• Marketing

What is a B2B SaaS Sales Funnel?

  • Stefan Bardega
  • 5 min read
What is a B2B SaaS Sales Funnel?


A sales funnel is a sequence of stages and actions that lead a prospect to a final purchase and then beyond, to a long-term loyal customer. A SaaS sales funnel generally consists of four key stages: prospect, lead, qualification and sale.

Top of the Funnel - Prospects

A prospect is a potential customer of your business that matches your ideal customer profile. A prospect is more likely to show interest in your product, and should be open to receiving communication about the right solution.

As a Saas business you want to build top of funnel awareness among your target audience so that you can get them engaged with your brand and communication. Once you have generated some interest you can hopefully move them to the next stage of your funnel.

Middle of the Funnel - Lead Qualification

A lead is a prospect from the TOFU stage that has engaged with your content and has expressed interest in what you are selling. In other words, leads are potential customers that are aware of your company AND have consumed some content relating to your products or services.

Middle of the funnel stage (MOFU) focuses on vetting and qualifying leads that were acquired in the first stage. It is crucial to qualify your leads at this stage by understanding whether they are interested in what you are offering,as well as whether they have the right authority and budget to make a purchase.

There are two types of leads - Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQL). Distinguishing one from the other is important to understand the lead’s intent and readiness to engage with the sales team. Let’s explore what each of these mean.

  • Marketing Qualified Lead: An MQL is someone who has engaged with your content or connected with your marketing team, but isn’t quite ready to make a purchase yet.
  • Sales Qualified Lead: An SQL is a lead that has been qualified as a potential customer. They are already in your sales funnel, have displayed an intent to buy, and are the process of moving towards a close.

Bottom of the Funnel - Sale

At this stage, your sales team will be closing a deal with one of your leads by converting them and making a sale. It’s worth noting that a SaaS funnel doesn’t end at this stage. Once you have acquired a customer, you need to work on retaining them and building a long term relationship.

Saas Funnel

How to optimise Top of the Funnel?

Follow these 3 simple steps to optimise your TOFU:

  • Identify the right audience: Getting the right audience with the purchase intent to your website is the key here. Analyse your current audience base and understand their profile. Leverage your website’s Google Analytics data, Facebook ads insights and overall social media analytics to create a data-driven target audience persona. You can then use this to identify segments of people to target with your communication.

  • Generating targeted reach: Reach highly targeted audience by setting up a Reach and Frequency campaign on Facebook. Your campaign will predictably reach your chosen audience segment while controlling the factors like the number of times, the days and the time of the day your audience sees your ads. This approach will ensure you hit the right people at the right intervals.

  • High impact creative: TOFU is where a potential customer starts their buying journey to find a solution to their pain point. This is when they are still trying to understand the problem and find the best possible solution.

Potential customers are not yet looking to make a purchase decision. This is the time to generate brand awareness and drive traffic to your website by positioning yourself as an expert in your industry with a branding and product point of difference.

How to optimise Middle of the Funnel?

Targeting your most valuable lead

You have only won half the battle by generating prospects, it’s now time to convert your prospects into leads and qualify them. To identify the most valuable leads, focus on customer lifetime value and decide which potential customers will be most valuable for your business. Ask these four questions to qualify your leads and make an informed decision:

  1. Are they a decision-maker?
  2. Is your SaaS product the best solution for their needs?
  3. Do they have the right budget?
  4. Are they engaged in the buying process?

Once you have qualified your leads, it will be easier to identify the most valuable ones and the ones worth spending your time trying to convert.

Lead Nurturing

It’s now time to start moving them through the sales process. At this stage, nurturing leads is critical to your success since these tactics directly impact their purchase decision. There are a number of strategies you can adopt to nurture leads - targeted content in the form of blogs and newsletters, personalised emails, multi-channel nurturing, multiple touches, free trial account, and timely follow-ups by your team.

Have a consistent communication strategy and set up an email sequence to ensure that you keep your leads interested and start converting them. Reach your audience on multiple channels and use a mix of content types to increase engagement from the target audience.

How to optimise Bottom of funnel?

You have created awareness, built a relationship with your leads and now it’s time to close the deal! Making the purchase decision is the final action in the SaaS funnels - now your prospects’ journey will end and the customer’s journey begins.

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At this stage of your funnel, focus on making the purchase decision easier for your leads by:

  • Addressing an objections they might have
  • Highlighting the quality of your offering
  • Discuss pricing
  • Sharing case studies, testimonials and reviews
  • Scheduling product demos with your team.

Once you make a sale, it’s not the end of the sales process. In fact, it's just the beginning of the customer journey. Define a retention strategy and convert your customers into advocates of your SaaS product.

How to optimise Bottom of funnel? (Image source: freepik.com)

How to measure the efficiency of your SaaS Sales Funnel?

You have created a SaaS sales funnel and defined your Saas strategy for each stage, but how effective is your sales funnel? Most importantly, what do you measure?

Here’s 3 things that you should track to measure the efficiency of your SaaS sales funnel:

  • Content traffic and engagement: Make sure your adwords expert analyses the traffic (page views and visits) to your content pages and user engagement data (user session, bounce rate, returning visitors, click rate,etc.) on Google Analytics to understand if your content is effective. Pro tip: Low page views mean either people aren’t connecting with your content or it’s not reaching the right audience. It’s time to rethink your content strategy
  • Effectiveness of Call-to-Action (CTA) buttons: Use A/B testing to test different variations of CTA buttons, and compare results to identify what converts better. Once you pick one, don’t forget to test how engaging your CTAs are with. Use the page performance data and email click rates (open rate and click through rate) to measure the ability of your content to invoke a desired action amongst your target audience.
  • Submission rate on from your landing page: Finally, make sure your dedicated landing pages get form submissions. If you are not receiving any or low form submissions, it’s likely there’s something that needs to be reconsidered in the audience’s journey from click to landing page and form submission.

Optimising your SaaS sales funnel will not only help you generate brand awareness, but acquire customers in a largely or partly automated manner. As your potential customers move through the funnel, customise your communication according to the stage within the customer journey and provide content that answers their questions at the right place and right time. If you do this, your sales funnel can make a huge impact on your customer acquisition rate and cost.

Stefan Bardega

Stefan Bardega

Co-Founder, Traktion.ai

is Co-Founder at Traktion.ai in London, helping businesses hire the best marketing talent. As well as 15 years' experience working for clients including Square, Next, Apple, Microsoft, Sonos, Intel and Sky; Stefan has worked in an advisory capacity for Facebook, Google and IAB, and has been featured in Google Think With Innovators, Business Insider, Campaign, Yahoo! and the BBC.

Link: Traktion.ai

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