Did you know that 68% of businesses have not built a sales funnel to track their buyers' journey? And, as a result, 79% of marketing leads don't get converted into sales.
Among marketers, there's no overstating the importance of building and measuring a sales funnel. Yet, several B2B brands are still ignoring this crucial aspect of marketing and losing many prospects because of it.
You shouldn't be one of them.
If you're going to convert leads to sales without wasting time and money, you need a conversion funnel.
However, you must avoid the temptation of building your funnel solely based on theoretical models on the internet. While those blueprints can give you an idea of what to pay attention to, they are not a unique fit for your company.
Every brand's buyer's journey is different. While some businesses might have a four-stage conversion funnel, others may have more or even less. You should build your sales funnel around your brand's products and the customers that need the solutions you provide.
That's why it's essential you carefully analyze your customers' behavior while they interact with your business and customize your conversion funnel to fit that. This article will discuss why you should deliberately map out each stage of your sales funnel before building a final model for your B2B brand.
The most popular model for building a sales funnel is the AIDA (awareness, interest, decision, and action) model. However, not every business features the four phases of this blueprint; some have more or less. Each stage's entry point also differs according to the brand, the products/solutions they provide, and their audience.
Thus, there are various types of B2B conversion funnels for different companies. Your brand's conversion funnel must also have a unique design to fit the products you sell and your customer's needs. Briefly, we'll look at the types of conversion funnels different businesses use to convert leads to loyal consumers:
This type of conversion funnel begins with customers entering the awareness phase by learning about a free consultation offer from a brand.
The prospect accepts the request, and after the consultation session, the company maintains contact through regular emails about other product lines and services. Eventually, these efforts could persuade the customer to become a loyal buyer. B2B businesses that sell info-products could leverage the free consultation funnel to bring in leads.
Prospects enter this conversion funnel by signing up for a webinar. Typically, most businesses that use this type of sales funnel request for the customer's name and email address during the registration process. These details help them keep in touch and remind them of the event beforehand. Also, after the webinar, the brand offers guests upsells. Prospects also receive further emails beyond the occasion to remind them of other products, services, or upcoming webinars.
The lead generation sales funnel is one of the most popular conversion funnels B2B businesses use. Generally, it involves getting your audience's attention using a free offer - also called a lead magnet. Most brands that leverage the lead generation sales funnel use free e-books or coupons as their lead magnet.
To access the offer, customers need to provide their email addresses. Once they do so, the brand sends them a thank you email alongside the promised product. They also send regular automated emails to maintain interest and inform prospects of other products and services.
This conversion funnel is also quite popular among brands. It involves using search-engine-optimized blog posts/articles and social media content to get the attention of prospects. Companies that use this funnel create valuable and insightful content related to the problem they solve. They also include relevant CTAs and opt-in links to get the prospect to purchase a product or sign up for a mailing list.
Every business is unique, with different products and customers. As such, the buyer's journey for each brand won't be the same. Building a sales funnel for your B2B company requires you to look at your products/services and your customers' needs and behavior.
Since your conversion funnel plays a significant role in converting your brand's leads to paying customers, creating one that doesn't suit you could be detrimental to your marketing efforts. You'll focus on the wrong entry points and lose vital leads along the way. Quickly, here are some reasons to carry out due diligence before building your funnel:
Your products aren't for everybody: some specific individuals need the solutions your brand provides. Before building your conversion funnel, you need to know where these people are to make your brand visible to them. Knowing where to find your audience will help you pick out the entry points of your funnel.
For example, if you discover a large portion of your consumer base spends a significant amount of time on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, you'll know you need to focus on content and ads on these spaces to get them into the awareness phase of your funnel. But, imagine you don't have this information and don't know where to find your audience; you'll invest in the wrong platforms and lose your prospects.
Content marketing is highly crucial in today's marketing scene. And, it also plays a vital role in almost every stage of a conversion funnel. Content can keep your audience interested and help them decide to buy from you. It can also help you retain your customer base.
However, there are different forms of content, and each appeals to a separate crowd. Some people find videos more engaging and interactive than written content, while others prefer images and infographics. Also, the type of products or services your B2B company offers plays a role in the kind of content to create.
For example, social media marketing agencies thrive on photo and video content. These two media forms appeal to the services they offer and their audience base, while brands that sell info-products do better with eBooks, podcasts, and webinars. Before building your funnel and choosing the type of content to incorporate into each stage, find out what your customers prefer and what suits your products/services.
When you plan your sales funnel before building it, you'll know the metrics to track to determine its success. Every conversion funnel has specific Performance Indicators that help to measure its effectiveness. These metrics usually depend on your brand's objectives.
For example, if your number one goal is to increase sales, you'll need to closely monitor how many leads are entering your funnel and how many get converted into buyers. You'll also need to track why other prospects drop out without purchasing a product. If the results don't meet expectations, you can tweak your sales funnel's stages to make it more effective.
However, you need to map out your objectives first before building and monitoring your funnel. Knowing your marketing goals will help you customize your sales funnel to get the required results.
Building and optimizing a conversion funnel requires resources. By carefully mapping and planning a sales funnel that suits your business, you get an idea of what you need to put in to make it work. However, if you fail to carry out due diligence and build a funnel that's not right for your brand, you'll end up wasting your marketing efforts and resources.
We've discussed why you should plan your funnel before building a model for your brand. In this section, we'll look at the steps to map out and create a conversion funnel that is effective at converting leads to sales.
Every conversion funnel has a ToFu (top of the funnel). Before building a sales funnel, figure out how customers first come in contact with your brand. Which aspect of your business is the most effective at bringing in leads? This channel is the awareness stage of your funnel.
However, it's essential to know that you may have more than one entry point, and you must pay attention to each one. Furthermore, while looking to pinpoint your funnel's entry point, don't focus on the awareness stage alone. Find out the entry point of every phase of your brand's conversion funnel, including interest, decision, and action. These details will give you an idea of the overall model of your buyer's journey.
Every business has a point where customers drop out of their journey. Knowing these drop points can help you build your funnel to ensure you don't lose vital leads. You'll also get a good hint of the resources to pour in to optimize these areas of your brand.
At its core, a sales funnel is a customer's journey with your brand. As such, if you're going to build one that is effective, it is important to work with buyer personas. Buyer personas are realistic portrayals created on paper that fit your ideal customer.
With a buyer persona, you can figure out your customers' needs, where you can locate them, the factors that influence their purchasing decisions, what prevents them from finding your business and buying from you, etc. When you understand how your customers behave, you can customize your funnel to fit them.
Your sales and marketing teams are at the forefront of interacting with leads, bringing them in, and increasing sales revenue. As such, they have all the data you need to understand customer behavior, figure out your entry points, the aspects of your brand to tweak and optimize. Therefore, as you map out and plan your funnel, reach out to them to get an idea of these vital details to help you build an effective funnel.
Before building a conversion funnel, you must carry out due diligence and proper planning to ensure you get all the essential bits right. A sales funnel that uniquely fits your brand can effectively convert leads and increase sales revenue. However, a poorly-built sales funnel will cost your brand resources and valuable prospects.
That's the reason it is very important to plan and map your sales funnel by collaborating with your team members before proceeding to build it. MarketPlan is built entirely for that purpose,to ease this whole process and make your marketing campaign more efficient and high converting.
Sign up for a free trial of MarketPlan today and see it for yourself. We believe you will like what you see.
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