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How to Create a B2B Marketing Funnel

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Building PipelineLead Management
Published 02/02/23
5 minutes read

Today’s consumer journey is non-linear and omnichannel. We don’t need to tell you this. Most marketers are well acquainted with some version of the funnel and its impact on how organizations track, manage, and convert leads. We want to dive deeper into the B2B marketing funnel, specifically how automating this workflow nurtures leads and converts them into paying customers. Today, we’re defining and laying out the process for creating a B2B marketing funnel.

What Is a Marketing Funnel?

A Marketing funnel is a way to map out your customer journey from initial engagement through to purchase. A common way to structure this model is referred to as the AIDA model which is an acronym that stands for Awareness (or Attention), Interest, Desire, and Action.

The AIDA B2B Marketing Funnel model: Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action

By mapping out these stages in the B2B buyer’s journey, marketers can use them to help define where to target prospects, what to engage them within each point in the B2B buying process, and determine when the prospect is ready to be handed off from marketing to sales to guide the prospect through the purchase stages. 

Leveraging technology to manage the marketing funnel rather than relying on manual workflows enables marketing teams to scale their efforts, generate more leads, and eventually turn those leads into loyal customers. This applied technology frees marketers up to think bigger picture while simultaneously scaling their lead generation and acquiring customers. 

How to Develop a B2B Marketing Funnel

The step-by-step guide below can be used as a template for establishing (or refining) your own marketing funnel.

  1. Define your target audience
    Before you can create a marketing funnel, you need to know who you’re trying to reach. Define your target audience by considering factors such as demographics, pain points, purchase history, and shopping behavior. Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, you can tailor your marketing efforts to their specific needs. Your target audience is the foundation for all personalization.
  2. Identify your lead magnets
    To take a prospect from awareness to interest, you need a lead magnet. This is a valuable piece of content that is offered in exchange for a person’s contact information. For B2B, lead magnets might be ebooks, whitepapers, webinars, free trials, or interactive content. Identify the lead magnets that will appeal to your target audience and use them to attract potential customers to your funnel.
  3. Create a landing page
    A landing page will likely be the first touch in your B2B marketing funnel—it should represent your brand entirely and optimize ease of purchase because this is where potential customers will land after clicking on a link or ad. Your landing page should be designed to convert visitors into leads by including a clear call-to-action and a form to capture their contact information. Leveraging data to diversify your ad creative to correspond with personalized landing pages for specific target audiences will expand your reach.
  4. Set up your email nurture sequence
    Once a potential customer has given you their contact information, it’s time to start nurturing that relationship from the interest stage to the desire stage with targeted emails. An email nurture sequence is a series of automated emails that are sent to leads over a period of time. These emails should be personalized, provide valuable information, build trust and gradually move the lead toward a purchase. This is an ideal step to incorporate AI-powered conversation automation.
  5. Track and optimize
    Use analytics tools to measure the success of your lead magnets, landing pages, and email nurture sequences and monitor your prospective buyers’ engagement with your content. The data will help determine when they are ready to be passed to Sales to move them through to the final stage in the B2B marketing funnel: purchase. Make adjustments as needed to your lead magnet offering to optimize your funnel for more effective customer acquisition.

A B2B marketing funnel is an effective tool to nurture leads and convert them into paying customers. By defining your target audience, identifying lead magnets, creating a landing page, setting up an email nurture sequence, and tracking and optimizing, you can design and execute a funnel that boosts your bottom line. 

The Role AI Plays In Your B2B Marketing Funnel

One of the biggest advantages of AI in B2B marketing is the ability to automate individualized, two-way communication with each lead. AI algorithms can analyze customer data like browsing and purchase history to create personalized email campaigns, social media ads, and even web content. Generative AI solutions with Natural Language Processing abilities can use that analysis to engage leads in back-and-forth conversations perfectly tailored to each individual’s needs and preferences, moving them through the pipeline.

Really, the advantage is two-fold. Marketers get time back in their day, and customers benefit from a fully optimized experience. Because AI allows businesses to automate repetitive tasks, such as data entry and customer segmentation, this frees up valuable time and resources, allowing teams to focus on more strategic and creative tasks. As for the customer experience, when AI algorithms analyze data on customer behavior and preferences, they are able to identify which stages of the marketing funnel are most effective and where improvements can be made. This real-time feedback from customers plays a critical role in campaign optimization and improving your business’s ROI.  

From personalizing communication and optimizing the customer journey to automating repetitive tasks and preventing customer churn, AI converts customers at scale. The right AI software uses real conversations to help organizations discover the most qualified opportunities by engaging every lead 24/7/365.

AI-powered Revenue Digital Assistants™ know how to nurture leads and when leads are ready for Sales follow-up. And the best part is that Revenue Digital Assistants never call in sick—so missed connections and concerns about timely outreach become a thing of the past. Through the use of AI in your funnel, Marketing gets clear ROI insights, and Sales can stop chasing dead-end leads. The result? You get better leads from Marketing, happier and more productive Sales reps, and a healthier bottom line.

B2B Marketing Funnel Best Practices

Marketing and Sales have the same goal: both teams want to convert website visitors and other leads into paying customers in order to boost revenue. For many modern marketers, success is measured not just in lead-generation volume, but also in the marketing department’s contribution to the Sales pipeline.

Although many organizations focus their energies on all stages of the funnel and filling it with as many contacts as possible, eventually the funnel starts leaking, leads drop off, and conversion rates become a fraction of what they could and should be. This can lead to what is known as a “leaky funnel.” For best practices, tried-and-true methods for identifying where leads are being dropped, and how to better align Sales and Marketing teams, download our eBook Fixing Your Leaky Funnel: How to Maximize Marketing’s Efforts and Sales’ Time.

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