If you are running a business in the B2B world, your website is really important to determine your marketing and sales success. As a B2B business owner, you need to ensure that you have a highly functioning and attractive website.
This is necessary to continue to make transactions and sales with your business customers. Losing even a single business customer can cost you greatly and take you away from reaching your sales targets.
However, having an amazing website is not the only thing that can help you succeed. Having an appropriate and good sales funnel is really essential to help ease the process of buying, increase the lead generation rate, and help your business grow as well!
Here’s some useful information: HBR claims that the chances of successfully completing a sale increase by 62% for companies that have provided their customers an easy buying process.
But what is a sales funnel and how do you design one for your B2B marketplace?
Read below and find out what sales funnels are and how they are important and all you need to do to design a sales funnel for your B2B marketplace.
What is a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel may be defined as a visual representation of all the stages or the journey beginning from your potential customer’s first contact with you and ending at the final purchase of products and/or services. Sales funnels are especially helpful for a business’s sales team to help them get an idea of problematic areas that may need to be fixed and alter the process in order to avoid drops in the sales.
The sales funnel has certain stages and the client and the business pass through each stage one after the other. The sales funnel is just like an actual funnel; broad with more space and prospects at the top and narrow at the bottom, representing the difficulty in finalising a sale. As you keep moving downward from one stage to the next stage of the sales funnel, the prospects that are not fit are filtered out and only the best and most qualified move forward.
Three stages of a sales funnel are as follows:-
- The first stage is the top of the funnel which is marked with brand awareness and discovering businesses.
- The next stage is the middle of the funnel which involves bringing to light the concerns and problems and their researching the ideal solution for the same.
- The third and last stage of the funnel is where the prospective leads are aware of the problems they have been facing and what are the best solutions for them. Accordingly, an informed decision about the purchase is made and the sale is complete.
Why is a Sales Funnel Important?
Sales funnels are very important for companies because they give companies a visual understanding of all the steps that take place in the conversion of customers. The sales funnels treat all the stages or steps as important and each can be worked upon individually to increase the final conversion rate.
If any of the stages has an unusual drop-off rate, companies can analyze the stage and then rectify the errors. One such sales funnel tool is Google Analytics. Sales funnels can also help you understand the flow and activities of the customers on your website. Through a sales funnel you can then understand how many potential customers or visitors exit your online store at each stage.
Did you know that even though sales funnel is such an integral part of a company’s sales process, many have not even identified it? Reports by Pardot have claimed that about 68% of businesses and companies in the B2B market have not yet identified and measured their sales funnel.
How do I Design a B2B Sales Funnel?
Now that we have addressed what exactly is a sales funnel and how it is important for a company, we are now going to understand how to design one. To design a good sales funnel that increases your conversion and makes your business more successful, you need to follow 7 simple steps. Here’s what you need to do:-
- Building a pipeline: The first step requires you to create a strong pipeline that can help you analyse the performance of your employees properly. You can accordingly plan out your sales process in ways that can help your revenue grow. The plan of action should be according to three focal points: when (phase or time), who (performing employees or teams), and what (task or activity to be performed).
- Train your team in Sales Specialization: Sales specialization is one such process that allows you to understand each aspect and detail of your B2B sales funnel. Therefore, hiring sales specialists and training your already existing employees in sales specialization can be of great benefit to you. You must also introduce new sales positions in your team and equip the members with essential skills to handle the sales procedures.
- Communicating essential information: When a potential business client enters the purchase process, they are looking for relevant and correct information to help them move through the different stages of the sales funnel. It is therefore essential for you to communicate to your potential buyers all the relevant data about the product they wish to purchase. At the awareness stage, communicate the prices. At the discovery stage focus on lead generation comparative data and solution related information. At the final purchase stage, communicate essential data about case studies. Here’s some useful information – According to the Demand Gen Report, about 95% of customers finalise a vendor/business only if the vendor gives them ample content to help them navigate and move through each stage of the funnel.
- Constantly check the Conversion rate: You must keep a constant check and calculate the conversion rate regularly to ensure that the information passed on is relevant and good enough to help you beat your competitors in the market. You can calculate your conversion rate by keeping a check on the number of buyers at different stages of your B2B sales funnel.
- Improve flexibility and professionalism: You must ensure that your services and sales process are flexible and to a certain extent, customizable to cater to different buyers. However, professionalism should not be compromised and maintained at all levels. Both aspects can be improved by simple activities such as conducting client surveys, analysing client activities related to purchases, analysing stage-wise conversion rate, collecting more information about customers, sharing proposals, and more.
- Customise content according to sales: In order to build a good sales funnel, you need to keep customising and updating the content that you make public. This is important because the same type of content is not suitable and beneficial for all kinds of markets and businesses. For example, while case studies may prove to be beneficial for service providers, the same may not be the case for tangible goods. Allowing customisation of content and activities according to sales is important for creating quality buyer experience.
- Organising the different stages: Finally it is essential for you to review all the stages of your sales funnel and ensure that they have been organised properly for the best end-results. You can create spreadsheets and tables to better organise your sales funnel and the essential data of each stage related to marketing activities, sales and purchase activities, communication activities, outsourcing, forecasts, analysis of positives and negatives, and conversion rates.
Here’s some useful information: HubSpot has claimed that companies that have over 30 landing pages have registered 7 times more leads as compared to companies with landing pages equal to or less than 10.
We hope that the article was helpful in understanding how you can design and create a sales funnel for your B2B marketplace and increase your conversions to help your business grow better!
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