How to build a Successful B2B Lead Generation Funnel
For businesses to operate rationally, you need to have customers who are up for purchasing your products or services. But, how can you engage these potential buyers? The answer is, you need to acquire leads that can be turned into prospects, which you can finally convert into customers. Most businesses invest a lot of time grooming their lead generation strategies so that the leads keep showing up. To do so, you need to improve the lead funnel.
A proper lead generation funnel allows you to sustain a sleek conversion process. You will determine how many leads establish a connection with your business and how many have turned into customers. This is how you will figure out why leads are converting and even why they are not.This information enables you to tighten up your sales funnel, increase your conversion rates and boost your revenue notably.Building your first lead generation funnel can be difficult for any newbie. But optimizing your first lead generation funnel doesn’t involve that much rocket science. It’s all about having the proper ingredients to make up the right dish.This blog post will discuss what a lead generation funnel is and how to build one in five simple steps. Let’s get started.
Lead Generation Funnel - In a Nutshell
A lead generation funnel, also known as a lead funnel, is a systematic methodology to generate leads that are potential customers. It involves the process of funneling your target audience through different stages until they decide to purchase with high probability. A lead generation funnel can range in complexity from very simple to very hard in terms of understanding. A simple lead generation funnel appears like this:
Understanding lead funnel phases (Operations-based Division)
Lead funnels possess three phases in general. Let discuss each of them.
Phase 1. Top of the Funnel - TOFU
The first phase, the top of the funnel, is related to awareness. The top of the funnel is your company’s first contact with a potential lead, and you meet with the opportunity to introduce your purpose of presence to a future customer. Content during this phase involves articles, images, videos, etc.
Phase 2. Middle of the Funnel - MOFU
Once prospects filter to the middle of the funnel, they start to interact with your company. It requires you to continue nurturing and harvesting them. You can feed them via various specialized content such as ebooks, whitepapers, and case studies. The best way to do so is to run email campaigns for free trial users.
Phase 3. Bottom of the Funnel - BOFU
Finally, there is the bottom of the funnel. You’ve turned random website visitors into leads until this phase and started to establish a trusted relationship with them. They believe in your company and need a final thrust to become active customers and start buying from you. Optimal BOFU content involves a series of demos, consultations, and discount offers. This three-stage funnel is intended to turn random visitors into paying customers. But can you develop such a funnel? Let’s embark on an answer.
How to Build a Lead Generation Funnel
You will find these five steps to build a lead generation funnel very beginner-friendly.
Step 1. Mapping your customer experience
The first step to create your first lead generation is to acknowledge and understand your customer’s journey. It is important to sense that if you don’t know them, their likes and dislikes, their problems, and what they are looking for, etc. Won’t you be able to find and engage them? Using Google Analytics, start to extract data such as bounce rates, traffic stats, and conversion rates.
These reports showcase the actual entities that need to be improved on your site. But, you can’t expect a complete revolution just by adjusting numbers as they fail to give you more human and personal insights into your customers.
Knowing your customers by conducting interviews and carrying out surveys. You will be able to know their trigger points.
Mapping your customer journey is what initiates the stream from the first touchpoint to purchase. If you want to understand your customer’s experience in the more rational way possible, communication is the key.
Step 2. Creating a state of the art content
Once you’ve mapped out your customer journey, your next responsibility is to create surprising and pleasing content to drive this process further while holding the first lead. The content can be anything from blog posts, podcasts, videos, ebooks that connects with your customer. You don’t need a huge team and unlimited funds to create amazing content to engage your audience. Here’s how you can craft exceptional content. Beat the competition. Take a look at your rivals and the sort of content they’re creating. Then create better content. It’s all about quality, not quantity, as more words alone can’t make a difference, but more value will. If you don’t know what to write, try to outperform an article on the same topic from your competitor.
Optimize for SEO. Ensure that your content is optimized for SEO. This is how your potential audience will find you naturally as they surf the web to solve their problems. This goal can be achieved by enriching structured data, header tags, and internal linking on all your online content. Create content for each lead funnel stage. Produce content for each stage of your lead generation funnel. Articles, social media posts, and YouTube videos work well for the top of the funnel. Downloadable and directed content such as ebooks, survey reports, statistical reports, and case studies serves a purpose for the middle of the funnel. At the same time, free trials and discounts offer help at the bottom of the lead funnel.
Step 3. Driving traffic
For now, you’ve created different pieces of state-of-the-art content, and it’s time to drive traffic to it. This milestone can be achieved in several ways:
Search Engine Optimization - SEO
A relevant and right SEO strategy is a fruitful way to drive traffic to your content in the long run. SEO is the only way your target audience reaches you by making different searches as per their interests. In search of their answers, they start pouring into your funnel.
Almost 50-60 percent of marketers say email marketing is their most effective strategy for boosting ROI. It’s a perfect practice to promote your company’s content. If your organization has an active and likely email list to engage the audience, you can utilize it to inform your new content subscribers and push them to check it out.
Social Media Platforms
Social media has transformed the lives of both individuals and the collective over the past 15 years. It’s a way for businesses to engage their target audience. So refrain from hesitating to inform your social media followers whenever you publish new articles, videos, or podcasts. If you’ve been using your social media platforms in the right way, you’ll be surprised at how much traffic a single post or a story can drive. It’s crystal clear that social media is worth the time, effort, and investment.
Last but not least, if you have a sufficient budget, don’t hesitate to invest in advertising your content. Google Ads and Facebook Ads are examples of popular mediums for B2Bs.Similarly, other search engines and social media platforms have advertising options as well. The practice is intended to explore the right platform for your unique audience as per your feasibility. By doing so, you can start utilizing them to target your market and start engaging customers for your esteemed content.
Step 4. Collecting prospect information
Now, you know about your audience, crafted content, and driving traffic to it. What’s the next step? Keep in mind that all the world traffic won’t create an opportunity for your business if you don’t have a way to collect visitor information. The mainstream way to collect the relevant information of visitors is to create a lead magnet that you give away for free in exchange for an email address. Your lead magnet could be anything, but it must sustain your target market and audience’s interest and relate to your business.
At this stage, must ensure a rich difference in mainstream content and that of a lead magnet as it must be valuable for that very unique and selected audience. When your lead magnet is ready, take a flight, make it active and available via a landing page. Once website visitors fill out the simple form on your landing page, they’ll gain access to the very unique and valuable gated content.
Step 5. Closing the sale
It’s a big-time now as you have the contact information of a website visitor, they termed as a make sure we’re both a good fit. Closing the sale is different for every company. For some, it will begin with your marketing team harvesting your leads to sign-up. But, for others, it will begin with sending qualified leads to a sales team to trigger the conversation and close the deal. Determine as per your feasibility and circumstances what works well for you and start turning those leads into potential customers.
How to Optimize your Lead Generation Funnel
Congratulations! You’ve now built your first lead funnel, but you’ve not finished it yet. The climax must possess completeness. If you want to cast more leads, you need to optimize your lead generation funnel. Let’s discuss how.
1. Employ the right tools
Several software tools help you generate more leads. You’ll be able to learn what company your visitor work for, how much time they spend on each of your web pages, and get detailed content information for employees at that company. By deploying this data, you just have to adjust your already existing lead funnel process appropriately and strategically. If you have extra pennies in your budget, don’t hesitate to acquire tools to make lead generation more effective. Remember to sync said tools in all the five-step of the processes mentioned above.
2. Qualify your leads
Not all leads are going to produce benefits. It’s in your best interest to qualify leads and spend your time and effort on the ones that are the most likely to score a purchase. To rationally qualify a lead, first, evaluate how they have interacted with your content. Those who download anything directly linked to your business, such as a case study, are plausibly higher quality leads than a visitor who just opened your careers page. You can also qualify leads based on the nature of interactions they make with your company once they’ve given you their contact information.
- Do they consistently check your emails?
- Are they up for taking surveys?
- Do they answer your sales calls?
The answers to these questions will tell you a lot about the quality and nature of lead.
3. Never abandon experimentation
Finally, refrain from abandoning experimentation. Nothing is 10 out of 10, and they’re always a space to improve your lead generation funnel as what worked in the past might not work today. Your audience is continuously evolving with the changing market trends and global events, so your lead funnel needs to reform and evolve with them. Don’t hesitate to create different kinds of content to check what your ideal customers connect with best. Also, adjust your advertising strategies, landing pages, and sales efforts whenever required.
Now you have a complete roadmap to build and optimize your first lead generation funnel. Suppose you follow these simple yet important five-step processes and optimize your funnel accordingly. In that case, you’ll embark yourself on the journey to build a sustainable lead generation funnel and drive more ROI.
Navigating Digital Business Transformation: Insights & Strategies
When we explain the term digital transformation, it means different for every company, and it can be difficult to cast an absolute definition. However, in a general context, digital transformation is defined as integrating digital technology into all areas of a business, causing a fundamental change in the operational structure of a business and how they add value to consumers' lives. Apart from that, it's a cultural evolution that bounds businesses to challenge the status quo and try new things. It demands a transition from traditional business models to the relatively updated principles and methodologies that promise efficiency and growth.
Organizations' expenditure on the digital transformation (DX) of businesses model notably increased despite the challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as stated by the 2020 International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Digital Transformation Spending Guide. IDC predicts that worldwide spending on DX technologies and services will surge by 10.4 percent in 2020 to $1.3 trillion. Although it was less than 17.9 percent growth in 2019, it remains one of the notable spendings in a pandemic-driven period, rich with comical reductions in overall technology spending.
A business may opt for digital transformation for multiple reasons; among them, the most primary reason is survival. Survival is one's adaptability to change. In the wake of COVID-19, Consumer behavior has quickly changed in different ways since the rise of the pandemic triggered the crash of automated systems in areas like supply chain management when collided with sudden shifts in demand and supply. A business’s ability to adapt instantaneously to supply-demand shock, volatile market conditions, and rapidly shifting customers' behavior has become a survival need.
Impact Of COVID-19 Pandemic On Digital Transformation
The world has observed the pandemic rapidly mold both the “what” and the “how” of businesses’ DX agendas. For instance, the employees' perception of digital technology has switched from “nice to have” to “the only way they can work,” making DX a solution to modern-day problems.Some primary concerns of CIOs and CEOs related to Digital transformation amid COVID-19 include.
- Improving the reach of customer support via tools like chatbots
- Automation tools to manage crisis and unwanted situations
- Forced elimination of redundant or conflicting processes/systems
Digital transformation is appearing as a monster that feeds on conventional systems or work models. A reason why facilities have developed a healthy relationship with digital technology leaving their traditional working habits behind.
How To Prepare for Digital Transformation
For digital transformation to successfully overrun and transcend the conventional business processes, it is crucial to understand what can go wrong. Below are the five steps to take before starting DX.
For digital transformation to be fruitful, the collaboration among employees and different departments of a facility is vital. In every organization, around 70 to 80 percent of employees do not know what colleagues are doing. For digital transformation projects to succeed, this habit has to be left behind. Invest time to make sure that all involved understand what everyone else is dealing with.
Technology is the heart of any digital transformation project, whether it's a new project management software to use internally or certain digital products developed to attract new customers. In both cases, the reality is crystal clear, and if it is difficult to use, people will hesitate to use it. This is specifically important from an HRM viewpoint. When most of the workforce are digital natives, in-house technology must be intuitive, or this talent will easily be distracted and switch to somewhere else.
Answering The WHY Question
Transparency is one of the most important aspects of digital transformation. Every key stakeholder involved needs to understand the reasons behind such a huge transformation. This is normal human nature, and you cannot convince people to change without explaining why they need to be changed.
This idea is coined in the book Switch by Chip and Dan Heath. The idea explains the most effective way to approach a lengthy project like digital transformation. It is easier to overcome a big problem or a project by slicing it down into smaller phases. Once you have broken it into steps, design the roadmap by allocating the priority of every step.
Methods of Digital Transformation
Once you have destined your objectives and build the foundational basis of your digital transformation strategy, you must evaluate your organization’s capacity to select the suitable method for your digital transformation journey.
In Greek mythology, to rise again, Phoenix must have to burn first. This is how limitations become opportunities. According to Alan Talbot, chief information officer of Air Malta, knowing limitations is an important prerequisite while beginning the project. Air Malta identified the key technical areas where they lack technical and digital supremacy than consulted integration partners, Mule Soft and Ricston. Locally-stationed Ricston physically attended and worked at the Air Malta headquarters throughout the project to fully filter out the organization’s strengths and weaknesses. The reason behind augmenting the internal staff with outside experts is that their presence on board added significance to the project, so the outsourcing could enjoy the exposure of issues and practices an airline is likely to encounter.
Another unique method to explore new technologies is to stimulate your digital strategy or segments in a digital workshop or a lab. This enables businesses to propagate ideas and test theories without disturbing the organization’s daily routine and actual operations. Renowned Car manufacturer Porsche has stationed the Porsche Digital Lab to test AI and the internet of things to enhance both the automated driving experience in their vehicles and the working environment for their staff. Similarly, Japanese electronics company Fujitsu has developed several Digital Transformation Centres worldwide to serve as innovation labs where their curious customers can visit to experience new digital technology.
Another possible way to accomplish your digital transformation objective is to station a dedicated change team within the facility. You can choose to outsource consultants or identify innovators from within the organization. These change workers work together to accelerate the digital transformation drive and visit each team or department to drive progress. Another notable aspect of involving this practice is that these change agents are people who consider this practice as their full-time job rather than someone trying to spare time from their busy schedule.
Many organizations push a load of digital strategy and transformation to senior management, making the CEO the pilot of a transformation project. Expecting such a huge change to be delivered by only one or a few people is a false practice. Success is based on creating an environment free from the traditional mindset. Drivers of this change need to mold the cultural mindset as everyone has a part to play, from the clerk to the upper hierarchy.
A solid digital strategy is something no business can confront the Future without. But keep in mind, the main drivers of digital transformation are technology, people, and process. Digital transformation is not just about pitching technology at the problem as it depends on people and processes as well. Without collaboration and adaptation in the three main drivers of change, one cannot get any fruitful transformation and end up ruining the whole project. The experts believe that digital transformation solely depends on organizations remembering these three key points.
- Always be realistic. Adapt what is achievable at the moment and don’t try to implement it all at once.
- Mindset and approach is the prerequisite of technology.
- Cultural change is mandatory for digital transformation to provide promising results. As it's more about people rather than a standalone technology.
The companies that are embarking on success are gradually moving towards the digital transformation initiatives and accepting that failure is a part of the learning curve, rather than wasting time seeing how digital transformation will work for their competitors. Let us know in the comments section below about your opinions and how you are planning to opt for digital business transformation.
Efficient E-Commerce Liquidation Solution
Ramadan is about to start - one of the biggest shopping seasons in Pakistan’s retail. Retailers plan to capitalize on this season to generate max sales. But due to COVID-19, the government has again imposed a ban on shops to be opened for a short period of time during the day.
Many brands have opted for a discount strategy to pull the traffic on their websites especially Gul Ahmed. The brand is offering Clearance sales since COVID-19 first hit Pakistan and it's still going strong. It’s a good strategy to liquidate the stock but at the same time, it hurts the brand's image as well.
Our digital & e-commerce specialist team at Shopistan.pk approached this use-case differently and tried to develop a solution in which we are liquidating the stock without having too many discount/promotion campaigns.
Let's look at an example of similar fashion brands like Gul Ahmed and Khaadi. The brand is fashion retail which offers clothing & accessories for women & men. They had the same problem, wanted to flush their stock to generate cash-flow but without affecting the brand.
First, we sorted inventory into the following group. (how to make such product sets)- Women full price items- Women discounted items- Men full price items- Men discounted item- Women discounted clothing- Men discounted clothing
Using Facebook’s catalog sale product we ran the campaign based on the above-segmented inventory and got some awesome results.
Problem was to flush old discounted summer stock. The usual solution to this sort of problem is to offer huge sale campaigns. We didn’t want to opt for that since, in the long run, it hurts the brand’s image and also we consider ourselves as technology experts and wanted to come up with a more creative and technical solution.
Fashion e-commerce has seen a huge growth in the last couple of years. Fast-moving fashion is now considered the same as perishable goods with a very limited shelf life.
If a user goes to a website and views a product but doesn’t complete the purchase then it's a missed opportunity and we should re-target the user with a window of 7-day window to make a purchase out of him.
We decided on using up-sell logic through the Facebook catalog ads. We wanted to somehow show customers fresh stock inventory (in which he showed interest) for 7 days and if during that period, if he didn’t interact with that ad, we wanted to show him similar products but at discount.
It was easier said than done. Since Facebook doesn’t allow such complex targeting in its built-in up-sell product, we decided to use custom rules. That was the hardest part. We came up with various combinations but nothing worked. Even had a detailed session with our Facebook account manager but couldn’t come up with a reliable solution.
Finally, after a lot of internal brainstorming, we came up with a combination of custom rules that actually worked
Using this strategy our clients are able to liquidate their stock even on mark-down price but without announcing a sale campaign to maintain the brand image.