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:

Parameters B2B Buyers B2C Customers
Purchase on behalf of The company Self, family or friends (individuals)
Focused on Solving a business problem or achieving a business goal (like increasing productivity) Meeting personal needs
Decision driven by Reason, logic Emotion, single or few objectives
Decision points ROI, value addition, expertise Benefits of the product, deals
Time for decision making Slow, with buyer weighing the offering much more critically Fast, can even be impulsive
Independence in decision making May need to confer with other stakeholders and get approvals Decisions are usually made independently
Timeline for consumption Usually seeking long-term solutions Immediate
Length of relationship Long lasting Short

 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:

Parameters B2B Buyers B2C Customers
Top of funnel Much narrower Very wide
Targeting Much more accurate Broad-based
Conversion rate Typically higher Usually lower
Buyer journey Customers may spend a considerable time at each stage of the sales funnel Customers usually move very quickly through the sales funnel
Sales cycle Lengthy Short
Marketing material In-depth, detailed, focused on educating the customer Crisp, 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.