Sales Intelligence: Track (Down) Website Visitors

The Challenge: you’ve invested in PR, Search Engine Optimization, Pay-per-Click ads to drive people to your website. A lot of people visit, they read a couple of pages, and then they leave. A lost opportunity…

ActiveConversion, an SMB lead management automation vendor, has a solution.  I stumbled upon their press release offering free Jigsaw data, and Fred Yee clarified: “If company ABC comes to your website, a simple mouseover in ActiveConversion will display ABC’s revenue range, employee size, industry etc. There are 2 million data records for companies in Jigsaw’s database, so it covers a lot of companies.”

And then you can decide to search Jigsaw to buy actual contact data of people with the right job titles within company ABC. For those who don’t know Jigsaw: it’s a business card exchange service, so their users contribute and rate the contact details. The result is that the data is reasonably up to date, they have a lot of different job titles (not just C-level and VPs) and it often includes direct-dial phone numbers and email addresses.

How does ActiveConversion know the company name of website visitors? Actually, the IP address of website visitors gives away more information than most people realize. Maxmind’s GeoIP product, for example, can identify the city, company name and even the connection speed, all based on the IP address. Try it out yourself: go to, copy your IP address and paste it into the box on, then press “get location”.

One of the first companies that offered daily reports of companies visiting your website was Leadlander. They can send your sales people a daily email with a list of company names and location. The main challenge that remains: you don’t know which person is on your website, just the company name. So who are you going to call?

That’s where the Jigsaw data can help. It’s still a bit of a guess, but at least you have names, job titles and phone numbers.

Demandbase Stream Another vendor is this space is Demandbase. Unlike ActiveConversion they don’t have a full lead management system, but they specialize in identifying anonymous website visitors and providing contact data for people within those companies. They use multiple data sources, like D&B and Hoovers. I’ve not been very lucky finding useful contacts myself: they seemed to have a bias towards C-level and VP-level executives, but I could be wrong.

However, Demandbase offers useful filters so you can focus on those website visitors that are important to you. You can enter specific company names or territories. I’m not sure if Demandbase offers this, but  it would also be interesting to filter by pages visited and search terms used in Google: that’s all part of the “Digital Body Language”.

Still I wonder how actionable the information is. Regardless of whether you get it through ActiveConversion and Jigsaw or through Demandbase: what is the chance that you can actually locate and contact the right person? My gut feeling is that it’s a very low chance.

Why don’t they offer an option to chat while they the visitor is still on the website? That is a proven methodology in the consumer space that I haven’t seen very often in the B2B space. Maybe because it’s hard to ensure timely response. As a matter of fact, I used chat on the Jigsaw website last week, and nobody responded, and I waited for 30 minutes. I had a better experience on the Hoovers website, with immediate response and good-quality answers.

Alternatively, you could put more attractive offers on your website and promote those more effectively: this will increase the number of registrations. I have seen very few B2B companies actively test and optimize their online conversion rates (other than for PPC landing pages). So that may be a relatively quick win, rather than try to call people who may have visited your website.

My feeling at this time: first try to get more people to register on your website by improving the call-to-actions, then add chat if you have enough people to staff it, and only then I would consider real-time lead monitoring. At this time, it’s just not actionable enough.

What is your experience with Leadlander, Demandbase and ActiveConversion? Did you actually identify opportunities that you would have missed otherwise?

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7 thoughts on “Sales Intelligence: Track (Down) Website Visitors

  1. Darryl Praill

    The challenge with these solutions is exactly as you’ve said – you only get C and V level contacts. Often Marketers are selling to online owners and these contacts are never on file. I’ve talked to Jigsaw et al and they admit it’s an issue.

    Another alternative to consider is personalizing the website, blog, email, etc, content based on any segment you can think of – including geo location or organization name (reverse IP address). Conversion rates do increase much faster because you engage the visitor on a one-to-one level without them even knowing. Companies like are leading this charge although Omniture has a very expensive alternative as well.

    Regardless, great to see the anonymous visitor getting more attention. It’s a natural next step.


  2. Adam Blitzer

    Hi Jep, anonymous visitor tracking is a fun feature that all (or hopefully most) marketing automation platforms include. There are also a few pure play specialists (you mentioned LeadLander; NetFactor is another).

    We find this to be most valuable if you are already speaking with a company. You can see that there are one or more people coming back to the site over and over even if anonymously. It helps you know where you stand or what types of content may be appealing to that company.

    You have to use it wisely though. I certainly wouldn’t blindly call P&G though after seeing them show up on the radar.

  3. Kevin Joyce

    Can you spell “channel disintermediation” – ok I looked it up to be sure. So how long will Leadlander, Netfactor and others survive since the Marketing Automation vendors (at least Markt2Lead and Eloqua) have all the same capabilities bundled in for free with the basic product? Jigsaw’s behavior just reinforces the point. BTW same goes for the basic email vendors. I guess we are going to see the larger of these scramble to vertically integrate new capabilities by buying up the smaller players (Silverpop – vtrenz style).
    _Kevin “sitting in SJC airport” Joyce

  4. jepc Post author

    Darryl, I will take a look at Sidebrand: I think website personalization is finally getting useful thanks to sophisticated analytics.

    Adam: I agree that keeping an eye on existing leads is probably one of the best uses of ‘company’ visitor tracking.

    Adam and Kevin: I am aware that this feature is also present in many marketing automation systems, but sometimes it’s not very feature-rich, for example, notifications are sometimes missing. The best implementation I have personally seen is by LeadGenesys: They allow you to flag visitors that you want to follow.

    And Kevin, I’m happy to see you can spell disintermediation correctly, however you need to practice a little more on Market2lead ;- )

  5. Engago Team

    Although the main focus is on lead generation, by adding a data base with your customers and leads you can track the effectiveness of your customer nurturing and retention.
    LEADSExplorer ( integrates seamless with your website in order to provide real-time visual analysis of the interaction of your communications and their effect on visits.
    Thus to be used for:
    – Lead generation by revealing the company names and qualifying by the pages visited (and other visit data) to cold call on warm companies (many times more effective).
    – Lead and customer retention.

  6. Fred

    Hi Jep,

    Didn’t see this post previously, so didn’t thank you for the mention. Thanks!

    A few things though. Knowing the company is useful to many companies. Not all but many. It may not generate a qualified lead right away, but in B2B, it’s a sign that the prospect is beginning their research and a trigger. We have a ‘Company Watch’ feature that many people use to look for companies they have talked to previously.

    The chat is a good idea, but again in B2B has not been compelling – yet. It does not produce a sustainable stream of leads so most companies don’t want to spend the effort staffing it. And some companies would likely prefer that the prospect qualify themselves by filling out a form, instead of chatting with someone who has no intention of purchasing. Having said that though, I can see a time in the not too distant future when having chat on a B2B website becomes more common.

    Cheers, Fred.


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