As an inbound marketer, you reap the benefits of having ideal prospects raise their hands and approach you when they are ready (or nearly ready) to become a customer and make a purchase. Your blogs, tweets, videos, ebooks, infographics, and other content assets are getting found on search and funneling names into your database.
But there are other signals that indicate when a prospect is ready to make a purchase -- beyond the standard levels of engagement with content -- that you may able to spot before the initial hand raise from web form completion. These signals and attributes are hiding in plain sight. It just takes a little practice and patience to see the hidden nuggets that are right in front of you. Let's uncover seven sample attributes commonly found on the web that could be indicators of buying intent.
The use of technology, or more specifically, the use of certain technology, can be predictive of a future purchase. If your offering is complementary with other products, it’s in your best interest to understand if that technology is being used. For example, in some cases, the use of marketing automation or retargeting applications could be a positive indicator of buying behavior.
To learn more about your inbound leads’ technology usage, download the following free apps: Ghostery and BuiltWith. Once installed, you’ll be able to see which tech is being used by every website you visit. I once stumbled upon a site with 95 applications being used. 95!
2) Shopping Carts
Is there a shopping cart present on your prospect’s website? These apps are a specific type of technology that can be a predictive attribute for many companies. The use of ecommerce apps may signal that that company is in the market to buy new products or services, especially if your company specializes in offerings for retailers and e-retailers.
3) Social Media
Instead of focusing on uncovering sentiment or engagement of your prospect’s social media, sometimes all you need to learn is whether or not they are active. The following three questions are often more predictive than trying to deduce what all those exclamation points and hash tags really mean:
- Are the accounts getting updated regularly?
- How frequently is new content posted?
- How long have the accounts existed?
4) Job Postings
The amount and types of jobs that are posted on your prospect’s website may be a buying signal. In addition, the skills or requirements under the job postings may serve as a signal. For example, job postings for engineers with experience using CAD-CAM software could be predictive for a company selling design or engineering software. Or the hiring of a large group of entry-level employees could be a positive indicator for a training company.
Take note of the positions your prospects have available, but don’t linger on these pages too long, lest your boss get nervous about you looking for a new job.
You may ignore the very top header of many website you visit that allows you to choose another language. But the presence of multiple languages on a prospect’s website could be an important signal of company size and to whom they sell.
6) Executive Profiles
The presence of certain leadership roles could be a predictor for some companies. For example, if your prospects have a new CMO or CFO in place, he or she may be looking to cut costs or build out his or her team and in turn, looking to purchase new products or services.
7) News and Media
The company news section is usually chock-full of insights and talking points that you can use to your advantage. Often times you’ll be able to learn if the company recently got funding, hired a new executive, opened new offices, launched a new product offering, or achieved a record-breaking quarter of growth. Each of these news items could serve as triggers for a wide variety of purchases. What’s more, you can extract talking points to help enrich and personalize your emails and conversations.
Regardless of your inbound marketing activity, don’t be afraid to do a little recon on your leads and see what you can learn by poking around on their websites. Happy hunting!