Over the years we have seen a number of frameworks emerge that help us understand growth and the changes you undergo as you grow, find your markets and help you acquire customers and revenue.
Each framework offers a different perspective on the customer lifecycle, and each suggests a set of metrics to focus on.
We created our own way to think about DDG, and in particular the metrics that you use to measure progress, after comparing and contrasting a number of these frameworks.
We will use this framework throughout the course, but first, let’s look at some of the existing frameworks and how they fit into DDG.
Sales funnel vs. buyer’s journey debate
Sales funnel vs. marketers were eager to announce the death of a B2B sales funnel and offered to replace it with the term buyer’s journey. The buyer’s power and control over the buying process was acknowledged in this term. This approach isn’t as effective as they say. The sales funnel used to be a lot of work for customers as they lacked data and were under constant pressure from sellers. The leaders and controllers of the process were the vendors. The clients were passive and guided through the funnel. In favor of sellers was a strong imbalance. There is a new balance in favor of buyers today. Giving up on a B2B sales funnel will not correct the imbalance. In order to manage any change, organizations must address the internal, operational process so that sales can effectively engage with customers. Carlos Hidalgo was one of the few people who defended the sales funnel. Customers who research on their own often don’t see the root causes and come up with solutions that aren’t good, according to another supporter of the sales funnel concept. The decision-making process can cause buying analysis paralysis and stop sales. Every buyer still needs to walk his way from the problem recognition stage to its solution no matter how long and complex the buyer’s journey is. Vendors don’t pass the sales funnel stages if they get into the same phase more than once.
Key: Align your marketing and sales teams.
Conflicts between marketing and sales have been seen. Who should control the funnel? Which team should get leads? Which techniques are more effective? Marketing qualified leads is the hardest tension. Sales qualified leads are calledSQLs. The questions are difficult to answer.
Over the past decades, the buyer’s journey has been heavily digitalized with access to the Internet. 27% of B2B buyers research online before buying anything, according to a report. The availability of information on the internet is what we love. Most people have access to almost any data they want. The way buyers make purchasing decisions is influenced by this.
Is an overabundance of information making the buying experience easier? Buyers now have more control over the buying process and responsibilities. It has become more and more difficult for both decision-makers and vendors to make a sale. The goal in the past was to close the deal. It is to provide value today. decision-makers
Content development over the last decade is an example. It was acceptable to put your website with a lot ofkeywords in order to get the best placement in the SERP. The era of meaninglesskeywords in articles has ended, as the methods of page ranking were in a grey area. It doesn’t work to push out useless content. It is not possible to publish an article that doesn’t provide value and hope it stands out.
The successful sales funnel is an informational environment that facilitates the buying journey for decision-makers. Who makes this value for your products and services?
The marketing team: They study the market, competitors, buyer personas, and unique selling position. The segmenting takes place.
The value to the prospects is delivered by who? Everyone is on the sales team. You need to use every communication channel you can to succeed in today’s highly competitive environment. Their methods of influencing buyers are different. The more methods you have, the better. Just make sure they’re efficient.
Large audiences are the target of marketers. Sales communicate in real time.
In the B2B model marketers don’t sell. Will you buy a shirt from an online store? Probably. Will you allow a robot to deliver your food? Will you use an automated cashier in the store? Not at all, that’s right. You will most likely use a credit card to pay for it.
Will you sign a $200K contract by filling out a form on a website? Person to person communication is required for any B2B sale. The salesperson and the marketers don’t do that. The latter negotiates. Reliable and impartial information is supported by the latter. Your company succeeds if your sales and marketing teams think of driving value in the first place. They are likely to fail if they fight over the funnel.
We’re Not in an AIDA World
The old “AIDA” model is fundamentally different from this. The model associated with marketing/sales and one-way mass communications pre-dates the Internet and the array of information we have now about the customer intent. AIDA is from the marketing side of things. It thrived in an era of mass advertising when big brands had to rely on huge amounts of advertising on billboards, TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and the like.
Lets look at some well know models:
See Think Do Care model
The See Think Do Care model is used to understand consumer intent and how to link it to performance. evangelist Avinash Kaushik developed his widely used See Think Do Care model in 2013: Do, Care Winning Combo: Content +Marketing +Measurement!
See: This stage is made up of the largest, qualified audience. There is no intent to sell something.
Think: The stage is part of the audience that is thinking about a product.
Do: This stage is made up of people who are looking to buy something
Dave McClure’s Pirate Metrics
The acronym for five distinct elements of building a successful business is what the Pirate Metrics Pirate Metrics term is named after. The five steps through which users, customers, or visitors must progress in order for your company to extract all the value is described in Figure 5-1. Users may refer others before they spend money, for example, or may return several times before signing up, and these five elements don’t necessarily follow a strict order. Acquisition generate attention through a variety of means, both ganic and inorganic traffic, mentions, cost per click, search results, cost of acquisition, open rate activation turn the resulting drive-by visitors into users who are somehowEnrolled. What you should track about pirates.
generate attention through a variety of means, both or- ganic and inorganic
traffic, mentions, cost per click, search results, cost of acquisition, open rate
turn the resulting drive-by visitors into users who are somehow enrolled
enrollments, signups, com- pleted onboarding process, used the service at least once, subscriptions
Convince users to come back repeatedly, exhibiting sticky behavior
engagement, time since last visit, daily and monthly active use, churns
Business outcomes (which vary by your business model: purchases, ad clicks, content creation, subscriptions, etc.)
Customer lifetime value, con- version rate, shopping cart size, click-through revenue
Viral and word-of-mouth invitations to other potential users
Invites sent, viral coefficient, viral cycle time
Table 5-1. Pirate Metrics and what you should track
Five Classic B2B Sales Funnel Stages
The classic B2B sales funnel concept was created in 1898. Things have changed a lot since then. There is no chance to catch their attention. A person spends 37 seconds looking at an article. We are going to look at every stage of a B2B sales funnel.
Stage 1: The Awareness stage of the sales funnel
A B2B customer is looking for answers in the Awareness stage of the sales funnel. They need the resources, education, data, opinions, and insight to solve their problem. The problem may be as simple as a new supplier for their manufacturing concerns or as complex as software that integrates their front-end and back-end operations The value of the lead is low because there is no guarantee that your company will pursue a solution. They might become interested in your products and services if you give them enough high-level information. To understand how your buyers think, what problems they are trying to solve, and the path they take to the solution, you need a persona.
Stage 2: The Interest stage of the sales funnel
They begin to research your products when they move to the interest stage of the sales funnel. This is where trust is formed during the buying process. Raising the opinion of your company is the focus of nurturing the lead.
Stage 3: The Evaluation stage of the salesfunnel
You captured the buyer’s attention in the Evaluation stage of the sales funnel. It is time to show how your solution is the best for them. Let leads know if your solution is not in their best interest. Even if your product or service doesn’t meet the needs of the buyer at the moment, honesty and integrity may pay off in the future.
Stage 4: The Engagement stage of the salesfunnel
The Engagement stage of the sales funnel is where your lead will interact with your sales force. This may include product demonstrations, sales pitches, and clear communication that you understand the buyer’s pain points and want to help them reach a solution The degree of relationship and trust you create at this level is a key factor in moving to the last stage.
Stage 5: The Purchase stage of the salesfunnel
The Purchase stage is the end of the funnel. The commitment to purchase is approved if the purchase order is written. It doesn’t mean that you’ve reached the end of the B2b sales funnel just because money and product change hands. Post-purchase engagement keeps the customer happy, it feeds the funnel, and is a key to building a B2B sales pipeline. The majority of B2B sales start with a referral by a friend or colleague, and they convert 30% better. Account-based marketing is changing the traditional role of the funnel. There is a new way of aligning sales and marketing.
How to Create a B2B Sales Funnel
A well-structured sales funnel model will help you generate quality leads, refine the sales process, and identify and maximize customer journeys. A sales funnel is an inseparable part of the operational process and helps you build a sustainable strategy for new and existing customers. How to build a sales funnel step by step is what we will discuss.
In our digital age, customers are bombarded with information and have a lot of options. You will only market to those who are the best fit for what you are selling. Nearly 75% of B2Bs have difficulty producing marketing tactics for long-term growth according to a study. Users are turned away when they see ads, promotions and articles. Damage far beyond a dissatisfied user is caused by ineffective targeting. Businesses waste budgets, push away customers, and expose themselves to damage. 75% of B2Bs have difficulty producing marketing tactics
Before you go any further, make sure to do some research on your audience. Determine what visitors do on your site, where they click, what they look at, and how long they spend on a page. You will be able to identify various demographic you can target with the site monitoring and analytics tools. Request for proposals, conversion rates, mailing lists, and other ways customers interact with your business are some of the things you may want to analyze. Understanding when users take action can help you market to them.
What Are Customer Pain Points?
A pain point is a specific problem that prospective customers of your business are Pain points are problems that prospective customers of your business are having. Customer pain points are not the same as your prospective customers. Not all prospects will be aware of the pain point they are experiencing, which can make marketing to them difficult as you have to convince them that your product or service will solve it. Pain points can be thought of as simple problems, but they are often grouped into other categories.
Financial Pain Points: Your prospects are spending too much money on their current provider/solution/products and want to reduce their spend
Productivity Pain Points: Your prospects are wasting too much time using their current provider/solution/products or want to use their time more efficiently
Process Pain Points: Your prospects want to improve internal processes, such as assigning leads to sales reps or nurturing lower-priority leads
Support Pain Points: Your prospects aren’t receiving the support they need at critical stages of the customer journey or sales process
Financial pain points are when your prospects are spending too much money on their current provider
Productivity pain points are when your prospects are wasting too much time using their current provider.
If your prospects’ pain points are primarily financial, you could highlight the features of your product within the context of a lower monthly subscription plan.
While this method of categorization is a good start, it is not as simple as identifying price as a pain point before pointing out that your product or service is cheaper than the competition. Many prospective customers have complex problems and may combine them. It is important for you to see your customers’ pain points and present your company as a trusted partner that can help solve a variety of issues.
Capture your audience’s attention
It is now more difficult to capture customer attention because of more choice and distrust. Individualized messaging that is delivered at the right time is what works. It might be difficult for some marketing managers to see the return on investment. Website visitors do not convert on the first purchase. It can take multiple visits for a prospect to feel comfortable with a brand. It can take several months to move your lead from the awareness stage to the consideration stage.
Once you have identified individuals who are interested in your product, it is time to direct them into the wide end of your funnel. Actions rarely happen on the first encounter, so it will take time. It is still relevant in B2B that messages must be repeated up to seven times to be effective. Digital tools can help you track leads throughout the evaluation and buying process, and help you find the best time to reach out and make a great first impression.
Many businesses struggle with maintaining their momentum after a successful first contact. If you engage with leads too early or late, you could scare them away or have them lose interest. As digital natives take center stage, buyers of all types become more comfortable making decisions without interacting with others. The average B2B buyer will look at five or more pieces of content before buying. Prospects probably won’t want a call or email from you.
The cold leads can be moved through the funnel with accuracy with a drip campaign. Doing so regularly and with helpful content that addresses objectives and pain points will get you the sale. You can adjust the campaigns according to your needs. You need to demonstrate a keen understanding of their needs and make your solution and offer feel right for them.
Prepare for the meeting
Your prospect will need more convincing to become a paying customer than your first impressions will suggest. In many cases, first impressions will show how likely your prospect is to reach the end of the sales funnel. This is where you should have all the information. Combine your research data, relevant content, RFP information, website and communication activity with any customer data in theCRM system. During first contact, these will help you address customers’ pain points.
Sales professionals need flexibility to engage with their prospects. Standardizing the sales process can increase your sales funnel and productivity. Standardization is a guideline that you can adjust so that you can head in a specific direction. You can automate some of the steps and allow sales reps to focus on building relationships and growing sales. Behavioral data can be used to identify customer pain points. You can tailor the product to address the concerns of them.
Follow up regularly
Over 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls, whereas 44% of salespeople give up after confronting the first “no”. Most sales reps focused on the top of the funnel to get the sale. You avoid potentially valuable prospects from slipping through your fingers if you follow up. If you want to keep your sales reps up to date on follow-ups, you can set reminders in your email software.
The follow-up process can help you maximize your sales funnel. You can ask to connect at a later time, remove prospects that have gone silent after repeated calls, or respond with an out-of-office reply. For those leads that move forward, you will know where they are in the funnel and how close they are to closing the deal. Follow up with existing customers too. You can learn about their experience, what they like about your product, discover opportunities for testimonials, or encourage them to share positive word-of-mouth in their social circles.
Close the deal
The goal of closing the deal is to get customers to purchase. Almost 50% of large B2B purchases are made by leads that receive support all the way to the close, so your lead nurturing efforts also play an important role. The ASK process is the best way to get commitment from buyers and to minimize issues during closing, according to David Jacoby.
Align your priorities. Refer to previous communication with your customers, and confirm statements. You can assure the buyer that you understand their pain points and remember their needs. Asking for reassurance will build trust and confirm you are on the same page.
Secure commitment. It is secure commitment. Reinforce the key benefits of doing business with you and reiterate how your solution addresses their biggest challenges At this point, you can ask the customer if they have any other concerns, or identify possible issues and their solutions down the road.
Keep the relationship going. Your work isn’t done yet even after you commit. If other decision-makers are involved or have contractual questions, it’s a good idea to sign the dotted line.
If the customer has any questions after the deal is done, they should remain available to assure them. Communication lines can be kept open to maintain a good relationship.
Optimize your funnel
Every stage of your sales funnel is where a customer is looking for answers. To address their needs at every stage, your funnel must offer them a variety of solutions. In the beginning, the customer will be exposed to a lot of different content. It is important that the material is targeted to a specific persona in the funnel. It is a good place to perform A/B tests and alternate between content types. If one type of CTA doesn’t work, change it to see what works better. As the funnel narrows, your lead needs more information to better understand your product. They will look at case studies and other materials. Regardless of where they are in your funnel, your leads must remain interested, and move down to a deal close.