The B2B sales funnel is a popular method for modeling this journey. While it‘s still used widely, there are a handful of critics who believe it‘s a little outdated and perhaps even misguided.
The following six stages are common, but you may wish to use a more simple model (Top, Middle, and Bottom of Funnel), or condense them into four stages: Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action, or AIDA
A marketing funnel is a series of stages to guide prospects through the customer journey. The funnel helps marketing teams plan and measure efforts to attract, engage, and convert prospects through content and other marketing materials, like landing pages and ads.
Marketing funnels are commonly based on the ‘AIDA’ model:
But you can simplify the funnel into a three-stage model:
Thanks for this interesting solution!
A B2B sales funnel is the cornerstone of any business. If you're struggling to grow sales, you can be sure that there's a problem in the funnel. Unless you know how to build an effective sales funnel, there is no real chance for your business whatsoever.
The B2B sales funnel can vary from industry to industry. Buyers can also jump from one stage to the next, especially if they discover content sooner than expected, or if the need to purchase becomes urgent.However, we can break down the typical B2B sales funnel into five key stages:
Here are the typical stages of a B2B sales funnel:
The B2B (business-to-business) funnel, often referred to as the sales or marketing funnel, represents the stages that potential business customers go through before making a purchase decision. These stages may vary slightly depending on the industry and specific sales processes, but the general stages in a B2B funnel typically include:
Awareness: At the top of the funnel, businesses become aware of a problem or need they have. This awareness can be triggered by various factors, including industry trends, challenges, or marketing efforts. In this stage, businesses are often looking for information and education.
Interest: Once aware of a problem or need, businesses move to the interest stage. They start actively seeking information, researching potential solutions, and exploring different options. Content marketing, webinars, and whitepapers are often used to engage businesses in this stage.
Consideration: In the consideration stage, businesses have a clear understanding of their problem or need and are evaluating different solutions. This is the stage where they compare products or services, read case studies, and may engage with sales representatives to gather more information.
Intent: At this point, the business has a strong intent to make a purchase. They may request quotes, demos, or proposals. The intent stage often involves more direct communication with sales teams.
Evaluation and Purchase: During the evaluation stage, businesses thoroughly assess the potential solutions. They may engage in negotiations, request references, and evaluate the ROI (return on investment). The purchase decision is made, and the deal is closed.
Implementation: After the purchase, the business enters the implementation stage. This is when they begin to integrate and use the product or service within their organization. The success of this stage is crucial for customer satisfaction and future renewals or upsells.
Retention and Loyalty: This stage involves ensuring that the customer is satisfied with the product or service and continues to derive value from it. Building a strong relationship and providing excellent customer support can lead to loyalty, repeat business, and referrals.
Advocacy: In the advocacy stage, satisfied customers become advocates for the product or service. They may refer other businesses, leave positive reviews, or provide testimonials. Word-of-mouth marketing can play a significant role at this stage.
Expansion or Upsell: For businesses offering a range of products or services, the funnel doesn't end at the initial purchase. There is an opportunity to upsell or cross-sell additional products or services to existing customers.
The stages of a B2B funnel can vary slightly depending on the specific model used, but generally, there are six core stages that represent the typical buyer's journey:
1. Awareness: This is the initial stage where potential customers become aware of your brand, product, or service. They might encounter your offerings through various marketing channels like social media, content marketing, or industry events. The goal at this stage is to pique their interest and educate them about the problem you solve.
2. Interest: Once aware, potential customers who resonate with your message move into the interest stage. They start actively seeking more information about your solution, often through blog posts, webinars, case studies, or free trials. The focus here is to demonstrate the value proposition and address their specific pain points.
3. Evaluation: In this stage, interested prospects compare your solution to alternative options. They delve deeper into features, pricing, reviews, and competitor comparisons. The key here is to highlight your unique selling proposition and showcase why your offering is the best fit for their needs.
4. Decision: This stage involves the final selection process. Prospects narrow down their choices and might engage in negotiations or request further information. The emphasis here is on building trust, providing exceptional customer service, and addressing any remaining concerns.
5. Purchase: Finally, if convinced, the prospect converts into a paying customer. This stage involves finalizing the purchase agreement, setting up the solution, and onboarding them successfully.
6. Loyalty: While often considered an additional stage, fostering customer loyalty and building long-term relationships is crucial for sustainable business growth. This involves providing ongoing support, offering additional value, and encouraging repeat purchases.