Posted October 30, 2012 6:18 am by with 0 comments

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This is a guest post by Sarah Goliger, an inbound marketer at HubSpot. HubSpot is a marketing software company based in Cambridge, MA that makes inbound marketing and lead management software. HubSpot is also the sponsor of Marketing Pilgrim’s Inbound Marketing channel.

If you’re generating leads for your business, you should know that roughly 50% of those leads will not be ready to buy immediately, according to Gleanster Research. What can you do, as a savvy inbound marketer, to convert more of those leads into customers? The answer is lead management.

By nurturing them with content that is closely-targeted to their needs and interests, you can educate your leads and pull them through the initial stages of the buying cycle until they are ready to be handed over to your sales team. But how do you know when a lead is ready for that first sales call? With the latest analytics tools and lead management software it’s easy to track behavior on your website and collect data that will help you make smarter marketing decisions.

Here are 5 B2B buying signals you should look out for and specific actions you can take to increase your sales.

1. Visiting your site multiple times in one day. When buyers are considering a product or service, they usually do quite a bit of research before making a decision or pitching it to their management. Some of that research happens on different parts of the web, but much of it happens on your website. Use your analytics to track how frequently your leads are visiting your site. If you see that a visitor has checked out your page multiple times in one day, it’s probably safe to assume that they’re seriously considering your business. As part of your lead intelligence system, you can set up lead alerts to put your sales reps in a position to reach out at the exact moment that a potential buyer needs help or more information.

2. Filling out a form but not pressing “Submit.” If you’re creating various offers to help your site visitors learn more about your industry, your company, and your product, it’s likely that many of your leads will first convert on your content offers – the informative and educational type. Once they’ve consumed this information, let’s say your leads visit your “request a demo or consultation” landing page and start to fill out the form, but before they hit “Submit,” they either decide against it or get pulled away. So you never actually get that request filed in your system. However, you can design the form to know whenever it gets a partial completion, and then get in touch with those leads. It might not be the right time to have a sales rep call them, but you could certainly send them some more product-focused offers that might provide them with a lower-risk version of the information they were seeking.

3. Reviewing case studies. Once your potential buyers move past the basic research stage, they are often looking to find out what kind of results others have generated with your product or service. They want to find out if your company is a good fit for their needs by looking at stories like theirs. Set a trigger on your case studies page to alert either you or a sales rep when a lead visits this part of your website. Based on that trigger and the particular lead’s score, you can set up lead nurturing email sends that either offer an additional deep dive or a customer webinar to a low score lead, or alternatively, have a rep follow up with them and offer a reference call. Putting your leads in touch with happy customers can have an enormously positive effect and do a lot to push them closer to being ready to buy.

4. Visiting your pricing page. Even more so than case studies, visiting pricing pages is a huge buying signal. Typically, checking out your prices means one of two things. If it’s earlier in the buying cycle, it might just be part of the research phase to get a rough estimate of your product’s affordability. In this case, it might be a good time to offer a consultation or a free trial via email. However, if your sales team is already discussing your product with a potential customer and that person visits your pricing page again, this is important information for your sales reps to have! Send your reps a heads up that it’s time to move into a closing sequence.

5. Tweeting or posting about you or your competition. With the widespread use of social media for interacting with other consumers, it’s not unusual to see potential customers tweeting or posting to Facebook to get recommendations about purchase decisions. You can set up your lead intelligence to monitor your leads’ Facebook and Twitter accounts, using filters to search for certain keywords, like the name of your company or your competitors. Then, alert your sales reps of these tweets and posts so they can follow up with a personal call. The idea is not to “stalk” your leads, but to help them find the information that they are actively seeking out by giving them the opportunity to interact quickly and directly with your sales team.

So there you have it – 5 ways to make sure you know when your potential customers are seriously considering your company and are ready for that phone call. Get started with these tactics and stop letting your sales-ready leads slip under the radar!