Here’s this week’s batch of interesting stuff for startup marketers.

The folks from the startup Pipedrive, a pipeline management tool wrote a great post looking back at how they grew to 1,000 paying customers. The post includes a great discussion about how they learned to say “no” to customers that wanted one-off features, how they ramped up their growth by spending more time with key influencers and removed as much friction as they could in the their sign-up process. This is a great lessons learned post.

An older article on Demand Gen Report, “Why Demand Generation Shouldn’t be Focused on Marketing Qualified Leads” inspired this post this week from B2B Digital Marketing called “Looking beyond Sales and Marketing Alignment“. The original article looks at the problem of Marketing’s continued struggle to provide good leads to sales and proposes that the solution to the problem is better orchestration and coordination between Marketing and Sales. We are focusing too much on MQL’s (Marketing Qualified Leads) when in a perfect process all leads should be marketing influenced as well as sales influenced. In the second article, the author takes this line of thinking one step further to make the argument that sales and marketing should just be “aligned” but actually “integrated”. These are two great articles to read if you are struggling with lead generation process issues related to a salesforce.

Over at SingleGrain there was a really interesting post on using competitive research to analyze a new market. This post describes the process the writer used to launch a new online business website from a very SEO-centric perspective. He describes the tools and methods he used to determine traffic potential, assessed demographics, analyzed key words and how he researched competitor’s tactics. A great read and useful even if you aren’t launching something from scratch.

Lastly, Michele Linn over at Savvy B2B Marketing had a good post on how to be a better listener in content marketing. The post describes how she monitors and discovers content from a variety of different sources using a variety of devices in a very streamlined manner. If you feel like you are spending too much time on Twitter, your inbox is overflowing and your RSS reader is a mess, this is the post for you.