As a business owner, you must keep track of all developments and innovations in your industry. In addition, you always strive to improve your business model. Keeping your strategies sharp and adjusting them when necessary will boost your sales and help your business grow. You also need to think about your online presence, how to boost website sales, and stay relevant in a competitive market. Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? And it is. What you need is a cohesive strategy that enables different sectors to work together. And the main concept you should keep in mind is the customers’ journey. Wait, are we talking about marketing or sales? Actually, we are talking about both. Using the AIDA model and exploring the B2B sales funnel will enable you to make one cohesive strategy. Join us as we explain everything you should know and give you tips on where to start.
What is a B2B marketing funnel?
If a marketing funnel is the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the words customer journey, you’re not wrong. What is a B2B marketing funnel? It’s a model that shows how prospects and customers interact with your brand. It starts with the first encounter and follows the customer’s journey all the way to the end. Which is hopefully closing the deal. A B2B marketing funnel has different stages and defines different marketing actions you should take at each stage.
Now, you could base your marketing strategy on how you want your prospects to react and what you want them to do at each stage. But that strategy isn’t complete without taking into account the natural ways people process things and ideas. Here’s where the AIDA model comes in.
AIDA stands for Awareness, Interest, Desire/Decision, and Action. In other words, it’s a marketing model that identifies cognitive stages the customer goes through during their journey with your brand. It provides you with valuable insight into the customer’s mind. For that reason, it enables you to nurture leads and generate sales more efficiently. If you’re wondering how to lower website bounce rate or bounce rates in general, knowing how a customer thinks is a valuable resource.
Let’s explore the different stages of AIDA in more detail.
The first goal of your business is to grow brand awareness. Your marketing campaign must attract your prospects’ attention. Even though they’ve never interacted with you, you want them to be aware of and recognize the brand name.
The next stage is generating interest. You want your prospect to be intrigued enough to start doing further research into the products and services you offer. At this stage, employing online tools such as the ConvertMore widget can help you encourage the prospect to stay on your website and explore further.
When you awake desire in your prospects, the next step is having them make the decision about the purchase. If they desire your product enough, this is a stage where customers make up their minds to buy. When the customer establishes a strong emotional connection to what they want from your brand, it’s time for a CTA – call to action. This will help give them an extra push to finalize the purchase.
Retention as a bonus
Of course, there’s a post-funnel stage, too. Let’s add capital R to the AIDA model in which R stands for Retention. As you already know, closing the deal is not the end. On the contrary, this is the right time to ask for referrals or use the opportunities to cross or upsell. There’s a lot you can do to keep your customer’s interest and encourage them to become returning customers.
What is a B2B sales funnel?
Working with other businesses is different than selling to individuals. Businesses usually spend more money but they also take more time to reach the decision. The hierarchy process is different and they often have more stakeholders. Therefore, you need to optimize your sales funnel for these more complex and longer customer journeys.
Exploring the B2B sales funnel – the stages of the customer journey
Depending on the model you use there will be some slight differences in the number of sales funnel stages. Most businesses base their sales funnel model on AIDA principles. And they do it for a good reason. This approach enables you to align your marketing and sales strategies and know exactly what actions to take at the different stages to help the customer move faster down the sales funnel.
Some common stages of the B2B sales funnel include (and you’ll notice their similarity to the AIDA):
- Awareness – they’re aware of what you have to offer and your reputation
- Interest – they show interest in your product and see it might be a good solution to their problem
- Consideration – businesses take a longer time to consider all the aspects of the purchase and the impact it will have on their business
- Intent – this is the sensitive time when you need to encourage them to make a leap
- Evaluation and decision – you will often have to deal with a lot of people from different departments; however, this is the time to convert them by regular calls, answering questions, and paying attention to all the details of the deal
- Purchase – congratulations, this is the stage at which all that hard work pays of and you close the deal.
What is the main difference between B2B marketing and sales funnels?
Your B2B marketing funnel provides touchpoints and gives reasons to the prospect to make a purchase. On the other hand, your B2B sales funnel deals with actions you need to take to lead a prospect from one stage to the other.
Why do you need to align them?
Using AIDA marketing principles when exploring the B2B sales funnel provides a lot of advantages for your business. After all, if you want to improve sales, you need insight into what customers really want. You also need to know what actions to take at each point of their journey. By aligning these two strategies, you’ll streamline both processes. As a result, you’ll be converting more customers and building lasting relationships.
How to make a cohesive strategy
So, where to start with using AIDA to create effective and efficient sales and marketing strategies? Here are a few starting points:
- set clear goals and objectives
- find and understand your target audience
- ensure both marketing and sales teams work together
- opt for the right channels for your audience
- assess your strategies’ performance
The bottom line
As you may see, AIDA has many benefits. The main one is that it provides valuable insight into customers’ desires, needs, and decision-making processes. It’s valuable for exploring the B2B sales funnel because it’s based on the psychology behind finding something, wanting it, and finally purchasing it. As a result, your marketing and sales funnels will follow the natural flow of how people behave, encouraging and nudging them along the way.
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