The purpose of a marketing funnel is to visualize the journey of a potential customer transitioning from an unknown website visitor to becoming a first-time customer for the company. In essence, a marketing funnel is designed to convert leads into customers.
B2B Marketing Funnel Stages
Stage 1: Awareness
At this stage, you want to bring in all potential customers to the funnel by creating awareness about your brand, product/services, and solutions that your company offers.
To create awareness, your marketing strategy should include anything that enables you to reach new prospects on relevant platforms.
Here are a few ways you can build awareness about your brand:
- Sponsored social media posts
- Guest posting or guest podcasting
- Ebooks and whitepapers
- Independent research
- In-person events
Stage 2: Interest
Once a lead has converted from the awareness phase, they have entered the interest stage of the sales funnel. This is when you have attracted a lead’s attention and they want to know more about your company. During this stage, you will want to begin to build a relationship with your lead to determine what their end goals are.
Here are a few content ideas to use during the interest stage:
- Email campaigns
- Blog posts
- Lead magnets
- Live Chats
- Social media accounts
- Free trials
- Retargeting campaigns
Stage 3: Action
At this stage in the marketing funnel, you want prospects to take action on the landing page. A landing page is a webpage created specifically for a marketing or advertising campaign. These pages are designed with a single goal, to make sure repeat or new visitors take action. Some common examples of landing pages would have call-to-actions that prospects are able to click on that read “Download Now”, “Contact Us”, and “Sign Up!”.
Landing pages play a key role in lead generation. You want to make sure that your landing pages, call-to-actions, content, and design should be done strategically so that when visitors come to your page, they are able to easily find what they are looking for.
Once the visitor takes action, you now have all the data to carry the conversation forward and guide them to the next step in your marketing funnel.
Stage 4: Engage
Once a prospect reaches this stage of the funnel, they have already considered your company as a possible partner among others in the market. They know they have a problem that has to be solved, and now they are trying to discover the best solution. This is the time for your sales team to come in and nurture these qualified leads. Your sales representatives need to educate the prospects and show them why your solutions in particular are the best fit.
This is the most important stage of your funnel because what you do and how you keep your prospects engaged decides how far the conversation can go between the parties.
Here are a few ways you can keep your prospect engaged:
- Blog posts
- Sales tips
- Case studies
Step 5: Opportunity
This is where the B2B buyer weighs the pros and cons of using or servicing your product over the competition.
Here are key actions that should happen in this phase:
- Potential customer starts receiving automated emails.
- Opens emails to learn more about features/benefits
- Clicks emails to read more information on the site
- Product comparisons
- Detailed pricing information
- Signs up for a free trial or demo
- Optional – Responds to feedback survey about why he/she didn’t sign up for a free trial or demo if applicable.
To know if you have any leaks in the awareness stage of your marketing funnel, you should be looking at these KPIs:
- Email open rate
- Email click-through rate
- Engagement with informative content on the website
- The conversion rate for free trial or demo sign up
If you’re seeing many people come in through the awareness stage of your funnel, your email list should be growing nicely. Once on your email list, your content marketing pieces should nurture the buyer into understanding your product or service in a better way. If
Step 6: Customer
A lead has officially turned into your customer when they have signed a contract agreement with your company.
Always remember, in B2B, you can win only by educating your customers about their problems and the solutions you’re offering in the best possible way, not by keeping them in the dark.
How To Build a B2B Marketing Funnel
Now that you are aware of the B2B marketing and sales funnel stages and which KPIs to keep track of, it is time to build your funnel.
The easiest way to build your traditional funnel content outline is in an Excel or Google Spreadsheet. By using one of these platforms, you will be able to quickly see all of your key metrics and the actions you need buyers to pursue.