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Sales triggers are a crucial part of every sales prospecting process. And the announcement of our Series A raise in the last week of October 2021 meant we experienced the fundraising sales trigger in real time. The days after the announcement was a whirlwind for the entire team and me.
LinkedIn DMs. Congratulatory emails. Outreach emails from service providers pitching products and services to help UserGems hit the ground running. And phone calls from friends, past colleagues, vendors and clients. Overall, I received messages from about 50-plus different friends, companies and investors.
Most of these messages were part of sequences. And a few days later, the same people emailed again. This fueled the overwhelming feeling of getting hammered with emails from all directions.
But this isn’t a piece about overwhelm. It’s about how it feels to be on the other side. And hopefully, by sharing this, sales reps looking to take advantage of the fundraising trigger can adapt their outreach and messaging to cut through the clutter.
So, here are my key takeaways from the deluge.
The fundraise trigger is excellent for existing open and closed opportunities.
Funding means growth. So, a fundraising announcement is an excellent time to reach out to a closed/lost (and open/stalling) opportunity to see if the situation has changed.
For example, my company purchased a tool we had been in touch with for a while within a week. The company had sent a detailed pitch on why now’s the best time to buy their (hiring) tool.
Personalization is everything.
Most of the emails only bothered to personalize the funding announcement. The rest of the email was all “here’s more about me.” However, I did get a few well-crafted emails. These emails included messaging around:
• The business working with other companies from our VCs.
• The pain points of post-fundraising (this also had a link to a blog post titled “The First 90 Days After”) and how the company’s service could help UserGems solve some of these pain points.
It was also interesting to note that investors did a much better job personalizing their outreach than vendors.
Research your target account.
You need to do some research before reaching out to anyone. Not only does it help you personalize the pitch better and get a response, but research also reduces the likelihood of sending a pitch to your competitors.
More than one of the emails I got was from a direct competitor. They tried to sell me “job change trigger” services, which is exactly what we do.
Include department heads in your outreach.
My attention span for incoming emails during the first two weeks was less than optimal. So, I’m not sure it’s the best time to contact founders/C-suite. But I believe it’s a great idea to target department heads: for example, head of marketing, head of sales, etc. They’ve got goals. And now they’ve got a budget.
Remember, the announcement often comes weeks or months after the company closed the fundraising. So, these individuals already have active plans in motion. Reach out ASAP.
Pro Tip: If you want to contact the founder, reach out with longer-lasting sequences that outlast the deluge of emails pouring into their inbox in the first two weeks.
I loved the cookies.
I also got a lot of tasty cookie boxes. Several companies utilized Alyce, Sendoso and Postal.io to send celebratory cookie boxes. The messaging more or less read: “Huge congrats on your Series A funding! I thought sending some cookies would be a fun way to congratulate you and introduce myself as …”
Kyle Coleman with Clari puts it best: “Funding rounds are treasure troves of information. Take advantage of that, and separate yourself from the herd.”