The sales funnel guides prospects from their first interaction with your business till they become paying customers. The roadmap usually covers SEO, content marketing, social media, and other channels.
To build a successful sales strategy, you need a top-notch sales funnel. The right funnel will ensure the smooth transition of your leads to paying customers and increase revenue.
Although a relatively simple concept, a sales funnel can also be complex, especially for B2B businesses that offer more comprehensive solutions.
Benefits Of a Sales Funnel
1. Increases conversion rate
A sales funnel guides you to create a positive customer experience. You can understand what your potential customers are thinking, doing, and searching for at each stage of their journey.
With these insights, it becomes easy to find and focus on the proper channels, create engaging and relevant messages at each stage to convert more prospects into actual customers.
2. Attracting new leads
A sales funnel essentially attracts new leads to your firm with the right content. Ideally, it should provide compelling and relevant information that solves your prospects' problems.
They would then click through or sign up, where you nurture them and later convert them into paying customers.
3. Helps to focus on the right leads
Not every prospect will immediately become a paying customer. A sales funnel with lead scoring features helps you identify what leads to focus on. It also enables you to prioritize by sorting and ranking your leads based on their behavior.
That way, you only spend time and resources on promising leads that would eventually bring about higher conversion rates.
Vital Elements Of A Sales Funnel
A sales funnel has three major stages:
Top of the funnel
Generally considered the lead generation stage. At this point, customers do not know much about you but have gained awareness through your content. Most of these are not ready to purchase but could pick interest and choose to interact and go further down the funnel.
Middle of the funnel
The consideration stage is where customers interact further with your brand to consider all options. It is your opportunity to seduce them with relevant content and solutions such that they become likely to buy from you at a later date.
Bottom of the funnel
At the bottom of the funnel, prospects are now Sales Qualified and fully nurtured. The salespeople can now present your product as a viable solution to the prospect's problem.
Your ideal sales funnel is highly dependent on your customer’s journey. As such, the approach and content your business uses could vary based on your target audience. However, there are key elements your B2B sales funnels must consider to maximize your strategy's effectiveness.
A Lead Generator: Content that attracts and engages leads
The lead generator is content that attracts and engages your leads. Lead generators vary with your business offerings and industry. For example, some niches thrive with eBooks, while others could be excellent for webinars.
Nonetheless, the critical factor is its ability to generate the traffic you need. Such traffic could be organic through SEO or third-party avenues like social media. Or, you could boost them with paid ads.
Whichever lead generator you choose should focus on attracting the attention of prospective leads and generating interest, primarily through education. Therefore, you must invest in high-quality content creation to maximize ROI along the way.
A Landing page:
Landing pages are essential for B2B firms to provide additional information and draw prospects into your funnel. Typically, this is where your leads would sign up to engage with you further. So, it is the bridge between your lead generator and your lead nurturing stage.
As such, the landing page creates the first impression of your brand. You want to ensure it is compelling enough to encourage your leads to sign up for further engagement. So, your copy and media must be high quality.
The essential components of a landing page:
- A catchy headline
- Compelling value propositions
- An effective CTA
Contacts collected act as an expression of interest in your business. So, you can start the process of nurturing them for purchase.
Email Sequence: Manages, nurtures, and engages leads
For B2B businesses, email is the key mode of communication and engagement with your clients.
With your email sequence, you can keep your leads with relevant information and offers to help you stay top of mind. Further down the line, it provides an avenue to push for a sale and offer any discounts as needed.
Typically, an effective email sequence would include:
- The initial follow-up email includes an informative and valuable message alongside the requested content. It also has a CTA for further communication.
- The "check-in" emails - this is where you find out if your content has been helpful and if they would be interested in additional questions or information. You can also recommend content they might need based on past interests.
- The hard sell is usually at later stages, where you present your offering upfront with the needed incentives to push your prospect to purchase.
With these critical elements in place, your lead generation, lead nurturing and conversion strategies are good to go. Depending on your type of business, some stages may be more critical than others.
Identify key target customers: Your sales funnel will not be as effective if you do not know your target audience. Understanding who they are will help you create the right content and identify the right channels to reach them.
Content should highlight solutions and not only promote your business: Inbound funnels have been proven to be more effective. You focus on your leads' pain points and how they can benefit rather than pushing for a sale from the start.Ensure smooth exchange of leads between marketing and sales. Integrating your sales and marketing activities is essential to reduce any inconsistencies and maximize lead conversions. CRM and marketing automation tools are by far your best bet at achieving this.
The sales funnel is critical to your lead conversion and, subsequently, revenue generation and business growth. Therefore, you must employ effective strategies to achieve the best results. These are some of the main elements you must consider as you create a sales funnel for your business.Need help creating a workable sales funnel for your business? Our expert team can help. Get a free demo of our tools or reach out to us today!