How to Build a Successful B2B Marketing Funnel

November 01, 2023 | Uncategorized

Wouldn’t having a guide explaining in detail how to increase sales would be helpful? Maybe it would give you an understanding of what your customers desire and enable you to emphasize the steps you must take at each stage of their journey.

Sounds good, right?

Well, what we’re discussing is a B2B marketing and sales funnel. You’re falling behind if you don’t have a funnel strategy in place.

Here are the key things about creating a funnel to boost your sales.

What Is a B2B Marketing Funnel?

A B2B marketing funnel is a framework that explains to businesses how their customers engage with their brand. It outlines the steps people take to become customers and specifies the marketing strategies for each stage of the funnel.

It is similar to a sales funnel, but there is a fine line between them. However, it’s simpler to visualize them side by side:

  • Your marketing funnel establishes touchpoints and provides the prospect with a reason to make a purchase.
  • Your sales funnel describes the concrete steps you take to convince customers to buy.
  • Both B2B sales and B2B marketing funnels are different from their B2C counterparts.

The reason is that businesses behave considerably differently from people when making purchases. The journey is lengthier and more complicated for businesses because they often spend more money, take longer, and include more stakeholders (especially if it’s a high-value acquisition).

Alt text: B2B buying Journey

Source: https://www.gartner.com/en/sales/insights/b2b-buying-journey

 

77% of B2B buyers claim that their recent purchase was complicated. The buying cycle for B2B transactions is lengthier, with 74.6% closing in at least four months and nearly half in at least seven.

B2B businesses must invest in both their marketing and sales funnels to make sure they are correctly optimized.

Why Does B2B Business Need a Marketing Funnel?

There are different reasons why a B2B marketing funnel is necessary. We’ve chosen five of the most significant advantages, but they are merely the beginning:

  1. Due to the complexity of the B2B client journey, extra oversight is required.
  2. Customer experience is the top priority for 45.9% of firms since today’s customers value experiences highly.
  3. Large portions of the process can be automated by maximizing the effectiveness of marketing tools.
  4. It helps you to coordinate the efforts of your team members.
  5. It assists you in identifying inefficiencies and streamlining your marketing process.

These are all significant advantages, but one of the most essential advantages of a B2B marketing funnel is that it offers a strategy. You aren’t acting carelessly; instead, you are strategically guiding the prospect towards making a purchase.

6 Advantages of Implementing a B2B Marketing Funnel

There are several other advantages that you should know before implementing a B2B marketing funnel:

A greater understanding of your audience

A B2B content marketing funnel helps you develop a map of the typical buyer path for your ideal customers from their first interaction.

By employing this strategy, you’ll improve your understanding of what your customers require at specific points in their journeys, satisfy those demands for them at the ideal time, and reduce your cost of customer acquisition (CAC)

Better brand awareness

The more brand recognition you have, the better! Why? Because it builds trust. The sales cycle is cut in half when B2B customers know your identity and are familiar with your product offerings. As a result, conversion rates are accelerated, and customer lifetime value (CLTV) is increased. 

Supports SEO

You can boost your website’s traffic without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on paid advertising by creating a sales funnel for B2B marketing.

The more content you have available, the more opportunities there are for link-building to boost your brand awareness.

Increased ROI

If you use a B2B marketing funnel, you’ll have many more long-term revenue opportunities for marketing. This is because you are acquiring access to a customer’s data. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about generating an immediate sale. 

Instead, you can use this marketing data to personalize ABM campaigns, spread expertise, and establish your brand’s authority. So, when your B2B clients are prepared to decide, your company will come to their minds first. 

Nurtures relationships

B2B funnel marketing is excellent for nurturing relationships and building brand loyalty. It will be possible for you to add potential customers to an email nurturing once you have access to their contact information. 

You can do this by:

  • Sending email campaigns to educate potential customers
  • Show the customers how your solution works
  • Share case studies with them
  • Offer exclusive discounts and freebies.

Performance is easily measured

The best thing about a marketing sales funnel is that it allows you to monitor the effectiveness of your marketing team with the help of B2B marketing metrics

You can then adjust your plan to move customers down the sales funnel and raise conversion rates based on what is working and what isn’t. 

 

The 3 stages of a traditional B2B marketing funnel

In marketing, building a funnel is essential for understanding the organizational buying patterns of your target customers. Once you’ve determined your potential customers’ motivating elements and pain points, you can create a marketing funnel that works well and improves your chances of making a sale.

There are three stages in the B2B marketing funnel:

  1. Top of the funnel (TOFU)
  2. Middle of the funnel (MOFU)
  3. Bottom of the funnel (BOFU)

Alt text: Stages of marketing funnel

Source:https://www.cognism.com/blog/how-to-build-better-b2b-marketing-funnels

Let’s discuss them in detail:

 

Top of the funnel (TOFU)

The first stage of the marketing funnel is known as the top of the funnel (TOFU), or the awareness stage. This is the stage where potential customers first become aware of problems with the business and begin looking for solutions. 

At this first stage, you aim to produce more leads and increase brand recognition. 

They are aware of their problem but are not yet ready to buy.

There are many efficient ways to increase awareness, including:

Organic awareness

You can develop thought leadership and raise brand awareness by publishing blog posts, YouTube videos, white papers, ebooks, and other helpful content.

The majority of the time spent by B2B buyers is spent on independent research. Therefore, giving relevant and free content makes sense, especially if you want to establish credibility.  

Social media

Social media is one of the best channels at the top of the B2B marketing and sales funnel. Sharing social media content can help you connect with prospects worldwide, establish topic authority, and create lasting relationships.

Paid awareness

Running Google and social media advertising can help raise awareness and support your efforts at organic marketing.

You can also employ QR codes to raise brand awareness. Create a QR code with a QR code generator, link it to your website or informative content, and display it on your physical advertisements. 

Users can visit your website and interact with your content by scanning the QR code.

It’s essential to apply the right messaging in your awareness campaign to get the desired outcomes and focus your incoming leads. Your marketing efforts should draw attention to the problems your prospects are facing and provide solutions to overcome them.

Pro Tip: Prospects in the awareness stage could not fully understand their problem.

Avoid requesting significant commitments, such as booking a demo or contacting sales. At this point, you should concentrate on generating leads by distributing valuable content.

Middle of the funnel (MOFU)

When customers have completely realized their problem and are actively looking for solutions, they are in the middle of the funnel, also known as the consideration stage.

This is the time to introduce your product. Remember that now is still not the time to engage in aggressive sales. Your customers aren’t yet actively making purchases. They are more likely to do browsing, looking for the solution available in the market.

At this point in the funnel, your content and messaging will change. You’ve already raised awareness and sparked curiosity. It’s time to give your customers context so they can think about it. Make your product stand out from the competition by emphasizing its unique selling point and why your customer will choose it.

Remember that your prospects buy your product for their businesses, not themselves. When positioning your business’s offerings, concentrate on how they can assist your ideal customers in achieving their goals.

For example, you can explain how your product can help boost profitability and what they might lose if they don’t take action.

The content you produce at MOFU will be important in moving your prospects to the final stage of the B2B marketing funnel. Following are some content types to concentrate on during the consideration stage:

  • Product videos
  • Case studies
  • Industry reports
  • Webinars
  • White papers
  • Quizzes or surveys

    Your website has a significant impact on buyers throughout the consideration stage. Customers will visit your website for more information about your company and solutions. According to a study, 75% of individuals decide about a brand’s credibility based on its website.

    MOFU is the B2B marketing funnel stage where B2B firms should start using lead nurturing strategies like cold email, outbound lead generation, email remarketing, and retargeting adverts.

    Bottom of the funnel (BOFU)

    When a customer has narrowed down a few options and is prepared to purchase, they are at the bottom of the funnel (BOFU), also known as the decision stage.

    At this point in B2B marketing, a marketing development representative takes control of the sales funnel. They must transition fully into a selling mode for the prospect to act. This action could involve making a direct purchase, signing up for a consultation, or starting a free trial.

    B2B marketers still have a job to do. It is essential to develop educational content and messaging for the decision stage so prospects have no doubts while purchasing.

    Here is what you can provide to your prospects when they are in the decision stage:

    • Free trials
    • Consultations
    • Testimonials
    • Quotes and estimates
    • Coupons and discounts
    • Training and tutorials

    However, the customers may still raise complaints over the phone to your sales team. They might think the price is excessive or need more time to consider their options. Your outbound sales team should be ready for this.

    Finally, make the sales process frictionless. Keep the pre-purchase procedure brief for your customers. When making a purchase, get the bare minimum of information and then fill the remaining gaps after the purchase.

    How to create a successful B2B marketing funnel

    A B2B marketing or sales funnel is created using data-driven techniques. You must understand how and why customers move through the customer journey and what causes other people to drop off the funnel. Marketing teams also analyze the funnel to find new approaches to increase conversions.

    Tie each stage to specific channels or touchpoints

    You may determine the most suitable and efficient marketing channels for each stage by mapping B2B buyers’ touchpoints to different parts of the funnel. You may observe that most customers learn about your business from your blog articles, and those who finally become your customers show interest by signing up for your newsletter.

    You’ll need to create a customer journey map – a visual representation of your customer interactions- to tie touchpoints to funnel stages.

    Examples of touchpoints include:

    • Signed up for the online academy
    • LinkedIn ad clicked
    • Website viewed
    • Started a free trial

    Identify and measure metrics of customer engagement at different stages

    Metrics help you analyze each level of your marketing funnel to increase customer engagement and conversion. 

    The conversion rate is significant to monitor from the top to the bottom of the funnel. You may measure conversions from awareness to consideration by keeping track of the number of leads who subscribed to your newsletter or downloaded an ebook from a landing page. From consideration to decision, you would look at conversion for commercials, free trials, sales calls, and account upgrade offers.

    The conversion rate would also be used throughout the entire process, from awareness to decision. Let’s say that 900 visitors visit your website to begin their customer journey. 50 of them ultimately wind up becoming new customers. That is a conversion rate of 5.5%.

    To determine whether that number is good or terrible, compare it to your rivals, industry benchmarks, past performance, and business objectives. In a research of 44,000 landing pages and more than 33 million conversions, Unbounce discovered that in 2020, the typical conversion rate for real estate firms was 2.6%, while it was 9.8% for food caterers and restaurants. In addition, Unbounce published the median conversion rates for 14 other industries.

    Alt text: Conversion Rates by Industry

    Source: https://unbounce.com/conversion-benchmark-report/

    Create lead generation & nurture campaigns that target customers at each stage

    You must collect customers’ info so you may continue engaging them and moving them down your funnel. This means developing a plan for gathering first-party data, such as requesting email addresses from website visitors in exchange for something helpful, such as blog updates, templates, deals, or admission to an informal course.

    With the customer’s permission, you can then use behavior analysis to determine what content each individual responds to the most, their preferred methods for communicating with your company, and the CTAs they click on or ignore. 

    Alt text: Customer Actions Along a Five-stage Funnel

    Source: https://segment.com/recipes/improve-roas-with-funnel-based-retargeting/

    The five-stage funnel in the above graphic illustrates customer behavior. Showing the customer a different version of the product page during the consideration stage might convince them to add items to their cart. Launching a retargeting or re-engagement campaign at the intent stage will encourage the customer to return to their cart and finish the checkout process. (While adding items to the cart is typically a B2C experience, many B2B businesses, especially SaaS businesses, have developed a self-serve sales process so customers can quickly sign up and pay for subscriptions without talking to a sales representative.)

    Reduce or eliminate the most significant points of friction throughout the funnel

    You can determine which marketing activities successfully attract and convert customers by tracking customer touchpoints and metrics along your marketing funnel.

    Then, you can run tests to improve each stage’s conversion and optimize your funnel.

    Alt text: Five Conversion Elements

    Source: https://segment.com/recipes/optimize-your-funnel-for-conversion/

    The graph above displays five conversion events and the number of individuals moving to the next stage. Between “Viewed Homepage” and “Signed Up,” there is a significant drop, indicating that you should restructure the steps in that process section.

    Why should you go with MRP in creating a powerful B2B marketing funnel?

    An effective and efficient marketing funnel is crucial for organizations to survive and prosper in the current competitive business landscape. If you want to create a powerful B2B marketing funnel, there is no better option than MRP. We use different tools and strategies to build the B2B marketing funnel. You can get the following benefits from MRP:

    Generate Full Funnel Demand & Engagement

    MRP tools and strategies are made to make full-funnel marketing plans more straightforward to implement. Our tools give you a thorough understanding of your target market and their purchasing process. This allows you to specifically target your marketing efforts at each level of the sales funnel, from raising awareness to generating interest to finally turning leads into buyers.

    Cost-Effectively Generate Sales Qualified Leads

    One of the main problems in B2B marketing is ensuring that the leads generated are numerous but also of high quality and sales-ready. MRP assists in overcoming this difficulty by prioritizing leads using data-driven insights. These solutions determine which leads have the highest chances of becoming customers by examining multiple elements like firmographics, behavioral data, and interaction history.

    Accelerate Your Top-of-Funnel Strategy

    Reaching potential customers early in their purchase journey is essential in the fast-paced world of B2B marketing. MRP allows you the ability to identify and interact with prospects during the awareness and consideration stages, which will enable you to accelerate your top-of-funnel strategy.

    Separate Yourself from Your Competition

    Standing out from the competition is essential in a competitive B2B landscape. MRP gives you a competitive edge by enabling you to customize your marketing efforts based on current industry trends and data. You can set your business apart from competitors by staying on top of trends and delivering personalized experiences.

    Are you ready to transform your B2B marketing strategy? MRP can give you the competitive advantage, high-quality lead generation, and data-driven insights.

    Get in touch with us to begin your journey towards greater achievement!

    Conclusion

    Making sales is the goal of every business. B2B marketing and sales funnels provide a detailed guide for how your company builds customers and closes deals.

    Although you won’t convert every prospect, even tiny increases in your conversion rate can significantly impact your business.

    Your B2B marketing and sales funnels will demonstrate how to do this by giving your team a clear understanding of the steps they should take in any given situation. The process may be mapped out, making tracking outcomes and enhancing performance much simpler.

    The B2B customer journey is complicated, but using an effective B2B marketing and sales funnel makes navigating it much simpler.

     

    TAGGED:
    Read Next…