B2B demand generation is a complex process. Longer sales cycle, larger buying groups, multiple channels, and a non-linear buyer journey. Not to mention, buyers today are self-aware, educated, and know exactly what they want.
All these factors make it challenging for the marketer to generate demand but equally critical for them to streamline their demand generation funnel.
This blog will help you understand what a demand generation funnel is and the steps you can take to optimize your funnel for the best results.
What is a B2B Demand Generation Funnel?
The demand generation funnel is a visual framework of the different stages of demand generation your buyers go through and how effective your demand gen tactics are in making this happen. With the demand generation process, you’re essentially focusing on driving awareness and creating a need for your product or service.
This is why the demand generation funnel emphasizes creating and capturing demand through educating instead of putting in time and effort to capture leads that aren’t ready. This makes it a customer-centric approach and a 360-degree shift from a traditional sales funnel.
But why should you rely on a B2B demand generation funnel?
The answer is simple. Because it lets you visualize where your leads exactly are so that you can-
- Offer the right marketing resources at the right time
- Fast-track the B2B sales cycle by educating the buyer
- Timely identify marketing qualified leads
- And boost your conversions rate
So how do you ensure an efficient demand generation funnel? Well, it starts with understanding the various stages of the demand gen journey.
Different Stages of a Demand Generation Funnel
Typically, a demand generation funnel includes these critical stages-
A. Build Awareness
This is the top-of-the-funnel or the awareness stage. At this stage of the demand generation marketing funnel, your customers are facing a challenge, but they are unaware of what you can do to help them. So, instead of pitching your product as the solution, this is the time to make them aware of your business and build demand by educating them.
You can achieve this by offering interactive content like beginner-level guides, eBooks, webinars, emails, the latest industry news, and more. Remember, the goal is to establish yourself as an industry leader that delivers value to your audience.
B. Generate Interest
At this point, your prospects might start inquiring about you. They want to know who you are, what makes you a possible solution, and how you can make their lives easier.
So, it’s time to make your educational content more in-depth – white papers, comprehensive guides, social media posts, email courses, and so on.
C. Determine Intent
Once these prospects turn into marketing-qualified leads, you want to know if they will be interested in purchasing and offer them customized recommendations based on their intent.
One way to do that is by tracking buyer intent signals and following an account-based marketing approach. These two tactics will help you identify which leads are most likely to turn into paying customers and target them at the right time.
D. Capture Demand
Now that you have identified leads with a strong buying intent, hand them over to the sales team. It’s time to let them know why you’re better than the competitors. Here, the sales team can offer product demos and free trials to give these leads a sense of how your product solves their problems.
E. Convert and Retain Leads
So, you have successfully converted a lead into a paying customer; what next? The demand generation funnel is still valuable here. At this final point, the goal is to keep these customers engaged, so they keep returning for more. It’s essential to be consistent, offer value, and ensure that your product or service is actually helping them improve.
Steps to Enhance Your Demand Generation Funnel
1. Define Your Goals
Every demand generation process starts with formulating an action plan. What will your demand generation funnel aim to achieve? Are you looking at higher website traffic? Increased social media engagement? Or higher sales within a month?
Set realistic, achievable goals. And make them specific and time-bound. Specific goals will help you stay laser-focused and pick the right demand-gen strategies to make your demand-gen funnel super-efficient in bringing in the right people.
2. Know Your Audience
Of course, you’ve probably already established who your target audience is, but it doesn’t hurt to keep knowing more about them. Clearly define who your ideal buyer will be – their needs, characteristics, motives, and pain points.
This will not only help you know how to approach them but also give you a better idea of their intent. Intent data is a treasure for marketers looking to understand what their audiences search for online and how they can generate demand.
Once you’ve identified the accurate buyers, it will be easier to target your content and create an interest in your product.
3. Produce and Share Content for Every Stage
Content is the backbone of a solid demand generation funnel. Since today, most buyers conduct their own research before connecting with a sales rep; you need to create high-quality content that meets their intent and generates demand for your brand.
For this, it is important to focus on every step of the B2B demand generation funnel and align your content with it. Figure out what your customers want. For instance, at the awareness stage, website landing pages or educational blog posts are an excellent way to boost your presence.
On the other hand, when you’re looking to generate customer interest, in-depth blogs, eBooks, or social media marketing can help capture interested leads.
4. Track and Measure Results
Once your demand generation funnel is good to go with quality leads, don’t stop. Keep an eye on what’s working for you and how successful your demand generation campaign has been.
One way is to monitor the most important demand generation funnel KPIs for sales, such as traffic, engagement, revenue generated, sales pipeline value, average sales cycle, and more. This will help you optimize your strategy in time and create higher demand for your business.
Create a Robust Demand Generation Funnel
When it comes to an efficient demand generation funnel, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, it all comes down to your overall marketing strategy, how well you streamline your demand generation tactics and what demand gen metrics you track to measure success.