B2B Conversion Funnels
One of the unique challenges of managing a B2B website is that you often don’t actually sell anything directly. Most B2B websites are there to educate, create awareness and generate sales leads (normally through form completions). Retail sites have a very straightforward conversion funnel: Product Views to Cart Additions to Checkouts to Orders. But B2B sites are not as linear. In fact, there is a ton of research that shows that B2B sales consideration cycles are very long and potential customers only reach out or self-identify towards the end of the process.
So if you work for a B2B organization, how can you see how your website is performing if the conversion funnel isn’t obvious? One thing you can do is to use segmentation to split your visitors into the various stages of the buying process. Some people subscribe to the Awareness – Consideration – Intent – Decision funnel model, but there are many different types of B2B funnel models that you can choose from. Regardless of which model you prefer, you can use digital analytics segmentation to create visitor buckets and see how your visitors progress through the buying process.
To illustrate this, I will use a very basic example using my website. On my website, I write blog posts, which [hopefully] drive visitors to the site to read, which, in turn, gives me an opportunity to describe my consulting services (of course, generating business isn’t my only motivation for writing blog posts, but I do have kids to put through college!). Therefore, if I want to identify which visitors I think are at the “Awareness” stage for my services, I might make a segment that looks like this:
Here I am saying that someone who has been to my website more than once and read more than one of my blog posts is generally “aware” of me. Next, I can create another segment for those that might be a bit more serious about considering me like this:
Here, you can see that I am raising the bar a bit and saying that to be in the “Consideration” bucket, they have to have visited at least 3 times and viewed at least three of my blog posts. Lastly, I will create a third bucket called “Intent” and define it like this:
Here, I am saying that they had to have met the criteria of “Consideration” and viewed at least one of the more detailed pages that describe my consulting services. As I mentioned, this example is super-simplistic, but the general idea is to place visitors into sales funnel buckets based upon what actions they can do on your website that might indicate that they are in one stage or another.
However, these buckets are not mutually exclusive. Therefore, what you can do is place them into a conversion funnel report in your digital analytics tool. This will apply these segments but do so in a progressive manner taking into account sequence. In this case, I am going to use Adobe’s Analysis Workspace fallout visualization to see how my visitors are progressing through the sales process (and I am also applying a few segments to narrow down the data like excluding competitor traffic and some content unrelated to me):
Here is what the fallout report looks like when it is completed:
In this report, I have applied each of the preceding three segments to the Visits metric and created a funnel. I also use the Demandbase product (which attempts to tell me what company anonymous visitors work for), so I segmented my funnel for all visitors and for those where a Demandbase Company exists. Doing this, I can see that for companies that I can identify, 55% of visitors make it to the Awareness stage, 27% make it to the Consideration stage, but only 2% make it to the Intent stage. This allows you to see where your website issues might exist. In my case, I am not very focused on using my content to sell my services and this can be seen in the 25% drop-off between Consideration and Intent. If I want to see this trended over time, I can simply right-click and see the various stages trended:
In addition, I can view each of these stages in a tabular format by simply right-clicking and create a segment from each touchpoint and adding those segments to a freeform table. Keep in mind that these segments will be different from the Awareness, Consideration, Intent segments shown above because these segments take into account the sequence since they come from the fallout report (using sequential segmentation):
Once I have created segments for all funnel steps, I can create a table that looks like this:
This shows me which known companies (via Demanbase) have unique visitors at each stage of the buying process and which companies I might want to reach out to about getting new business. If I want, I can right-click and make a new calculated metric that divides the Intent visitor count by the Awareness visitor count to see who might be the most passionate about working with me:
So this is one way that you can use the power of segmentation to create B2B sales funnels with your digital analytics data. To read some other posts I have shared related to B2B, you can check out the following, many coming from my time at Salesforce.com:
- Tracking Lead Gen Forms by Page Name
- Form Submit Button Clicks
- Tracking Form Errors (Part 1)
- Tracking Form Errors (Part 2)
- Tracking Form Errors (Part 3)
- CRM Integration #1 – Passing Web Analytics Data to CRM
- CRM Integration #2 – Passing CRM Data to Web Analytics
- CRM Integration #3 – Passing CRM Meta-Data to Web Analytics