10 Steps to an Efficient B2B Sales Funnel

A well-filled and smoothly functioning B2B sales funnel is the basis for a sustainable B2B company. We show you how to turn your sales funnel into an efficient tool for marketing and sales.

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Marketing and Sales Must Work Together

For the successful expansion of existing business, it is crucial to generate interesting leads on a regular basis. In companies, the acquisition of new customers is the task of marketing, while the employees in sales take care of the conclusion of contracts. It is necessary that both departments work together in a structured way. The better the quality of your lead generation, the greater the prospect of a high-quality sales funnel.

What is a Sales Funnel?

The figurative comparison with a funnel also applies to the virtual sales funnel. Here, the journey of a customer(customer journey) from the first contact to the conclusion of a contract is represented in stages. The sales funnel collects the mass of initial contacts at the top end and filters out the qualified addresses with each stage, while uninteresting contacts fall out.

The sales funnel comprises these areas:

  • Top of Funnel (TOFU)

  • Middle of Funnel (MOFU)

  • Bottom of Funnel (BOFU)

Sales Funnel

Source: Sales Funnel according to Aioma

Top of Funnel (TOFU)

This part describes the initial contact with your company. The prospect is looking for a solution to his problem and researches the topics that concern him. The task of your B2B company is to position itself in this first stage of the sales funnel and to offer answers to the user's questions.

Middle of Funnel (MOFU)

The middle part of the sales funnel deals with specific questions from the user and builds on the knowledge from the TOFU section. The goal of this phase is to find out which users are actually potential customers and which are not part of the target group and can be neglected accordingly.

Bottom of Funnel (BOFU)

Only those contacts who have expressed a clear interest in your company's solutions reach the last part of the sales funnel. It's now a matter of convincing the qualified contact that they are making the right decision when they contact you.

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you will be able to optimize the sales funnel along all areas. Read here how to create an efficient sales funnel in 10 steps.

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Steps in the Top of Funnel (TOFU)

Step 1: Clear Definition of the Target Group

The exact target group analysis is elementary important in the B2B area. The specifications for the selection of future leads must be precisely determined and jointly defined by representatives from marketing and sales.

The goal is for both departments to have an exact idea of which leads are to be collected so that no unsuitable prospects without added value for the business subsequently enter the sales funnel.

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Step 2: Online Leads as an Extension of Lead Sources

Attending trade shows to acquire new leads is currently almost impossible. Due to this fact, as well as the changing user behavior of the next generation of decision makers, online contact points are becoming increasingly important.

Prospective customers largely want to find information on their own before seeking initial contact with sales. This requires comprehensive and, above all, informative online content and the ability to collect contact details from prospects in exchange for relevant information.

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Step 3: Know the Customer Journey

The four phases of the customer journey in B2B are:

  • Attract

  • Engage

  • Convert

  • Delight

In each phase, a prospect has different needs that need to be met with the appropriate content. When creating digital content, it is therefore important to pay attention to which questions the content should answer and what prior knowledge the user has at this point. In this way, it is possible to attract the right users for the sales funnel.

Aioma Customer Journey

Source: Customer Journey according to Aioma

Step 4: Define Keywords

If you know the customer journey, you already know what the target group(s) are looking for in terms of content. However, in order to appear in the highest possible position in Google search (SERP), you also need to know HOW your target group searches.

In concrete terms, this means: Which search terms (keywords) are used in the individual phases of the customer journey?

Most of the time, the potential customer only knows his problem, but does not yet know the perfect solution. Often the search terms therefore deviate from the internal terms and need to be examined more closely.

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Step 5: Convert Leads with Lead Magnets

In order for a contact to be willing to share their contact information, they expect something in return. In marketing, this form of content offered to a user in exchange for their data is called a Lead Magnet.

A lead magnet is a piece of content that is relevant to the user, usually timeless, that is emailed to them after they fill out a form.

Examples of efficient B2B lead magnets are included:

  • Whitepaper

  • Guides

  • Checklists

  • Case studies

  • Industry Reports

  • Videos

  • Webinars

When selecting lead magnets, keep in mind that the content provided should be both interesting to your leads and useful further down the customer journey in the sales funnel.

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Steps in the Middle of Funnel (MOFU)

Step 6: Answer Open Questions without Personal Contact

The first promising leads have now been acquired. In this step of the sales funnel, it must now be possible to answer specific questions from the users.

In order to achieve the greatest possible reach, not only the website but also the company's own social media profiles should be used at this point.

Social media has established itself as an ideal contactpoint (touchpoint) for the distribution of content.

Suitable channels for the distribution of B2B information are:

  • LinkedIn

  • Xing

  • Twitter

  • Facebook

Step 7: Automated Lead Nurturing

To ensure your contacts slide into the next phase of the sales funnel in a timely manner, they should be regularly provided with content that builds on their existing knowledge.

This is where personalized newsletters and automated social media posts pay off.

This way, recurring tasks are automated and the user is actively provided with supplementary content.

Personalisierter Newsletter Aioma

Source: Personalized Newsletter from Aioma Software

Step 8: Lead Scoring

In order to know where your lead is in their customer journey at any given time, a lead scoring model is required. This is where all the interactions and information that have been recorded via tracking flow in.

The result shows whether your leads are interested enough for a personal contact by the sales team. With a comprehensive customer profile, your marketing and sales team always has an overview of how far a lead has progressed in the sales funnel.

Kontakt Product Fit

Source: Scoring from Aioma Software

Steps in the Bottom of Funnel (BOFU)

Step 9: Contact Only Qualified Leads

Once your leads have made it through the sales funnel to this stage, it's time to hand off the qualified leads to the sales team members.

The big advantage for the sales team is that only potential customers who have already shown a detailed interest in the company and specific products will appear.

Step 10: Suitable Offer for Known Contacts

Sales staff know both the customer's problems and the appropriate solutions from their own product range. Based on this information, targeted offers can be made that increase the probability of closing a deal.

Conclusion

For a long-term successful business model, new customer acquisition is an important pillar in the B2B sector.

While employees in the areas of marketing and sales often poke around in the fog in an unstructured way to generate new leads, a well-structured lead acquisition with the help of the sales funnel is the better alternative.