B2B buying cycle takes up to 30 to 90 days, and several phases before the decision making and making the purchase.
Prospects need nurture throughout the process. It’s about keeping them connected throughout the journey to Sales with useful content dedicated to each stage of their journey.
Here are three gospels to produce extraordinary content at each stage of the customer journey.
Control Each Stage of the Funnel
There’s a certain level of liability required in each stage of the funnel, so it’s essential to plan and develop your strategy for the entire sales funnel and then work with the sales team for conversions.
Top of the Funnel
The top of the funnel requires content related to the topics your industry is offering. For example, at True Influence, we offer top-of-the-funnel content around Intent data, Data quality, ABM implementation, Programmatic and Marketing automation best practices, and more explicit content, such as sales and marketing analytics and productivity tips. This phase is all about helping the prospects understand the business and not selling. Here you’re not talking about any product; instead, building your brand image as a leader and expert in these topics, a go-to place for the audience.
Middle of the Funnel
The middle of the funnel is often referred to as the “black hole” of the sales funnel. The marketing department certainly owns the top of the funnel, and sales obviously own the bottom of the funnel. The middle ground is where companies tend to get confused, lose prospects and slow down. Prospects usually at this stage are about to take action, but due to the lack of compelling events, interactions, and content, you often lose them. Middle-of-the-funnel is where you start to infuse your product into marketing like product-related case studies and webinars. These are more helpful for the audience to know and learn about your product. But this is the point where you must be more proactive in offering these materials to the audience.
Bottom of the Funnel
Bottom of the funnel is sales-driven. This is where presentations, sales decks, proposals, and pricing comes into the picture. For example, if the entire sales funnel is a road with marketers driving the car, bottom-of-the-funnel is where the sales team takes over the steering.
No matter at which stage you’re in the funnel, sales and marketing must align and work hand-in-hand to turn a prospect into a client. Sales and marketing teams often experience growth in conversion and revenue due to solid alignment between the two.
Never Forget That a Funnel Isn’t a Perfectly Designed Upside-Down Triangle
A Sales Funnel is more like a fishing net. Prospects come in at different phases, from different angles, and in different sizes, and they fall out of the net left and right.
Prospects can come in at any stage of the funnel– top, middle, or bottom. Hence, it’s necessary to ensure that your content narrates a close-knit story throughout the funnel.
Transparency throughout the Funnel
Transparency starts with your first interaction with the prospects. Often prospects aren’t aware of what their buyer’s journey looks like. Hence, outline the journey for your prospects, so it’s easy for them to understand what’s going on at each stage of the journey and what they’re required to do.
Prospect’s first experience with you is usually where the journey of transparency begins, and that’s your website. For instance, if someone has subscribed to your newsletter, let them know they will receive the newsletter either weekly, biweekly or monthly. Or let them know if they’re going to receive a call from an executive for further discussion; also include their photo if possible. It would be even much better if the email is sent out by the person who’s going to reach out to them. This sort of clear conversation builds a sense of trust among the audience.
Building a strategic sales funnel is not that difficult, neither is producing content related to it. But it’s necessary to prioritize the audience’s interest and focus to address their pain points. Creating content that’s relevant to the audience’s interest is always loved, appreciated, and shared the most; this will help you gain lifetime clients.