7 High-Quality B2B Sales Funnels Worth Studying

This may shock you to know but…

An apple is not the same as a potato.

Obviously. 

Same thing happens with sales.

B2B sales (business selling to businesses) are very different from B2C sales (businesses selling to consumers). Even if the product or service sold is the same.

Different psychology, different markets, a completely different way of selling.

A B2B sales funnel’s buying cycle takes more time. In fact, according to a research survey from Business2Community, 58% of B2B buyers said their decision process was longer in 2017 compared to 2016. 

B2B sales funnels are simply more value-focused—and less emotionally focused—on how decisions are (theoretically) made.

But how do you construct (and optimize) a B2B funnel that converts?

Well, that’s why I compiled this actionable analysis of 7 B2B sales funnels examples. Inside, we’ll look at:

  • Real-world case studies of B2B sales funnels that have helped increase sales and leads.
  • The simple (and little known) success strategies used by successful companies.
  • And actionable insights you can start applying in a matter of minutes to your own B2B sales funnel.

Let’s slide down that conversion ladder baby…

In a rush? Want to download this article as a PDF so you can easily take action on it later? Click here to download this article as a PDF guide.

 

 

1. Actionable Insight from a Bank Debit Network that Increased Conversion by 139%—GoCardless

One of the Laws of Sales Funnel Physics—the Law of Friction, is key in the success of this case study.

This law states that that which is free from distractions or extra work is more likely to convert. 

The more you can eliminate or reduce extra work on the part of your prospects, the easier they’ll move to the next stage of your funnel. And eventually, the easier it will be to get them to buy what it is you’re selling. 

Often, business owners don’t realize the potential customer’s goals. They ignore how certain elements on their website are blocking these customers from buying.

But when friction is minimized in your landing pages, and a user’s goals are made easier to accomplish, conversions simply spike.

And that principle is what made the conversion increase for GoCardless possible.

They reduced friction by letting their site’s visitors access the video they wanted to watch as soon as possible.

No need to fill out a form just to be informed of the live demo date.

Whoever was interested in attending the live event was able to just click a button and watch a 10-minute video immediately.

Remember, people are lazy. 

People prefer whatever is more convenient for them. 

In this case, watching a demo video was the way to go.

The bottom line here: by reducing friction in any of your landing pages, 99 times out of 100, you’ll increase your conversion rate.

What Sort of Results Did It Get?

GoCardless is a platform designed to help SaaS, media, and other subscription-based businesses move direct debit into their transaction processes. 

They ran an A/B test on their homepage for 7 days. And they increased the number of users who watched their demo video. And all by tweaking the CTA button copy.

Gocardless saw a 139% increase in conversion.

Summary of the Case Study

This case study is super easy to model.

Originally, they had a CTA on their homepage, which was “Request a demo.”

Users were then taken to a “Request a Demo” form to fill out and submit.

And upon completing the form, prospects were shown a date and time to watch the live demo. They didn’t really have the option of watching the video at their convenience.

But then, they decided to A/B test “Watch a demo” in their CTA button.

They thought that giving prospects immediate access to watch a recorded demo video would be beneficial to them. Because sometimes not everyone can attend a live demo at a specific time. 

Think about people with different time zones. If you schedule a live demo at 1 pm EST, chances are people who live in Australia, for example, won’t be able to make it.

Getting back to the A/B test, “Watch a demo” beat “Request a demo.” 

The statistically significant winner had a 95% confidence level. 

The screenshot below shows how that variable outperformed the original version.

How Do I Execute on It (And How Much Time Does It Take)?

Minimizing friction in your B2B sales funnel can take you as little as just a few minutes.

In 2016, we actually applied the same tweaks GoCardless made for their landing page. 

We used to invite prospects to book a free consultation to learn more about our service.

This required some time from the prospect to actually book the call, schedule the timing, and actually show up to the consultation.

But then, we decided to minimize friction.

We added a CTA to watch a 20-minute demo video in Leadpages (our landing page builder) instead.

Well, this teeny-tiny tweak brought a massive 481% conversion increase.

This translated into 1,117 more people watching our demo video.

2. Actionable Insight from a Marketing Campaign that Went Viral—Grasshopper

Grasshopper is a virtual phone system that helps small business owners to have a phone number for their company. This can be used on existing landlines or cell phones.

They’ve scaled to over $100,000,000 in sales with this B2B SaaS sales funnel.

I templated it out here…

They actually cut down on their sales funnel, so it converted better. 

Because simplicity works great in funnels.

Depending on how complex your sales process is, the time it takes to move a lead from one stage to another can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months. 

As a matter of fact, according to Salesforce, on average, 13% of leads convert to opportunities and the average time for conversion is 84 days.

One key takeaway from this case study is that Grasshopper was looking to do something unique.

Their marketing campaign to create awareness of their rebranding and to inspire entrepreneurs went viral. And all by being creative and finding a memorable way to reach out to their audience.

The Law of Scale was key in this case study.

This law states that that which is built on scalable distribution is more likely to reach a greater audience than direct marketing. 

Well, reaching out to as many people as possible with the right distribution channels made this company’s marketing campaign go viral.

They grew in popularity, and indeed, created awareness of their rebranding by tapping into audiences via direct mail.

Let’s take a look at what Grasshopper did with their marketing campaign and by connecting with their audience via FedEx.

What Sort of Results Did It Get?

So, they saw an increase in the number of views on their marketing campaign YouTube video. Over 8,000 views per day, actually.

Take a look at the numbers below…

Source: Grasshopper

Pretty impressive, huh?

Influencers like Guy Kawasaki even tweeted about the effectiveness of the campaign.

Because pretty much everyone tweeted or shared a photo about the weird grasshoppers covered in chocolate.

Grasshopper started receiving a bunch of unsolicited videos and images of people eating the insects. I mean, this marketing campaign went viral. Everyone had to do something with it.

The company drove people to a video without them really knowing what the video was about.

Summary of the Case Study

To increase awareness of their rebranding and inspire more entrepreneurs, Grasshopper launched a $68,103 marketing campaign. 

The campaign consisted of sending out a direct mail piece to 5,000 of the most influential people in the U.S. (politicians, business leaders, journalists, authors, and bloggers). But the recipients didn’t know they had been chosen to receive that mail.

Grasshopper added the URL for an inspirational video about the power of entrepreneurship on the tag of the package.

Through FedEx, they delivered 5 chocolate covered animals. Can you guess which ones?

Grasshoppers!

Source: Outsource Marketing

And they were real, by the way!

They wanted to create such a remarkable marketing campaign that everyone who had received the grasshopper chocolates would share package photos through social media.

Source: Ponoko

The package with the grasshoppers covered in chocolate had no information other than a tag with the URL to the video.

People had no choice but to type the URL in the computer to see what this was all about. And why they have been chosen to receive that package.

Smart stuff!

How Do I Execute on It (And How Much Time Does It Take)?

To reach out to the right audiences, you must first find the right distribution channels. And then, grow popularity through them.

Because to grow bigger (i.e. get more traffic), you must leverage that which already has distribution.

You need to market yourself so you can reach out to your desired audience. 

And one way to do that is to reach out to people directly. 

Send them emails, a FedEx package with animals covered in chocolate (ha!), knock on people’s doors—do whatever it takes to get your products or services in front of people’s eyes. 

Simply tap into the marketing power of a channel that already has a large and established audience like social media, for instance. 

The timing to implement this insight is going to depend on your efforts. Because they aren’t really scalable. 

But with planning your marketing campaign in advance, you can get massive results just as Grasshopper did.

3. Actionable Insight from an Untested Info Product that Generated $1,100+ in Sales per Day (This Online Class Didn’t Even Exist!)

AutoGrow turned this B2B sales funnel into a resounding success.

How?

By selling an info product that didn’t even exist, launching its funnel fast, and building the info product last.

This is really important because many marketing gurus tell you you should have your funnel perfect first, and then launch it.

And that doesn’t necessarily guarantee you results.

You can launch a product you haven’t built yet and start building rapport with your customers.

You can, for instance, get them to join a waiting list. And then, and only then when you see you have X number of people interested in your product, build it.

Then, launch the product to your email list. 

Set up a deadline. Create a realistic start and end date with a launch calendar. Don’t make an excuse to stop yourself from launching.

Just launch!

Because the most effective way to find out if a product has a real market is to pre-sell it first, launch it, and then build it.

Summary of the Case Study

We sold an online class that didn’t even exist for a business that was doing really well. They were making 7-figures in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR). 

The launch of this B2B sales funnel and its untested info product was a resounding success.

We had no idea how well their audience was going to respond to the class. And given the time constraints, we didn’t have enough time to conduct any significant market research. 

The client just wanted a quick and solid funnel. And they wanted it fast. 

We launched the funnel to the client’s existing list (149,000+ contacts). And we started by framing the online class as an event and then promoted it through a 9-email sequence. 

For this funnel, we built a sales page from the ground up. 

We added scarcity to the sales page by prominently saying that the doors to join the online class were closing soon. 

The scarcity tactic worked here because people naturally have a fear of missing out on things and we fear losses more than potential gains.

And even though we didn’t create a new checkout page, we used the one the client already had. 

But it was a last-minute add-on. 

We also added a random video redirecting customers to another website as part of the upsell. 

The upsell page we set up for this class wasn’t great and had too much text. But making this page beautiful wasn’t our priority.

And this upsell boosted sales by 7%. And it only took us 30 minutes to set up the upsell.

We made sure that all subject lines for the emails communicated urgency—“the class begins tomorrow”, “enrollment ends soon”, “doors close tonight at midnight”.

We also filtered out the people who didn’t open the emails and sent them only to the ones who had opened the previous ones. 

This helped qualify leads that did come in while keeping the client’s email list pristine at the same time.

What Sort of Results Did It Get?

We generated over $1,100 in sales per day for this client.

All in less than 7 days of marketing the non-existing online class (and with limited social proof for that reason), we got 34 people enrolled.

For the first of the 9 emails sent, 5 people enrolled and the first sales came in—$995. 

We also saw a conversion spike closer to the deadline. 

Take a look at the graph below.

And for the last email sent reminding people to enroll in the class, there was an error.

It said “15 hours left until the Master Class closes” but there were really 3 hours left. 

Surprisingly, there was actually a spike in last-minute sales on that day, especially in the morning. 

So, since we said there were 15 hours left, we decided to keep the doors open longer and there was a rush of extra sales. 

BOOM! 8 people enrolled and $1,592 came in. 

Additionally, we sent out 2 more emails promoting 2 interviews and a webinar. 

These were video conversations that highlighted some of the finer points of what the Master Class was really about. 

Adding in these videos helped connect the audience on a much more personal level. 

These emails were a brief reminder that the offer was ending soon. Also, they helped influence those people on the fence to sign up right now. And 8 new sales came in—$796.

How Do I Execute on It (And How Much Time Does It Take)?

You can execute on this by simply writing an email sequence to promote your products or service. We love using ActiveCampaign to send our email campaigns.

This could take you a couple of hours to have the perfect copy in place.

Then, build a landing page where prospects can land after reading your emails. This’ll be the place where people will learn more about whatever it is you’re offering to them.

Creating a landing page that sends you customers can take you (or your designer) a couple of hours. Remember, you’re not looking to nail a perfectly beautiful design at this point.

As a matter of fact, strategic landing pages are used by 68% of B2B businesses to acquire leads according to Marketo.

So at this point, you’re just testing if your info product idea is “accepted” by the market. And then, you’ll build it.

4. Actionable Insight from a SaaS eCommerce Software that Helped Generate 29.3% of Added Sales—SamCart & Freak Athletics

I templated out a while ago what I call the SaaS 60-Day “Long” Trial Downsell/Upsell Funnel. I created this funnel diagram based on my personal experience using SamCart.

The Law of Range plays a fundamental role in this case study.

Most B2B business owners overlook upsells

But the truth is, this is a powerful marketing strategy. 

Because the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20% according to Invescpro. And the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%.

The Law of Range speaks to this situation in particular because people love choices. They like having options to choose from. 

People like being able to choose the type of product they’re getting, even if those choices have the same price. 

So when upselling customers, give them the most freedom possible by giving them plenty of options to choose from. 

By offering a wide range of products to your customers, you’ll likely increase your average per customer order. Just as it happened in this case study.

The one-click upsell used in this case study is a great strategy to sell more to your existing customers. 

This is mainly because they already trust your company (hello! they just got to your checkout page!). They don’t have to add their credit card info again, and this makes it a super easy decision to make.

Plus, it could be an impulse buy which seems to be the case here.

What Sort of Results Did It Get?

“Before SamCart, we would sell 15-20 products a day. We now sell 30-40 products a day. I wish I could go back and force myself to use SamCart sooner. I had no idea how much money I was losing until I tried it out. We used to be happy making $400 in sales on any given day, but that average has more than doubled to over $1,000/day.”

That’s what Rocky Ullah, founder of Freak Athletics said about his experience after using Samcart.

Its one-click upsell funnel saw an average of $36.78 in additional revenue per customer. 

That’s 29.3% in extra sales just from one-click upsells. And about $36,773.45 in revenue over a year.

This upsell was for people who would buy their main product “Can’t Be Guarded.”

By simply adding in a one-click upsell to their funnel, Freak Athletics turned every $29.00 (cost of their main product) customer into a $65.78 customer.

Source: SamCart

Here’s what SamCart’s one-click upsell did for Freak Athletics’ sales numbers in 12 months…

Summary of the Case Study

Freak Athletics, the largest basketball training site online, and its founder, Rocky Ullah, decided to use Samcart.

They have over 3,000,000 Facebook fans…

And over 200,000,000 views on Youtube…

This website trains basketball players and coaches. 

After trying 1ShoppingCart, PayPal, ClickBank, and InfusionSoft, Freak Athletics’ founder had no luck on increasing sales with the right tool.

He couldn’t customize his checkout pages, create 1-click upsells, or dig into advanced analytics.

But after using SamCart, he noticed a huge difference in his sales process.

How Do I Execute On It (And How Much Time Does It Take)?

SamCart is a full-featured eCommerce software built exclusively for sellers to showcase their products. 

This is a great and affordable tool to use for upselling too. 

You can create upsells and downsells with it that are dynamic based on how your customers respond and whether they take an offer or not.

I recommend SamCart if you sell any kind of products online where you want to have a seamless checkout experience with multiple payment options, and the ability to do upsells, downsells and cross-sells to maximize the customer lifetime value. 

So use SamCart (or Leadpages) to enable 1-click upsells or cross-sells when people buy from you. 

This is a super easy way to attract more customers in a matter of minutes.

You can grow sales for your related products or services by:

  • Showing customers the offer in a timely fashion (at checkout or soon after via email).
  • Framing your offer in a way that’s relevant to what they already bought.
  • Giving an incentive (people love saving money or just feeling like they’re getting special treatment).

5. Actionable Insight from a B2B Software Consultancy that Grew Revenue by 30% (And a Local B2B Answering Service that 2X Revenue)

The Law of Clarity was an important factor in this case study.

This law basically says “be clear, not clever.” 

Lack of clarity is the biggest reason why most websites don’t convert. Because people simply don’t buy what they don’t understand.

Many marketers and business owners make the mistake of using fancy corporate language that their audience wouldn’t even understand.

By removing jargon and ensuring the language in your copywriting is clear, you can boost conversions.

And that’s exactly what AutoGrow did for one of our former clients.

We redid his copy and landing pages design. We simplified the language used on their landing page. We turned their corporate language into an easy-to-digest copy.

And we also compared their offers with his competitors and this helped increase conversion. Because we helped create a contrast between both options and this made the copy more persuasive.

What Sort of Results Did It Get?

We helped Russell Kommer of e-Software Associates (a 7-figure company) turn a projected 10% loss for the year into a 30% revenue growth.

This happened after 3 months working with us. 

That translated into $300,000 in extra revenue.

And here’s what Russell had to say about the funnel we created for him…

“We closed an extra $300,000 in revenue thanks to the funnel. What I noticed with our leads is that they are extremely high quality now and that we get a lot less (non-serious) inquiries. People contacting us are much better matches for our service.”

We also helped another client, Apollo Answering Service. We helped this funnel gross over $700,000 the first year after we launched their funnel after grossing less than $300,000 annually.

And this is what Kelly Cammack, the general manager and owner of Apollo Answering Service had to say about the B2B sales funnel we built for her business…

“I have double the amount of new clients we have taken on compared to the first quarter of last year. Our conversions have increased 400%!”

Summary of the Case Study

Russell started his B2B software consultancy, E-Software Associates E-Software Associates, after leaving a job with a large Wall Street bank. 

His company was doubling revenue for the first 3 years.

They had big-name clients like IBM, ESPN, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Disney, Adobe and others.

Then, due to short-sighted thinking from an outside consultant, the company was delisted from Google. 

Their SEO ranking dropped off a cliff, and potential clients could no longer find them. 

Sales simply plummeted!

Then, Russell started working with AutoGrow.

He explained to me that his business was forecasted to lose money for the first time.

Over the next few weeks, we worked together and built a funnel for the firm. 

And, as I mentioned above, we turned a projected 10% loss for the year into a 30% revenue growth after working with us. 

For Apollo Answering Service, Kelly, its owner, had to drive all over to Houston to solicit business one-on-one just to bring in $100 sales contracts. 

Her business was grossing less than $300,000 annually.

It was a vicious feast or famine cycle of sales up one month, down in the gutter the next. 

She was working in her business instead of her working on it.

After we built a funnel for her, it grossed over $700,000 the first year. And it practically automates leads for her because a huge portion of prospects would buy her service without booking a call first.

How Do I Execute on It (And How Much Time Does It Take)?

We use the AutoGrow Web App to organize all digital marketing tasks that our clients need us to complete.

It’s so simple.

You just log in to our app.

You type the tasks you need us to work on. 

You submit them through the web app.

The team receives the tasks, we design the best funnel strategy for your business, and we start working on your account right away.

You can assign your tasks in a matter of seconds and see the completed work in a matter of days.

6. Actionable Insight from a Marketing Campaign that  Exceeded Its Pipeline Goal of $5M 

The power of personalization in this campaign was key in its success.

Driving people to a landing page through emails with personalized content was a unique way to reach out to their audience.

According to Instapage, personalized emails deliver 6X higher transaction rates. But 70% of businesses fail to use personalized emails.

And it’s no wonder why 82% of marketers have reported an increase in open rates through email personalization.

In this case study, a global enterprise technology leader delivered a highly personalized, printable white paper with imagery based on their job industry. This was a smart tactic because it personalized the experience even more.

Because people love personalized content. 

74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized. And 78% of U.S. Internet users said personally relevant content from brands increases their purchase intent.

So when sending out a marketing campaign, use personalization as a strategy to get more people interested in your brand.

Just like Grasshopper did with the chocolates, remember?

What Sort of Results Did It Get?

Oracle saw a 38:1 return from working with Quarry

For every dollar that they spent, they got $38 in their funnel.

And that translated into exceeding their goal of $5M by over $1M.

Summary of the Case Study

Quarry is a demand marketing firm dedicated to B2B technology. And they helped Oracle, a global enterprise technology leader, to identify, reach, and engage more customers and prospects. 

They wanted to target mainly “greenfield” companies who had little familiarity with Oracle. 

So they created a highly targeted and personalized ABM (Account-Based Marketing) campaign. They wanted to reach, engage, and persuade Human Resources high-level executives about the power of Oracle’s product—their cloud software. 

The campaign’s message was that the future of business is still people and that human resources teams work with people.

The concept was very creative.

Quarry helped Oracle target 400 contacts at approximately 100 accounts. 

They sent out personalized emails and some personalized gifts through direct mail. They sent coffee sets, an ecocube desk garden, a book, candies, and a gumball machine.

They simply wanted the message to be perceived as if it was sent from one human to another human.

How Do I Execute On It (And How Much Time Does It Take)?

You can execute a marketing campaign like this in a matter of months. Just like Quarry and Oracle did.

They planned the strategy and created it in the third quarter of 2018, and activated it in the next quarter of the same year. 

7. Actionable Insight from a Marketing Campaign that Generated $21 Million in Sales

Even if your website is well-designed and has a lot of good content, none of this will convert if it doesn’t align with your prospects’ needs and if it’s not clear.

Not having enough call-to-action buttons in your landing pages makes the user experience unpleasant. This happened to this next case study…

But let me ask you, how are people going to click on a button if it’s not visible?

They won’t…

How are people going to navigate through your site from their phone if it’s not mobile responsive?

They won’t…

All these issues come down to not following the Law of Clarity, the Law of Alignment, and the Law of Visibility.

For instance, in order for your website to convert prospects into customers, you must ensure:

    1. Your copy is clear (not clever).
    2. Your message is aligned with the prospects’ needs.
    3. Your offer is visible.

What Sort of Results Did It Get?

6 months after the launch of this campaign and the new website launch, Aptean generated $21 million in sales. 

Their new website and their new SEO strategy placed the company on the first 3 pages of Google for 71% of their targeted ERP keywords. 

They were also able to grow traffic to the site increasing 37% year-on-year.

And the campaign generated 837 leads, resulting in a campaign ROI of 820%.

Summary of the Case Study

Aptean is a global leader in enterprise business software. 

But they had a challenge when marketing their brand.

They were looking to communicate a consistent, relevant message to an audience that includes insurance companies, timber producers, wire, and cable manufacturers.

Arketi Group, a digital marketing firm that helps B2B tech organizations accelerate growth through strategies, messaging, and branding, created the strategy for Aptean to increase sales.

For this, they divided their software portfolio into 2 groups: growth and legacy. 

This allowed them to streamline the 26 business industries down to 5.

They also developed a strategy to launch their new brand. They created a new website for Aptean to get organic and paid search, multi-vertical public relations, and lead nurturing.

How Do I Execute on It (And How Much Time Does It Take)?

All you need to achieve massive results like the ones from this case study, is to be clear with your messaging and copy.

Read your landing pages’ copy and make sure it’s easy to understand. 

Is your offer aligned with prospects’ needs? Are you offering the right solution to their problem?

Have someone proofread your entire copy and look for potential bottlenecks where leads could be leaking.

This can be implemented in a matter of minutes.

Also, keep your team working on different areas at the same time. For instance, do what Arketi did. While one team was creating Aptean’s new website, another group was strategizing campaigns to generate leads into the sales funnel. 

Keep everyone working on something to maximize time!

Conclusion

Download the “7 High-Quality B2B Sales Funnels Worth Studying” so you won’t forget to take action on it later. Click here to download it now.

B2B sales funnels don’t come in a one-size-fits-all shape. 

Each sales funnel needs to be tailored and customized to each business because all businesses are different. It’s art. It’s design. It’s a strategy.

And finding the time for all that can be tough, especially for busy business owners like you.

And that’s why I put together this article, so you can copy and apply the insights from the case studies I featured. 

That way, you can adapt your funnel with those proven-to-convert insights and save time in the process. 

Because B2B sales processes are complex. They take longer buying decision cycles.

But with this resource, you can educate leads who aren’t ready to buy yet and to identify those who are.

And prospects who start their journey through your site will end as paying customers. And even better, they’ll become happy and loyal customers if the experience through the journey is satisfactory. 

Now tell me something, what did you find most interesting from the case studies featured? Do you know any other successful B2B sales funnel that is worth studying?

Let me know in the comments below.

Keep AutoGrowin’, stay focused,

Back to posts
Read previous post:
11 Copywriting Techniques for High-Converting Landing Pages

Remember Metroid?  The side-scrolling Super Nintendo game starring a bounty hunter with a giant laser gun for a hand? It’s...

Close