or service that requires on-site installation or support or is just being targeted geographically to the prospect. Having signals that give you office and warehouse changes can be an excellent way to get new opportunities.

For example, you only sell to companies that are implemented in Italy, so all companies that open offices in Italy will be of interest to you.

8. Publication, interaction, or comment on Linkedin

Suppose a company or its representatives are active on LinkedIn. In that case, it can also indicate that they are interested in networking and building relationships with other companies and individuals in their industry.

This can be an excellent opportunity to start a conversation with them, introduce yourself and your company, and learn more about their needs and goals.

Furthermore, if a company's representatives are active on LinkedIn, it can be a good indication that they are decision-makers or influencers in their company and may have the authority to make purchases or recommend new solutions to their colleagues.

Additionally, their presence online and their interactions  with relevant content can give you great message/call/email hooks.

If you see a lead publishing a post, then your predefined icebreaker could be:

  • "Hi {{firstname}}, I read your recent post about {topic}and I absolutely agree that {{reasonsforyourmessage}}… Worth a chat?”

9. Publication of an article

As with Linkedin activity, the publication of an article in which a prospect or company shares their knowledge or insight can likewise be a strong buying signal.

A company that regularly publishes articles is likely to be well-informed and knowledgeable about its field and may be more open to learning about new solutions that can help its business.

It can be an excellent way to get insights, prepare for a new meeting, and make a difference with your competitor.

10. Ranking and reviews on specialized platforms

Look up to your competitor’s negative reviews, and you can target these people with a new solution and value to their pains.

Understanding how your product/service is positioned against the alternative is key to handling objections.

If you sell software, look at your competitor’s pages on these sites:

If you sell professional services, use these sites:

11. Participation in a podcast, videos, or webinar

Participation in a podcast, video, or webinar can signal you to prospect a company because it can indicate that they are actively engaged in their industry and are interested in sharing their knowledge and insights with others.

Furthermore, suppose a company participates in a podcast, video, or webinar related to your product or service. In that case, it can indicate their interest in this topic and may be a good fit for your solution.

In addition, you will be able to differentiate yourself from the many competitors by telling them about this episode, video, or event. It shows that you are interested in them.

12. New Decision-Maker Hires

When there are changes in management roles, it can be a good opportunity for sales. Adding new upper-level team members introduces fresh objectives, new methods, and viewpoints to the organization.

It is necessary to keep track of any changes in leadership at your target accounts, as such changes can lead to opportunities to shift to a new vendor and potentially secure new budgets.

It can be a game changer in your prospecting if you can target the last companies whose process failed for any reason.

14. Offer in a public tender

Daily alerts allow you to react quickly and upstream to prepare responses to calls for tender.

15. Filling out a Sign Up or Book a Demo form

Signing up for a free trial or other beneficial offerings clearly indicates that a prospect is interested in a product or service. Utilizing tools that track this action can simplify the lead generation process and increase efficiency.

Additionally, offering call meetings with customer success managers to provide a personalized experience during the trial can increase the likelihood of moving prospects further along in the buying journey.

16. Company integrates a new tool

Adding a tool to a company's internal or external tech stack can be key in fitting a KPI. For example, I only target tools with a specific CRM Pipedrive, Hubspot or Salesforce.

Depending on the business, the tools can vary from company to company. But this idea is to track all new companies that use specific tools. And if I know my momentum in a business is when a company takes these “tools,” I should target them quickly to ensure better results.

You see Salesforce as the new CRM. The predefined icebreaker could be:

  • "Hi {{firstname}}, I just saw you swapped from Hubspot to Salesforce…?”

17. Company organizes an event

A company that organizes events in person or online is a company that shares value with its audience and its market.

Tracking all new business events provides more available levers for engagement, including simply bringing it up with a lead that is already in the process with you.

  • "I saw you did that webinar the day before yesterday....”

18. Company closes new partnership

Your ecosystem is a gold mine, especially in terms of partnership. By identifying companies making key partnerships with other companies, you can form a customized business approach.

Get notified on relevant partnerships from key prospects to nail your prospecting easily.

19. Engagement With Your Website and Articles

Even before engaging with them, an average B2B prospect is already 67% of the way into the purchasing journey.

You can easily detect patterns like :

Focusing on a particular topic likely means they are already closer to a buying decision and know what they are looking for.

20. Company expansions

An article indicating that a target account is expanding to a new country presents various opportunities to initiate a conversation. Additionally, as growing to a new market often comes with unique challenges, it's easy to envision how your solution could address those pain points and communicate that value to potential leads.

21. Mergers and acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions bring about significant leadership changes, ushering in new decision-makers eager to make an impact and armed with new budgets. This makes them the ideal prospects for your sales efforts.

How Do You Access Buying Signals?

Understanding the buying journey of your leads is crucial for any marketer or salesperson looking to improve their performance and find more opportunities. This is where Buying Signals become valuable. They allow for guiding the conversation and creating powerful icebreakers. Furthermore, salespeople can improve their sales or reduce their deal time.

There are several methods for gathering buying signal data. One way is to collect first-party data from your website, such as using analytics tools to track visitors' engagement or collecting email sign-ups in your CRM.

Another option is to access buying signals data through a third-party vendor. For example, Humanlinker aggregates internet search activity from various B2B websites and online publishers in real-time, creating a comprehensive baseline for testing your prospecting.

Salespeople have been focusing too much on fundraising. It's not because a company has raised money that it will buy all SaaS out there. You still need to find proper buying signals.

Want to discover the power of data & buying signals and how they can transform your decision-making, lead generation and sales processes?

Learn how to find the correct data to help you make informed decisions, improve lead quality and drive sales success.

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