A well-designed B2B sales funnel strategy can help you generate income and discover opportunities to improve and optimize your sales process and gain a deeper understanding of your client’s journey.
What Is a B2B Sales Funnel?
Three processes are critical for a complete understanding of a B2B sales funnel:
- Buying: Looking for a solution to an issue (pain point)
- Selling: This entails locating and engaging with consumers experiencing a particular problem to supply a solution.
- Marketing: Studying problems and individuals who have them, educating potential customers, and assisting sellers are all marketing examples.
A B2B sales funnel the point at which these three processes meet and interact. It is up to a specific organization to decide how this junction should be set up. You don’t have complete control over purchasing; you can’t force someone to buy your goods. A controllable selling process and effective marketing methods, on the other hand, can have an impact.
Why should you utilize a B2B sales funnel?
- You built your company, intending to see consistent growth.
- A funnel to increase sales and retain consumers can help you get there.
- You’re undoubtedly already getting sales, but if you understand how they happen, you can boost conversions.
How to Create a B2B Sales Funnel?
No standalone action sequence can guarantee a 100 percent ideal result when it comes to creating a B2B sales funnel. However, there are a few simple guidelines to follow that will help you avoid common errors while building a funnel that fits the model of your business.
A well-structured sales funnel model will assist in generating quality leads, refinement of the sales process, and identifying and optimizing customer journeys. In addition, a sales funnel is an essential component of the operational process, as it aids in developing a long-term strategy for new and existing consumers. Let’s look at how to create a sales funnel step by step.
1. Know what your customers want.
Customers in the digital era are flooded with information and have an infinite number of options from which to pick. So first and foremost, understand that you will only market to individuals who are the best fit for what you’re selling.
In fact, unlike B2C companies, approximately 75% of B2B companies struggle to develop marketing approaches for long-term success, according to a 2021 study. Users are turned off by irrelevant material such as advertisements, promotions, and articles. Ineffective targeting has far-reaching consequences that go beyond a disappointed customer. Businesses squander funds, alienate customers, and jeopardize their reputations.
Firstly, do some research on your target audience. Find out what your visitors do on your site, such as where they click, what they look at, and how long they spend on each page. You’ll be able to find numerous demographics you can target using site monitoring and analytics tools.
Aside from site data, you might want to pay attention to the request for proposals (RFPs), conversion rates, mailing lists, and other ways clients interact with your company. You’ll be better positioned to market to users if you know when they take action.
2. Get your audience’s attention
With more options and high distrust, capturing client attention is more difficult than ever. What works is relevant, targeted messaging provided at the correct time. However, some marketing managers may find this challenging to pitch because the return on investment isn’t always apparent.
The majority of website visitors do not purchase their first visit. In many businesses, a prospect must visit numerous times before they feel comfortable with your brand and goods. Therefore, moving your lead from the awareness to the consideration stage can take several months.
Once you’ve found people interested in your goods, it’s time to guide them to the funnel’s wide end. This will take some time, as actions rarely occur at the first meeting. The ancient marketing cliché that messages must be repeated up to seven times to be effective still holds in B2B.
When used in conjunction with a CRM, digital technologies like eCommerce can help you follow leads throughout the evaluation and purchase process and determine the best time to reach out and make a good first impression.
3. Nurture relationships
Many businesses struggle to sustain momentum after a successful initial interaction. However, if you contact leads too soon or too late, you risk scaring them away or losing their interest.
Buyers of all types are becoming increasingly comfortable making selections without connecting with others as digital natives take center stage. Before making a purchase, the average B2B buyer will look at five or more pieces of material; prospects are unlikely to request or expect a call or an email from you.
A drip campaign can assist in the accurate movement of these cold leads through the funnel. Doing so regularly and with helpful information, especially targeting objectives and pain points, “warms them up” and leads to a sale.
You can fine-tune drip campaigns for each persona because you may adapt them according to your needs. First, however, you must show that you thoroughly understand their requirements and that your solution and offer fit them best.
4. Prepare for the meeting
As previously stated, initial impressions rarely seal the sale; your prospect will most likely want additional persuasion to become a paying customer. However, first impressions can be important and, in many circumstances, will determine whether or not your prospect will make it to the conclusion of the sales funnel.
You must have all of the relevant information on hand at this point. The CRM system combines your research findings, relevant material, RFP information, website and communication activity, and any customer data. These will assist you in addressing your consumers’ pain areas and making a positive first impression.
From the first contact through the closing, salespeople must be adaptable and creative in their approach to their prospects. As a result, simplifying your sales process can help you increase your sales funnel and productivity. Standardization isn’t a script or a sales playbook; it’s a guideline that you may adapt and adjust to move on a specific path.
Some of these activities will be repeated; you can automate them to free up sales reps to focus on relationship building and sales growth. For example, you can use behavioral data to help discover the customer’s pain areas. The product can then be tailored to them to solve their problems.
5. Follow up regularly
According to HubSpot, over 80% of sales need at least five follow-up conversations, whereas 44% of salespeople give up after the first “no.” That’s because most salespeople have traditionally focused on closing the deal at the top of the funnel.
You prevent potentially important prospects from slipping through your fingers by following up. Aside from training your salespeople to follow up regularly, you can use your email program to establish notifications or calendar reminders to keep track of follow-ups.
The follow-up procedure also assists in the optimization of your sales funnel. Prospects who have gone silent after multiple calls reacted with an out-of-office response or asked to connect at a later time can be removed. You’ll know where those leads are in the funnel and how close they are to closing the deal if they go forward.
Don’t forget to stay in touch with your existing consumers. You may learn about their experience with your product and what they enjoy about it, find testimonial chances, and encourage them to spread positive word-of-mouth in their social circles.
6. Seal the deal
Your goal is to encourage customers to buy; this is where that happens or doesn’t happen. At the same time, over half of all significant B2B purchases are made by leads nurtured all the way through; thus, your lead nurturing efforts are critical.
Listen carefully to your consumer to figure out what’s preventing them from moving forward. David Jacoby, Managing Director of the Sales Readiness Group, suggests adopting the ASK process to deal with uncertain buyers.
The ASK process includes:
- Align your goals and objectives. Confirm specific comments by referring to earlier interactions with your consumers, including phone conversations, meetings, and correspondence. This will reassure the buyer that you are aware of their concerns and are aware of their requirements. You establish rapport and reaffirm that you are on the same page by asking for reassurance.
- Ensure your commitment. Reiterate the major advantages of doing business with you and how your solution addresses their main concerns. You can now identify potential difficulties and potential solutions or ask the consumer if they have any more concerns.
- Always maintain the relationship. Your task isn’t finished even if you get a commitment. So before they sign on the dotted line, find out if there are any other decision-makers engaged or if there are any contractual issues to be resolved.
This would be the final stage in a traditional sales funnel, but since we’re talking about creating an efficient, modern B2B sales funnel, we still have one more crucial step to go.
7. Optimize the Sales funnel
Whether you’re an art distributor or a seller of office supplies on the internet, you need to reach out to your target market. There’s a living, breathing customer at every point of your sales funnel asking for solutions. Therefore, your funnel must provide a wide collection of options to fulfill their demands at each level better.
The buyer will initially be exposed to a wide range of information, including landing pages, blog posts, social media, video clips, and infographics. Even though all of this content appears unrelated, it must be tailored to a single persona in the funnel.
As the funnel narrows, your leads will require more detailed information to comprehend your product fully. Whitepapers, guides, webinars, and case studies will be examined. Your leads must remain engaged and interested, and make their way down the funnel toward a deal close, regardless of where they are in the funnel.
The sales funnel one of the most important and complex aspects of online business. Having a proven strategy to help turn potential leads into customers can save you time and money while driving revenue growth. Although there are many ways to create a strategic approach to your sales funnel, this article aims to give you a basic roadmap that will get you started down the right path.