A well-optimized B2B sales funnel not only generates more sales for the business but also helps refine and best optimize the sales process. Thereby, you will gain a deeper understanding of the psychology and the customer journey.
According to many studies, up to 68% of B2B businesses still do not understand their sales funnel properly. The typical benefits that B2B sales funnel are therefore not really appreciated.
The concept of the B2B Sales Funnel first appeared in 1898. Currently, B2B Sales Funnel theories have changed quite a bit; however, the great benefits it brings have solved the problem of developing sales for many businesses
B2B is still one of the most concerning issues of any business owner. If you are interested in this field, do not ignore the valuable information below!
Table of Contents
What is A B2B Sales Funnel?
After decades of development and is widely known, B2B Sales Funnel has many different names. From “Purchase Process“, “Buyer Journey” to “Sales Cycle“, are all meaningful phrases of the B2B Sales Funnel.
So, what exactly does the above concept refer to as a sales process and operations? To better understand this issue, you need to note three crucial factors below:
- Buy: Identify and present a solution to a current problem.
- Sales: Provide the customer with a problem with a previously given solution.
- Marketing: Continue to delve deeper into the difficulties and the expected audience. From there, talk back to probable customers.
B2B is the place to tie the above processes together. The main task of this engagement is to create the right message and offer what the buyer needs, thereby impacting the right customer.
It can be that B2B affects prospective customers’ perception, thereby gradually nurturing them until the potential customer becomes a real customer.
You obviously can’t force all your probable customers to buy from you. However, you can improve conversion rates with an optimized sales process like B2B.
Why Are The B2B Sales Funnel Not A Sales Pipeline?
There are quite a few phrases with the same meaning as the B2B sales funnel. But, those equivalent phrases do not include the sales pipeline.
The B2B Sales Funnel focuses on the potential customer’s needs, from where the salesperson takes actions to meet sales and revenue goals with sales and marketing efforts.
To better understand why the above concept isn’t a sales pipeline, let’s take a look at the following stages:
- Awareness: At this step, your probable customers will first come across your product or service. Through the media, through word of mouth, or any other method, customers will know the existence of the service and have an interest in continuing to learn.
- Interests: When interest is in the above step, your probable customers may become more interested in the product or service. From there, spend more time researching your products and those of your competitors to decide which is the most favorable address.
- Decide: In this step, probable customers can delve deeper into your company and product. Not only stopping at evaluation and research, but customers may also make calls to ask for advice before making a final decision.
- Action: Ultimately, depending on the outcome of the stages ahead and personal preferences and needs, your potential customer can decide to purchase or refuse to use the product, service, or service.
As can be seen, not all of your probable customers will go through all of the above steps. That is also why the marketing funnel is the most accurate representation of a B2B Sales Funnel: wide top, narrow bottom.
What’s The Difference Between A B2B And B2C Sales Funnel?
In essence, the buying behavior of B2B and B2C customers both go through the same stages. However, if you take a close look at the target audience, you will realize that the buying decision process of B2B and B2C consumers is entirely different from the sales pipeline.
This difference is because the buying purposes of each audience that B2B and B2C are targeting are different. Specifically, the buyers that B2B targets are those who buy products and services for the company. Meanwhile, B2C buyers only buy for themselves, friends, or family.
Therefore, the marketing department of B2C will have to target a broader range than B2B. At the same time, the sales cycle of B2C will also be much shorter than that of B2B.
In addition to the above differences, you can still distinguish B2B and B2C when considering a whole process consisting of the following 6 main stages:
- Perception: There is almost no significant difference in this perception step. The only point to note is that in B2C, the audience is much more accessible than B2B – which is only at businesses.
- Interests: At this stage, the target audience of B2B will research products and services, compare, and evaluate effects against each other. Meanwhile, B2C consumers focus on studying and researching the products they are interested in.
- Consider: It is not until this step that B2C buyers read reviews and comparisons between different products. B2B buyers have moved to contact stakeholders to share about the product.
- Purpose: At this point, B2B buyers, after searching, researching, and sharing about the product, will start testing the product’s demo. B2C buyers will continue to learn about products that fit their individual needs.
- Review: At this step, B2C shoppers will add the product to the cart, review it, and decide to purchase. B2B buyers – when the target audience is a business – will offer to make a contract to determine which product or service is best for them.
Purchase: As the name suggests, both the B2B and B2C sales funnel complete the purchase at this final stage.
Classic B2B Sales Funnel Stages
Once you’ve grasped the features of the B2B sales and marketing funnel, it’s time to dig deeper into the stages of B2B execution in action in customer relationship management.
B2B Sales Funnel has appeared very early, so changes and improvements are inevitable with the buying process. In this article, you will learn about the most traditional primary stages of the B2B Sales Funnel.
Stage 1: The awareness stage
The main task of this awareness stage is to push the target audience to learn about the product or service you offer.
For example, when your probable customers visit your awareness stage website, they will look at its information. If they find the social media sites you’re attached to and get interested, they’ll follow at least one of those buying process channels.
Then, through the above communication and awareness stage channels, potential customers can know about the conference or the content you create. They can also make a subscription to download the giveaway you attached.
When registering to participate, customers will leave a contact method, the most common of which is email.
Stage 2: Consider
After learning about some information related to products and services, your probable customers will begin to move to the consideration stage.
From price to quality reviews, customers will rely on the above buying process bases to compare your products with competitors.
At the end of this step, people interested in your product may sign up for a trial version of your product or service. You should then send your customers a survey to find out why they aren’t using a trial version of your product.
Stage 3: Evaluation
During this stage, your probable customers can take several actions:
- Attend seminars related to services products you offer or download, choose a free trial demo.
- Receive email marketing, click mail and find out more information.
- Interested in current awareness stage promotions.
- After agreeing to take the above actions, your customer may be ready to use your product or service.
Stage 4: Action
At this stage, your lead generation will likely turn into new customers.
Stage 5: Re-engagement
The action-purchase phase will mark the end of the sales phase. However, with the B2B marketing funnel, you can’t reach the final step if you haven’t passed the re-engagement stage.
For customers, re-engagement will make existing customers more satisfied, thereby introducing your products and services to other objects in need. The figure of 84% of sales starting with the recommendation of friends or colleagues is proof of the above buying process.
For probable customers who didn’t convert, re-engaging with this audience also helps you better understand why you’re not optimizing your sales process.
At the same time, you will also have more information about the difficulties that probable customers face that prevent them from deciding to use your product.
Top 3 Online B2B Sales Funnel Template
To better understand how sales teams can apply the above stages to your sales process, check out these B2B sales samples below:
It is the most accessible Sale Funnel to use, and it’s also ideal if you’re offering a product or service with no fixed costs.
With this type of marketing funnel, you don’t need to sell services to customers right away. Instead, you will ask interested people to fill out an application form with personal information, including contact methods.
After this step, sales teams will contact the potential customer to learn more about the customer’s needs and provide information about services and product prices.
Lead Generation Funnel
As the name suggests, the success of this type of funnel will depend heavily on the ebook – a magnet that captures the interest of a potential customer.
But to attract customers, your eBook needs to be valuable enough to provide a solution to a problem that interested people are having.
After your probable customers are attracted to the book and download it, sales reps can send them promotional emails. It would help if you also continued to provide free helpful information via email to give your customer an impression of the products or services you offer.
A Webinar Funnel is much more effective than the above two sales funnels.
Because all you need to do is create a webinar, attracting participants. You will then be able to make suggestions at the end of the workshop.
The more authentic a conference is, the more it will attract audiences and people willing to follow through on the suggestions you make at the end.
How To Create A B2B Sales Funnel?
After learning quite carefully about the concept and types of B2B Sales Funnel, it’s time for you to create your own sales funnel for B2B. Here are some of the essential steps that you should not skip if you want to succeed in this field:
Identify and write out your customer avatar
First, you need to understand the existing problems in your current business market clearly. You have the experience, skills, and specific solutions to solve the current issues confidently for target customers.
So, who is your target customer? In this first step, you need to ask and answer a series of questions: Who do I sell to? What do they love and hate? What difficulty are they having? And what barriers keep them from accessing my product?
The more questions you ask and answer them in detail, the higher your success rate.
Create an Offer
Once you have a detailed customer portrait, you can confidently execute your marketing.
Creating an offer is part of that marketing. In this step, you don’t need to draw a detailed vision of what you can do for your prospect. You are simply making offers directly related to their current problem or need.
If you are providing a dietary supplement that helps you lose weight safely, instead of talking about the product’s full benefits: weight loss, good for skin, hair, you should just focus on emphasizing the weight loss effects of the product.
Build the funnel
Building a funnel is simpler than you think with Clickfunnels. It allows you to create entire sales funnel steps within a few minutes.
What you should do is pick which types of funnel you want to build, pick a template, and customize it.
Here is a simple structure you can refer to:
- Main title: “Note: <IDEAL CLIENT>”.
- Subheading: “<OFFER>”.
- Some questions related to the topic.
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Capture your audience’s attention
There are quite a few methods and tips for you to capture your customers’ attention. Your only advice is to make a great first impression.
You can use digital tools in conjunction with CRM to track your leads, understand their evaluation and purchasing habits, and then choose your approach and get noticed most perfectly.
In addition, you should also repeat the message many times to make a more profound impression on probable customers.
Write email follow-up to build relationships.
Emailing is one of the simplest and most effective ways to nurture a relationship.
However, not everyone knows how to write an email that impresses readers and conquers probable customers.
The secret is quite simple. First, you must start the email with polite phrases, creating comfort and excitement for the reader. Next, don’t forget the calls to action to improve your sales effectiveness.
In addition, you need to show your genuine affection and interest via email. Because naturally, people will feel appreciated and willing to express and follow suggestions if the object of exchange is a human, not an automated system with the sales team.
Make a sales call
According to some studies, 80% of sales are after 5 calls. Therefore, do not skip this step if you want to apply the B2B Sales Funnel process.
The key to a successful sales call consists of the following pretty simple steps:
- Update calendar reminders, so a sales rep doesn’t miss any calls.
- Do not make calls too often, instead only contact when customers need advice and exchange.
- Remove persistent unresponsive customers from your B2B lead generation.
B2B Sales Funnel Examples
The 3 typical sales funnel types and the 5 main growth steps above are pretty simple. The sales team may even question whether the above knowledge brings the desired effect.
To find the answer to the above question, let’s go to case studies – businesses that have been successful with B2B Sales Funnel:
Neil Patel Digital
Neil Patel is one of the most successful digital marketers. He is one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under 35 years old by the UN (United Nation) and has been awarded a Congressional Recognition from both houses for his work.
Neil Patel’s blog is one of my favorite channels to learn online marketing strategy, especially SEO. Neil is a co-founder of:
- Crazy Egg
- and NP Digital
Take a look at the NP Digital funnel, it’s an application funnel with one simple landing page.
After filling out the application form, the sales team will make a call.
Depending on the answer of potential customers such as “Monthly Marketing Budget” and “Revenue“, so you can understand more about them and create a plan that is good for your customers as possible.
Gocardless is a platform that helps you easy to collect payment from customers around the world and is trusted by over 70.000 big and small businesses.
With GoCardless, you easily create and manage:
- Recurring payment
- International payouts
- Bank pay
Depending on your need, they provide various plans. The best part is you can custom your volume-based pricing.
Here’s how the first page of the funnel looked like:
Similar to NP Digital funnel, this company also uses an application form to collect customer information. based on the payments that you need to collect, so they will provide the plan that is suitable for your company.
Suppose if people filled the form but don’t make a purchase, Gocardless could re-targeting them on Facebook, or Google ads, send email follow-up or even make a sales call.
Rob Cuesta is the owner of a publishing company for business professionals. He uses a simple lead funnel to collect leads and generate sales online.
On the first page of the Rob Cuesta b2b sales funnel, he gives away an ebook for free to exchange email addresses.
After clicking on the button, potential customers shown would be shown a pop-up asking for their contact information.
The thank-you page is a great way to build engagement with potential customers. Rob gives them an ebook and shows how they can download it and participate in his video webinar about getting more leads and deals from their books!
And then he offered a free 30-minute consultation call.
As a result, Rob Cuesta has had access to a wide range of business professionals while attracting quite a few of them to become his actual customers.
Sales Funnel For B2B Tips
To build a Sales Funnel and compete with many existing competitors, in addition to the basic knowledge, you also need to equip yourself with the following tips:
Understand your ideal customer
With B2B, your audience is not a single buyer but two entities: the business and the decision-maker. And if you want to sell, you have to convince the decision-maker.
There are two possible scenarios here:
- First, if the person making the decision is also the owner of the company, the goals of the company and the goals of the owner will align.
- If it is the other way around, the two dreams may differ. In this case, you have to address both issues: both the company’s goals and the decision maker’s goals.
Make sure the rewards you offer are valuable.
For potential customers to be interested and leave contact information, the sales team needs to give them precious information and rewards, primarily when pursuing the Ebook Funnel Sales model.
The books you provide need to be attractive enough so that customers can not help but download and implement your offers.
In addition, you should also note that your target audience is people with highly specialized knowledge, not beginners. Therefore, the rewards sales and marketing teams give need to be helpful and valuable.
Offer free consultation in 30 minutes
Communication is always the best way for you to exchange information and learn about your potential customers’ needs effectively.
Therefore, once a sales rep has a method of contacting customers, you should invite them to a free consultation. Remember, you need to schedule in advance and make the offer tactfully. The best time to make an offer is after a customer has experienced your rewards and truly appreciates the value the bonus offers.
Optimizing Sales Funnel
Optimization is the most effective way to double or even 10x your Sales Funnel profit. At the same time, this is also a pretty simple way when all you need to do is track the conversion rate in each stage, for example, the conversion rate of each ad and the sales page’s conversion rate.
Then, once you’ve found the link with the lowest conversion rate, you’ll make a series of changes to improve results. Or sales rep can also focus on developing high-converting relations to avoid wasting resources.
The B2B Sales Funnel is a big world related to quite a few different issues. This article has covered some basic information to help you understand more and build a sales funnel of your own.
Hopefully, the above knowledge and your own experience will help you increase sales and optimize the process, thereby competing directly with other businesses. Thank you for your interest in the article!