A marketing funnel is the representation of the journey of a user from the initiation to the purchase. B2B marketing funnel has a large involvement of knowledge about the product. It is more often long, convoluted, and pain-staking, yet the marketing funnel is the representation of his journey.
In this article, we shall delve into the intricacies of the B2B marketing funnel and how it differs from the B2C funnel.
Relation between the funnel and the customer’s engagement at different stages
The customer’s engagement at different stages of the funnel helps us to understand the medium of interaction. Based on the medium, we can generate better results.
Let us find out the different stages in the funnel, that drive the engagement:
- Connecting with the cold buyers who are not aware of the product.
- Activating warm leads by generating interest in the product.
- Hot audiences, the ones who are ready to purchase, are then recognized
- Customer centricity through retention and B2B loyalty programs.
Now that we have an idea of the different types of customers interacting with the marketing funnel, let us find out the stages that every audience comes across:
- Prospecting: In this stage, the cold candidates get to know the product or service.
- Generating a warm audience, who are also called leads.
- Closing the funnel by sealing the deal at the bottom of the sales funnel.
- Retaining the customers and generating repeat customers through retention programs.
How the B2B sales pipeline differs from the B2C sales pipeline?
The B2B sales pipeline is very niche-specific. Unlike the B2C sales pipeline, where the focus is on the number of cold customers, B2B focuses on the right customers. This improves the efficiency of the funnel as the conversion takes place from one stage to another.
The length of the funnel can vary depending on the product/service. Yet, there are multiple ways of interacting and converting into the next stage of the funnel.
Knowledge about the product plays a pivotal role in B2B marketing.
The fundamental difference between both the processes is also important. Let us find the fundamental difference:
- Relationships beyond product delivery: The relationship that lasts after the product delivery, plays a key role in B2B marketing. B2B buyers focus more on the growth of the business & profitability.
Client relationship and post-sales support are the key criteria in the buyer’s decision-making process. Moreover, the brand value is an added advantage in the purchase decision too.
- Purchasing decision and the influence: External influence matters a lot in the B2C purchase. With an individual making a choice for personal benefit, the B2C purchase decisions can be erratic and often biased.
But, B2B purchase decisions often need a consultation with business groups. Thus, the bias reduces, and we have a clear picture.
B2B marketers must target the decision-makers whereas B2C marketers can focus on an individual basis.
- Rational v/s impulsivity: Tracking the success of the B2B purchase decisions begins with the metric of the return on investment. With the payback being a pillar for making the purchase decision, the B2B purchase decisions are rational.
B2C purchase decisions are more impulsive. Since these are individual decisions, they don’t tend to have a massive long-term impact on the buyer.
- Bottom line: Technological advancement impacts the B2B sales funnel. The easy availability of knowledge has made B2B revolve more around the product offering & services. The funnel has become chaotic with multiple entries & exits for a B2B customer. As a growth marketer, we need to ensure to walk through this chaos by practicing omnichannel marketing, providing a similar experience across all platforms.