build a B2B marketing funnel step by step guide

How to Build a B2B Marketing Funnel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you part of the 91% of marketing professionals who lack confidence in their current content strategy? If so, you’re not alone. Crafting campaigns that effectively answer buyer questions, alleviate doubts, and address objections can be a daunting task.

But fear not, for there’s a solution that can elevate your lead generation game and drive down your cost per lead (CPL): a well-designed B2B marketing funnel. By implementing a strategic funnel, you’ll gain invaluable insights into your customers’ desires, enabling you to refine your marketing approach and resonate with your audience on a deeper level.

 

What is the B2B Marketing Funnel?

A B2B marketing funnel consists of a series of steps designed to attract targeted leads to a website. Its primary objectives are to build brand awareness, increase loyalty, and convert potential customers into qualified leads. The funnel outlines the customer journey from initial interest to becoming a customer and specifies the marketing activities for each stage.

It’s essential in B2B marketing because, although the B2B sales cycle is longer than the consumer sales cycle, it offers long-term sustainability. Additionally, it helps segment your audience for personalized messaging based on their stage in the buyer journey, leading to a higher chance of sales success.

 

What are the Stages of a B2B Sales Funnel?

To understand your target customer’s buying behavior, you must create an effective marketing funnel. By identifying their pain points and motivators, you can develop a marketing funnel that boosts revenue generation.

There are three stages of a B2B marketing funnel:

  • Top of the Funnel (TOFU)
  • Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)
  • Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU)

Top of the Funnel (TOFU)

Your objective to build brand awareness remains at the top of the funnel (TOFU). At this stage, your primary target is to attract potential customers and to achieve this, digital marketing and B2B content marketing are essential strategies. You can make use of digital content such as videos, blog posts, social media content, and digital marketing methods. Through these strategies, you will be providing valuable information about your product or service to your audience and addressing their pain points.

By seamlessly combining all these tactics – great content, targeted ads, and engaging social media – you’ll create a strong unified strategy that first grabs people’s attention, gets them interested and curious about your brand, and ultimately leads the right potential customers to visit your website.

Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)

The next stage, middle of the funnel (MOFU), is to nurture leads that were gathered at the previous step. This stage involves providing more in-depth and detailed content like eBooks, whitepapers, webinars, and case studies that offer solutions to your prospects’ challenges. The goal is to build trust with these leads and demonstrate your expertise in the industry.

Additionally, you can utilize lead magnets such as templates or guides related to your offerings. By providing something valuable in exchange for their contact information, you can continue nurturing these leads through further targeted content and communications. This allows you to foster a stronger relationship and move them closer to becoming customers.

Bottom of the funnel (BOFU)

This is the decision stage for potential customers. The bottom of the funnel (BOFU) is where your customer has made a decision on a product and is ready to make the purchase. This is where marketing development representatives take center stage, transitioning the sales funnel into a supportive and informative environment. Their goal? To address any lingering doubts and empower prospects to make confident buying choices.

This might involve a direct purchase, a consultation to discuss specific needs, or even a free trial to experience the product firsthand. B2B marketers remain crucial at this stage. High-quality educational content and targeted messaging play a vital role in building trust and guiding prospects toward a successful buying journey.

Read how we drove 4930% growth in Organic Traffic and Leads for one of the best personal trainers in NYC in this SEO case study.

 

How to Build an Effective B2B Marketing Funnel?

There are certain simple steps to ensure a yielding marketing funnel. We will be discussing those here.

1. Awareness

At the very first step, you would want to look for a way to drive your audience to your site and then map the customer journey to direct them to the next step. This will help your customers to take actions that will ultimately drive sales to your business.

You can direct them to an inquiry form or an email ID to make them aware of your business. Awareness is typically generated at the TOFU stage of the marketing funnel where you can build a relationship with your customers and it can be as simple as encouraging them to sign up for your newsletters. Through timely emails, you can send them valuable content about your offerings.

2. Consideration

Now that your potential buyers are aware of your brand value, the probability is that they will look for the options available in the market. This can be a dicey situation for your business because if you do not put yourself in front of your competitors, you may be losing your customers.

At this stage, B2B marketing strategies shift towards nurturing high-potential leads. We implement targeted nurture campaigns, delivering valuable content that addresses their specific needs and challenges. This allows us to showcase the unique value proposition of our solution and demonstrate how it can significantly benefit their business, ultimately positioning us as the ideal partner for their success.

3. Action

The action stage of the marketing funnel is where a buyer decides on an offering and his next course of action after comparing it with your competitors. Your potential buyers will compare the features and benefits of your offerings at the best price with those of your competitors and take action based on it.

Thus, you need to put forward your best foot to sustain the market. This is the most important stage of the entire marketing funnel as it finally decides on the credibility of your business and its success rate.

4. Re-engagement

It is inevitable that some leads won’t be ready to convert right away. But that doesn’t mean you have lost forever! You can still be tied up to them by building relationships and nurturing these valuable connections. You can simply keep your company top-of-mind for their future needs.

A well-crafted email remarketing campaign is the perfect tool for this. It allows you to stay connected, provide ongoing value through informative content, and gently rekindle their interest at an opportune moment.

5. Retention

Making sales should not be considered as the end of the journey. You must cultivate strong customer relationships for long-term success. Prioritize top-notch customer service if you want to see some happy customers. And a happy customer always is a returning customer. Invest in exceptional service to build trust and loyalty. It will open up future opportunities to upsell your products and rely on your current customers for user referrals to grab some new businesses.

 

B2B Marketing Funnel Strategies to Stay at the Top

Staying at the top of the B2B marketing funnel implies that you need a strategic approach focused on understanding a buyer’s journey. It should effectively guide your potential clients through each stage of the funnel. Here are some strategies to consider:

1. Content marketing

Quality is the foundation of any successful online marketing campaign. High-quality content is more likely to attract and engage potential clients. Ensure that every piece of content you create addresses your audience’s main questions and demonstrates how your solutions effectively solve common pain points better than competitors. Your content strategy should include a variety of formats—written, audio, and video—that can be shared on your company blog and social media platforms.

2. Search engine optimization (SEO)

Integrating SEO into your funnel strategy is crucial, as it can increase organic search traffic, strengthen your online reputation, and elevate your B2B marketing funnel conversion rates. It is recommended to employ a trusted SEO company or a full-time SEO expert proficient in on-page and off-page SEO strategies. They will ensure that your website is properly optimized and employ white hat methods to build your website’s authority and credibility over time, resulting in long-term success.

3. Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)

Every B2B sales and marketing funnel needs a paid ad strategy. In addition to your SEO efforts, Google ads can target high-search keywords, retarget website visitors, and drive traffic to customized landing pages, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of your campaigns.

4. Email marketing

The conversion process can be significantly expedited by implementing a well-designed B2B email marketing funnel strategy. By leveraging top-tier B2B marketing funnel tools, you can set up various automated email sequences for your sales funnels. These sequences will be triggered automatically by specific events, such as a user signing up for your list or downloading an eBook from your site.

You can use lead nurturing sequences to share valuable and practical content, helping to convert your free trial (or demo) email recipients into paying clients.

Don’t miss: Here’s how we improved organic performance and drove page #1 ranking for a leading transport company in this SEO case study.

 

5 Mistakes to Avoid for Growth

We have identified five common mistakes that marketing and sales teams often make when attempting to achieve growth with their sales funnel:

1. Lack of strong calls to action

A good call to action (CTA) tells people exactly what to do next. It’s surprising that many B2B companies forget to include a strong CTA. Research shows that personalized CTAs can get 42% more people interested compared to weak ones. So, a good CTA should feel personalized and make people feel like they need to act fast.

2. Using unimpressive website design and copy

Websites play a crucial role in catching the attention of potential customers in the awareness stage. Therefore, if your home and landing pages lack clear navigation, appealing design, and engaging content, it’s essential to revamp your website’s design and content.

3. Having a funnel with too many steps

A long funnel with numerous conversion steps may cause prospects to lose sight of your process and ultimately choose to opt-out. Aim to reduce steps and streamline the process to make it simple and clear.

4. Not following up with leads

Not every lead is ready to convert right away. Some may require additional follow-ups and a compelling reason to make the leap. Therefore, failing to follow up with your leads means you could be missing out on potential opportunities to generate revenue.

5. Neglecting analytics data

B2B brands handle vast amounts of data that are ripe for exploration. One important statistic is the conversion data from sales funnels, which should be analyzed to enhance future campaigns. However, many companies neglect to utilize analytical tools to identify and analyze data for funnel improvement.

 

Final Thoughts

Summing it up, the B2B marketing funnel isn’t a static path; it’s a dynamic pipeline requiring constant optimization. By closely monitoring performance metrics at each stage of the funnel, you gain valuable insights into what’s working and what needs improvement. This allows you to refine your strategies with laser focus, maximizing the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Further, staying up-to-date on the latest trends allows you to adapt your strategies accordingly, ensuring you leverage the most effective methods to reach and engage your target audience. Remember, success lies in continual refinement. By harnessing the power of data-driven insights and adapting to emerging trends, you can continuously optimize your B2B marketing funnel, propelling your business forward.

 

FAQs

1. What is the difference between a sales funnel and a marketing funnel?

Ans – The sales funnel is a systematic approach that guides prospective customers through various stages until they become paying clients. It begins with the marketing funnel, a series of steps designed to introduce your product or service to potential customers and pique their interest. Once prospects become aware of your offering and express interest, they enter the consideration phase of the marketing funnel. At this point, the sales funnel takes over, evaluating and qualifying these leads. The sales funnel’s primary objective is to nurture and persuade these interested leads to make a purchasing decision by addressing their specific needs and concerns.

2. Do I need to create both a sales and a marketing funnel?

Ans – To truly understand the steps a potential customer goes through before buying, you need to look at both the sales process and the marketing funnels. By studying these two things together, you can see the full journey a customer takes, from first learning about your product or service to finally deciding to make a purchase.

3. How much does it cost to create a B2B marketing funnel?

Ans – B2B marketing funnel costs can vary widely depending on several variables such as funnel complexity, tech stack, customization level, and whether you are building it in-house or outsourcing to a marketing agency.

 

Dignitas Digital