In B2B marketing it is important that only high quality enter the Sales funnel because only then there will be sufficient sales-ready prospects emerging from the bottom. So, the first step is to identify only those who may have a need for the company’s offerings and develop targeted messaging that will inform and guide them back to the website. In case the prospect is not ready for sales, but is interested, developing the buyer interest has to be done slowly and steadily.

Marketing Funnel
While the Sales Funnel shows how large volumes of leads entering the system get narrowed down as time goes on, the Marketing funnel is a measure of investment versus return and defines the lead generation stages and processes involved in this journey of translating marketing effort into economic results.

In the traditional Sales Funnel, which is basic and is focused on showing the transformation of leads to customers, a company drives various marketing campaigns to bring in interested Leads. Then, Sales takes over to find opportunities (purchase intent). The Leads that show interest are sent proposals and quotes and if the offerings meet their needs, the prospects, who have so far traversed the funnel, become the new customers for the company.

Today, websites play a crucial role in lead generation because of the huge role Internet plays in buying decisions. Determining the source of the visitors, their level of engagement with the content on the site, their reaction to different calls to action on the site and their interaction with the company (via form fill or request form before the sale is made) became qualifiers for B2B marketers, which decided if a Lead is worthy of entering the Sales Funnel.

Until now Marketing has always been considered as a cost centre, not playing an active role in primary lead generation efforts.  However, the entry of Marketing Automation platform have ensured that companies are able to measure the ROI for their marketing activities, and marketing can stake a claim on part of the revenue.  ‘Marketing Qualified lead Rate’ is a relevant measure for marketing efficiency and success, both from a marketing initiative perspective and from marketing’s ability to effectively screen out low potential contacts.

While using marketing automation software is a good move for B2B companies, content creation also plays a crucial role. For an online company, marketing does not end with a detailed campaign management program. The real marketing challenge lies in creating content strategies that will ensure readability and sustain interest in the company or product. Therefore, developing compelling, innovative and dialog-based content should be the key goals while devising content strategies.

Also read on - lead nurturing best practices, lead management system

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