Last week, we wrote about the sales funnel and the responsibilities of Marketing and Sales. The sales funnel needs both Marketing and Sales to be successful. In this blog, we are going to take a deeper look at the Top of the Funnel which includes the first two stages – Prospect/Visitor and Lead.
The primary responsibility of the Top of the Funnel falls under Marketing’s responsibilities. It is Marketing’s job to build brand awareness and create content that attracts prospective customers. In order to do this, Marketing must know their customers. If Marketing has not taken the time to know their customer’s needs, interests and buying behaviors, it will be difficult to attract the right customers. (If you want to learn more about understanding your customer, you can read 3 Ways to Attract Qualified Leads and Nurture Them in Your Sales Funnel).
Assuming that Marketing understands their customer, their job is to draw prospect customers into the 1st stage of the funnel, Prospect/Visitor. They can do this in two ways.
- Create a brand strategy that invites visitors into your business. What do you have “hanging on the door” of your business? Do they feel welcome to enter into your brand and explore all that you have to offer, or are they confused? Your “door” is your website, your social media, advertising, video and print. If their first interaction is a video, does the narrative of the video create a bond? If it is the website, do they feel like their best interest is at hand? This brings us into our 2nd
- It is important for small B2B companies to be genuine. There are too many companies that are in it just for the money. Strictly transactional. They do not care about their customer and do not care if their product is quality or not. They just want the profit. Show that you care not only about your customer, but you also care about your product, your employees and your community. If you do, you will attract better customers who are more likely to stay with you and remain loyal. This can be done by creating stories and case studies of testimonials, community involvement, and client solutions which can be shared on different marketing channels where your brand has a presence. How are you making a difference at every touch point?
After you have peaked the visitor’s curiosity by showing how you are different from your competitors, Marketing needs to help them enter into the next stage, which is Lead. You do this by creating a clear call-to-action. You know it is a clear call-to-action when visitors know exactly what you want them to do. Here a couple of ways to help make your call-to-action clear.
- How does your customer respond? Do they like videos? Webinars? Emails? Downloads? It is easy to follow trends, but if your customer’s preference is different than the trend, follow the customer. When you use the best call-to-action based on their preference, you will increase your lead inquiries.
- Stick to one call-to-action at a time. When you give visitors more than one call-to-action, you create confusion. Which action should they take? If they do not know, they will more often than not take no action. This is very important on websites. When they know what to do, they will follow through with the action.
- Is your call-to-action clean? When they get a brochure in the mail or visit a landing page on your website, is the call-to-action easy for them to see and take action? Sometimes we feel the need to cram as much information into the marketing piece to win them over including text and photography. More is not always better. A cluttered call-to-action actually increases anxiety for the visitor and you certainly do not want that. Figure out your non-negotiable content and remove the rest to give your visitors a clean and clear call-to-action.
Although Sales can be helpful with valuable insights for the Top of the Funnel, Marketing needs to use their creative skillsets to create the brand, narrative, and clear call-to-actions to draw visitors into the first two stages.
In the next blog, we will talk about the middle of the funnel stages which the visitor will enter when they follow through with the call-to-action. If you have questions about the Top of the Funnel and Marketing’s role, we would love to talk to you. Click here to contact us.