While the overall stages of the sales funnel stay the same, the big difference between B2B brands and B2C brands is how many people are involved in each step of the process. In B2C sales funnels, the purchaser is often the sole decision maker. They will sometimes talk to family or friends, but in general, they are making all the choices. Basically, you have one person to market to. On the contrary, in B2B brands, there is usually an entire team that you have to sell during every stage of the sales funnel. But the good news is, many B2B brands end with a contractual commitment instead of a one-time purchase.
Advocacy: Turning your customers into advocates is the ultimate evolution for nurturing current customers. Evangelism in the form of writing product reviews, posting about products on social media, and more can help drive more new leads for your marketing funnel. Having an external recommendation not connected to a brand can strongly influence prospects. Marketers can work to develop their communities to better support advocates, ask them to participate in case studies, or engage them around consumer-generated content on social media.
At such a point, work on making the potential customer feel confident in their decision to buy your product. Let’s take the previous example of a fitness center. Here, develop a case study showing a customer’s success story including before-and-after pictures along with testimonials. This can be related to either weight-loss or gaining substantial muscle-mass—whatever’s appropriate based on the client.
Now, before we begin I should state that this funnel is for illustrative purposes only. There is no such thing as a marketing funnel as drawn above, only a series of interactions people go through with your company (and other companies) as they make their way from being a complete stranger to a loyal customer. In short, each marketing funnel is unique.
Targeting these leads is the easy part; guiding them along the buying process is more challenging. For this, you’ll need an effective content strategy that provides them with the information they need and keeps them coming back for more. You’ll want to get these people signing up to your newsletter – or some other kind of email interaction – as soon as possible. This gives you a channel to segregate audiences and target them with more relevant messages that move them along the sales funnel.
It is important to identify your potential or target market, what their pain points are and where do they hang out online. Why would they want to buy your product or service. And why from you? What difference will it make to them? You can create buyer ‘Personas’ to help you focus better on the who and the why. Nowadays, it is easier to measure the results of any investment, especially in digital marketing activities. The idea of marketing funnels or sales funnels is to try and create the perfect business generator, which relates to transaction density, increasing sales and margins and increasing the lifetime value of a client. A funnel might be used as a way to generate leads, a Lead Conversion Generator or to generate actual sales, a Sales Conversion Generator. Nowadays, funnels are also used to upsell products, during the transaction checkout – no doubt you have seen this when you have been shopping online.
Intent: To get to the intent stage, prospects must demonstrate that they are interested in buying a brand’s product. This can happen in a survey, after a product demo, or when a product is placed in the shopping cart on an ecommerce website. This is an opportunity for marketers to make a strong case for why their product is the best choice for a buyer.