What Is a Business To Business Sales Funnel

Written by Laura Farkas

Updated February 9, 2023

What is a B2B Funnel and What Are the Best Ways to Utilise Them In the UK

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Business to Business (B2B) lead generation is one of the most challenging activities. It requires product, market, and customer knowledge. If you have a business development manager and a sales team, they will tell you all about the challenges. The good news is that if you implement a B2B funnel, you will not only benefit from faster growth, but will also make your sales department’s job easier. If you have been thinking about implementing a B2B lead generation system but don’t know where to start, we will give you an overview and a simple guide to make it work for your business. 

 

What Is a B2B Funnel In Marketing 

Simply put, a B2B marketing funnel is an automation that follows your target market’s preferred buying behaviour. It makes it easy for them to make a decision, handles objections, and maintains relationships. However, a B2B funnel does not replace personal interaction. In fact, automation and in-person engagement should go hand in hand. 

 

Just like with other types of funnel, they take care of the entire customer journey; from brand awareness to generating interest, showcasing the offer, and asking for the business. However, the main difference between B2B and B2C funnels is the tone, the audience, and the message. A company looking for professional training might make decisions in a different way than someone looking for a hairdresser or feng shui designer. It’s crucial that the person building the funnel understands the buying triggers and pain points of the target audience.

 

A B2B sales funnel will make the job of your BDM much easier. It will help them segment the leads, qualify them, and understand them. This the gold dust: digital marketing fused with traditional lead generation. 

 

The Benefits of a B2B Funnel

There are plenty of benefits of implementing a business-to-business marketing funnel for your company, your customers, and your staff. Here are just a few to help you understand what a well designed sales process and system can do for you. 

Benefits for Your Business 

Your business will be able to learn more about its customers and audience and tailor its offers to their needs. A B2B funnel will help you measure what type of content your customers are engaging with. You will also be able to tweak your Call-to-Action to the needs of your clients. This means that your campaigns will be more effective and you will get a  better return on your investment. 

 

You will also be able to build the foundations of your campaign by creating brand awareness. It will lead to better conversion rates and improved customer retention. 

 

If you have different touch points implemented in your B2B sales funnel, you will have a better long-term relationship with your customers. As a result, they will spend more with you and they will be more likely to refer other clients to you. 

Benefits for Your Sales Staff

It is widely known that making sales in the business-to-business environment is becoming tougher every year. Especially if you are using the traditional methods of reaching out to customers. However, if you add a bit of automation, your sales staff ( and your BDM) will love you for it. They will also be more productive, and you will get more sales. What’s not to like?

Increased Employee Morale

One of the main reasons why you would like to implement a B2B funnel is to improve the performance and morale of your sales staff. Have you ever had complaints about the quality of leads, the lack of background information, and the systems? If you did, you will probably need to build automations that will take care of the tedious admin tasks. If you don’t yet have a CRM system implemented, you might want to read this blog post which gives you a comparison of the most popular ones designed for SMEs that would like to scale. 

Better Productivity

With less research and more “ammunition” to ask for the sale, your staff will be more productive. Instead of having to manually input actions, the system will do it for them. Plus, all the information will be displayed on one page, so when they do pick up the phone and talk to the prospect they will already know more about them. This will increase their close rates, and – in turn – they will earn more money, so will you. 

Better Client Relationships

If followed up regularly, your potential clients will remember you. So will your existing ones. So, when your sales staff calls the client back, they will be remembered, and the call might be anticipated. Not to mention that you can even get people to book a call with one of your sales agents, and this will be the type of lead you really want to focus on. They generally have a 10x higher conversion rate than cold ones. 

Improved Retention

There’s a lot of noise out there – that’s the complaint we often hear from SME owners and directors. If you regularly keep your clients in the loop about what’s going on in your business, they will feel like they are a part of your “Club”. They will be less likely to listen to your competitors’ messages, and  they will be more loyal to your brand. That said, you cannot expect your sales staff to make 2-3 calls a week to every client. That’s what marketing automation is for!

Less Workload for Administrative Staff

The times when filing cabinets lived in the middle of the office, so you can find orders, client invoices, and everything else are far away. We don’t just have electronic accounting and invoicing systems, but they do actually communicate with our CRM and other platforms. So, there’s no need for trying to manually find clients who haven’t ordered for a few months, for example. A simple filter or tag on your Activecampaign platform will tell you in a couple of clicks. You just have to build the sales automation first. 

Better Communication

Sales staff usually feel like they are a different breed, and they carry all the heavy load in the business. They are often the last to know about the changes in the business. If you have a sales automation system set up, you will have more time for interacting with them, setting up the communication channels among departments, and training them. It will improve employee morale and create a shared value and vision. 

Better Qualified Leads 

In our books, the most important benefit of having a marketing automation system or a B2B funnel is that you can qualify your leads and don’t have to waste time and energy on those who are never going to buy. This is a frustration anyone working in sales can relate to. If you give your BDM or salespeople qualified leads, they will find it much easier to do their job and get the deals in. Simply put, they will not feel like they are banging their head against the brick wall. 

Benefits for Your Clients

Believe it or not, your clients want to have a relationship with your brand. It doesn’t have to be all 5-course dinners every week, but they want to know that you care. They want to be appreciated. And they want to be the first to know about your special offers, discounts, and deals. How would your wife feel if you kept on bringing flowers to your coworkers but never to her? That’s how your existing clients feel like whenever you put an offer out there you haven’t shared with them yet. 

 

Why Your Sales Staff Will Love the Marketing Automation System

Salespeople love easy, as they have limited time to get out there and follow up with leads. According to Spiro, the main reasons why salespeople quit are:

  • Lack of communication from the management
  • Lack of support from the business
  • No appreciation
  • Lack of systems
  • Burnout 

 

If you want to keep your BDM and would like to keep them engaged and happy in the organisation, you will need to do something to make their lives (and job) easier. 

 

They love a simple system that does the tedious work for them but still lets them reap the rewards. (in other words supports them). 

 

They will not even have to track the sales and leads; a marketing automation system will do that for them. So they will have more time and energy to generate, follow up with, and convert leads. 

Is It Time to Simplify Your Sales Process?

One of the main reasons why some companies fail to get a good conversion rate on their outreach campaigns is that they don’t have a system to follow. A sales process needs to be reviewed regularly and – if possible  – simplified so it is easy to manage. 

 

A sales professional should be able to design a simple 6-touchpoint buyers’ journey. However, if you need any help with that, you can book a virtual coffee to see if we can give you any pointers. 

The Best Business-to-Business Funnels for Qualifying Leads

Undoubtedly, the best type of funnel we have used in the B2B lead generation field is quiz funnels. It qualifies your leads, so you don’t have to deal with people we call “time wasters” and “tire kickers”. Or people who don’t have the money. 

 

Since we implemented our qualification quizzes on our site, we have more time dealing with real prospects. Instead of being the “busy fool” trying to please everyone, we first make sure that the prospect is a right fit. (in other words, they are our ideal clients). If you add a quiz in the beginning of the B2B funnel, you can avoid bad clients, too. 

 

Another great B2B funnel is a quote funnel. You will offer a free estimate on the site, and – once the client has agreed – you will give them a full overview, proposal, and final price. This will ensure that you are dealing with highly motivated buyers. 

 

Of course, you can use any funnel for B2B lead qualification, provided that you implement segmentation. This means that you categorise your leads based on how often they consume and interact with your content. As an example, on ActiveCampaign you will have the ability to tag people who clicked the links on your email. This will show intent and they will be more likely to buy than those who don’t even open the emails. 

 

Whatever you do, have a sit down with your BDM and brainstorm ideas before you would revamp your sales process. 

The Importance of a Good CRM

A good CRM system can make or break your business. It can make good BDMs even better, and unmotivated ones full of beans and enthusiasm. If you want to know more about supporting your BDM through systems, you might want to read my latest LinkedIn Pulse article

 

Do yourself a favour: get in touch with your BDM and ask what it would feel like to have a system that takes the pain away from generating and nurturing leads? I am sure they will not say no! 

If you need adviceabout sales funnels, please get in touch.

 

Sources: 

https://www.cognism.com/blog/how-to-build-better-b2b-marketing-funnels#:~:text=A%20B2B%20marketing%20funnel%20is,potential%20customers%20into%20qualified%20leads

https://neilpatel.com/blog/b2b-marketing-sales-funnel/

https://www.smartinsights.com/digital-marketing-strategy/how-to-create-a-b2b-content-marketing-funnel/

https://neilpatel.com/blog/b2b-marketing-sales-funnel/

https://spiro.ai/blog/the-8-biggest-reasons-why-salespeople-quit/

https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/23702/how-to-leverage-the-5-tiers-of-b2b-funnel-optimization.aspx

https://zapier.com/blog/marketing-funnel-guide/

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