B2B prospects are a special bunch.
Not only do many have access to the necessary resources to invest in their businesses, but they also want to invest in their businesses. Their thirst for constant efficiency and growth makes them an idyllic audience to market to.
With so many B2B brands promising other businesses the world, you have to find a unique way to break through the noise.
Enter: Sales funnel optimization.
By optimizing your sales funnel the right way, you can make the most of your team’s time, stand out, and create a thorough, humanized approach to nurture prospects to conversion.
Let’s take a closer look at how to improve your sales funnel to boost sales with seven simple tips.
1. Prepare and implement an organic content marketing strategy
Generate awareness and bring prospects into your funnel by planning and implementing a solid organic marketing strategy.
If you haven’t already, meet with an SEO strategist to discuss how to index your website and blog for search.
Then, take advantage of the following tips.
Use the PAS framework
Create blog and website content following the “pain point + agitate + solution” (or “PAS”) framework. That’s where you highlight a common challenge your audience struggles with, add context to emphasize why it’s painful, and then provide a solution.
This is an especially helpful framework to use in your article introductions (see our intro above for reference), but you can also use the PAS framework in your newsletter, social media, and landing page content.
For instance, if you sell jewelry insurance to ring designers, consider creating content that highlights the risks of losing or damaging inventory.
Here’s a website banner example from BriteCo to illustrate what we mean:
Under each risk factor, BriteCo agitates the pain each consequence would cause — and then positions itself as a trusted, go-to solution.
Put the purchasing power back in the audience’s hands
Use listicles and honest reviews to help B2B shoppers make informed purchasing decisions. Find influencers and affiliates in your business niche, then hire them to write honest reviews of the products and/or services you sell.
You can also guest post on other B2B blogs with aligned audiences to generate quality backlinks and expand your reach — just make sure you’re writing value-driven content. (More on this in the next section.)
Insert links where they make sense and find natural ways to demonstrate your expertise. Your goal is to empower guest blog audiences with the information they need, and if you do it right, they’ll naturally feel led to check out your site.
Focus on creating value-driven content
Think of value-driven content as the backbone of your organic content marketing strategy.
If your audience can count on your insights to deliver tremendous value to their businesses, it’s only a matter of time before they reward you with business — and search engines will, too.
The key? Focus on creating content based on user intent.
Business owners are busy. They don’t have time to read thin blog posts or stale social media content about topics that don’t interest them.
But if they’ve been searching for leadership tips, then a blog post on the best sales leadership books or a podcast interview with a renowned entrepreneur can be invaluable ways to deliver the content they crave.
Again, if SEO isn’t your thing, meet with a strategist to learn how to pull topics based on user intent. Then, plan your content assets accordingly.
2. Solidify a robust knowledge base
Take unnecessary work off your customer support team’s plate and help business owners get quick answers to common questions by creating a knowledge base.
Think of your knowledge base as a trusted support tool for any B2Ber looking for answers about:
- How your product or service works
- How to troubleshoot common issues
- Feature use cases
- Industry use cases
- Pricing and packages
- Admin support
Include tutorials, explainer videos, and cheat sheets to help your audience explore what you offer so they can consider if it’d be a good fit for their unique businesses.
3. Double-down on gated content
Struggling to gather enough qualified leads? Use enticing lead magnets (or gated content) to collect more opt-ins.
Not sure what kind of gated content you should create?
Here are some ideas:
- Review your best-performing content and write ebooks or mini-courses that expand on those topics
- Answer your audience’s most frequently asked questions using tutorials and downloadable guides
- Host live videos and webinars that cover deep insights relevant to your audience’s top pain points
Pro tip: Make sure you have a lead nurturing plan in place — think segmented, automated email campaigns — before initiating a gated content strategy.
4. Optimize your landing pages
As foundational pillars in the sales funnel, you can’t afford to create landing pages with high bounce rates.
Here’s how to create landing pages that convert:
Anticipate prospect questions and use your landing pages to answer them
Stay one step ahead of your audience by anticipating their questions and concerns — and using your landing pages to answer them. The landing page should not only be structured in a logical and easy-to-understand way but should also load fast enough, as a slow loading speed has an impact on a higher bounce rate. To do so, make sure that images on your landing page are compressed in a way so that the size is reduced, but the quality of the image is not compromised.
Take Dental Insurance.com, a company that offers dental insurance in California, as an example.
With its thorough landing pages, searchers get an overview of the solution, complete with answers to their burning questions — critical to the evaluation stage of the sales funnel.
The landing page also highlights the company’s phone number in orange at the top right, in case the prospect has further questions.
Implement FOMO marketing language and highlight exclusive deals
Generate a fear of missing out, or “FOMO,” to nudge leads closer to conversion.
Highlight exclusive deals and add a time restraint to put the pressure on.
Here’s a FOMO marketing example from YUPLAY to illustrate what we mean:
In this example, YUPLAY showcases a countdown timer at the top of its landing page and highlights generous discounts on featured products in bright red and purple.
It also places multiple “ADD TO CART” CTAs to make the checkout process quick and easy. More on this in a bit.
Use social proof to build trust
Ask customers for honest reviews, use social listening tools to pull brand mentions, and collect testimonials to add to your landing pages to help build trust.
Pro tip: Put a face to a name and up the storytelling by featuring real customer testimonial videos. Here’s an example from B2B SaaS brand PetScreening, to demonstrate what we mean.
5. Thoroughly prepare for calls, demos, and prospect meetings
Showing up thoroughly prepared to prospect meetings is key to fostering a successful evaluation stage.
Here’s how to prepare:
Implement a lead scoring strategy to help you pinpoint qualified leads.
Then, gather and review all of the data you have on file for each prospect.
If you have endless data sources, consider looking into a Reverse ETL solution to help you aggregate data from multiple channels into your CRM software. Having all relevant data in one place can help you better understand your prospects so you can build meaningful relationships with them.
When analyzing the data, really focus on understanding who the prospect is, what they’re struggling with, and how you can help solve their problems better than the competition.
Use these insights in your calls, demos, and meetings to demonstrate the benefits and value leads can walk away with if they choose to work with you. As always, stay authentic, honest, and real.
6. Offer plenty of hand-holding opportunities
Think bottom-of-the-funnel leads are pretty much good to go?
While you’ve been able to nurture them this far, qualified leads may still have questions and concerns preventing them from converting.
So, how can you help remove barriers to entry and encourage them to take the final leap?
Offer additional support — or “hold their hand” — through the process via:
- Free discovery calls
- Live demos
- Free trials
- In-depth explainer videos
- Onboarding walkthroughs
- Scheduled check-in calls
For instance, got a tool that helps customers build accounting reports? Offer a free trial so prospects can test drive the app before committing to purchase.
Run a virtual assistant agency? Send over explainer videos to show prospects what working with a virtual assistant is like.
7. Optimize the checkout and follow-up process
When a lead is finally in the purchase stage, you can’t afford to let anything impede them from following through.
That’s why it’s pivotal to create a fast and easy checkout flow — and keep in contact with them throughout purchase and post-purchase.
You can optimize the checkout process by:
- Adding a “quick checkout” button (think reduced fields and payment steps)
- Accepting a wide array of payment options
- Ensuring all checkout tools and pages load quickly and are bug-free
- Using automatic chats to guide them through checkout
After purchase, continue nurturing relationships by sending follow-up messages. Bonus points for including any additional material they can use to get the most out of your solution and personalizing the follow-up process with a check-in video.
Ready to optimize your sales funnel and boost sales?
We hope today’s tips have given you the insight you need to make some smart changes.
Here’s to your success!
PS: Want to get ahead of the competition and increase your chances of closing a deal? Help your sales team engage leads with chat, video, and stunning proposals to humanize and transform your sales process. Book a demo or create a free GetAccept account today.