March 13th, 2019 | by

Hi there – I’m Michael Joseph, Customer Success Manager at DiscoverOrg. Today, we’re going to be talking about buying signals!

As sales professionals, we all recognize those golden moments when we’re on the phone – or maybe we receive an email where we’re talking about our product or service, or maybe the features or benefits – and then all of a sudden, the conversation shifts, and we’re talking about pricing or payment terms. Those are huge and obvious buying signals. Gold.

But today, we’re going to talk about a buying signal that’s a little different: A buying signal coming not from an individual, but from a company itself. At DiscoverOrg, we call these Scoops.

Understanding Buying Signals: New Funding Rounds


One buying signal is rounds of funding.

Now when a company gets a round of funding, you know they’re positioned to grow and scale. As a matter of fact, it’s their responsibility to their investors to grow and scale as fast as they possibly can.

For instance, investors want to make sure that when a company receives funding, they improve their tech stack. They might also be looking to digitally transform. They may want to improve their security, add headcount, or expand their facilities … among so many other things that they could be doing with this money!

Think about where this plays in with your products or services.


Say you’ve identified 500 target companies to go after, and 75 of those companies just received Series B or Series C funding.

This is a gigantic buying signal from that company, and it’s an ideal time to reach out and position yourself as somebody who’s going to help them overcome their challenges, make sure they use that funding to the best of their capability, and really prove a return on investment for their investors.

PRO TIP: If your company is receiving investor funding, find out what other companies are receiving funding from the same investors. It’s far easier to do business with companies who are receiving funding from the same people investing in your company.

Understanding Buying Signals: Planned Projects

It’s extremely important to be aware of projects going on within target companies Scoops


Now let’s talk about projects.

It’s extremely important to be aware of projects going on within target companies. An obvious way to assess projects is by looking at the company’s requests for proposal (RFPs). But this isn’t very effective.

If you’re reviewing an RFP from a company, you’re probably a little bit behind the game already: By the time companies create the RFP, they usually already have a strong sense of which vendors they’re going to be reaching out to, and who they prefer to actually work with.

The key here is to get in front of these projects before they happen. But how do you do that, if you don’t have a source of what upcoming projects are on the roadmap? How do you find out?

One way is simply to ask. You’d be surprised on how much you can glean from a conversation when you just ask simple questions:

  • “What kind of exciting projects do you have upcoming that you’re thinking about now?”
  • “What kind of challenges does your company face right now that you’re looking to overcome in the following year?”

Now think about ways that you can interject yourself, your products, or your services, to solve those challenges or help complete those projects.

scoops are buying signals


Most of the companies that I work with are sending out incentivized surveys to successfully ask their target market about this. They make sure that these surveys have really crisp questions. They want questions that will reveal what’s important to their prospects, that tell them about that prospective company, and to better qualify them as a target company.

If you’ve developed a list of questions like this, send that out in an incentivized survey and ask about what kinds of projects are up and coming. Try questions like these, focused around upcoming projects:

  • How is your budget going to be spent?
  • Where are your dollars going?
  • What are the biggest challenges you’re trying to overcome this year?
  • It’s amazing what people will do for $100 Amazon gift card these days!

Read More from ZoomInfo: The Ultimate Guide to Sales Outreach

PRO TIP: With these incentivized surveys, you can transform that content into eBooks, webinar content, copy for upcoming marketing emails, all kinds of stuff because, after all, you sent out a survey, and people love to hear about survey results. That’s one key point and one big business advantage when it comes to listening to company buying signals.

Understanding Buying Signals: Mergers & Acquisitions

b2b sales can predict buyer intent using mergers and acquisitions scoops

The third buying signal here, and the final one that we’ll talk about in this video, is mergers and acquisitions. It’s incredibly important to keep a finger on the pulse of what companies are merging together.

Imagine the overwhelming complexity of integrating systems, improving workflows – of trying to join teams together in an effective manner, so there’s no momentum lost, only a net gain.

Companies who are going through mergers and acquisitions aren’t looking for a 1+1=2 scenario. They’re looking for a 1+1=3 strategy … and you’re the one who’s are going to help them complete that strategy.

When we’re looking at mergers and acquisitions, keep in mind the many kinds of systems that need to be integrated. Think about workflow, and also about joining teams.

Your target account is acquiring companies, they’re merging with other companies – and they need your help!
At the end of the day, it’s all about doing something simple, and doing it well.

We’ve been heard about buying signals for years: In order to be effective and efficient in reaching out to your target market, make sure you’re well aware of which companies are receiving funding.

PRO TIP: Find out what other companies are receiving funding from your same investors. Make sure you’re well aware of not only the RFPs, but also know about projects that are coming up 6, 9, even 12 months out. And know which companies are going through mergers and acquisitions.
how to use intent data scoops

Read it: How to Use Executive Leadership Changes to Time Sales Outreach

This is incredibly important information! Some of this stuff you can find online, some of it can be found by reaching out, and some can be found within a data provider. Here at DiscoverOrg, we call them Scoops, and we make sure you’re staying on top of your game.

Keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening within your target market. As Jim Rohn would say, “You know, things that are simple to do are also simple not to do.”

So get out there and elevate your game! Hope you got value out of this one. We’ll see you in the next Discover X whiteboard video. Be sure to subscribe to our Youtube channel to catch them all – and follow us on LinkedIn to join the conversation.

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About the author

DeAnn Poe

As the Vice President of Marketing at DiscoverOrg, DeAnn and her team are responsible for sourcing 50% of the company’s pipeline and revenue through inbound and outbound demand gen programs. DeAnn has over 15 years of experience serving in Demand Gen and MarComm functions at software companies across a variety of verticals. DeAnn holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from California State University, San Marcos. She is Inbound Marketing certified, a Certified Trade Show Marketer (CTSM), and a 2017 Marketo Revvie Award finalist.