Dark background with the words "help your team overcome signal fatigue" featuring Derek Wang, Director of Sales at UserGems
Dark background with the words "help your team overcome signal fatigue" featuring Derek Wang, Director of Sales at UserGems

It's time to say goodbye to outdated "spray and pray" outbound practices.

Prospects are drowning in sales pitches, with every seller vying for their attention. Thanks to a flood of spammy, AI-driven outbound tactics, reps are overwhelmed with data and suffering from decision paralysis. 

In this scenario, no one wins.

Here’s how sales leaders can develop more efficient teams that hit their quota every quarter. 

Why I’m betting on signal-based selling

We've entered an era where the old-school “casting a wide net” prospecting approach is falling flat—91% of buyers are giving the cold shoulder to those cookie-cutter emails.

As a result, it's more important than ever to identify solution-seekers who are ready to buy, distinguishing leads from those with no genuine interest.

This is where signal-based selling comes into play.

Buying signals are hints, triggers, or golden cues from prospects that indicate potential purchasing intent.

Signal-based selling relies on those triggers from interested accounts to drive qualified leads. By paying more attention to buying signals, you can: 

  • Identify potential customers
  • Follow up at an optimal moment to increase engagement rates
  • Forge deeper connections with prospects by taking a targeted approach

The best part? Your intentional, relevant, and personalized approach can give you an edge in generating a strong sales pipeline by focusing your efforts. 


These factors keep reps from hitting quota (and how you can help)

The downside to signal-based selling? Tracking too many signals can turn even the best reps into deer in headlights and give your reps "signal fatigue." 

Even if your sales reps understand signals and have the concept down pat, applying them effectively can be challenging. 

If your reps don’t take the right action based on the trigger, it can mean: 

  1. Missed opportunities
  2. Prolonged sales cycles
  3. Lower conversion rates

So, how do you combat the most prominent signal-based challenges your sales team faces? 

Dealing with information overload

The challenge: Having access to an overwhelming amount of data is dragging your reps down.  This data overload can lead to misinterpreted intent signals and a loss of focus on their primary objectives—generating a consistent pipeline and closing more deals.

How to help:  Create systems for your sales team that limit the amount of data they receive. Streamlining the flow of information ensures your reps remain focused on reaching out to the highest-value signals. This approach empowers your sales team to cut through the noise and concentrate their efforts on the most important leads to drive pipeline.

Struggling to prioritize signals

The challenge: With only 3-5% of the market ready to buy at any given time, a common pitfall for sales reps is trying to chase too many signals simultaneously without a focused approach. 

This "boil the ocean" temptation divides your reps’ attention and dilutes effectiveness.

How to help:  Individual sellers must recognize which signals are most relevant to their prospects' needs and wants. 

Conduct training sessions on prioritizing signals from most important to least important and taking the right next steps. Learning how to interpret signals can also help reps understand how to combine them effectively, significantly impacting the success of outbound sales efforts.

How signal-based workflows help every rep perform like a top closer

Every sales leader aims to hit quota, but it’s hard to strike a balance between consistency and efficiency. 

Signal-based workflows can equip every rep with the tools and techniques your best performers already use.

My take:  A standardized process should guide approximately 79% of the sales journey, from initial contact through the customer lifecycle, leaving room for each seller to apply their own personal touch to calls and messages. 

This balanced approach ensures consistency across the team and allows your reps' individual strengths and styles to shine through.

Get laser-focused on high-value signals 

Not all intent signals are created equal. Just because a prospect shows an intent signal doesn't guarantee they're ready to buy.

Signals that reveal potential buying intent include: 

  1. New hires and promotions
  2. Funding rounds 
  3. Champion job movements

While all of the listed signals indicate potential buying intent, the new hire signal deserves special attention. They suggest the company has an additional budget for resources, and the new executive is motivated to make an impact within their first 90 days.

Notably, UserGems research found that new executives convert at a rate 2.5 times higher in their first three months compared to after one year in the role. This elevated conversion rate during the initial period presents a valuable opportunity.

By connecting with new hires at the right time with a relevant message, you can tap into their motivation and increase the likelihood of prioritizing your offer. 

Using a sales intelligence tool that goes beyond tracking basic data and provides actionable insights into your prospects' behavior will increase your chance of being timely and relevant.

Encourage learning through trial and error 

Trial and error is the best vetting process. 

Reps must be willing to experiment with different buying signals, knowing that not all will yield positive results. The goal should be to uncover which hints or 'signals' are proving successful for others in driving sales and moving prospects efficiently through the sales funnel. 

Other than blindly testing signals, you can assign scores based on their likelihood of conversion. This data-driven approach highlights the most important signals, allowing your reps to prioritize their outreach efforts accordingly.  

Once signals are scored and ranked, your team can systematically work through the high-priority signals first without getting sidetracked by less promising opportunities that could waste valuable time and resources. 

This targeted approach ensures that your sales efforts are focused on the most promising leads, increasing efficiency and maximizing conversions.

Track strong buying signals to generate more pipeline 

Identifying high-value signals can seem as daunting as finding a diamond in the rough. However, if you sleep on those buying signals, you’ll quickly drain your sales pipeline.

Mastering signal-based selling is the best way to identify the hand-raisers (who don’t show up often), hit your sales quota, and save the sanity of your reps.  Try UserGems to discover how signal-based selling can help your team hit their targets.

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