The Four Funnels FrameworkThe science behind high quality B2B Lead Generation
The Science of B2B Lead Generation
The Four Funnels Framework provides a scientific and systematic formula for generating high quality B2B leads that result in Predictable Revenue Forecasts. While consumer companies have highly sophisticated Marketing Operations that directly generate sales, B2B companies don’t know how to utilize their marketing spend to generate leads that become paying customers.
In many cases, there is a gap between Marketing and Sales, what we call “the missing link” that is Funnel 3. Below, the graphic illustrates brief descriptions of each funnel and how these four funnels work together.
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Funnel 1: Build Awareness
In our current state of a preposterously noisy and crowded media circuit, the tendency of prospective buyers is to tune out first and ask questions later. Most marketing experts believe it takes up to 16 distinct touches before a prospective buyer decides to purchase; and this number seems to be only increasing with each passing year.
Businesses, however, still have to sell, and in order to sell they must first generate the attention of their prospective buyer. After all, we clients cannot buy what they do not know exists. The role of Funnel 1 is to create this vital awareness. The only way to accomplish this in the current marketing climate is through the production and publication genuine marketing content.
Genuine marketing means that we must adequately understand the pain a target customer is experiencing before stating any proposed solutions. Our communication must address the pain of the prospective clinet, and not our solution, in order to get the prospect’s attention.
Funnel 2: Build Trust
Prospective clients don’t particularly care about a individual vendor’s products or services, they simply care about solving their own problems. To capture the attention of prospect’s, vendors must first demonstrate that they genuinely care by providing information that prospects need in order to solve their problems.
While this may seem like readily giving away something for nothing, such actions establish trust and credibility that is crucial to win new business. The business will inevitably come – customers need much more than just information to solve their problems. They need tools, implementation, training expertise, Best Practices advice, and more. There is plenty of opportunity for sales once this initial trust is established.
Funnel 2 is about providing prospective buyers with the evidence they need to trust you, as a vendor, to the extent to which they willing volunteer their contact information and give you full permission to contact them.
Funnel 3: Qualify
Up to this point, most of a vendor’s engagement with prospects has occurred electronically through the vendor’s website, social media properties, and email campaigns. Now that the prospect has given the vendor their contact information and permission to reach out, the next phase is to begin to qualify the prospect and determine if they are an appropriate fit to do business with.
Since this is the first human touch point, it is very important that the vendor uses experienced and capable representatives. Many companies make the detrimental mistake of thinking that this is a low-skill entry-level position and utilize junior level employees. Even if these individuals conduct themselves professionally, they still lack the sophistication and experience necessary to reassure the prospect that he or she has reached out to the most suitable vendor.
While the role of Funnel 2 was to build a Teleprospecting pipeline for Funnel 3, the role of Funnel 3 is to build a sales pipeline for Funnel 4. Experienced BDR’s properly qualify the prospect and only approve them if their exists a real and pressing need that the vendor can fully and properly address and solve. In addition, the prospective client must be able to provide a purchase decision, that can be approved in a timely manner, to the sales organization.
Funnel 4: Sell
Predictable Revenue Forecast
With a healthy sales pipeline of well-qualified sales leads, sales representatives focus on further qualifying and then engaging each prospect through the buying cycle. Sales representatives have relatively healthy pipelines at all times, thus, they are not afraid to remove leads that are not a proper fit or are not ready to purchase at the given time at hand.
The existence of this smooth, sleek sales pipeline is critical to building a reliable sales forecast. The forecast must be at least 90% accurate in terms of what deals and purchases are expected to close over the next 60 days. Without a reliable sales forecast, companies cannot adequately plan and budget for future movement and growth.
The Four Funnels Framework is the only effective way that companies can set and meet revenue targets on a consistent and reliable basis.