By John Kennedy on 2015-11-19 15:22
The buyer’s journey across many industries has evolved over recent years with the proliferation of the Internet. According to Google research, Business-to-Business (B2B) researchers conduct an average of 12 searches before they engage with a specific brand’s website.
If you add to this an environment with multiple new communication channels, an increasing number of mobile devices and the rising influence of a new generation of consumers that look for information in a totally different way, it’s no wonder that we are confused as suppliers on how to start the sales conversation.
Whether you are a start-up, giving up, or ripe for change, all businesses can benefit from a better understanding of their customers and an appreciation of where and how they should be present during the different stages of the buying process.
A sales funnel is an inverted pyramid that draws potential customers through a company's sales and marketing processes from awareness to closing a sale. As the name suggests, it is widest at the top because the goal is to attract as many qualified customers as possible to enter into the funnel and eventually persuade them to purchase you products and services at the bottom with a different message and approach for each stage of the funnel.
The idea of using the sales funnel is that it helps us focus on each stage of the buyers journey. It is vital that as a supplier I understand my customers buyer personas and what type of digital relationship they want. A business needs to know how to build a value proposition that addresses a customers pain or opportunity which they will learn as they research the persona.
Content marketing can help you reach customers at any stage of the funnel, and as they continue their interactions with your company you need to design your content marketing message relevant to where your audience is in the funnel.
As a growth hacker you may have a narrow focus on growth, so you will initially focus on the top of the funnel (TOFU). Here the focus and the tactics are on generating visitor traffic to your website. Goals may also include converting a small number of already hot prospects further down the funnel to a sale - but most importantly this is a stage that you can show your audience that you know what their wants and needs are, interacting with them in the way that they want and show your level of competence and get them to trust you because you are educating rather than selling.
We hope to show you in our e-guide the different approaches that you can take depending on the stage you are targeting in your funnel. There is also insight on how we see the changes in buyer behaviour and how you can use inbound marketing to shorten the sales cycle.
In this e-guide we cover:
• Decision making process
• The sales funnel
• The sales cycle
• Inbound Marketing methodology
• Combining the sales funnel stages with inbound marketing steps
• Practical next steps
• Free resources and recommendations