A well-structured digital marketing funnel is something that you need to attract new prospects, nurture leads and generate sales in the B2B market. Although, the road to the B2B buyer's journey would be difficult and tiring, including multiple touchpoints and marketing channels.
Prospect nurturing cycles in the B2B might require months or even years before turning them into sales opportunities or paying clients.
To deliver consistent and personalized experiences, digital marketing and automation have unlocked a whole new world to experience your prospects and leads across all touchpoints. Having an optional B2B sales funnel will help provide the abstraction less experience at every step of the buyer's journey and set them right towards the final sale funnel box.
The sales funnel helps to lean effective and efficient marketing while increasing your conversion rates and closing more deals for you.
The Progression of the B2B Sales Funnel
5 B2B sales funnel stages are explained here, but before that, let's understand the broader perspective.
A B2B digital marketing funnel is a smart system that targets potential clients with personalized messaging and offers that are made throughout the buyer's journey. From awareness to conversion, your B2B funnel is ready to attract potential clients and prospects into leads and nurture them until they turn into paying customers.
The B2B sales funnel can be broadly classified into three main stages:
- Top of the Funnel- Finding the prospects
- Middle of the Funnel- Lead generation
- Bottom of the Funnel- Finalizing the deal
The top stage of the funnel represents the awareness stage to attract new prospects and educate them about the specific pain point or challenges that your product or services help solve.
The middle stage of the funnel helps build the relationship between the prospect and you through the demonstration of their problems getting solved by your product or services.
The bottom stage of the B2B sales funnel helps the prospect decide to purchase or invest financially into your offerings; by clearing up the objections and encouraging intermediate actions.
You want to feed your sales funnel with as many targeted leads as possible.
However, unlike the B2C funnel, you target a large group of people. In B2B, you would like to succeed in only relevant accounts that make or influence decisions in a company.
Users are moved from one stage of the funnel to support their interactions with content/offers.
This interaction, known as the conversion, is often an action that qualifies the user for the subsequent stage. Digital marketing gives you a vast range of options used as conversions.
From an easy ad click, engaging content on social media, viewing key pages on your site, optimizing your lead magnets, signing up for a demo, etc., each conversion is often used as a sign that qualifies the user for the subsequent funnel stage.
For example, when a user opts in for your lead magnet e-book, it means they’re interested, so you will move them to a subsequent funnel stage to keep the momentum going.
A B2B digital marketing funnel is often short or long, counting on your sales cycle. Each funnel stage includes one step and a touchpoint.
For example, when users choose your white book (a typical MoFu offer), it doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily able to buy your product yet. You may have to nurture them further with other Middle of the Funnel (MoFu) content and offers before moving to the Bottom of the Funnel (BoFu) stage.
So, within the next step of MoFuoffer, a webinar, then a case study, etc. Nurture leads one step at a time before you opt to maneuver them to a subsequent funnel stage.
This is true for high-ticket, complex and disruptive products/services where decision-makers within a corporation need strong and compelling reasons to consider your offerings.
But before that, let's check out the B2B sale funnel stages in detail.
B2B Sales funnel Stages
The humble sales funnel has been subjected to a number of revisions ever since the 19th century, when science hit off. A sales funnel can have three or more stages, depending on whom you are talking to and what business is being discussed. Fundamentally every sale funnel is the same in terms of functioning. However, there is no ideal one-size-fits-all model for the B2B sales funnel.
The sales funnel helps to visualize and understand the key steps involved at its core to turn the total stranger into paying customer.
To figure out the best way possible to lose your business and at what stage your customers are losing, you can identify all that with the key stages of the B2Bsales funnel. This will help you move your prospect to the next sales funnel stages. And you can have an optimized and efficient sales process.
Every different business requires different versions of the B2B sales funnel. However, the following are the basic and crucial stages of the B2B sales funnel, irrespective of the business.
Awareness Stage of the B2B Sales Funnel
B2B customer is looking out for an answer in the awareness stage of the B2B sales funnel. All the required necessities, like the resources, education, data, opinions, and insights, solve their problems. The problem could be very simple, like looking for a new supplier for some manufacturing concerns. It could be a little complex, like the software that integrates the frontend and backend operations without manual support.
The value of the lead at this stage is low since there is no definite way to make sure that they are going to buy your service or product. But in the same case, if you provide high-level and detailed information content, there are more chances that they will be interested in your company. At the top stage of the B2B sales funnel, you should understand the buyer's persona and how they think to be more helpful to them to solve the problem.
Interest Stage of the B2B Sales Funnel
At the interest stage of the B2B sales funnel, they begin to research your product/ services to gain more information. It is usually considered a crucial process where trust is formed about your product/services. In the buyer's eyes, at this point, nurturing the lead is focused on raising the opinion of your company.
Evaluation stage of the B2BSales Funnel
During the evaluation stage, you’ve solidly captured the buyer’s attention. Now it’s time to specialize in showing how your solution is perfect for their needs. To further solidify trust, this is often the time to let leads know if your solution isn’t in their best interest. A display of honesty and integrity at this stage may pay off in the future, albeit your product or service doesn’t meet the buyer’s needs.
The Engagement Stage of the B2BSales Funnel
Once your lead is within the engagement stage, they’ll be interacting together with your sales department. This might include product demonstrations, sales pitches, and clear communication that you understand the buyer’s pain points and need to assist them in reaching an answer. The degree of relationship and trust you create at this level may be critical to the lead moving to the last stage.
The Acquisition Stage of the B2BSales Funnel
In a traditional funnel, the acquisition stage is the end. The acquisition order is written, or the commitment to the acquisition is approved. But simply because money and merchandise move doesn’t mean that you’ve reached the top of the B2b sales funnel.
Post-purchase engagement keeps the customer happy; it further feeds the funnel and is vital to putting together a B2B sales pipeline. The bulk – or 84% of B2B sales begins with a referral by a lover or colleague, and these referral leads convert 30% better.
While these traditional sales and B2B marketing funnels remain the foremost widely used model, account-based marketing advancements are changing the ideal role of the funnel. Stay tuned for a future article on this new way of aligning sales and marketing.
Different Ways to Use B2B Sales Funnel to Convert the Leads
Marketing Tactics for the various Funnel Stages
As buyers move through the marketing funnel, their needs change. Meaning your marketing tactics and methods must evolve too. What works within the awareness stage is ineffectual within the Purchase stage. Offers that are appropriate for the acquisition stage stay within the awareness stage. So, mapping your marketing strategy and tactics is as important as mapping the buyer’s journey.
In the Awareness stage and Interest stages, potential buyers might not know you exist. And to form things worse, they will not even really know what they need or need, either.
They first begin to research an answer to their problem. Understanding your persona during this stage is more critical than ever. Your SEO tactics, lead generation, and content marketing must all be laser-focused on your persona. Whitepapers that address common pain points, eBooks with detailed information, and instructional videos help buyers identify possible solutions to their problem and lift awareness of your company at an equivalent time. Pay-per-click ad campaigns could also be appropriate for lead generation. Social media tools like Facebook Chatbot Messenger Ads are proving highly effective in engaging leads.
Ironically, people are drawn to their initial anonymity because they aren’t required to offer up their email addresses. However, once your lead has opted in, you've got access to Facebook data about the lead you wouldn’t otherwise have – and that’s important for personalization. The key to effective Chatbot Messenger marketing is to finish each interaction with a prompt for further action.
Once you’ve captured their attention, it’s time to form the case for why your solution is that the best. Now you'll truly educate your lead. That’s your focus within the Evaluation and Engagement stages. It’s time to share case studies showing how you’ve helped others in similar situations. Personalized drip email marketing campaigns are easy to automate.
Once your lead has landed on the acquisition stage, it’s time to draw the deal in depth. Marketing and sales must work together to navigate the cause conversion. Marketing must arm sales reps with case studies, provide product demos, and offer incentives. Marketers often offer incentives, case studies, and merchandise demos too early within the funnel when leads aren’t yet committed to a sale. Your offers will be more relevant once you introduce them at the top when your lead is prime to get.
The modern B2B market has changed. Now buyers have more information than ever, and they’re those on top of things. B2B customers wish to research and consider multiple options before they’re able to buy. It would be best to have an optimal B2B digital marketing funnel to form your business available to potential customers across the buyer’s journey.
Delivering the right message & offer at the right time to the right people to keep the momentum going and funnel prospects to ultimate sales. Start with something simple, using the offers and content that you simply have already got. Use data to reinforce your funnel and add additional steps and elements to spice up your conversion rates.
And now it’s your turn, build your high-converting B2B digital marketing funnel to assist the growth of your business to a subsequent level. If you've got any questions or comments, be happy to drop us a line down below. Or, if you stray in your funnel-building efforts, get in-tuned and learn what we will do for your business.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the stages of a sales funnel?
A sales funnel is directly connected to the customer journey phases, which may be sorted into three parts: top, middle, and bottom. this will translate into the sales funnel structure on your part as prospects browsing Untouched > Contact made (Leads) > Qualified > Proposal presented > Negotiation > Won.
What do a good sales funnel look like?
It's easy to recollect the four sales funnel stages by the acronym AIDA: Awareness, Interest, Decision, and Action. These four stages represent your prospective customer's mindset. Each stage requires a special approach from you, the marketer because you do not want to send the incorrect message at the incorrect time.
How do the sales funnel work for your business?
A sales funnel helps you understand what potential customers are thinking and doing at each stage of the purchasing journey. These insights allow you to take a position within the right marketing activities and channels, create the foremost relevant messaging during each stage and switch more prospects into paying customers.