B2B vs. B2C Sales Funnel Defined

The sales funnel is a critical visualization tool for marketers to understand the customer journey and how to build demand for a product or service.

What is a Sales Funnel?

  • Also referred to as a conversion funnel
  • A visual representation of the customer buying journey
  • Represents the conversion rate between each of the stages

Shape of the Sales Funnel

The sales funnel is shaped like an inverted pyramid, which is wider at the top and narrows towards the bottom. More prospective customers moving from the top to reach the bottom of the sales funnel signifies a better conversion rate.

  • Top: Awareness Stage
    • Prospective customers first learn about your brand and/or product
  • Middle: Consideration Stage
    • Marketers try to qualify leads and nurture them
  • Bottom: Purchase Stage
    • Qualified leads become customers

*Tip: A marketer’s job does not end with conversion. This is when they prepare to nurture their customers to increase the retention rate.*

Sales funnels help businesses:

  • Speed up the sales process
  • Build stronger relationships with leads
  • Provide a personalized approach
  • Generate more sales

The Differences Between the Two Sales Funnels

How different should the strategies and tactics of B2B and B2C marketing really be? The answer is “completely”.

B2B and B2C marketing target completely different buyer personas. This makes it vital for marketers to have different strategies to engage these distinct sets of audiences.

B2B and B2C Buyer Personas

Let’s look at how different B2B and B2C buyers are:

ParametersB2B BuyersB2C Customers
Purchase on behalf ofThe companySelf, family or friends (individuals)
Focused onSolving a business problem or achieving a business goal (like increasing productivity)Meeting personal needs
Decision driven byReason, logicEmotion, single or few objectives
Decision pointsROI, value addition, expertiseBenefits of the product, deals
Time for decision makingSlow, with buyer weighing the offering much more criticallyFast, can even be impulsive
Independence in decision makingMay need to confer with other stakeholders and get approvalsDecisions are usually made independently
Timeline for consumptionUsually seeking long-term solutionsImmediate
Length of relationshipLong lastingShort

 Impact of Buyer Personas on the Sales Funnel

  • B2C marketing targets a much wider range of prospective customers
  • B2B marketing targets an exclusive group of customers who represent companies within a specific industry

Difference between the B2B and B2C sales funnel – More in depth:

ParametersB2B BuyersB2C Customers
Top of funnelMuch narrowerVery wide
TargetingMuch more accurateBroad-based
Conversion rateTypically higherUsually lower
Buyer journeyCustomers may spend a considerable time at each stage of the sales funnelCustomers usually move very quickly through the sales funnel
Sales cycleLengthyShort
Marketing materialIn-depth, detailed, focused on educating the customerCrisp, catchy, focused on grabbing attention

B2B vs. B2C – Wrapping It Up

Contrary to popular belief, B2B sales need more online marketing than B2C sales. This is because B2B customers will spend much more time learning about the product or service by reading whitepapers, blogs, reviews, etc. In fact, 70% of B2B buyers watch a video at some point during their buying process.