It is well known that serendipity has led to several discoveries in the space of technology (X-rays, heating effect of microwaves) and medicine. But a little etymology research of the word serendipity leads one to the story of the three princes from Serendip (Persian name for modern day Sri Lanka coined from the original Sanskrit name Swarnadeep) and the lost camel.

It is quite a wonder that this story of serendipity was also the inspiration for a similar story in French philosopher and writer, Voltaire’s famous novel, Zadig. Further on, it is said to have inspired parts of reasoning in modern detective fiction such as Edgar Allen Poe’s Dupin as well as Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. This trail of literary inspiration lays more emphasis on the “sagacious” aspect of serendipity than the “accidental” one.

Recently, while working my way through metrics on SiteCatalyst, my team and I made a useful discovery of our own. In this blog I have reproduced my steps in case some of our readers find it a useful tip.

The steps recounted here are particularly useful for B2B businesses with a large team of sales / business development / account management professionals.

Step 1: segment your data based on the types of prospects you want to seek out and go after.

As an example of a useful segment, choose the pages of the particular product you work for. (Note to self: stop writing the obvious)

An important part of discerning the really interested ones from those not-so-much is to choose visits with a path length (or page depth) of >=10 pages and time spent on site more than 10 minutes.

I think prospects that have spent more than 10 minutes on a business website and browsed through more than 10 of your brand’s (or product’s) pages deserve a little attention.

Step 2: Look at the referring domains report (set your date range right).












Step 3: Now it’s highly likely that many of the top domains will actually turn out to be Internet Service Providers. In such a scenario, use filters to your advantage – use .com or country-specific domain names like or .jp.

You are now looking at a highly potent list of enterprises whose executives have been spending a rather large amount of time of your brand’s webpages. Strike while the iron is hot!

Step 4: Dive deep into your sales data based on the list of enterprises you unearth and look out for the lead with the maximum decision making power. Voila! Simple, wasn’t it?

Next steps? Well your sales / business development people now have a fairer sense of the quality of the lead they are pursuing. With data that proves your product is already well-ensconced in their consideration set, these should be those low-hanging fruits that are good to pocket immediately. What can make the job even easier? Knowing what web content these leads / prospects have been viewing – brochures / pictures / demo videos!

Now, how on earth would we do that? Maybe I’ll just wait for the proverbial apple to fall.