Strategy & Planning

How are B2B SaaS funnels different from traditional marketing funnels?

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When you think of a traditional marketing funnel, you probably think: awareness, consideration, and decision. A funnel that’s much wider at the top and much narrower at the bottom with the final step being your customers. In a B2B SaaS business, you need to think of your funnel a bit differently. In this article, I talk about the way you take your traditional marketing funnel and transition it into a machine that allows you to gather insights and understand your buyer journey better.

Traditional funnels vs. B2B SaaS funnels

In a traditional funnel, you're trying to get people to be aware of your solution and consider buying it and then do so. It’s a funnel that gets narrower the further down you go.

In a B2B SaaS funnel, you have this new dynamic. You have all this data that you can get from people using the product, where they are in the funnel, what are they clicking on, and what emails are they opening? What parts of the product are they interacting with, getting maybe feedback through the product interface? All this data is sort of your reverse funnel, that flows back.

With a lot of modern SaaS businesses, there’s a huge opportunity to use this data to constantly optimize not just the funnel itself, but the product and what you're doing for these customers, and how they're recruiting value from what you're doing. You can then use that data to constantly improve both your revenue department and your product.

SaaS Funnel Stages

Now just like a traditional marketing funnel, a SaaS funnel consists of awareness, consideration, and decision. However, one more stage of the funnel that you need to focus on for SaaS is adoption. That's the post-sales stage that allows you to track your onboarding process and how they use your product and make the most out of it. You can also break down your funnel into the following categories:

Attract

The first section is about attracting a prospect or driving traffic. This is mainly through your demand capture channels. This of course doesn't take into account anything pre-funnel or any demand generation efforts.

Wow

The second step is to wow. Whenever someone lands on your site, it needs to resonate with their pain points. This is a test of how well you understand your ICP, your personas, your positioning, and how it resonates with your audience.

Educate & Nurture

The next step is to educate and nurture your prospects. Make sure to have the appropriate marketing automation and workflows in place that trigger based on the data you've been able to collect about your prospects to make sure they get the most personalized experiences. This is also the time for you to educate your prospects about your solution and your unique value propositions. 

Engage

This step is typically when you'd do personalized demos of your solutions and prepare to convert your prospects.

Convert

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Converting your prospect into a customer. Typically a signed contract or an LOI.

Onboard

Once they've signed the contract, now the onboarding process begins. This includes your implementation processes and any necessary training. This step is a great test of your demos and how much you were able to educate your client before they signed the contract.

Turn Into Evangelist

This is after your client has been onboarded and has been using your solutions for a while. You now need to make sure to continue to support them so they make the most out of the product, rave about it to others, and turn into evangelists that love your product and refer others to it.

Upsell

And finally, once they're used the product enough, then you start to find the best add-ons that would help them achieve the highest ROI using your platform which opens up a lot of upsell opportunities for you.

Always Improving

The notion of you always improving based on the insights you gather gets a completely different dynamic in a SaaS business, where you have all this data that's flowing back to you if you're willing to listen. And then, of course, you also need to make sure that in everything you do, you monitor and experiment with based on the data you’re getting back from the funnel.

Now with every email you send out or every feature you enable in your product, or a piece of content that you publish, you need to make sure that you always have a varying test behind them so you're constantly learning and getting as much information from that funnel as possible.

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