Apr 12, 2016

3 Reports to Identify Active Buyers

When a B2B buyer has a major purchase to make, they binge. They read your blog, watch your videos, download your white papers, and check out your social media. They consume everything.

It’s like Netflix. B2B buyers binge before they buy.

The neat thing is you can spot the binge. You can see it in your metrics, and that gives you an opportunity to pounce.

In this post I will share 3 reports I use to identify active buyers. The first two reports are low-to-no cost options, and the third is an advanced option.

Email: Engaged Subscribers

Engagement on your email lists can fluctuate, but subscribers tune in when they have a need.

In your email platform look for the subscribers with the most opens.

For example, the Sticky Branding blog is distributed by MailChimp’s RSS-to-Email service. In MailChimp I track the subscribers who open a post 10 or more times.

Email Engagement

Each report on its own isn’t that insightful. What I am looking for are trends:

  1. Who are the most active subscribers over a three to four week period?
  2. Is there an opportunity for one-on-one dialogue?

Website: Pages / Session

Google Analytics provides a wealth of knowledge. There’s so much data, but it can be overwhelming. I tend to drill down to a few select reports, and then track them weekly.

One of my favorites is the Network report (Audience | Technology | Network). I sort this report by Pages / Session.

Google Analytics Network Report

The Network report shows me the active service providers on my site. Sometimes there is gold in this report, because larger companies show their domain name.

We use this information to identify companies and potential opportunities. We go through a two step process:

  1. Check Salesforce.com. In our instance of Salesforce we verify if we have a relationship with the company. If there’s an active prospect or account, I’ll see who owns the relationship on my team and let them know.
  2. If we don’t know the company we do reconnaissance. We’ll look up the company in LinkedIn and Google to see if there’s an opportunity to prospect the firm.

Marketing Automation: Activity Reports

The reports above are free and available to any business. The next level of reporting and engagement occurs when you implement marketing automation.

Marketing automation — like Pardot or Hubspot— connect your website, email, and CRM all under one platform. Sticky Branding uses Pardot, because it’s intuitive, insanely powerful, and integrates seamlessly with Salesforce.com (my preferred CRM platform).

In Pardot I have been able to really exploit the B2B binge. Instead of looking at reports from MailChimp or Google Analytics in isolation, I am able see them all in one place with far greater granularity. We can see which prospects are active on the website and proactively engage them.

Pardot Activities

This is a screenshot of a prospect that is engaging in my Keynote Speaking services. Based on his engagement the system is configured for two actions:

  1. Notify my sales rep that a prospect is in a potential B2B binge, and trigger a task in Salesforce.com to contact the individual.
  2. Profile and segment prospects. We tailor our content marketing efforts by tracking the types of content prospects are engaging with.

Data Drives Behaviors

Spotting the B2B binge is interesting, and the reports reveal a lot of information. But they’re useless if you don’t act on them.

When you spot a B2B binge it’s an opportunity to proactively engage a customer. You don’t have to wait for them to call. You can pick up the phone, build a relationship, and maybe it’ll turn into a sale.

There’s lots of opportunities to spot the B2B binge. You can use free reports in MailChimp and Google Analytics, or you can invest in a marketing automation system like Pardot. The data is there. You’ve just got to use it and act on it.

Happy to answer questions if you want me to go deeper on these reports or the concept in general.

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