Automate data-driven alerts for B2B sales and success
Improvement requires experimentation and trying new things. For me, that means learning how to play "Shake It Off" on the keyboard. For you, it might mean setting up a few new alerts for your sales and success teams so they can improve relationships with key accounts.
Instead of having to review accounts one-by-one, what if reps could get a heads-up about key intent signals throughout the buying and customer journeys? Instead of having to reach out haphazardly across accounts, reps would know who is most important to contact, when, why.
Here's a quick list of 10 ideas for automating intelligent alerts that provide real-time knowledge to engage with people in more effective and meaningful ways across the lifecycle.
What data to use for alerts
First, let's do a quick overview of what makes for a good alert.
The best alerts are actionable. They're curated so they're not the blanket, repeated (like triggering whenever anyone signs up for an account) notifications that just melt away into noise that people quickly learn to disregard.
To create actionable alerts for sales and success teams, the notifications should provide helpful context such as:
- Who the prospect or customer is (are they a qualified lead? a VIP customer?)
- What content they’re interacting with or how they're behaving to signal their intent
The best alerts also take advantage of data at different points throughout the lifecycle — and from a variety of sources, including
- Page views
- Salesforce account, contact, and lead data
- Firmographic, technographic, and employee attributes
- Usage and activity from your application
- First-party user properties
- Contact history
- Marketing automation activity
10 use cases for intelligent sales alerts
Let's take a look at a few examples. Most of these combine data from a few of the sources listed above, but they're painless to set up with a tool like Clearbit Alerts.
Clearbit Alerts runs on pageview data (including unmasking the company of anonymous visitors), Salesforce data, first-party data, and our enrichment layer of firmographic, technographic, and employee attribute data.
Click to jump ahead
1. Prioritize your ideal customers
2. Reach out faster, based on the earliest intent signal
3. Proactively find upsell opportunities in existing accounts
4. Help remove obstacles with implementation
5. Check in before customers churn
6. Empower with more information based on frequent visits
7. Step in to assist right when purchase intent is high
8. Re-open lost opportunities
9. Follow your advocates to save and keep relationships
10. Integrate more specific sales data for smarter alerts
Here's a simple one to get started. Instead of overwhelming your sales team with an alert every time someone new visits your website or submits a demo request, add alerts only for high-value prospects who fit your ideal customer profile. It's something that's worked great for the team at Outreach.
You can tailor this alert to a frequency you know your team will find valuable without creating too much noise. For example, if the Slack stream is already overwhelming, consider an email digest with an aggregate report of top accounts visiting your site throughout the week.
Reach out to your best prospects when they land on your site, even before they hit your demo form. This gives your sales team the chance to start conversations even earlier in the buyer’s journey.
Radar booked $1M in pipeline with this tactic and Clearbit Alerts. Ryan Narod, their Director of Marketing, says, "These visitors were browsing, which we took as a signal of intent and acted on right away. They may have never filled out a form, and if we reached out to them a day or two later, we would have missed the boat."
A gentler alert you can set up is a notification when a target account visits your site but leaves without submitting a form.
Don't forget about the folks among the easiest to sell to — the ones already paying for your product. Set up alerts for your Customer Success or dedicated expansion teams when product usage begins to trend up. This can help initiate a less reactionary conversation far before usage nears its limit. Alternatively, create notifications for existing customers when they're viewing info about a different product to find new ARR in that next renewal.
After you've closed the sale, build a relationship that's more likely to last by ensuring the path to success. Keep up with recently closed deals currently in implementation and their activity to guide their onboarding.
Does a newly won account keep visiting the same section of support docs or showing no activity at all? It's probably a good time to reach out to see if they need help.
Churn often has warning signs. Keep track of users browsing your help desk about how to close their account or reaching the account deactivation page in your self-service app. Kick into action when usage drops or the number of active users decreases before accounts become inactive.
Or if you're on a success team managing annual customers, it can be difficult to keep up with all the renewal dates. Create an alert (or digest) for renewals in the next two or three months.
When a high-value prospects interacts with a specific number of pages or returns to your website multiple times, it's safe to say they want to learn more. A well-timed alert offers the opportunity to reach out with more in-depth info. While you won't always know exactly what they're looking for, review the prospect’s behavior data to get context, then use this alert as a jumping off point.
Some pieces of content appeal more to prospects who are closer to making a buying decision. By setting up a sales alert for when a prospect arrives at that content, you can push them forward when they’re more inclined to buy. This type of alert should trigger when prospect visits your pricing page, watches a demo, reads several bottom-of-funnel blog posts — or only after a specific combination. Note which content your prospect is engaging with to make your outreach more relevant.
If a previous sales opportunity returns to your website, it's probably worth alerting the Account Executive who was working the deal. From there, they can use the history of the return visit to determine if it's a good time to restart the conversation.
Keep track of your product's greatest fans. When you notice a key advocate from an existing account has a change in title — or even leaves the company — create an alert that updates your team right away. Don't lose an account because that one person left. Reach out quickly to help fill in the details to any new stakeholders and strengthen your connection to the remaining members of the team.
Sales alerts become more powerful with more specific data. Pair your website and firmographic data with anything existing in your Salesforce organization. If you've connected Infer or MadKudu to help score your leads, create alerts based on their values. If you're passing conversation history from Outreach, build a system of alerts based on your previous interactions.
Build better alerts
Depending on your analytics and automation platforms, you're probably able to get started with a few basic sales alerts today. Start with something simple, then consider a more powerful tool once you've proven the value.
My personal recommendation would be this thing called Clearbit, where you're able to collect all your website traffic and CRM data plus more than 100+ company data points to build truly powerful alerts in Slack, Salesforce, and email.