Wouldn’t you love to have a guide to help you get more sales?
It might provide insight into your customers’ needs and highlight the actions that you should take at each stage of their journey.
It sounds great, right?
What I am referring to is a B2B sales and marketing funnel. You’re not alone if you don’t have a funnel strategy. 87% of marketers create content that is tied to various stages of the customer journey.
This is what you need to know when creating a funnel that will increase your sales.
What is a B2B Marketing Funnel, You Ask?
B2B marketing funnels are a blueprint that show businesses how customers interact with their brand starting from the first interaction. It outlines the customer journey and identifies the marketing actions to be taken at each stage.
It’s very similar to a sales channel and the lines between them have blurred. It’s easier to imagine them side-by-side.
- Your marketing funnel creates touchpoints that give prospects reasons to buy.
- The sales funnel outlines the actions you take in convincing people to buy.
B2B marketing and sales funnels differ from B2C counterparts.
Businesses make different purchasing decisions than individuals. Business tend to spend more, take longer, and have more stakeholders (especially if it is a high-value purchase), which makes the journey more complicated and long.
77% of B2B buyers claim that their last purchase was complex. 74.6% of B2B sales take at least 4 months to complete and almost half take 7 months or more.
It is crucial that B2B companies invest in their marketing and sales funnels to make sure they are fully optimized.
Why does my B2B business need a marketing funnel?
A B2B marketing funnel is necessary for many reasons. These are only five benefits that I have highlighted, but they are not the entire picture.
- B2B customer journeys are more complex and require more oversight.
- Experience is what customers want. This is why customer service is the top priority for 45.9% of businesses.
- This allows you to coordinate efforts between different members of your team.
- To maximize efficiency, marketing tools can be used to automate large portions of the process.
- It allows you to spot inefficiencies and optimize marketing processes.
These are all important benefits. But, the best benefit of a B2B funnel marketing strategy is that it gives you a plan. It’s not about taking ad-hoc steps; it’s about taking strategic steps to get the prospect to buy.
Prospects must complete each stage before they can reach the consideration stage. To do this, they will need to have specific information at certain points along the way.
This is how you get real results. By reducing friction in the funnel, GoCardless, an financial software company, saw an increase of conversions of 139 percent.
Sometimes, it’s just a matter of small adjustments. But understanding your funnel is the key.
B2B Marketing Funnel Stages
A brand visitor who is interacting for the first time with your brand will have different needs than a regular visitor. You can expect them to have different questions and different expectations. How can you ensure that you provide the right content and experience at the right moment?
Understanding your B2B marketing funnel will give you a better understanding of your audience at each stage of their journey.
1. Top of Funnel = Awareness + Attention
According to an SEJ survey, marketers create top-of-the-funnel content more often than middle and bottom content. 95 per cent of marketers create top-of-the-funnel content.
Prospects need to be able to identify your brand before they will consider your products. This is done in the Top of the Funnel (sometimes abbreviated to TOFU).
Today, many businesses see the top of their funnel as:
- Brand building
- Content marketing
- Paid advertising
- Social media posts
- Influencer marketing
- Video marketing
This stage of the marketing funnel is where potential customers have a question or a problem they need solved. By providing the solution, you can start the relationship. You need to attract people’s attention and keep them interested in your brand even if they don’t have an affinity for it.
It is difficult to accomplish in tight spaces such as social media platforms.
A clear marketing funnel will help you build brand awareness and establish the foundation for building relationships.
2. Interest + Consideration = Middle of Funnel
According to the SEJ survey 86% of marketers create middle-of-funnel content.
The top of the funnel is where you have attracted people’s attention. The middle describes what you do with it.
B2B sales rarely happen at the first contactpoint. On average, it takes eight touchpoints to make sale . This shows that you need to do a lot of marketing.
Before businesses sign the dotted line, you must build trust and establish a relationship.
You can build interest in the middle of your funnel and present yourself as a trusted partner who can solve problems. You must demonstrate your ability to solve problems.
- These are the problems
- Take care of the prospects’ problems
- We have the solutions to your pain points
Marketers rely on targeted, educational content in order to direct prospects to the solutions to their problems.
Although you may give away a lot of information here, don’t forget the ultimate goal of persuading prospects that the fastest/easiest/most effective way to solve the problem with your product is by selling it.
Although we are not yet at the point of selling, we are planting the seeds and building the intent to purchase.
3. Bottom of funnel = Intent + Action
According to the SEJ survey, 76% of marketers create bottom-of-funnel content
The goal of every marketing funnel is to convert.
It’s been a long process to get people to your site. Now is the time to make it a success. You need to be clear and direct with strong calls for action that lead to purchase pages.
Content is still used to guide prospects along the journey. However, it has been slightly modified. Here is a sample of content at the bottom of your funnel:
This case study outlines specific actions and links to a page that prospects can use to reach out.
You have helped your prospect understand their problem and convinced them that help is needed. You now need to make sure you are the company that they choose to turn to for assistance, and not one of your competitors.
Marketers rely on the following:
- case studies
- comparison guides
- Free trials
- Optimized landing pages
- Social proof
The funnel’s top and middle are intended to lead people to the bottom, but it is here that you make the sale.
B2B marketing doesn’t end when you have made the sale.
These people have worked hard to establish a trusting relationship. You want to make it last. You need to be able to clearly understand your post-purchase marketing.
Repeat customers are nine times more likely than new customers to convert. This is why this step is crucial in driving ROI.
You will continue to interact with customers, making sure they get the best out of their product and solving any problems they may have. This is also the time to cross-sell and upsell.
- Show how your products work together
- Highlighting features of upgraded packages
- Communicate the improvements you are making to your products or services
It is important to maintain the conversation so that customers feel comfortable asking for more.
What is a B2B sales funnel?
A B2B sales funnel shows how leads are captured, moved through and exit the funnel.
B2B marketing funnels are primarily about creating the right touchpoints that guide prospects through their customer journey.
B2B sales funnels are more focused on the actions that lead prospects closer to becoming customers. Instead of writing educational content, a sales representative guides the prospect through a demonstration of your software.
A marketing funnel and a sales funnel should be coordinated to provide the prospect with everything they need in order to maximize efficiency.
Why does my B2B business need a sales funnel?
A sales funnel is essential for every business. The B2B customer journey can be complicated.
Selling a business can make even the most simple decisions difficult. A typical B2B buying process includes six to ten decision-makers, each with their own interests. To make a positive product decision, you need to get them all together.
Even if your plan looks like this, it’s difficult to accomplish this without a plan.
While your B2B marketing funnel guides the stakeholders, it also outlines the actions that you take to convert prospects.
This is broken down again into stages so that your team understands what to do at each stage.
B2B Sales Funnel Stages
Each business is different, so prospects will have a unique buyer journey. You’ll find many different B2B sales funnels.
They are based on the same principles as AIDA, Forrester’s Model and the Conversion Funnel. This section will simplify the process and break down the B2B sales funnel into six stages.
The similarities between the B2B marketing channel and this one will be obvious. Sales funnels and marketing channels are inextricably linked, as I mentioned.
We discussed a lot about the content needed in the marketing funnel. The sales funnel is more about the ways you create brand awareness and drive customer demand.
Here you can test various marketing strategies and monitor the results closely to determine which one is most effective.
You might compare click-through rates for social media ads with Google Ads or work on cold emails to generate leads.
It is important to pay attention to key performance indicators such as:
- Site traffic
- Social media profiles are growing
- Sign up for your email newsletter
- Click through rates for paid ads
- Downloads of protected assets
Although the B2B sales funnel is more complex than B2C’s, they all begin with awareness.
Building interest in your products takes time.
You are not calling them five times per day to sell a product or service. Let them know that you are interested in their product or service so they will take the first step.
Track the content that your prospects are interested in and provide them with updated content to increase their interest.
If someone registers for a demo of your software, it is a strong sign of interest. This will allow you to continue your sales process and move on to the next step.
You should ensure that you are creating high-quality content updates. These can be used to assess how hot or cold a lead might be.
This might be how your lead scoring looks like:
- Sign up for the email newsletter: 2 points
- Download a Beginner’s Guide: 3 Points
- Downloaded a brochure: 5 points
- Participated in a webinar: 8 Points
- Start a trial for free: 10 points
This allows you to see how motivated your prospect really is, so that you can reach them at the right time.
3. Take into account
The consideration stage in the B2B sales funnel can be a little more “salesy”. Your prospects have identified their problem and identified your products to help them, but they still need to weigh up some things.
- What is the size of the problem they have to solve?
- What speed does the problem have to be addressed?
- They can’t solve the problem internally.
- Are there any other products that could address the problem?
- How much budget can they allot to solve the problem?
Research shows that this is the stage in the customer journey when 60 percent of prospects would like to speak with a sales manager.
You should now have enough information about the prospect to make an informed decision.
These details will allow you to solve the prospect’s problem with your product.
Your prospects will be looking at reviews and evaluating the product during the consideration stage. However, it is often easier to speak to someone than to look.
Refine leads is the intent stage of a sales funnel. Your brand is well-known to people. They know what they want and have considered all options. They still need that last push.
They might add an item to their cart, but they don’t convert. is not the only one who abandons carts. accounts for just over 70% of abandoned carts.
This is because adding items to a cart, or filling out card details, are signs of intent. This is the next stage in exploration. Unfortunately, most prospects never get to this stage.
It is important to understand the difference between intent to make a sale. This allows you, or your sales team to intervene at the right moment.
A hot lead is an abandoned cart, unutilized software trial, or demo sign-up. This is a great opportunity to call them or initiate your abandoned cart email series and give them the push they need in order to convert.
Abandon Cart email series have an open ratio of 41.09%. This means that you are getting a second chance to reach a large number of potential customers. Your conversions will increase if you can reach them by phone.
5. Evaluation + Decision
This is where you can drive the sale home: The evaluation and decision stage in the B2B sales funnel.
Although your prospect indicated their intention, they aren’t yet ready to make a decision. What can you do to take them to the next step?
This is where stakeholders finish their research and then come together to make a final decision. There can be many stakeholders involved in the process.
There might be someone from marketing, sales, customer support or corporate. They all have different priorities and may be looking at slightly different details. It’s now time to convert. You have already done a lot of work in order to move all the people through the sales funnel.
Your sales team should be in touch with prospects regularly during the evaluation and decision stages to answer questions, highlight the benefits and negotiate a deal.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that someone will buy your product or services just because they have decided to do so. It’s possible for many things to happen before they enter their card details and you deliver your product or service.
Consider site speed as an example. A page that takes less than two seconds to load has an average transaction conversion rate of 6.32 percent. If you wait longer than two seconds, this number drops to less than 3 percent. As load time increases, it continues to drop.
People expect a large investment to be easy. This means that you must improve the purchasing process.
Your payment process is the first thing they will encounter. If it isn’t smooth, people won’t convert. It should be intuitive and easy to use. You can spot potential problems by doing user testing.
It’s important to monitor people who leave the funnel. These people are often highly qualified and might respond to social selling or retargeting ads.
Create a cohesive B2B marketing and sales funnel for your business
Your B2B marketing strategy and sales funnel are unique to your business and market. Your closest competitors may not have the same model, team or resources.
How do you make a cohesive funnel when you don’t have a blueprint?
1. Set your goals and objectives
Understanding your goals and objectives is essential before you can look at any business process.
People who outline their goals are 20% more likely to achieve them.
It is possible to choose to concentrate on:
- total sales
- average sale value
- Conversion rate
- Percentage of repeat sales
- customer satisfaction
It is important to remember that you don’t need to have one funnel. You may have different goals depending on who you are appealing to. Therefore, the customer journey will also change.
To measure your progress, establish clear performance indicators.
2. Understand Your Target Audience
Digital marketing is all about understanding your target audience. You won’t get the best results if you don’t understand your target audience.
Because funnels are focused on the customer journey, it’s worth taking the time to get to know your target audience. You can’t make the right decisions if you don’t fully understand your target audience’s needs and wants.
You can create detailed customer profiles to get a better idea of your ideal customers.
3. Organise Your Team
You can see that comprehensive B2B marketing and sales funnels contain many different elements. You will need to draw upon a variety of skills and knowledge in order to maximize your effectiveness.
It is important to make sure that sales and marketing work together. Your funnel will become less efficient if these two departments are not in sync and communication is broken down.
This can be a major change if you’ve never worked with a B2B funnel before. Your team should be supportive of your new funnel. Show them how it will improve their lives (and your ROI! better for everyone.
4. Select the right channels
You must be there if you want to reach your target audience. This will vary based on the demographic.
Check out the percentage of Americans who use Instagram.
- 18-29 71%
- 30-49 48 Percent
- 50-64 29 Percent
- 65+13 percent
Instagram may not be the best choice if you are trying to reach a 50+ audience. It’s your job to discover where your audience is located and adapt your content accordingly.
5. Make Your Assets
High-quality content is a key element of the B2B sales and marketing funnel.
You need the right assets, no matter if you are creating a beginner’s guide or a detailed comparison at bottom of your funnel. When planning your B2B marketing campaign, it is important to consider what assets you will need at each stage of the journey.
This is why two-thirds (63%) of marketers are increasing content budgets.
6. Keep track of your progress
Two years from now, your B2B marketing funnel and sales funnel should not look the same. This is because you need to constantly monitor results and optimize accordingly.
It is not about setting up a funnel, then sitting back and relaxing.
Now that you have a solid framework in place, it is time to start working on the details that will make your project stand out. To keep improving, make sure you have a system to track your results.
B2B Sales and Marketing FunnelFrequently Asked Questions
What are the differences in a B2B sales funnel versus a B2B marketing channel?
B2B marketing funnels are about creating touchpoints with prospects and convincing them to buy. B2B sales funnels are more action-oriented. They highlight the steps you must take at each stage of the customer journey in order to convert prospects into customers.
What do I need to do in order to have a B2B sales and marketing funnel?
Yes. It’s important to have both a sales and marketing funnel for B2B companies to fully understand the customer journey.
What is the cost of a B2B marketing channel?
While you can make a B2B marketing channel with your own resources, it will cost you between $5,000 and $10,000 to hire someone to do it. This serves as a guideline for sales and marketing, so it’s well worth the investment.
What is the cost of creating a B2B sales channel?
You can create a B2B funnel by yourself. Although it takes time to create the perfect funnel, it is possible to do so if you have the right skills.
Conclusion: B2B Sales and Marketing Funnels
Business is ultimately about selling. B2B marketing and sales channels are an excellent guide for how to build a customer base and make sales.
Although you may not be able to convert every prospect into a client, small improvements in your conversion rate can make a big difference to your business.
B2B marketing and sales channels will show you how to do it by giving your team a clear picture about what actions they should take in each situation. It is much easier to track your results and improve your performance once you have mapped it out.
B2B customer journeys can be complicated. However, it is much simpler to navigate with a well-designed B2B marketing and sales funnel.
How can you incorporate B2B marketing and sales channels into your business plan?
By: Neil Patel
Title: How to Build a B2B Marketing and Sales Funnel That Grows Your ROI
Sourced From: neilpatel.com/blog/b2b-marketing-sales-funnel/
Published Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2022 16:02:05 +0000