B2B commerce has grown quite a bit in the past couple of years. After the pandemic, people realized how fragile their offline businesses really are.
More and more people noticed that they are at the mercy of the governments that impose restrictions on them. Many businesses went bankrupt and entrepreneurs everywhere are looking for an alternative solution.
Sales funnels have become a topic that nearly every entrepreneur talks about. Since the rise in popularity of Clickfunnels, a sales funnel software developed by Russell Brunson, online marketing has significantly grown.
Also, people’s buying behavior has significantly changed in the past 10 years. If in the previous decade, people had no problem going out of their house and driving to the nearest shop in order to buy what they need, nowadays this is completely different.
Buyers are more receptive when it comes to online purchases. Amazon has become the biggest company on the planet, putting many small markets out of business.(1)
So, if the customer’s buying behavior has changed, it only makes sense for the business owners to change their marketing tactics. Therefore, everyone seems to be talking about sales funnel now.
The best part about sales funnels is that it converts (much) better than a website. That’s because it only has a couple of buttons that a visitor can click on when he enters the first page of the funnel.
On the other side, a website has menus, widgets and all the bells and whistles, therefore it is harder to make sales. Think of a website as a shop. The visitor enters, he browses and looks for something interesting.(2)
On the other hand, a sales funnel is more like a highly skilled salesman. Therefore, it only makes sense to build sales funnels in order to make as much money as possible.
Luckily, nowadays there are a lot of quality sales funnel builders like Kartra, that make everything easy even for the non-technical people.
So, if you’re here to find out how you can build a profitable B2B sales funnel, you’re in the right place! By the end of this guide, you will have the right information on how to do exactly that.
Classic B2B Sales Funnel
The B2B sales funnel was created, believe it or not, back in the 1890s. As surprising as it sounds, entrepreneurs from over 13 decades ago had the foresight to understand what it takes to convert a customer.(3)
Here is how a sales funnel looks like:
As you can see, a classic B2B sales funnel is divided into 4 parts:
It’s basically a journey that transforms a visitor in a customer. If you’re wondering why you there are 4 stages in the funnel in stead of 2, remember that people are very sensitive when it comes to their money.
In the Awareness stage, the visitor hears about your brand for the first time. They are probably looking for an answer to a question or for a solution to a problem.
Otherwise, they wouldn’t have ended up in your funnel. As a side note, it takes an average of 7 times of exposure to your brand until someone buys something from you.
At this point in your funnel, your objective is to transform that simple visitor into a lead. Because at the moment, they don’t have any investment in you. Therefore, it’s not wise to directly pitch them a product.
Your goal is to educate them. Try providing as much valuable information as possible, so you build trust and rapport. If you do this, they will be more likely to purchase a product in the future.
In the second stage, you will need to provide your Leads with more information about your product, as well as continue to improve their life. At this point, you want to spark their interest in what you have to sell them.
In order to do so, you should collect their information as soon as possible (preferably an email address) and follow up with them. Usually, people will give you their email address in exchange of a free product (usually a digital product).(4)
There are very affordable tools like GetResponse that allow you to efficiently follow up with your leads. Also, you can automate the entire process so that you can focus on other things.
We are very fortunate to live in this time. Not so long ago, you had to pay someone full time to send emails in order to send emails to all your leads. Luckily, that’s not the case anymore.
You can offer them a useful PDF, a list of products, or even a software you own the rights to. Try giving as much value for free. By doing this, you will build even more trust and transform those cold leads into hot ones.
In the third stage of your funnel, your sole objective is to transform those leads into Prospects. Ideally, you should have already sparked their interest at this point.
Now it’s time to show them how your product/service will be beneficial for their problem. Because remember: they came here to solve a problem.
You will need to nurture the lead in order to make it comfortable. Your job is to make your company look as professional and as genuine as possible in their eyes.
You need to display integrity at all times, so that they don’t view you as another scammer on the internet (which hopefully you’re not). It’s important to keep in mind that even if you don’t close the sale now, this process will be very beneficial for you in the future.
That’s because that person is already (hopefully) on your email list. Meaning that you will continue to send them useful information for as long as they decide to be on your list.
In the final stage of the B2B sales funnel, you will need to convert those prospects into Sales. Keep in mind you should be sleazy or disingenuous in any way, otherwise they will just leave.
At this point, it would be a good idea to tell them once again that you perfectly understand what they’re going through and what kind of problem they have.
Keep in mind that after the sale is made, your job is not done! You will need to follow up with your buyers in order to make sure they’re happy with their purchase.
Not only that this will be a display of honesty and integrity on your side, but it will also help with building more trust, therefore they will be more likely to buy other products from you in the future.
Different Approaches For Sales Funnel Stages
While every company is different and it’s very unlikely to find multiple businesses that have the same approach when it comes to B2B sales funnels, there are a couple of things that are kind of mandatory to do.
The stages of the B2B sales funnel are always the same. At least for the successful ones. You must understand the mindset in which the visitors are at every stage of the funnel in order to get the most out of it.(5)
1. Top Of The Sales Funnel
The beginning stage (top of the funnel) is where the visitors first hear about your brand. Keep in mind that these people are here in order to research and learn.
They are probably facing a problem or a challenge and they are looking for answers. They are looking for a reliable source in order to get that specific problem solved.
Try defining the problem for them, so that they know you are an honest marketer. It’s important to keep in mind that you shouldn’t pitch them any product yet.
Otherwise, they will view you as a disingenuous person. Therefore, you will lose them.(6)
Your sole purpose at this stage is to transform those visitors into leads. You do this by providing value up front and make them understand that you know exactly what kind of problem they have.
2. Middle Of The Sales Funnel
At this stage in the B2B sales funnel, your visitors are no longer dealing with an unknown entity. They already know a couple of things about your brand.
They are (ideally) familiar with your company, as well as who they’re dealing with. Also, they know exactly what problem they have because you defined it in the previous stage.
Now, they are looking for possible solutions. You should ask them more specific questions, like what their goals and objectives are, as well as what they’re looking to achieve in the future.
Build more trust and establish authority. This is how you’re getting them warm for the pitch that is about to come.(7)
3. Bottom Of The Sales Funnel
Not, your leads should have already defined the problem and are educated in regards to what the possible solutions are. Also, they are ready to choose one of the solutions based on what information you provided them with.
They’re main question at this stage are more concerned with the reliability of the vendor, as opposed to everything else. If you did everything right in the previous stages, then it should be quite easy to convert these leads into paying customers.
That’s because in the first 2 stages, you were supposed to establish authority, build trust and make them view you as a reliable and honest marketer. Therefore, there should be no reason for them to doubt your intentions.
They should ideally trust you for providing them with the best solution based on your experience. Therefore, it is time to give them a very good offer.(8)
Always try to go above and beyond and offer more in value than what you’re getting in cash.
After you’ve completed all stages of the sales funnel, it’s important to keep in mind that your customers should be satisfied with their purchase.
So many entrepreneurs make the mistake of not following up after the completed a sale. In stead of throwing a party, it’s better to keep in touch with your customers.(9)
Why? Well, because you need to build a relationship with them, even post-purchase. This is how you create recurring customers and make your life easier as an entrepreneur.
There are very good all in one marketing tools like Kartra that allow you to streamline your sales process. I highly suggest you try it out, as it really makes you life a whole lot easier.
Customer retention is how you build your business the right way, therefore you should do your best to continuously provide valuable information to your subscribers.
All the successful businesses out there use the same principles to grow. Meaning that you should model after them.
Again, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel here. Just do what’s working for other people in your industry and you will most likely have similar results.
Sales funnels are without a doubt the future of marketing and business. Gone are the days where you had to have a shop in order to make money.
This trend will only continue to grow, as technology develops and people get lazier. You are smart enough to realize that there is a big opportunity when it comes to online marketing.
One of the best parts about it is that once you learn how to build profitable sales funnels, it will kinda become your hobby. Sales funnels are very fun to build, especially once you start making money.
However, you need to train a bit before you reach that point. Like anything, sales funnels take some time to master and you shouldn’t expect your first funnel to look amazing.
That’s why I highly recommend taking the One Funnel Away Challenge. It’s very affordable and it will teach you everything you need to know about funnels. You can thank me later.