As the B2B landscape is becoming fiercely competitive, businesses cannot rely solely on traditional lead generation methods. People are evolving, triggering the necessity to explore, test, analyze, and adapt newer methods that identify, attract, engage, and nurture leads for future conversions. Of all the different methods, sales funnels have emerged as the highest ROI-driving method. If you’re into lead generation, you cannot ignore sales funnels because they’ve become the ultimate guiding light – a strategic roadmap helping potential customers navigate the different levels of buyers’ journey.
For the uninitiated, sales funnels can be best defined as a visual representation of the buyer’s journey, from awareness to advocacy levels, each marked with distinct engagement levels. When viewed from a B2B lead generation perspective, sales funnels are visual frameworks enabling businesses to systematically nurture potential leads until they make a purchase. All successful B2B lead generation professionals have well-designed sales funnels in place, and so should you. If you’re new to this concept and trying to understand how it helps in B2B lead generation, read this article until the end.
Sales Funnel in B2B Lead Generation: Things You Must Know
Businesses are fast turning to sales funnels because it helps them map the entire journey of a potential customer from the moment they first hear about their brand to the point of making a sale. This process makes creating highly personalized and effective content for people at different stages of the buyers’ journey easier. A standard sales funnel will always have the following seven stages:
- Awareness – Introducing your product/service to the target audience
- Interest – Igniting an interest through constantly publishing relevant content
- Consideration – Sharing in-depth information on the offered product/service
- Evaluation – Assisting prospects in comparing various available options and making the right decision
- Purchase – Closing the deal and initiating memorable customer relationships
- Conversion – Ensuring a smooth onboarding process
- Advocacy – Delighting customers so they become your brand advocates
If you can strategically drive your target audience from the top to the bottom stages, you can generate the highest returns on your B2B lead generation campaigns.
Different Types of Sales Funnels Used by Businesses for B2B Lead Generation
While all the standard sales funnels have the same stages, not all have the same aim. In general, businesses use the following three types of sales funnels.
- Awareness-Focused Sales Funnels
These funnels are perfect for brand-building. If you’re a new business or have launched a new product/service, consider getting started with this sales funnel. At this stage, brands create and distribute educational content to attract prospective customers. While designing and implementing awareness-focused funnels, businesses try to establish credibility and foster trust among the target audience. For example, software companies can offer exhaustive whitepapers or run webinars on varying industry challenges.
- Consideration-Centric Sales Funnels
It is another commonly used sales funnel by businesses across industries and geographical locations. You should use a consideration-centric sales funnel to inform and educate your audience about the offered products/services. This funnel can be executed through different methods, like setting email drip campaigns, giving personalized consultations, giving case studies, etc. Whatever method you choose, ensure it helps the target audience understand how your product/service solves their problem and fits their needs.
- Decision-Oriented Sales Funnel
Another type of sales funnel commonly used in B2B lead generation is a decision-oriented sales funnel. As the name suggests, this funnel is designed to help prospects make a buying decision. The way a decision-oriented sales funnel is executed will vary from one business to another. For example, a SaaS company selling a project management tool can offer a limited-time trial period to help people make informed buying decisions. Others can also give exhaustive product demos, comparison guides, etc., to assist people in the consideration stage.
It should be noted that all these funnels are effective and crucial parts of successful B2B lead generation campaigns. The key lies in picking the correct type of sales funnel and a flawless implementation.
How to Leverage Sales Funnels for B2B Lead Generation Campaigns?
Now that you’re aware of what sales funnels exactly are, their role in the lead generation process, and the different types of sales funnels, let’s quickly explore some practical and evergreen tactics that anyone can use to improve the results of their B2B lead generation campaigns.
Not everyone who is your target audience should be approached in a similar way. They all belong to different stages of the buyer’s journey, so they should be segmented accordingly. Irrespective of the product/service you offer, your business size, industry, and lead generation budget, you must begin your lead generation efforts with segmentation. It will help you target the right people with the right messaging at the right time.
- Content Personalization
The importance of this technique cannot be overstated. All successful B2B lead generation campaigns have one thing in common – the constant publishing of highly relevant and personalized content. You can begin creating content by identifying the target audience’s pain points, leading them to solutions. Customized emails, consultations, case studies, and blogs can work wonders.
- Lead Nurturing
No B2B lead generation campaign has become successful by ignoring lead nurturing. This phase involves continuous communication with your targeted prospects so your brand stays on their radar. The more you’re on top of their mind, the higher the chances of conversions.
Make Sales Funnels Skyrocket Your B2B Lead Generation Efforts
B2B lead generation is becoming more competitive, so brands cannot risk relying on old methods that no longer yield the desired result. Sales funnels have emerged as a steadfast ally, guiding brands and prospects through an elaborate discovery, evaluation, and decision-making journey. Sales funnels are more than mere concepts; they are the bridge between your offerings and potential buyers. If your previous B2B lead generation campaigns failed to generate the desired results, incorporating sales funnels in future campaigns can bring visible improvement. To know more, schedule a discovery call now!