In the world of B2B sales, having a defined B2B sales funnel is crucial to success. As you may have noticed, digital marketing tools have changed a lot in recent years, and the B2B sales funnel is no exception. A sales funnel is the process a lead follows to become a paying customer. Understanding the different stages of a B2B sales funnel can help companies identify at what stage leads are struggling and how to improve their sales process.
What Is The B2B Sales Funnel?
The B2B sales funnel is a very important and effective marketing tool designed to guide prospects through the buying process. This strategy is based on guiding the customer through a logical sequence of steps that can vary, but generally include attraction, interest, consideration, intent and final purchase. Each of these steps is crucial to the conversion of prospects into customers and, therefore, to the success of your business.
Implementing a B2B sales funnel allows you to have a clearer view of your prospects’ conversion process. In addition, it helps you identify weak points in the process and improve them to increase your conversion rates. It also allows you to better understand your prospects, their needs, interests and concerns, and thus offer more personalized and effective solutions.
It is important to note that implementing a B2B sales funnel can be a complex process and requires a clear and well-defined strategy. Therefore, it is advisable to have a team of marketing and sales experts to guide you through this process and help you implement the funnel effectively in your business. In summary, implementing a B2B sales funnel is a valuable investment for any business looking to improve its sales and marketing efforts and increase its conversion rates.
Differences between B2B and B2C sales funnels
The main difference between a B2B and a B2C sales funnel is in the length of the sales cycle and the type of target audience. In B2B, the sales cycle is longer and the decision making involves several members of the company. In addition, the target audience is usually companies or professionals, whereas in B2C it is the end consumer.
Broadly speaking, B2B companies are characterized by:
- Having sales relationships in continuous development and a longer life due to longer sales closing processes.
- Being related to the sale of products and services from one company to another.
- Include a decision-making process that usually requires the approval of more than one person.
On the other hand, B2C companies stand out for:
- Focusing on business-to-consumer sales, such as retail sales.
- Having a shorter sales cycle and encouraging the consumer to buy the product on the spot.
- Not including more than one person in the decision-making process.
With this in mind, we can better understand how the sales process differs. Take a look at the following diagram to get a general idea:
How to Build a B2B Sales Funnel step by step?
The B2B sales funnel is a business strategy used to guide potential customers through a sales process. This strategy includes several stages that are fundamental to understand for building this type of funnel.
Stage 1: Discovery
Before starting this stage, it is vital to define the prospect. This involves identifying and understanding the Ideal Client Profile. In doing so, we will know data such as the industry, the size of the company, the available budget and the client’s needs and challenges. It is important to mention that the objective of this stage is to establish a solid relationship with the prospect and prepare the ground for the next stage of the sales funnel through strategic communication.
During this stage, efforts should be focused on generating awareness on how to alleviate your prospect’s headaches. To let your prospects know that there is a solution to their problems, you can employ strategic content and Inbound marketing actions such as advertising campaigns, online content, online collateral or email marketing.
Stage 2: Education
In this stage you identify potential customers who have shown interest in the products or services offered by the company and who meet certain pre-established qualification criteria. These potential customers are called MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads) and are identified by analyzing their online behavior, their activity on social networks and other interactions with the company. Once identified, they can be offered personalized follow-up focused on conversion.
After identifying the target audience, outbound actions must be carried out to achieve the sale of the good or service to the users. To achieve this, special attention must be paid to the multiple types of interactions that these potential customers have made on the websites and other digital platforms they have passed through during this process.
At times, it may be necessary to pause the lead if you are unclear where you want to direct it. In other cases, it may be better to lose the lead if it is not of interest. However, it is important to encourage referred leads, as these are of great interest and are perfect future buyers.
Stage 3: Choice
In the choice phase, SQLs are defined and actions are established to prescribe our product or service through influencers, offering samples or personalized demos, for example. A key tactic is to assist the user in the testing process and take advantage of this to recommend our product or service.
Finally, this phase closes with the signing of the contract. It is important to maintain a good relationship with the customer and offer a quality after-sales service to build customer loyalty and establish a long-term relationship of trust. It should be noted that this stage is not only characterized by the sale, but it is also a process that seeks to generate interest, convince the user and establish a relationship of trust to achieve the sale and customer loyalty.
Stage 4: Onboarding
The Onboarding phase is somewhere in between two important concepts: commitment and initiation. First, the objective is to get the prospect to commit to the product or service offered. On the other hand, the aim is to get the project underway and start working.
During this stage, the Trial is carried out, which consists of offering a demonstration of the product or service. This is related to the previous phase, where the prospect’s interest in learning more about what is being offered was generated.
At this point, a project kick-off meeting is held, known as Orchestrating. At this meeting, the company’s managers meet with the client to establish the objectives and expectations of the project. This is a key moment to ensure that all parties involved are on the same page and can work together effectively.
Stage 5: Usage Phase
This phase starts after the meeting, in case no deal or contract has been closed yet. The MRRs are established, i.e. the revenues to be obtained with a certain regularity (it can be monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc., depending on the product or service).
It is important to keep in mind that the fact that the customer reaches the usage phase does not mean that our work is finished. On the contrary, it is the perfect moment to impact them by showing them a product or service whose potential and differential value stand out from the competition.
Likewise, this is our opportunity to solve any doubts or problems they may have regarding what we offer, and thus complete this phase by promoting the customer’s independence towards us after they become an expert in the use of our product or service.
What Is The Best Approach To Build A Successful B2B Sales Funnel?
The best approach to building a successful B2B sales funnel is to approach it in a holistic manner. This means considering target audience, content, search engine optimization, digital advertising strategy and tracking resources to ensure that each step in the funnel is effective.
Content must be relevant to the target audience and must provide value to them. Search engine optimization means tagging content correctly and improving SEO so that potential customers can find the content easily. Digital advertising can help reach new potential customers. And follow-up resources should be closely monitored to make sure all marketing efforts are achieving the desired results.
Setting clear objectives is one of the fundamental pillars for the success of a B2B sales funnel. This involves defining who is being targeted, what are the objectives to be achieved, what actions need to be taken to achieve the objectives and when to meet them. Once the objectives have been established, it is important to establish KPIs to measure the success of a sales funnel. These KPIs can include conversions, abandonment rate, sales cycle time, etc. Establishing these metrics will help determine the progress of your sales funnel and identify where work needs to be done to improve results.
With digital marketing, building a successful B2B sales funnel can be a daunting task. But with the right approach, the results can be extremely satisfying. It’s important to start with setting clear goals to ensure that the sales funnel is aligned with your business objectives. Establishing KPIs is another way to keep the focus on results. These metrics will help measure the progress of the sales funnel and identify areas for improvement.
Once goals and KPIs have been established, it is important to design an SEO content strategy to drive traffic to your sales funnel. This involves creating engaging, SEO-optimized content with keywords relevant to your target audience. In addition, it is also important to optimize content for mobile devices to take advantage of the growing mobile audience.
In summary, to build a successful B2B sales funnel, it is important to have clear objectives and KPIs in place, design an SEO content strategy and optimize content for mobile devices. With the right approach, the results can be very successful.