In B2B marketing, achieving your pipeline goal demands thorough planning at every stage of the conversion cycle. Starting from running an analysis of the market to ultimately targeting the customers.
The first step is building a list of customers you plan to approach. You should craft it considering the industry you operate in. For instance, if your company is operating in the B2B domain, you need to build a B2B marketing funnel. Similarly, if your company is operating in the logistics industry, you need to make a marketing funnel considering the buying cycle and nuances of this industry.
But what does it involve? Let’s take a look.
What is a B2B marketing funnel?
A B2B marketing funnel captures the process of converting your leads into customers. It is a series of stages that a fresh lead undergoes to become a customer.
Where a B2B marketing funnel ends, a sales funnel begins. A B2B sales funnel aims at converting the leads brought in through the marketing funnel into paying customers. It convinces the marketing-led customers to make purchases, and often, more than one.
The B2B marketing funnel focuses on brand building and creating awareness of their product line. On the other hand, a sales funnel aims at converting a prospect into a sale.
Both B2B marketing and sales funnels target customers at different stages of their buying cycle. Either way, building a marketing and sales funnel is the first step for a b2b business in moving towards profit.
How do B2B marketers use the funnel?
A marketing funnel maps a B2B customer’s buying journey. It helps the marketing team understand the steps a buyer takes on its journey to become a customer.
A B2B marketing funnel works in the following stages:
- Awareness: When a prospect becomes aware of your brand
- Interest: When the prospect develops an interest in your offering
- Decision: When they begin wishing to purchase your product
- Execution: When they decide to buy your product
While boosting each level, you enhance brand recognition and pave the way for conversions. In fact, when you move through these four stages, you basically move from the top of the funnel to the middle and then the bottom.
Let’s understand what it means.
TOFU, MOFU and BOFU
TOFU stands for the Top of the Funnel; MOFU is the Middle of the Funnel; BOFU is the Bottom of the Funnel. The search behavior of leads changes as they move down the marketing funnel. These phases are interchangeable with the earlier funnel stages: awareness, interest, decision and execution.
In the TOFU stage, your customers know their needs and are looking for a solution. That is where your product can help. While pitching, you promise to fulfill their requirement. You impart knowledge to the customer through brochures, presentations, videos or blog posts. The top of funnel marketing covers the awareness phase of the customer lifecycle.
In the MOFU stage, you make the customer aware of your offerings and convince them to purchase. The customer’s interest is piqued, and they start weighing their options. They might still be inviting more vendors and comparing your product. MOFU is more refined than TOFU as many customers don’t make it to the second stage.
Only hot leads make it to the BOFU stage. Customers in this phase are almost convinced to buy your product. You can use a mix of product reviews and live demonstrations to persuade the customer. BOFU involves the decision and execution stages of the customer lifecycle.
You might wonder what role such elaborate terms play in b2b marketing, or why you need a b2b marketing funnel at all. The following explanation will provide the answer.
Why is a B2B marketing funnel important?
- Tracks your buyer journey
Setting up a funnel that is tailored to your product offering and target market can help you become aware of your buyer’s journey. You know where they are stuck and what needs to be done to move them ahead. You can also identify trends in the buying journey of accounts to develop engagement insights for different market segments.
- Helps optimize the sales cycle
You get visibility of the average sales cycle through the marketing and sales funnel. You are also aware of the stages where customers are taking more time to move ahead. This means you can tweak your marketing strategies to reduce the sales cycle.
- Aids brand recognition
While tracking a customer through the marketing funnel, you understand ways to connect with the customer and build rapport. This relationship helps create a brand image in the market that lasts and cascades to bring in new customers.
- Helps strengthen your reach
When you make funnel-based outreach or inbound efforts, you are aware of the stage your target accounts are at. So, you can create stage-specific content for your buyers trying to gather more information. This brings you more hits and boosts your SEO.
Every successful marketing campaign begins with a solid marketing funnel. To optimize your revenue process, you need to have a well-designed funnel that helps you track your buyer’s journey.