Who says B2B selling can’t be fun…nel?
(Sorry about that one.)
Building a SaaS B2B sales funnel that continues to accelerate your sales requires an ongoing optimization process. Even if you’ve already built your SaaS B2B sales funnel, there’s plenty you should do to continue bringing in more conversions.
In this article, we’ll cover the top 19 ways to optimize your funnel, with an extra bonus tip for each one.
What is a B2B sales funnel?
A B2B sales funnel is the journey buyers go on, starting from the moment they learn about a brand until they complete the purchase and adopt the product.
The visual representation that is often used to understand this path is in the shape of a funnel. This is because while many prospective buyers become aware of a brand, they then get filtered down until only a select number of those initial leads become buyers.
The 4 stages of the B2B sales funnel
The B2B sales funnel is generally divided into four stages:
In this stage, which is also called the top of the sales funnel, your goal is to spread a wide net and let prospective customers learn that your product exists. This can be done with social media campaigns, content marketing, and ads.
In the middle of the funnel, your prospects are now researching to understand the market, your solution, and whether it can solve their pains. Your goal in this stage is to educate the buyer with mid-funnel marketing tools like a product demo, case studies, or in-depth content.
At the bottom of the b2b sales funnel, buyers are highly interested in your product. At this stage, it’s your job to help the prospect overcome any last objections and complete the sale.
Once the sale is complete, your customers will need to adopt your product or service and learn how to utilize it. At this final stage of the B2B sales funnel, use your customer success team to ensure that your customers fall in love with your product and recommend it to their networks.
19 tips to optimize your B2B sales funnel
Top of funnel optimization
1. Create a killer website
The first thing many leads will do when they find out about your product is visit your website.
Your website is so much more than just a white page with black text that explains to visitors what you do. Your website is the clearest indicator of your overall brand and the way you see yourself and the value you can add as a company.
Use well-designed graphics and punchy, action-driving text to convert your visitors and increase your sales. After all, 94% of the first impressions a visitor will make about your brand has to do with your website’s design.
Pro tip: Add an element of your website that’s particularly fun to navigate or engaging, so visitors end up staying a bit longer.
2. Embed a product tour
Product-led growth is the go-to-marketing strategy of the future. Boost your sales by using your product itself to convince your audience why they need it.
To give visitors a quick understanding of what your product does and how it can help, embed an interactive marketing software demo on your website.
Not only is it more engaging for visitors, but it’ll also give users the chance to play around with your product and fall in love with it for themselves.
Pro tip: Add a playful element to your product tour by adding images, gifs, and videos to your guide’s annotations.
3. Blogs / SEO optimization
Google is the king, so if you want to succeed you need to pay your dues.
Drive organic traffic to your website by optimizing your website’s structure and content for SEO. Do keyword research and build out topic clusters to present your brand as an authority on your topic. Write lots of blogs that link to and support the content on your product pages.
Pro tip: Include clear CTAs on each of your pages. Encourage blog readers to subscribe to your blog by supplying their email addresses.
4. Social media campaigns
Utilize the platform where your target audience hangs out to create a community.
Provide useful content that’ll encourage your followers to engage with your brand.
Share your company’s wins, relevant data, content you’ve created, and your brand voice. Brand your campaigns to be informational, funny, entertaining, or a mix of all three.
Besides growing your organic audience on social media, you should also utilize paid campaigns to target your audience across multiple platforms.
Pro tip: Don’t forget that your goal audience may be hanging out on some of the newer social media channels, like TikTok.
5. Google Ads (PPC)
Create ads on Google to target specific keywords.
Do your research to come up with keywords that your target audience searches for. Then create ads to target those keywords.
Set your price that you’d be willing to pay for each click and Google will charge you for every click that you receive through your ads.
Pro tip: Utilize the negative keywords option to rule out paying for clicks you know won’t bring you leads.
There’s no replacement for good old-fashioned PR.
Get your company featured in newspapers, magazines, TV reports, and more. Show off your newest product releases, fundraising rounds, and whatever other exciting news your company produces.
Pro tip: Share your news segments on social media and tag the publication. This can lead to more views, shares, comments, and likes.
Middle of funnel optimization tips
When prospects are in the middle of the B2B sales funnel, they are looking to educate themselves about the product options.
According to Forrester, 75% of B2B buyers want to do their research, without speaking to a sales rep. So as a sales rep, you need to be able to provide your prospects with information and tools so they can learn about your product on their own.
Send them a link to a guided, interactive sales demo of your product so they can see for themselves how it works and what they can do with it.
Pro tip: Personalize the sales experience for your prospects by including their names and company logos on the product demo, and showcasing the specific features that are relevant for them.
8. Lead generation forms
Let your site visitors fill out a form in order to get more information or request a meeting.
But don’t just stop there. Gather key data points about them, including the industry they work in, the size of their company, and their role within the company.
When creating your form, splitting your questions onto different pages can make the process feel less overwhelming for your visitor and can lead to more conversions.
Pro tip: A tool like Zoominfo FormComplete allows you to simplify the sales process for your visitors. All they need to do is add their email address and Zoominfo can provide you with the rest of the data you need.
9. Case studies
Nothing beats real-life experience and social proof when it comes to sales.
Build case studies of your successful clients to showcase how customers can benefit from your product. Create video or text-based testimonials that show off how to utilize your product for growth.
Gather quotes, stats, and numbers about your clients and feature them on your website, in your email marketing, on social media, and wherever else you can think of.
Pro tip: Create success stories from different industries and that focus on particular tools your product offers. This way you will be able to target prospects with the specific aspects that are relevant for them.
Become an authority in your industry and produce the content to prove it.
Instead of simply selling, become a consultant. Gather the data, statistics, and street-smarts that you’ve gained along the way into a well-structured and densely packed eBook.
You can share an eBook like this with your prospects to build trust and credibility.
Pro tip: Put your eBook behind a paywall and require visitors to share their email addresses to download it. That’ll help you grow your list of potential leads.
11. E-mail marketing
Email marketing is crazy effective. We know that you know this, but did you know just how effective it is when it comes to sales?
Get this: According to DMA, email marketing campaigns earned an average of $42 for every $1 spent in 2019. We’re no mathematicians, but we believe that’s a 4200% return on investment (ROI).
Instead of sending spam or even harmless self-promotion, consider the type of content you enjoy receiving in your inbox. Nurture your leads with great newsletters, eye-catching subject lines, and useful information. Before sending anything, ask yourself how you’d feel receiving that type of email in your inbox.
Pro tip: Split your leads up by industry, pain points, needs, or whatever else makes sense. Then, send them content that is as personally relevant to them as possible.
12. Competitor comparison
In the middle of the sales funnel, your prospects are doing research and gaining information. This will likely include getting to know your competition as well.
If they’re going to look into the different options anyways, they might as well hear it from you. Break down the current market and your position within it.
Promote the specific features and tools you offer that your competitors don’t so your leads know that you’re the best option for them.
Pro tip: Be extremely honest. Don’t mislead your prospects or they won’t trust you and your brand will lose credibility.
13. Phone call / Zoom / in-person meeting
When your leads show a bit more interest, offer to jump on a quick call or schedule a short meeting to discuss whether your product can be the right fit for them.
The goal of this meeting is to understand the prospect’s needs, so ask open-ended questions aimed at getting long answers.
When you reach the demo phase, make sure you focus on value and don’t feature dump.
Pro tip: If you’re choosing between a phone call or Zoom, use the video option. Gong found that won deals used 41% more webcam than lost deals.
Bottom of funnel optimization tips
At the bottom of the funnel, prospects are getting ready to buy. They did their research and know what they want. At this stage, they want an easy final transaction to seal the deal.
Use simple CTAs that direct the customer to the next step. Minimize extra clicks. Keep your copy clear and to the point. Make sure the buttons are brightly colored and featured prominently on the page.
Pro tip: Add urgency with time-sensitive wording, like “Book a Meeting Now” or Get Started Today”.
15. Landing Pages
Use landing pages with a clear message to get your client to the next step in the sales process. Create separate ones for each use case that explain all the pains your product can solve.
Give prospects the final information, encouragement, and confidence they need to book the closing meeting or to hand over their credit card information. Include client logos, testimonials, and value-focused content.
Pro tip: At this stage, less is more. They know what they want, they just need to be guided through the closing. Trim the fat on your landing pages and remove any unnecessary fluff.
Post-sales optimization tips
16. Product walkthrough
Now that the sale is done, your goal is to get your new customer to start incorporating the product into their lives.
The more that they use your product successfully, the more that it will become a staple of their business. A happy customer is a long-term customer.
Arm your customer success team with the perfect tools to ensure your customers maximize all the capabilities of your product. Let them send customers interactive and guided product walkthroughs to simplify and speed up the onboarding process.
Pro tip: You can also use short product tours to educate your customers about new features. This will lead to higher adoption rates.
17. Ask for referrals
A report by Nielson found that 92% of people trust referrals from people they know.
Ask your happy customers to refer your product to their friends and network. Although it can be awkward, this is an extremely effective tool to drive more business and garner more sales.
Before you ask though, consider the strength of your relationship, the timing, and make sure you make it as easy for them to do as possible. Provide incentives to help encourage them to spread the word.
Pro tip: Wait until the customer compliments you or expresses satisfaction with your product to bring up the idea of referrals.
General B2B sales funnel optimization tips
18. Build B2b sales funnel reports
Audit the state of your sales funnel on a consistent basis to make sure it’s optimized.
Use your current numbers to forecast your overall performance and to create individual and team targets.
Then keep an eye on your goals and your quotas and whether you’re meeting them. Track the number of leads being brought in, your conversion rate, and your growth over time.
Pro tip: Keep your CRM up to date so that you can easily follow your sales trends.
19. Use lead scoring
Make sure you are qualifying your leads throughout the selling process.
Consider the common denominators that make prospects more likely to want and need your product. Determine the types of businesses that can utilize your product. Then track how prospects engage with your brand to determine their interest.
Build a lead scoring formula to quantify your leads and rank them. This way you’ll know which ones to spend more time nurturing.
Pro tip: Make use of lead scoring software to help track and qualify your leads.
B2B sales funnel optimization at every stage
In 2022, it’s crucial that you are using all the sales software that can help your team succeed throughout your sales funnel.
A platform like Walnut can be useful for your B2B sales at every stage of your sales funnel, from marketing and awareness to customer success and referrals. Use our interactive product tours platform to give your prospects a better sales experience.
So what are you waiting for? Push the big purple "Get Started" button at the top of your screen to start improving your sales funnel today.