5 Key Signals That Your Leads Are Ready to Buy

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.

Keeping Pace With the Change – A Digital Marketer’s Dilemma

This post was written by our Social Media channel sponsor Full Sail University.

As the Program Director for the Internet Marketing bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Full Sail University, I’m frequently asked how we deal with the rate of change in the industry.

This is a particular challenge when you’re trying to teach Internet marketing, but it’s a problem that virtually anyone in the digital space faces. Change is not only inevitable here; it’s virtually constant.

Keep swimming, Nemo.
There’s no way around the fact that what worked last year – or even last week – may not get the same results today. It’s your job (and mine) to keep pace.

I asked my colleagues and students for suggestions about how they stay current. Here are a few of the responses I got:

10 Questions Every New VP of Marketing Should Ask

The following post was created by our Inbound Marketing channel sponsor, HubSpot.

So you’re starting a new job. You’re going to be the VP of Marketing at a mid-sized B2B company and you need to figure out how to succeed. There are a million paths to barrel down – you could dive into social media, you could invest in marketing automation, you could focus on SEO. The list is endless, so how do you know where to begin?

Here’s a series of 10 critical questions you need to ask – a basic inbound marketing framework – to get you started on the right foot.

Bought Leads Are Not Leads: Why Buying a List is Never A Good Idea

This post comes from our Inbound Marketing Channel sponsor, HubSpot. Please visit them to learn more about their revolutionary marketing automation SaS offering.

I was recently asked my opinion on when a company should buy a list of names. My response was this: buying a list is never a good idea. Buying a list of names to cold call or email isn’t the same thing as creating leads. Real leads have, at some point or another, interacted with your brand. They may have downloaded interesting information, or asked for something from you, or even contacted your sales team. They want to know more about your brand, product, or service. Why is purchasing a list different? The people on this list haven’t opted in to anything from your company. They may not even know you exist!

State of the Industry – Marketing Companies in the Inc. 500

Every year, the INC 500 comes out, and the issue and list of the web’s fastest growing companies is full of interesting takeaways and company profiles – given that it’s a list of the businesses that have grown fastest within the current conditions of today’s economy and evolving market. To not take this list, assess it and learn from the top companies can – and will – likely leave your business in the dust.

Even if you end up not directly taking action on the results and information from the list, if nothing else, it undoubtedly serves as a boost of motivation, as any competitive business owner or employee can fuel the fire with the fact that A) they weren’t on it B) someone else there is outperforming their current revenue numbers.

Can We Hit the Reset Button on Google Plus?

We’ve now lived with Google Plus for a little more than a year and I want to ask an important question: can we hit a big “reset” button on Google Plus? I don’t mean on the social network itself, but rather the way we, as marketers, think about and approach the platform.

There is not a day that goes by where we don’t hear some kind of griping and complaining about the social network (I know, I know, Google says it isn’t a “social network.” Point taken. But it is in the social space and it is a network, so work with me here.). To be fair, Google Plus has its fair share of challenges, but I believe that we’ve missed the point of how to use the network. It isn’t Facebook. This isn’t the place where you go to hang out with your long-lost best friend from 8th grade. This isn’t the place to build the unofficial timeline of your life and put it on display for the world (at least, not yet). No, I believe Google Plus is something completely different all together.

Facebook Quietly Announces Major Analytics Flub

Recently, you might have noticed a pop-up when visiting your Facebook Insights page informing you of some changes to the way their reach figures are calculated.

“Fair enough,” you probably thought, “They’ve got a burgeoning user base and spammers, scammers, and a whole other lot of potential confounding variables to weed out.” If you clicked though, you found that the change was something much more breathtaking.

As of July 3nd, Facebook’s reach metric will include both mobile views and will now only count a ‘reach’ if a user scrolls down and loads a Page’s story. Take a second, let that sink in. Maybe read it one more time.