LEVERAGING B2B SALES FUNNEL TO BUILD STRONG PIPELINE

You are doing everything in place to build a strong B2b sales funnel and robust pipeline, but leads keep on dropping, and you are not able to close a deal and generate revenue. A bitter truth but remember a sales person’s performance is solely judged on the revenue he/she generates and not on how hard work you are putting in. Maybe you are doing everything and following every good practice what a rockstar salesperson possesses. But until you don’t close and do cash – in the hard work is of no worth.

But what can we do? The only thing which we can do is to follow the PROCESS. Yes, the process which in the industry terms is Known as Sales funnel or Sales Process. In this article, we are going to learn how to leverage a B2B sales funnel to generate more revenue by building a strong pipeline.

Sales funnel structure remains the same for all the sales-type, but the approach and examples differ. In this article, I am trying to detail, show examples and guide you on how you specifically build a Business Business, i.e. B2B Sales Funnel. Let us first understand the basic of Sales funnel and its Importance.

What is a B2B Sales Funnel? And its Importance

A B2B Sales funnel represents the journey your prospect takes the first time he got to know your product or services to the time purchase happen, and it eventually becomes your client. Just like a funnel we see, the sales funnel also narrows down as per prospects intent and need to buy your product. Generally, we have 4 sales funnel stages, starting with awareness of the product then to judge the Interest of your lead on your product. You decide and comes to a mutual agreement, and then the action is taken, i.e. you close the deal which is a win-win situation for both the parties.

Creating and comprehending a sales funnel is important as it gives a clear idea of the journey that a lead takes till it becomes a customer. If the funnel is maintained and analysed regularly, it helps and shows us the area to focus on and improve. We are able to analyse where a customer is stuck and what a business and salesperson can do so that the customer is moved to the next stage. Also, on analyses of the sales funnel, a person can build its pipeline as well.

The sales funnel a way simple process, but what people confuse is with that of the pipeline. Now let’s make it clear The meaning of sales funnel is completely different from what Sales Pipeline means. The Sales stages are the journey that a customer takes, whereas, in the pipeline, you are able to analyse based on where your leads are and stuck and project the revenue that you are going to generate.

B2B Sales Funnel
B2B Sales Funnel

A B2B Sales Funnel Stages

A lead goes through various stages right from the moment it heard about your product or services to it becomes your client. And it needs to be catered at each stage accordingly. There are do’s and dont’s of each stage, but the pipeline becomes stronger and more effective with each stage’s clarity. Let’s look at the stages of a b2b sales funnel.

Awareness

This is the first stage of the funnel where the customer learns about the company. This is the first time when they get to know you. This could be done in various ways. Social media Marketing through Ads and other traffic driven activity to a marketing seminar in a hotel where they first get to know you. Now in this the stage where you do prospecting.

The leads that move down this stage and continous to show interest are the ones that are interest and eventually becomes your clients

Discovery

In this stage after the leads that got aware of your brand and product that you are offering. this is the time when you qualify your sales leads whether they are able to afford the product or not. Is the person worth pursuing? Based on the checklist as per your brand and product you qualify lead when it fulfill most of the requirements.

Now once you qualify your lead its time to have a meeting with then. Then the normal sales process of pitching your product and how your product or services is going to fill the existing loopholes and will support his business. Identify the needs and requirement of the customer, handle the objection like a master. I am not going in detail on how do you pitch and handle objections as it is a separate and vast topic that I’ve covered in another article which you can read here.

Evaluation

Based on the meeting, you evaluate your lead. The conversation that you had with the client and analyzing that conversation is the only tool. You need to analyse the objection that the customer asked and the answer you gave, Whether the lead has all the details of your product and knows all the USPs. Is there anything more left? And based on how many meeting more is required, you categorise your leads into COLD, WARM, HOT.

COLD – This is the stage where the prospect heard you but there are still many gaps left and further meetings are required.

WARM – This is where the lead knows every bit of product but is uncertain whether to go ahead and need more push

HOT – In this stage, the lead is aligned and just a final call to action is required to close the deal.;

Intent

In the b2b sales funnel, the intent stage is one of the most important your skill of negotiation is tested. Remember the deal shall always be a win-win for both parties. The client is getting values and solution and offering you a suitable price for it. It shall be handled carefully and also a need for urgency should be built as this is also a pre-closure where the letter of intent is also discussed and signed.

Purchase

The deal is not done until the money is IN. Thus this is the final stage of the sales process but not that of a sales funnel. In this stage, the lead finally becomes your client and pays for it. The different organisation have different rules on how they consider a deal to be closed. Some askes the entire deal amount, which we typically see in B2C sales. And a token amount in B2B sales as the average ticket size is comparatively greater in B2B.

Loyalty

The sales might have been done but the B2b sales funnel isn’t over yet, This is the last stage of it where all the promised, the product delivery takes place. The services are the key to a long term relationship. Remember, the company generates more revenue and profit by renewing a client rather than acquiring a new one. This is the stage which ensures long-lasting relationship by offering what you promised. The value that a client gets should be more than the price they pay.

How do you create B2B Sales Funnel

Now you know what a B2B sales funnel is and what are the stages in it. This is exactly how you create your customised sales funnel which is aligned for your brand, and its product lets discuss this with a small b2b sales funnel example of a premium publisher selling books to an average medium fee school.

AwarenessCold – Calling to School OwnerStage 1
DiscoveryMeeting With School ownerStage 2
EvaluationChecking affordability & other factorsStage 3
Intent Objection handling and Intent to buyStage 4
PurchaseSigning MOU and giving a token amountStage 5
LoyaltyServices and books delivery on timeStage 6

So this is how you create your customised sales funnel. To learn more around sales you can follow me on LinkedIn by clicking here

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