What is a B2B Marketing Funnel?
A B2B marketing funnel is a blueprint that demonstrates to businesses how their customers interact with their brand from the very first interaction. It describes the path people take to become customers and specifies the marketing actions that should be taken at each stage of the funnel. The B2B marketing funnel consists of two processes: lead generation and conversion. While the process of getting leads can be automated, human interaction is still needed during the process of getting them to buy.
It’s very similar to a sales funnel, and the lines between the two are becoming increasingly blurred. It’s easier to imagine them side by side.
- Your marketing funnel establishes touchpoints and gives prospects reasons to buy.
- Your sales funnel outlines the concrete steps you take to persuade people to buy from you.
A marketing funnel is a picture of how a potential customer moves from not knowing about a company to becoming a customer for the first time.
Why is a Marketing funnel so important for B2-B companies?
In marketing, the funnel is an important framework to understand. Even if you don’t have a marketing team, have no marketing experience, and/or have a limited marketing budget, implementing a marketing funnel will help you prioritize and execute an effective marketing strategy. A small number of leads will result in an even smaller number of sales.
The larger the funnel at the top, the better. The larger the funnel at the top in terms of leads, the more sales will be generated at the other end.
A marketing funnel will help you get the most out of your marketing efforts, allowing you to grow your business. Finally, using a marketing funnel will enable your company to significantly increase the rate of repeat customers. Retaining customers leads to long-term business growth.
Customers must first be convinced that they are making a wise investment before they will buy your products. They must believe in you. They must believe that the risk is low. A content marketing strategy will tie everything together and serve as the foundation of your campaign.
Basically, the marketing funnel would do:
- Create a high level of awareness in your target market.
- It assists in converting potential customers into devoted followers.
- Interact with your subscribers and provide value to them, resulting in increased trust.
- By giving them a great customer experience that makes them want to come back, you can turn them from content consumers into customers.
- Increase the value of your products by upselling them.
Why Do B2B Businesses Need a Marketing Funnel?
There are numerous reasons why a B2B marketing funnel is required. I’ve chosen five of the most important advantages below.
- Because the B2B customer journey is more complicated, it necessitates more oversight.
- Because modern customers place such a high value on experience, 45.9% of businesses consider it their top priority.
- It enables you to coordinate the efforts of various team members.
- It’s better to automate a lot of the process so that you can get the most out of your marketing tools.
- It assists you in identifying inefficiencies and optimizing your marketing process.
These are all significant advantages, but perhaps the most important advantage of a B2B marketing funnel is that it provides a strategy. You’re not acting on the spur of the moment; instead, you’re taking calculated steps to move the prospect closer to a purchase decision.
Prospects must pass through each preceding stage to reach the consideration stage. To accomplish this, they require specific information at specific points along the journey.
The Stages of a B2B Marketing Funnel.
If you understand your B2B marketing funnel, you’ll have a much better idea of what your audience wants at different stages of their journey.
- On Top of Funnel-Awareness and Interest
- middle of the funnel-desire
- Bottom of Funnel-Action & Loyalty
1. Top of Funnel – Awareness & Interest
The term “top of the funnel marketing” refers to the first stage of the buyer’s journey. It is the stage of the process in which marketers raise brand awareness for their products and services to generate leads who will hopefully become customers.
According to an SEJ survey, marketers create more top-of-funnel content than middle-or bottom-of-funnel content. Top-of-funnel content is created by 95% of marketers.
Prospects must first discover your brand before considering your products, which occurs at the top of the funnel, also known as TOFU.
For many businesses today, the top of the funnel is defined as:
- Creating a brand
- Content marketing
- Paid advertising
- Social media posts
- Influencer marketing
- Video Marketing
At this point in the marketing funnel, your potential customers have a question or a pain point that needs to be addressed, and by providing the solution, you initiate the relationship. Your customer, on the other hand, has no affinity for your brand, so you must draw their attention and keep them engaged.
It’s not easy to do in crowded places like social media platforms. This is why having a clear marketing funnel is so beneficial; it will raise brand awareness while laying the groundwork for relationship growth.
2. Middle of Funnel – Desire
The SEJ survey found that 86% of marketers create content for the middle of the funnel.
You’ve captured people’s attention at the top of the marketing funnel; the middle of the funnel details what you do with it.
B2B sales are rarely made at the first point of contact. On average, it takes eight touchpoints to make a sale, indicating that you must do a lot of marketing.
Before businesses sign on the dotted line, you must first establish a relationship and earn their trust.
The middle of the funnel is where you generate interest and position yourself as a trustworthy partner who can help you resolve problems. To do so, you must show that you:
- Analyze what those problems are.
- Concern yourself with the prospects’ problems.
- should have the solutions to those problems.
This is where marketers rely on targeted, educational content to direct prospects to the solutions to their problems.
3. Bottom of Funnel – Action & Loyalty
According to the SEJ survey, 76% of marketers produce bottom-of-funnel content.
The goal at the bottom of the marketing funnel is simple: get the conversion.
You’ve worked hard to bring people here, and now it’s time to reap the benefits. To accomplish this, you should be direct and use strong calls to action that lead to purchase pages.
At this point, you’ve assisted the prospect in understanding their pain point and persuaded them that they require assistance in resolving it. You must now ensure that you are the company they turn to for assistance, not one of your competitors.
Marketers rely on the following to accomplish this:
- Case study
- Comparison guides
- No-cost trials
- landing pages that have been optimized.
- Social evidence
The top and middle of the funnel are intended to lead people to the bottom of the funnel, but it is here that you close the deal.
A B2B marketing funnel does not end when the sale is made.
You’ve worked hard to establish a relationship with these people, and you want to make the most of it. To do so, you must have a firm grasp of your post-purchase marketing.
Because repeat customers are nine times more likely to convert, this is an important step in increasing ROI.
This is where you keep in touch with the customer, making sure they’re getting the most out of their product and resolving any issues they may have. It’s also a good time to look for opportunities to upsell and cross-sell by:
- It demonstrates how your products complement one another.
- It highlights the upgraded package features.
- communicate new enhancements to your products and services.
The goal is to keep the conversation going so that when the customer needs something else, you’re the first company that comes to mind.
What is a B2B Sales Funnel?
A B2B sales funnel depicts how your leads are captured and moved through the various stages of interaction until they make a purchase or exit the funnel. The sales pipeline is concerned with the actions taken by your salespeople during the sales process as well as the potential for revenue at any given time.
The purpose of the B2B marketing funnel is to create the right touchpoints to guide the prospect through the customer journey.
The actions that move a prospect closer to becoming a customer are more important in the B2B sales funnel. Instead of writing educational content, you could have a sales representative walk a prospect through a demo of your software.
Why Sales Funnel is Important and why B2B Businesses need Sales Funnel
B2B sales funnels are important because they automatically capture, nurture, and convert leads. This allows salespeople to sell to existing prospects more effectively. It assists businesses in determining where to direct their time and resources.
Your company needs a sales funnel for the same reasons that it needs a marketing funnel. The B2B customer journey, in particular, is complex.
Even the most straightforward decisions can become complicated when selling to a business. A typical B2B buying journey involves six to ten decision-makers, each with their own set of interests. You must bring them all together to make an informed decision about your product.
In the background, your B2B marketing funnel guides stakeholders through the process, but your B2B sales funnel outlines the overt actions you take to convert prospects.
The Stages of a B2B Sales Funnel
Every company is different, and prospects will take a slightly different buyer’s journey. They are all based on the same principles such as AIDA, Forrester’s Model, and the Conversion Funnel, in general. This section will keep things simple by breaking down the B2B sales funnel into six stages.
You’ll notice similarities with the B2B marketing funnel right away. As previously stated, sales funnels and marketing funnels are inextricably linked.
We spent a lot of time discussing content in the marketing funnel, specifically what type of content is required at each stage of the customer journey. The sales funnel focuses on the methods you use to raise brand awareness and drive demand.
This is where you’ll put different marketing methods to the test and keep a close eye on the results to see which ones perform the best.
For example, comparing click-through rates on social media ads with Google Ads, for example, or working on cold emails for lead generation are examples of strategies.
The key is to monitor key performance indicators such as:
- Increased traffic to social media profiles
- Newsletter signups for your email newsletter
- Click-through rates on paid advertisements
- Downloads of restricted assets
The B2B sales funnel may be more complicated than the B2C sales funnel, but they all begin with awareness.
It takes time to generate interest in your products—first, you must establish a relationship.
You aren’t calling them five times a day to push a sale at this point. You must allow them to develop an interest in your product or service so that they will take the first step.
Keep track of the content that your prospects interact with and provide them with upgraded content to pique their interest.
For example, signing up for a live demo of your software is a strong indication of interest. This enables you to proceed to the next stage of the process and actively pursue the sale.
Make sure you’re producing high-quality content upgrades, and use them to determine whether a lead is hot or cold.
Your lead scoring could look something like this:
- Subscribed to the email newsletter: two points.
- 3 points for downloading a beginner’s guide
- 5 points for downloading a brochure.
- 8 points for attending a webinar.
- 10 points for starting a free trial.
This allows you to determine how motivated your prospect is and reach out at the optimal time.
The consideration stage of the B2B sales funnel is where things can start to get a little “sales.” Your prospects have identified their pain point and identified your products as a potential solution, but they are still considering the following factors:
- How big of a problem do they have to solve?
- How soon does the problem need to be addressed?
- Can they resolve the issue internally?
- What other products can be used to solve the problem?
- What budget can they set aside to address the issue?
According to studies, this is the point in the customer journey where 60% of prospects want to speak with a sales manager.
You should have a good amount of information on the prospect at this point, and This information will assist you in assisting the prospect in resolving their problem with your product!
During the consideration stage, your prospects are reading reviews and evaluating your product, but the quickest way to do so is to simply speak with someone.
The sales funnel’s intent stage is all about refining leads. People are aware of your brand, are aware that they require a solution, and have exhausted all other options. They still require that final push, though.
For example, they may add an item to their cart but fail to convert it. You’re not alone; in fact, nearly 70% of carts are abandoned.
This is because adding an item to a cart or entering credit card information is a sign of intent. It’s the next stage of exploration, and as your abandoned cart statistics most likely show, many prospects do not progress past this point.
Understanding the difference between intent and what is required to complete a purchase is a critical component of the sales funnel because it allows you (or your sales team) to intervene at the appropriate time.
An abandoned cart, unused software trial, or demo sign-up is a good sign because it indicates that you have a hot lead. It’s an opportunity to call them (or start your abandoned cart email series) and give them the push they need to convert.
The abandoned cart email series has a 41.09 percent open rate, which means you’re getting a second chance with a large number of potential customers. Your conversion rate is likely to increase even more if you can reach them by phone.
The evaluation and decision stage of the B2B sales funnel is where you close the deal.
Your prospect has expressed interest, but they are not yet ready to make a decision. What is the best way to take them to the next level?
At this point, stakeholders have finished their final research and are ready to make a decision. The difficulty is that there may be a large number of people involved in the process.
Someone from marketing, someone from sales, someone from customer service, and someone from corporate may all be thinking about slightly different details. You’ve already worked hard to move all of these people through the sales funnel; now it’s conversion time.
Your sales team should contact the prospect on a regular basis during the evaluation and decision stages to answer questions, highlight benefits, and work out a deal.
Just because someone has decided to purchase your product or service does not guarantee that it will occur. There’s still a lot that can go wrong between the time people enter their credit card information and the time you deliver the product or service.
Take, for example, site speed. On average, a page that loads in less than two seconds has a transaction conversion rate of 6.32 percent. When you get below two seconds, that number drops to less than 3% and continues to fall as load time increases.
When people make a large investment, they expect it to be easy, which means you should improve the purchasing process in any way you can.
The first barrier they’ll encounter is your payment process, and if it’s not user-friendly, they won’t convert. Make it intuitive and simple to use, and pre-fill details whenever possible. User testing can assist you in identifying problems during the process.
You should also keep an eye on people who drop out of the funnel. They are frequently well-qualified and may respond to retargeting advertisements or social selling.