Sales is more of a triathlon than a marathon. In a marathon, you keep the same pace and the entire race. However, a triathlon changes throughout the race from swimming to cycling to running. You need a new skill set and strategies to succeed in the running section as you would in cycling or swimming.

The funnel has five distinct B2B sales funnel stages, each requiring a unique skill set, tools, and strategy. If you understand the stages, you can sharpen each skill, acquire the necessary tools, and plan strategies accordingly.

Let’s dive into our sales triathlon as we uncover the best strategies for B2B sales funnel management.

5 Stages of the B2B Sales Funnel

The B2B sales funnel has five distinct stages:

  • Awareness: The potential customers become aware of your brand and the problems you solve. You want to attract more leads and introduce your brand.
  • Interest: Now, your customers are interested in learning more. You will begin providing content to nurture this growing interest.
  • Consideration: The lead has compared your solution to others and is showing signs of coming close to purchasing. It’s time for your sales team to take over.
  • Decision: The lead is ready to choose. Your sales team has played their cards right, and they swoop in to convert that customer.
  • Loyalty: You now have a happy customer. However, your work isn’t done. Now, you want to retain that customer, so they keep returning.

Strategies to Master Each Stage of the B2B Sales Funnel

Discover how to create a B2B sales funnel with specific strategies for every stage so you can seamlessly move your B2B leads from strangers to loyal customers.

1. Awareness Stage

Objective: At this stage, the goal is to generate awareness and attract potential prospects to your brand and offerings. Most potential customers don’t know you exist yet. So, you want to identify those customers and introduce your brand in the best possible light.

If you’re using an account-based marketing method, your goal is not to cast a wide net to draw in your customers but to identify the best possible leads and send marketing efforts directly to their door (or, rather, inbox).

Strategies: Tap into some of these strategies to help build vital brand awareness with your ideal audience.

  • Targeted Content Marketing: Create informative and engaging content like blog posts, whitepapers, and videos. Use these materials to educate your target audience about industry trends, challenges, and solutions. Target each content for your ideal audience, addressing specific pain points.
  • Social Media Engagement: Use social media platforms to share valuable content, participate in relevant discussions, and build relationships with potential prospects.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Optimize your website and content to rank higher in search engine results for relevant keywords and phrases. SEO increases visibility among your target audience. For even higher quality traffic, target keywords with high intent. These are keywords connected to a specific action, such as finding the best cybersecurity platform.

2. Interest Stage

Objective: Once prospects know about your brand, focus on nurturing their interest and building engagement. You will do this through educational content that helps customers understand their problems and see how you resolve similar challenges. Your aim is to build a contact list with information from leads interested in your products.

Strategies: Generate higher quality B2B leads using these strategies.

  • Lead Generation: Offer valuable resources or incentives such as eBooks, webinars, or free consultations in exchange for contact information to capture leads.
  • Email Marketing: Use targeted email campaigns and newsletters to provide further information, relevant content, and personalized communication to keep prospects engaged.
  • Remarketing: Retarget website visitors with relevant ads or content based on their interactions with your website.
  • Lead Scoring: Assign points based on engagement to identify hot leads for sales outreach.

3. Evaluation Stage

Objective: Prospects in this stage actively consider your offerings and compare them with competitors. At this point, the prospects are ready to buy and have moved from a marketing-qualified lead to a sales-qualified lead. The leads have just not decided to purchase from you yet. Your goal is to move in fast before a competitor sweeps them away. It’s time to pull out your best sales pitch.

Strategies: Here are strategies to impress your lead with your best sales pitch.

  • Consultative Selling: Engage prospects in consultative conversations to understand their needs, challenges, and goals, and demonstrate how your solutions can address their pain points.
  • Case Studies/Testimonials: Sometimes, showing is more powerful than telling. Share success stories, case studies, and testimonials from satisfied customers to provide social proof and build credibility. Case studies also help leads see themselves as a customer.
  • Product Demonstrations/Free Trials: Offer prospects the opportunity to experience your product or service firsthand through demos or free trials. These options showcase your product’s value and functionality.
  • Send Follow-Up Emails: Check in on leads that received your previous campaigns. Ideally, aim to follow up twice with a B2B lead. If they still don’t respond, there’s a chance they went with a competitor.

4. Decision Stage

Objective: You have almost made it to the finish line. In the decision stage, prospects are ready to purchase, and your focus is on closing the sale. This is one of the shortest stages, as it’s the brief window of opportunity after the evaluation stage.

Strategies: Use these strategies to master closing your sales.

  • Sales Presentations: Deliver compelling sales presentations that highlight the unique value proposition of your offerings and address any remaining concerns or objections.
  • Personalized Proposal: Create unique proposals for each customer based on their needs.
  • Negotiation: Work with prospects to negotiate terms, pricing, and contract details to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
  • Closing Techniques: Use trial closes, limited quantities, or urgency tactics to encourage prospects to decide.

5. Loyalty Stage

Objective: Congratulations on the sale. Before celebrating too long, be sure to come back to finish the job. A first-time customer is a victory worth celebrating, but a loyal customer is a win that keeps giving. Loyal customers are more cost-efficient to retain than attracting new customers, and they tend to spend more money on your products and services.

Nurturing loyal customers in your B2B SaaS sales funnel is essential for subscription-based services.

Strategies: Use these strategies to encourage greater brand loyalty in your company.

  • Onboarding: Provide a seamless onboarding experience to help customers get started with your product or service and achieve success quickly.
  • Customer Support: Offer responsive and knowledgeable customer support to promptly address issues and concerns and ensure a positive customer experience.
  • Loyalty Rewards: Reward customers with discounts, exclusive offers, and benefits for remaining loyal.
  • Upselling/Cross-selling: Identify opportunities to upsell or cross-sell additional products or services to existing customers based on their needs and usage patterns.

Image from HubSpot

Build a B2B Sales and Marketing Funnel That Converts

A profitable B2B sales funnel is within your reach. It just requires careful planning and strategizing so you can meet customers at every stage they are at.

Hushly can help you create a seamless B2B sales funnel with our all-in-one conversion cloud with tools that support every stage of the funnel. With our innovative, AI-driven approach, you can endlessly customize your strategies for each stage, so your marketing efforts resonate with customers where they are at.

Are you interested in optimizing your conversion process?

Schedule a demo to see how we streamline and customize the B2B sales funnel for more profitable conversions.

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