The fundraise sales trigger event: signal vs. noise

Here are four things I learned from experiencing a sales trigger event (our Series A fund-raising) in real-time.
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Sales trigger events are a crucial part of every sales prospecting strategy. 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 pipeline generation playbooks. And a few days later, the same people emailed again. This fuelled 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, SDRs and AEs looking to take advantage of the fundraising sales trigger can adapt their outreach and messaging to cut through the clutter.

So, here are my key takeaways from the deluge (plus what I loved about the outreach).

The fundraising sales trigger event is excellent for existing open and closed opportunities.

Funding means growth. So, treat the fundraising announcement as a sales trigger 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:

  • UserGems working with other companies who were part of our VC network
  • The pain points of post-fundraising (this email also linked out to also to a blog post titled “The First 90 Days After” - which I found interesting) 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, the 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.”

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