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In the B2B ( business to business ) market, the sales cycle tends to be longer than that found in B2C. Before making a purchase , companies build a long journey to finalize a negotiation.

Understanding this entire journey is essential to increasing sales potential , and this understanding goes through the B2B sales funnel.

To get to the bottom of the funnel with more chances of conversion , you must know all the actions that customers take from the moment a need is discovered.

Do you want to understand how all the steps of the B2B sales funnel work ? Stay with us. Here, you’ll know what to do at each stage of the funnel to shorten the sales cycle!

What is B2B Sales Funnel

The sales funnel is a representation of the journey that customers take from the first contact with the brand until they make the purchase.

At the top of the funnel are people who have realized a need that needs to be met. In between, there are those who are considering solutions. At the bottom, closer to the conversion, are those who evaluate the last details to complete the purchase.

The B2B sales funnel is used to understand the customer journey and manage the entire sales process. The objective is to make the potential customer advance in all phases until conversion.

At each step of the funnel, there is an evolution in the relationship between the consumer and the brand, progressing from being interested to being a prospect, lead and customer.

B2B Sales Funnel Steps

The steps of the B2B sales funnel are:

– Top of the funnel: is the stage that includes learning and discovery . Interested parties discover a need to be met, but are not yet fully aware of what they need. On the company’s side, this is the moment for prospecting and qualifying customers;

– Middle of the funnel: when a problem is recognized and the solution considered. At this point, the company must present itself to the consumer so that he can consider his solution.

– Bottom of the funnel: consumers are in the evaluation and purchase phase . At this point, negotiations with prospects and closing of the sale take place, to convert them into customers.

Ideally, the sales team’s planning also includes the after-sales, so that the customer is loyal and generates new revenue for the company.

It is important for companies to adapt the B2B sales funnel to the reality of the consumer journey in their market, to meet the needs and meet the wishes of their customers.

B2B sales cycle

The B2B sales cycle includes the entire consumer journey from the first contact with the company, through the consideration of which services or products should be purchased, to the conclusion of the transaction and the sale.

The ideal for a company to increase its revenues is to reduce this sales cycle , since more transactions will be completed in less time and, consequently, there will be an increase in revenue.

However, the B2B sales cycle tends to be longer than in the B2C market. This is because, in general, companies are more budget conscious and more judicious in evaluating solutions before making a purchase decision.

The mission to shorten this cycle can be supported by a variety of marketing strategies that encompass all stages of the sales funnel, prompting the consumer to move more quickly to the next phase .

How to shorten the B2B sales cycle

The goal of shortening the B2B sales cycle is to generate more sales in the same period of time. For this, it is necessary to adopt strategies that promote the faster advance of the consumer through the stages of the sales funnel.

Actions at the top of the funnel

Especially in the B2B market, at the top of the funnel, it is recommended that companies educate their potential customers about their solutions.

It is important to remember that these people are still recognizing their needs and have not yet started to analyze which products or services will solve their problems.

Therefore, advertisements or content with an advertising aspect should not be sent. The focus should be on sharing relevant content on key issues that will help the consumer get to the next step, without necessarily already presenting the solution.

At the top of the funnel, actions to shorten the sales cycle should aim to bring in the right customer and thus increase the chance of conversion a little further.

That way, it’s not enough to generate many leads. It is necessary to generate “hot leads” for the sales team to work.

This means that, in addition to prospecting more customers, it is necessary to qualify them more efficiently. To do this, you can use qualifying methods that help you score the leads that tend to convert more easily.

Some of the criteria to be taken into account:

– Budget or budget: the customer who has the necessary budget to purchase the solution;

– Authority: the person involved in the search for a solution has decision-making power;

– Needs: the customer’s pains are solved by the product or service;

– Time: how much time this person should need to make a decision;

– Urgency: the customer’s need generates a sense of urgency to identify the solution.

To use these criteria and define which leads are the hottest, a scoring system that indicates how well the customer fulfills each requirement can be used.

The most important thing here is to avoid delivering cold leads to the sales force, which will increase the sales cycle.

Shares in the middle of funnel

Halfway through the sales funnel, leads already recognize they have a problem and begin to consider possible solutions. At this point, the joint work between marketing and sales can be decisive in reducing the sales cycle .

While marketing can nurture the lead, sending more content to help you learn about the solution, the sales team can identify if it’s time to make a presentation.

An important ally for this moment is the CRM, which will gather information and data about the content consumed by the customer and what interactions he had with the company.

If that customer has already accessed a quote form, it can certainly be considered a trigger for a salesperson to approach over the phone .

Giving up leads is never easy, but that should also be considered at this step. After all, if the lead takes a long time to progress through the funnel, the effort to convert it may not be justified.

In the end, that time and investment could go to leads that are more likely to convert.

Therefore, it is recommended to set a maximum number of leads that will receive special attention and limit a dwell time for a business to stay in the pipeline. These actions will help to shorten the sales cycle.

Shares for the bottom of the funnel

Once you’ve worked with hot leads and nurtured them, it’s time to drive conversion. That is, it is time for sellers to get in touch to negotiate and close the sale .

If all of the above steps have been well developed, there is a clear tendency for the conversion rate to be higher at the bottom of the funnel.

However, it is important for salespeople to be prepared to convince the customer that the solution offered is the ideal one to solve that need he started to identify at the top of the funnel. Therefore, they should count on building a good pitch and developing good rapport .

It is noteworthy that it is not recommended to reduce the average ticket to reduce the B2B sales cycle, as it will not be any use to have faster sales if the value is lower.

Do you want to be well prepared to close sales with the right amount? To master all the techniques , check out what the team of top experts in the country can teach you.

Through practical and exclusive methodologies , the IEV offers the best and most complete solutions that fit your needs so that, like the more than 10,000 students who have gone through the IEV, you become an expert seller.

Our sales tools and techniques propose the training of high level professionals in sales performance .

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