Publish Date: June 30, 2021
Concept Of Consumer Marketing Funnel
In the consumer marketing funnel, we convert a lead to a first order, then upgrade the new customer to more products as well as higher-priced products. We in essence nurture the customer and the sale to maximize lifetime customer value (LCV).
Marketing funnels for B2B products is ‘key.’ Our funnel’s goal is to generate a qualified lead.
At or near the bottom of the funnel, a salesperson gets involved and is ultimately responsible for closing the sale.
For a great and successful funnel, this is the direction that should be followed:
- Capture the prospect’s name, company, and email address.
- Qualify the prospect. Do they have the money, authority, and desire to buy solution to their problem? Is our solution a good fit for them?
- Nurture the lead with steady contact delivering a mix of persuasive sales messages, offers (e.g. a free demo or free trail), and helpful content on the application, the technology, and the method of solving the problem.
- Explore by having the salesperson contact the lead to see whether the fit is indeed good and to gauge the readiness of the prospect to move forward, as well as answer questions and objections.
- Engage by giving the prospect an estimate, quotation, or proposal asking for a decision.
- Get the prospect to sign the estimate, proposal, or contract and make the sale.
The path for a marketing funnel B2B lead generation campaign should flow as such: Traffic> Capture> Qualify> Nuture> Explore> Engage> Close.
Are You Selling B2B Products Online?
So, if you sell B2B products online, how do you generate leads and sales? What process does your customer go through from “Never heard of ’em’ to “We want that product now?” Sales trainer David Hoffeld uses data from neuroscience, behavioral psychology, and social psychology, among other disciplines, to answer that question on a foundational level.
He claims to have discovered customers’ natural buying motives and processes.
In ‘The Science of Selling’ (Tarcher-Perigree 2016), he explains that people buy in predicable ways and that the buying process (and thus the selling process) consists of a series of specific commitments, together with a positive emotional state.
Accordingly, your marketing funnel is a visual or verbal representation of that process – from first awareness of your product or company to purchases, cross-sells, and up sells.
The series of steps that constitute the buying process should be outlined in advance and represented pictorially and verbally. Believe it or not, many marketers do not know where their customers come from and haven’t created a detail plan for converting prospects to customers.
Without a plan, marketers can neither optimize their efforts nor measure their progress at the various steps of the buying process.
Moreover, knowing where your prospects is in that process is imperative for understanding your objective at any given step of the buying process and for making the sale.
A Couple Of Examples Of B2B Marketing Funnels.
Take a look at these companies and their marketing funnel systems. These companies sell online primarily by generating sales leads and secondarily through direct sales from their sites.
By taking a look at these companies’ marketing funnels, you’ll be able to generate some ideas about how to craft and refine your own marketing funnel.
Innovative Information Solutions. Innovative Information Solutions (IIS) is a B2B technology solutions company in the areas of application performance, business continuity, security, and IT infrastructure. IIS is also an IBM Gold Business Partner and sells IBM power servers.
As you can imagine, these are difficult sales. No company purchases any of these solutions or products impulsively. Prospects require a lot of information to make such a purchase – and typically have established buying requirements that include budgetary and time restrictions.
So how does a company successfully sell something as complex as a power server? Could these IBM power servers he sold directly from the website? They could. But the problem is that the conversation rate – the rate at which prospects order – would be extremely low.
The conversion rate would be low because complex purchases such as these require much more deliberation on the part of the buyer than the average purchase.
When prospects sign up to receive the power assessment, they’re contacted by a company representative to schedule their assessment. Innovative Information Solution’s marketing funnel looks roughly like this:
- Drive traffic to the website;
- offer a free assessment;
- deliver the free assessment;
- position the IBM server as the prospect’s power server of choice based on their needs’and
- make the sale.
D&B Hoovers. Here’s another example of a B2B marketing funnel. Let’s say I sell to B2B companies, and I’m looking for companies I can send my sales letter to. If I enter “business to business marketers” into Google, I’ll likely see this: “Unlimited Company List – Database of 85 Million Business. Build List with the contact Info’s website.
Since I’m looking to build a list with contact info, this ad’s message is extremely attractive to me. So I click on it. I’m brought to a landing page that offers me a free trial of their database.
D&B Hoovers’ page lists a number of features and benefits of the product and why I’d want to use it. All I have to do is put in my contract information, and I can try it out for free.
This example from D&B Hoovers is another example of lead generation. The company isn’t selling its database of B2B companies immediately right from the page; it’s offering a freebie first – in this case, a free trial.
A free trial is an effective offer because before buying access to a database such as this, wouldn’t you first want to try it out? Trying out the database minimizes the risk involved in a purchase like this.
Also, when visiting the landing page, (Let Wealthy Affiliate provide you with the ‘tools for success’), a live chat window appears on the screen asking me if I want a price for a custom D&B Hoovers subscription. So there really are two offers: 1) the offer for a ‘free trial’ and 2) the offer for a free quote for a custom subscription.
The offer for a free trial is a ‘softer’ sell – it’s less pressure. I get to try it out and see if I like it. If I don’t, No Biggie! I’ll just cancel.
So just think, downloading a document informational in nature is less committal than actually trying out the product or services itself. So the pressure of the offer is relative to the committal required on the part of the prospect. And remember, the marketing funnel is a representation of the commitments we’re taking our prospect through on a way to a sale.