Creating B2B Sales Funnel: An Ultimate Guide with Examples

You need to come across multiple stages from understanding buyers' intent, making an impression, nurturing bonds & more while crafting a B2B sales funnel.

Creating B2B Sales Funnel: An Ultimate Guide with Examples
“If you are not taking care of your customers, your competitors will”. - Bob Hooey.

Do you agree with the fact that a moment of slight distraction from your customers can take you away from them?

If your answer is yes, then you may already know that this distraction can cause your B2B business harm especially when you intend to give a toe-to-toe competition to your competitor. 

Because proactive vigilance is a two-way street where you and your competitors have a sharp eye on each other's moves at the same time. And a silly move of overlooking customers' concerns can make a free space for your competitors to take care of your customers.

Now, one more vital fact that you surely agree with is that running a B2B business, big or small, can be challenging. And, not every other business understands how to make the customer reach the final stages without being overly salesy. 

For this, you need to have a well-curated strategic sales funnel irrespective of the types of sales that you are doing. This is really crucial especially when your target is to engage your customers at every touchpoint and make them feel special.

Well, today, you’ll go through an in-depth understanding of the B2B sales funnel, what are its different stages, and most importantly how to build one that can enhance customers’ experience to drive more revenue.

What is a B2B sales funnel?

A B2B sales funnel is simply the journey a customer takes in order to purchase your products or services, which starts from getting awareness of your brand’s exclusivity and ends up with a final deal closure.

The simplest way to understand this funnel is to look at a physical actual funnel instead of an imaginative sales funnel. As you know a funnel is traditionally used to channel liquid-like substances into small openings, so it’s very wide at the top and narrow at the bottom.

Now if we add sales to the front of the word ‘funnel’, then this process now refers to buying customers. Just replace liquid-like substances with the actual people. With the end goal being for them to pull out their credit card and buy from you.

Well, the higher people are in your sales funnel, the less likely they are to buy from you. These people are normally aware of your business or interested in a topic that your business is engaging in. On the other hand, the lower people in your funnel are those who are specifically interested in buying your products or services. 

Therefore, to nail your B2B sales strategies, not only do you need to have a sales funnel in place but also you need to have enough volume of people in your sales funnel in order to start cranking out sales. The more people you have inside of your sales funnel, the more likely you are to convert new customers.

What are the benefits of implementing a B2B sales funnel?

Before you dive into the next chapter of the sales funnel, let’s have a short glimpse of its wider range of multiple benefits that will bring to your B2B business:

  • It increases your lead conversion rate.
  • It helps you focus on the right prospects.
  • It helps you build trust and relationships with your leads.
  • It helps optimize and streamline your marketing strategies.
  • It helps you sort and rank your leads.
  • It helps you better forecast your sales volume.

What are the different stages of building a B2B sales funnel?

Sales funnel is your tool and it's up to you how you want to visualize this for your B2B brand. So, let’s dive into the different stages of a particular sales funnel and understand each with real-time examples:

Awareness

The first stage of the sales funnel is the awareness stage, people must be aware of your business to even consider buying from your business at any point in their life. If they are not aware of your business then you are in trouble.  

You can increase your brand’s awareness through things like digital marketing activities, SEO, content marketing, digital advertising, and so on. Now have a look at real-time examples for those:

Brand building

To understand how brand building curtains your brand awareness, let’s take the example of a well-known mouth-watering brand, Maggi, a product of Nestle. 

The outstanding marketing strategy of making instant noodles within just 2 minutes, brings a huge share of Maggi in the market while its catchy phrase “2-min noodles”  brings the sales. It was just a start. 

Meanwhile, Maggi’s next strategic move took center stage while they applied an outstanding storytelling concept named “Mummy’s khusiyon ki recipe”. Maggi showcased the loveable and secure bond between a mother and her child and propagated the idea through mom’s kitchen. This strategy quite successfully worked to differentiate Maggi’s identity from its competitors.

Take inspiration from Maggie’s campaign for brand awareness & make your strategy for the B2B sales funnel in a way that connects the emotion right away (Source: The Strategy Story).

Then, the experts' decision to allow its customers to share their stories and directly feature them in Maggi’s advertisements drove huge growth in its potential customers. 

After that, Nestle India’s one more strategic move when they allowed Maggi lovers to vote for their favorite flavors for different variants such as Tomato, Chatpata, Desi Cheesy, etc.

You see how strategic brand awareness campaigns one after another by Maggi make customers engage to increase sales while they smartly provide information about their new launches.

Content marketing

To understand how content marketing can drive potential awareness for your B2B business, you can go through Zixflow’s blog page. Zixflow is a well-known name in the CRM industry, where its content marketer team sincerely builds content so that you can find useful tips, strategies, guides, and the latest updates to build knowledge about the sales and marketing world. 

It implies that marketing and sales teams should identify the types of sales content to drive engagement at each stage of the sales funnel from initial awareness to a final purchase decision.

Zixflow's blog page is an example of content marketing which is one of the imperative B2B sales funnel strategies.

Paid advertising

Looking for a cost-effective way to promote your brand and reach a wider audience? 

Consider using Facebook ads! 

Facebook's brand awareness campaign is a type of advertising campaign that aims to increase brand recognition and familiarity among a specific target audience.

They offer more precise targeting options and are generally more cost effective than traditional advertising methods. With Facebook ads, you have complete control over your budget, allowing you to set a budget that works for you. 

It is not designed to generate immediate sales or leads, but rather to create a positive association with the brand, automate lead generation, and increase the likelihood of future engagement or purchases.

For example, you can see the below-mentioned brand, Nike, a leading US footwear brand. Nike presents its brand’s new products in front of the world so that it can emphasize differentiation of its well-researched designed products from its major competitors.

Nike’s paid advertising campaign on Facebook for offering exclusive deals and promoting brand awareness. Take this as an inspiration for making your B2B sales funnel. (Source: Facebook).

Social media post

Social media platforms' primary advantage is their visual nature. Video, imagery, and illustration are all great content fits for this social media platform, but your marketing strategy will ultimately determine what type of content to publish and how often to post it. 

Establishing a sales engagement strategy before diving right into a new social media platform, no matter how well it works for everyone else’s business, will keep you focused on your goals and most importantly your audience.

Ensure your ideas, information, or solutions to these people’s problems. The content should be informative, fun, exciting, and engaging at this stage. It needs to stand out from the competition.

Now, have a look below for engaging social media posts across various channels and also from different brands and you can take inspiration from all those brands.

Titan’s engaging post on Facebook to nail its brand awareness with a new product launch. Learn how to set brand awareness as one of the important B2B sales funnel strategies. (Source: Facebook).
Starbucks catchy posts on LinkedIn to attract its customers with good news and reach high brand awareness. Take this valuable approach to make your online B2B sales funnel. (Source: LinkedIn).
MakeMyTrip’s alluring visualized posts on Instagram for its customers to catch their attention solely on its brand. Try to utilize attractive posts like these to make your online B2B sales funnel. (Source: Instagram).

Engagement

Engagement is necessary in order to establish a true connection with the people who are now aware of your business. Engagement builds trust, credibility, and positive emotional triggers that ultimately influence people to buy from your business. 

You can increase your engagement to nail your sales goals by adding value to your audience which is most commonly done through content creation like videos, blogs, or anything that helps your audience. This value exchange moves them down the funnel. 

For example, you can see the below-mentioned brand named Swiggy. To engage its customers throughout their journey, Swiggy connects its customers and replies to them on its social media posts. This sparks a sense of emotion and the customers feel valued. The exact process you need to do for your brand’s engagement.

Swiggy always responds to its loyal consumers to engage and give its customers a sense of value. Apply the same approach while crafting a strategic B2 sales funnel for your business. (Source: Twitter).

Conversion

Next is the conversion, you can start selling to people who are deeply engaged with your business and finally make the choice to buy. Your goal is to get as many people as possible from the first two stages of your marketing funnel to this purchase point. It is the final push to get your prospective customer to convert and drop the 'prospective' from their title. 

Advocacy

And lastly, you have advocacy, which is when your products and services delight your customers by triggering their psychology to enhance sales and they become advocates of your brand. Well, whenever your target people join your brand community, in most cases within just the first five minutes they make a judgment on whether they wanna spend their time, money, and effort on your business.

To understand this, let’s take an example from Netflix’s Chef Table. Through the program, Netflix introduces its audience to some of the world's best chefs and provides an inside look at some of the best food. Moreover, every episode of it generates a storytelling sense of who they are and how they work. That ultimately sparks its audience to get to know more about dining.

Now you may understand from here how you should spark interest in your people to make a loyal partnership. Well, to drive growth in customer advocacy you can access a variety of outlets, such as case studies, public speaking, podcasts, etc.

Netflix’s Chef Table is the greatest example of its customers’ advocacy. Learn & apply the knowledge to build your B2B sales funnel. (Source: Netflix).

How to create your B2B sales funnel strategically?

I hope that by giving you examples of the stages and definitions of a B2B sales funnel, you have a general idea of the B2B sales funnel stages. However, you must know how you can apply them in your specific sales scenarios.

Understand your customers’ buyer persona

A buyer persona helps understand your target audience and the key factors that influence their decision process. It is essentially a description of your ideal customer – where they live, what their hobbies are, what their age is, what their day looks like, what job they have, etc.

Identifying a buyer persona is a good start, but it can be difficult to understand what steps the buyer takes during their journey. There you need to do in-depth research, surveys, or interviews. You can also use analytics tools to see where your visitors have come from and where they are going. 

Well, to drive depth in your customers’ intent, you can ask different questions with the help of Zixflow’s captivating forms. These forms are highly customizable which you can use in different ways and seamlessly engage your customers. The motto is simple: your customers’ answers will tell you a lot about their current situation and that will help you to modify your further 1:1 interaction strategies.

To understand customers’ persona, ask different questions to your customers while utilizing Zixflow’s captivating forms & building a strategic B2B sales funnel.

Nurture your customer relationships

After the completion of the first stage of understanding your customers’ buyer persona, you need to start nurturing relationships then and there. Here you need to answer questions like: 

  • What are the common pain points of the buyer type that is most likely to buy from you? 
  • What are the common objections that this buyer type might have? 
  • What are some solutions that you can provide? 

You must be able to answer these questions before you can offer solutions. If you don’t know the answers, it may be time to do some research. It is important to have a strategy that is centered on the needs of your customers. This will help you to impress your sales prospects, build relationships with them, and nurture the customer journey.

Make the first impression count


To make an impact, you need to focus on the first impressions that your buyers have of your company. This includes your website, logo, social media presence, press releases, sales pitches, and the efforts of your marketing and sales team.

These are the first impressions that buyers make of your company, and if you don’t make a good impression, you will have a harder time convincing them to purchase. 

Well, you need to work on visualization and make things engaging for all aforementioned factors except sales pitches. Because in sales conversations, your customers will get to experience a humane environment. 

To make your presence bold in sales conversations, make your sales pitch that offers resolution over selling your products, build self-confidence within you, listen to your customers carefully, and most importantly communicate gracefully with your customers.

Continue to nurture relationships after the closing deals

After the deal closures, the most important task is to continue to build a strong relationship with your buyer. Make sure that your buyer feels comfortable with the decision to purchase, and continues to be excited about your product. 

Well, the amount of work required to keep a relationship alive after the close depends on the type of business you’re in, but all businesses require ongoing efforts. Make sure to keep your buyer in mind after the close, as they were the ones to determine the success of the sale.

You can do this by sending them information and useful content that they want and implementing your winning sales engagement process by adding value to your audience which is most commonly done through email follow-ups and post-sales calls.

Well, with the Zixflow AI-powered software, the aforementioned process becomes easier for you. you can utilize its built-in AI writer to write personalized email content that adds value for your customers and customize email templates to catch attention. Moreover, with its email validity checker, you can cross-check the email validation while targeting your wide number of customer retention in a hassle-free mode. 

To retain your customers, set email campaigns with Zixflow email campaign builder while applying your B2B sales funnel strategy.
Grab your customers' attention with personalized email content with Zixflow and a smooth customer retention process as one of the imperative stages of the B2B sales funnel.

Measuring and analyzing your sales funnel

To optimize the funnel, you need to measure and analyze your B2B sales metrics while utilizing a highly proficient software tool. Now, have a look below:

Metrics to look upon

There is an enormous list of metrics to track to help you analyze the success of your sales funnel, including average lead response times, Revenue Per Lead, sales pipeline velocity, conversion rate, and so on.

These insights actually build your understanding of the gap between your teams’ sales efficiency and your customers' satisfaction.

Tool for assessing values

A customer relationship management software like Zixflow can be a rich resource, but only if you treat it as the strategic tool it should be. This house records your relationship with your clients and your expert sales reps. So that you can forecast your future sales leads and build a seamless connection with your existing loyal consumers.

Identify the damage in sales funnel stages

The best way to prevent the loss is to have a clear idea of the steps in your sales process—and help in making those steps happen.

Once you know your sales funnel stages, it's time to find out where you're losing potential customers. Ask yourself these questions-

  • What are the positive trigger points—the specific actions that typically result in a sale?
  • Where are the bottlenecks in my sales process?
  • Where do I tend to lose track of potential customers?

Look carefully at the damage where your chosen steps may not be working. Then get ready to fix your B2B sales funnel and increase sales engagement activities to get your desired results.

Automate your B2B sales funnel with Zixflow & make every second count for profit

Creating a B2B sales funnel strategically and processing each step smoothly is not a cakewalk at all because you must present where your customers are and manage them skillfully.

Well, don’t worry about that, as you already have the option to choose from the best sales CRM software. Here, you need to be very mindful while picking up one from them. However, one of the reliable options for your business could be Zixflow. 

Why? With Zixflow, you can set your B2B sales cadence in autopilot mode. Furthermore, you can take your customers’ detailed information in customized forms, send them follow-up emails, and seamlessly set various marketing campaigns with WhatsApp, email, and SMS to offer your best deals right away. Actually, Zixflow smoothes your sales process from the first touch point to the final agreement to post-purchase engagement. 

Now, happy with the outcome? It’s your time to grasp the opportunity with a free demo of Zixflow and fly high in the competitive B2B sales market.

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