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3 Steps to Create a B2B Marketing Sales Funnel for a Continuous Stream of Clients

December 19, 2022

Most of us drive with a GPS, right? Even if we know how to get to our destination, it’s still much simpler following a guide—especially one that can point you towards the best route that’ll get you from point A to B without any detours.



Well, it’s the same thing with generating sales. 



You’ll do yourself a favor following a guide that provides customer insights and highlights the actions you must take at every point of their journey with you. You won’t waste resources with trial-and-error methods, squeeze the most sales out of the market, and have a foolproof plan that’ll get stakeholders’ buy-in.



That’s precisely what a B2B marketing funnel helps you do. It’s your “GPS system” for growing your business, especially in B2B, where purchase decisions are innately complex. If you don’t have one already, you’ve lost to the 87% of marketers that produce content tied to customer journey stages.



Moreover, a B2B marketing funnel is separate from a B2B sales funnel, so you’ll need both. The former is for creating touch points that provide reasons for the prospect to purchase, while the latter details the tangible actions you take to convince prospects to make a purchase.




Source: Gartner



Not sure where to start? We got you. Here are the three key steps to making a B2B marketing funnel that’ll lead you toward continuous, massive sales.



1. TOF: Awareness and Attention


A business interacting with your brand for the first time will have different needs, questions, and expectations compared to a regular visitor. So you’ll need to ensure that you deliver the appropriate content and experience at the Top of the Funnel (TOF) to push them from the awareness stage to consideration effectively.



Nearly all marketers, 95% according to SEJ, create TOF content more than anything else because those are the marketing materials that allow prospective customers to discover your brand in the first place. Materials include brand-building content, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing (e.g., social media and LinkedIn posts), paid advertising, influencer marketing, and more.



The goal of using these materials is to generate attention, which requires you to hit the pain points of your potential customers. Provide an answer to their problem, and you’ll initiate a relationship.



Still, they have zero affinity with your brand, so you must draw their attention and keep them engaged as much as possible—a challenging feat in crowded and competitive spaces like social media platforms. 



That’s why a clear B2B marketing funnel is key to planning and fleshing out strategies uniquely designed for starting connections with B2B customers.



Here are 3 of the best practices for crafting top-of-the-funnel marketing content:


  1. Optimize for SEO: Your website should appear as one of the top results when B2B buyers search for relevant keywords. Improve your ranking by optimizing titles, meta descriptions, image tags, URLs with relevant keywords, and backlinks from high-authority domains.
  2. Be consistent with branding: Establish your brand identity and build credibility with potential customers. Your visuals, messaging, tone, and voice should be consistent across all channels and touchpoints to increase recall and recognition.
  3. Leverage user-generated content (UGC): In B2B marketing, social proof is key to boosting conversions because it helps build trust between you and your potential customers. One of the best ways to do this is by incorporating testimonials, reviews, case studies, or even social media posts from satisfied customers.


2. MOF: Interest and Consideration


Now that you’ve gotten the prospects’ attention, what do you do with it? The next step is to create Middle of Funnel (MOF) content, which is what 86% of marketers focus on creating.



B2C marketing funnels also have this stage, but the step is especially crucial in the B2B space, because sales are rarely made on the first touch point. No company purchases on impulse, unlike individuals that are driven by emotion. So you’ll have to take eight touchpoints to push the prospect down the funnel, creating trust before they sign on the dotted line.



To demonstrate that you’re a trustworthy partner, your MOF content should show that you:


  • Understand the prospects’ problem thoroughly
  • Care, relate, and have experienced their problem
  • Have the answers to solve their problems at their core


To achieve these objectives, you’ll rely on targeted and educational content to guide the prospective client toward accepting the answer to their problem. They have to see that you’ve figured it out, you’re one to trust, and you’ll genuinely help them.



You’ll give away a ton of information for free during this stage, but don’t forget that the ultimate goal is to convince the prospects that your solution is the best route to take—no matter if it’s faster, easier, or more effective (whatever proves your worth).



Here are 3 things expert marketers do for middle-of-the-funnel content:


  1. Develop buyer personas: Assumptions will kill your B2B marketing strategy. So before you start creating content, gather data to develop buyer personas, including detailed information like their demographics, interests, challenges, and preference in consuming content. Then craft messages that speak directly to them in the way they expect.
  2. Create personalized content: Segment your leads and send them targeted content that appeals to their needs and pain points. By personalizing your MOF content, you’ll be able to increase conversion rates by as much as 202%.
  3. Repurpose existing content: If you don’t have the bandwidth to create new content from scratch, consider repurposing what you already have. For example, you can transform a blog post into an infographic or whitepaper, or turn a webinar into an ebook. Repackage valuable information to keep engaging and earning trust from prospects.


3. BOF: Decision and Action


You’ve put a lot of work into getting prospects to consider your solution. What’s left now is to convince them to purchase your product or service, capitalizing on the momentum your TOF and MOF content created to get that prized conversion at the Bottom of the Funnel (BOF).



You’ll still use marketing content to guide your prospects into purchasing. But it’s shifted slightly now because you’re not just building trust and credibility—you’re also making a case for why they should buy your solution over the competition. 



In fact, 76% of marketers create bottom-of-the-funnel content with the likes of:


  • Case studies
  • ROI calculators (if applicable)
  • Comparison guides (versus your competitor)
  • Webinars and in-person seminars
  • Demos and free trials
  • Optimized landing pages
  • Testimonials and social proof


At this point, you also want to emphasize your unique selling proposition (USP) and the respective benefits that the client will gain. For example, if you’re the only company that offers a particular feature, or if you’re able to deliver results in half the time, ensure that your prospects know about it, including what they’ll miss out on if they don’t choose your solution.



The best practices for bottom-of-the-funnel content revolve around Cialdini’s six principles of persuasion. We’ve summarized them below:


  1. Authority: Use data, research, and testimonials from specific industry leaders and analysts to showcase your company’s authority and expertise. The more you’re backed up by trusted professionals, the more you’ll solidify your own brand’s credibility.
  2. Scarcity: Promote a sense of urgency by hinting that your solution is in high demand or availability is limited. You don’t have to go overboard with this and come off too sales-y, but you can subtly include the scarcity of your solution across all communication points.
  3. Consistency and commitment: Urge prospects to take action by stressing the importance of consistency in achieving results. For example, you can share how most customers who’ve stuck with your service for six months have seen quadrupled growth in sales.
  4. Liking: People are more likely to be persuaded by those they like and trust—so focus on building relationships with prospects throughout the buyer’s journey. This is usually achieved in the B2B space by emphasizing your company’s values and uniqueness from the competition.
  5. Social proof: Even B2B buyers are influenced by their peers, so use social proof like customer testimonials, reviews, and case studies to show that others in their industry have succeeded with your solution. This technique is especially crucial if your solution requires a significant investment—clients should see that it delivers on its promises.
  6. Reciprocity: Seek to exchange value with prospects through gated content offers like ebooks, templates, and webinars to increase the likelihood that they’ll do business with you. Your goal with reciprocity is to give prospects something they need so that they feel indebted to you and are more likely to make a purchase.


The B2B marketing funnel doesn’t end here, either. Just because a prospect has converted doesn’t mean you can drop them and forget about them. You still have to nurture them as customers through post-sale content, so they continue doing business with you and eventually turn into promoters of your brand.



So once you’ve crafted your B2B marketing sales funnel, move to develop a solid B2B lead generation strategy to ensure that your funnel doesn’t dry up. 



The goal is to keep the top of the funnel full so that there’s a continuous flow of new leads into your consideration and decision stages.



Creating a B2B Marketing Funnel for an Influx of Clients


Now that you understand the basics of a B2B marketing funnel, it’s time to start creating your own. Remember that this process takes massive time and effort, so don’t expect to see results overnight.



But if you follow the best practices we’ve outlined and are consistent with your efforts, you’ll attract more leads and seal more deals in the long run. Just don’t forget to nurture your customers post-sale continually, so they continue doing business with you!



Need more guidance? We get it, creating funnels can be a lot of effort. And your time and resources might be better spent on other areas of your business. 



If you’re ready to outsource your B2B marketing, contact us to find out what we can do for you