Understanding the revenue funnel is key to B2B
Many B2B organizations do not regularly assess their marketing strategies, and they could be missing critical opportunities for growth. Although these companies can sustain revenue without continuously revamping marketing, they will not be able to achieve meaningful business growth. B2B firms that want to grow need to understand the critical role the revenue funnel plays.
Outdated sales processes like cold calling are no longer a significant source of lead generation. Companies need to adapt Internet marketing methods because they are contending with buyers who are more technologically empowered than ever before. Prospective clients have more access to information when they research purchases. The Internet has opened more channels of communication, and many prospects research, ask for recommendations from colleagues and connect with brands through social media.
The revenue funnel can define marketing initiatives
Although the funnel may vary for B2B firms in different industries, companies need to have an understanding of the journey their customers take because it can help them outline their marketing strategies.
Some B2B marketers may think prospects come across products or services in a natural way and then decide to buy on their own without any prompting. This is rarely the case, particularly because competitors are likely to be employing advanced lead generation and nurturing campaigns. Companies may have a marketing funnel employees are not even aware of.
Marketing Land cited recent B2B industry data that said 79 percent of leads never convert into sales. This is a significant amount of revenue that B2B organizations could be missing each year, which could have major implications for company growth. Without a defined marketing funnel and set sales practices, companies may not be taking advantage of more than three-quarters of their potential revenue every year.
What is the reason for leads dropping out mid-funnel? Most non-converting prospects are lost between the initial lead generation process and the time when marketers pass leads to the sales team, Marketing Land said. Marketers need to reassess what happens immediately after Internet lead generation because it can play a role in conversions.
Managing the marketing funnel improves sales
Prospects do not want to be corralled into the funnel by a sales representative anymore, according to Business 2 Community. For example, in the past, leads would download a white paper from the website and a sales rep would immediately call them to follow up. Now prospects want to do more research on their own before speaking with a sales manager. Content downloads are no longer a sign of sales readiness, and most leads need more nurturing to arrive at a decision.
Nurturing can take on many forms for different organizations, but the process ultimately prevents leads from dropping out mid-funnel, which can improve the number of sales conversions. Marketers cannot push too hard early in the funnel, and they need to create and publish content that relates to different stages of the buying cycle.
For instance, if a prospect requests a download of a white paper, marketers should send it in an email, thanking them for their interest. Companies can follow up by email a few days later and suggest other sources of content. The key to maximizing marketing effectiveness is providing relevant sources of content so prospects can educate themselves before making a commitment to purchase. Instead of directly selling, successful B2B marketing strategies involve guidance. Companies that want to grow will not leave the marketing funnel up to chance.
To maximize the potential of the revenue funnel, marketers need to create transparent channels of communication. Content needs to be relevant to at each stage of the buying cycle to transform prospects from an unknown individual to a customer.