“If you build it, they will come” does not apply to B2B businesses.
B2B marketers need to continuously strategize and execute revenue-generating campaigns.
This can be exhausting for marketers because these campaigns need to happen continuously. Once you flawlessly execute a campaign, it is time to focus on the next.
However, what if you could build a self-sustaining “machine” that would automatically acquire, nurture and convert new prospects? That’s where a B2B sales funnel comes into play.
In this post, we’ll show you exactly how to build an effective B2B sales funnel that will drive new leads and revenue for your business. Before we dive in, let’s define exactly what it is and why it’s necessary for success.
What is a B2B sales funnel?
A B2B sales funnel is the process by which leads are captured and nurtured throughout the buyers’ decision-making process. This is an essential part of any B2B business that’s trying to grow and scale at a rapid pace.
With an effective B2B sales funnel in place, you can build marketing and sales programs to move prospective customers along the purchasing path. Once you find tactics that work, you can automate parts of the funnel to activate automatically.
Most importantly, though, creating a B2B sales funnel can enable your sales team to close more deals and be more effective at their jobs.
B2B sales funnels are essential because sometimes buyers aren’t ready to buy or even reach out to someone at the company.
In fact, more than 60% of B2B buyers prefer to do their own research and evaluate options before they are even ready to talk to a salesperson. Wouldn’t it be nice to provide them with your own branded content to help them make that decision?
Companies implement a B2B sales funnel to accomplish that. Prospective customers will engage with a piece of marketing or sales collateral and enter into the top-of-funnel. From there, they will be nurtured through various touchpoints within the company.
There are three parts to every funnel, with corresponding tactics associated with each.
A buyer's journey might be different from one potential customer to another, but the funnel stages they go through remain the same.
A B2B sales funnel helps companies track the sales process and control the sales pipeline. It’s an important aspect of lead generation that both the sales and marketing teams will closely monitor.
Content marketing efforts, along with the overarching marketing strategy, inform the conversion funnel. If these aspects of marketing are incorporated into your purchase funnel, it will be optimized for conversions.
Your target audience will begin their customer journey in the awareness stage and eventually become a sales-qualified lead before being passed to a salesperson. This is a high-level view of the B2B sales process and how a B2B marketing funnel can be constructed.
The goal is to get your more qualified leads to the bottom of the funnel as quickly as possible. You want to get prospects excited, informed, and engaged with your company.
With B2B sales funnel tactics executed at each stage, you’ll have prospects at the bottom of your funnel in no time.
Now that you know the basics of a B2B sales funnel, let’s take a look at why it’s so important to build one for your business.
Why you need a B2B sales funnel
B2B sales funnels are an essential component of your sales and marketing strategy.
Without one in place, you’re missing valuable opportunities to engage and convert browsing customers.
Imagine that a customer is browsing your website but isn’t ready to buy. If they leave and you haven’t captured their information, you’re missing out on selling opportunities. With a funnel, you can capture and nurture them while they are making their decision.
Depending on your company, the sales process can span over many weeks and months. There’s everything from new opportunities to proposal creation, follow-ups, and more.
While this is happening, the prospective buyer might be evaluating other products too. By knowing exactly where your prospects are in the buying process and pipeline, your sales team will be able to divide and conquer to convert more buyers.
Ultimately, B2B sales funnels are important because they:
- Capture, nurture, and convert leads — sometimes automatically
- Enable salespeople to sell smarter to existing prospects
- Help businesses understand where to focus their time and efforts
- Provide insight into where prospects are excelling or dropping off
With these reasons in mind, let’s take a look at how you can build an effective funnel with customer testimonials and videos built-in as powerful assets.
Building an effective B2B sales funnel in 3 parts
There are three main components to a B2B sales funnel: top, middle, and bottom.
These sections correlate to the types of campaigns that you’d run to attract and nurture prospects who are entering those stages.
By understanding how to build your funnel from top to bottom, you’ll cover everything the prospect needs to make an informed decision about your business.
Top-of-funnel acquisition tactics
How does a prospect find out about your business? You need to execute awareness-based campaigns to capture prospects’ information as they enter your funnel.
This is the very beginning (also considered “the top”) of your funnel. These campaigns should be broad enough to appeal to prospects across multiple targeted industries with varying use cases.
Some top-of-funnel tactics include blog posts, organic social media, paid ads, public relations, live events, and more. More than 67% of B2B content teams believe most of their time is spent creating top-of-funnel content.
For example, you could run testimonial ads on social media targeting your prospects. These could be short,15-30 second video testimonials that highlight your customer’s success with your product, like this one:
The video is short and will grab prospects' attention as they are scrolling on Facebook or LinkedIn. In addition, it provides a valuable form of social proof, with the customer testimonial as the focus.
Top-of-funnel assets like ads and blog posts should drive prospects to landing pages with an email capture form. This component is important to get the prospect’s information and move them to the next stage of the funnel.
Some blogs even embed CTA’s within content that can capture prospects’ information. For example, we include an email capture CTA in the form of “Request a Consultation” at the end of this customer testimonial guide blog post.
Once their information is captured, it’s time to turn your attention to middle-of-funnel nurture tactics.
Middle-of-funnel nurture tactics
Once you’ve engaged with a prospect, it’s time to educate them on your product.
This can be accomplished through specific product-related content, such as demo videos, customer testimonials, webinars, case studies, and more.
These middle-of-funnel nurture tactics are intended to share specific product use cases and value propositions that intrigue prospective customers. Approximately 58% of middle-of-funnel buyers want to see assessments, 50% want webinars, and 40% prefer case studies and video testimonials.
It’s no wonder that so many people want to hear from other customers with video case studies and testimonials. Take a look at this video testimonial that Talla made for Botkeeper:
You can immediately understand the value that Botkeeper provides. Plus, it is so valuable to let a customer share their positive experience with your company. This realigns your marketing with the voice of the customer and can resonate more with prospects.
If a customer is enticed to join your funnel by an awareness ad or industry-related blog post, they start to fully understand your offering after digging into product spec sheets, video testimonials, and case studies.
This is your opportunity to explain not only your product but also why they should select your company over your competitors.
As they grapple through this consideration phase and consume a variety of your content assets, they’ll move into the bottom-of-funnel, where you can attempt to close the sale.
Bottom-of-funnel nurture tactics
At the bottom of your funnel, you need to focus on conversion. What is your silver bullet that will get your prospect excited and finally ready to purchase?
This is a good part of the funnel to let your customers do the selling for you with their own success stories, reviews, and testimonials. In some cases, it might even make sense to invite the prospect to speak directly with one of your existing customers.
Anything that you can do to build trust with your prospect is important in this stage. Buyers at the bottom of the funnel are looking to see how others are succeeding with your product.
Case studies (39%) and user reviews (38%) are two of the most popular bottom-of-funnel content requests. Of course, video case studies are an engaging way to captivate your prospects and ensure they are getting the information they need.
A video case study can go more in-depth than a testimonial and provide quantitative data that will make the customer story more relatable, authentic, and compelling.
Take a look at this video case study for FineDine:
Spiros Restaurant and Lounge shared how they increased sales by 15% after switching to FineDine in this video case study. By using tangible numbers, prospective customers can begin to see how valuable the company is for their business.
It isn’t enough just to give your prospect everything they need to say yes. You have to be ready for rebuttals and concerns. Thankfully, when you let happy customers do the selling for you, prospects may be more engaged and reassured by their peers.
Enlisting existing customers for video testimonials and case studies can be one of the best ways to finally nudge a prospect into the final phase of your funnel and subsequently convert.
A sales funnel is a vital part of any B2B business, and marketing and sales workers should focus on building an effective one that works for their business.
By executing tactics that nurture customers at the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel, you’ll be able to have all your touchpoints covered and pass over qualified leads to your sales team.
Get started populating your funnel with engaging video content produced by Testimonial Hero. Reach out today to see how we can help you produce excellent video customer testimonials that will immediately impact the way you do business.