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The State of B2B Funnels: Worth the Effort?​

Posted October 17, 2022
2022 Survey infographic for B2B funnels

 

In order to better understand the community’s needs, CaliberMind conducted a brief survey centered around a topic that on the surface seems pretty straightforward, especially for those of us in B2B: Funnels.

Some of the earliest key performance indicators that marketers are responsible for as a company matures revolve around the B2B funnel. Businesses can’t invest in advanced analytics in year one, but they can cobble together benchmarks in their marketing automation system and CRM. The accessibility of the funnel is probably why we still see organizations basing business decisions on the SiriusDecisions (now Forrester) Demand Generation Waterfall–even after 20 years of subsequent innovations–but something must be said for the simplicity of the concept and the utility in capturing team handoffs.

 

Survey Findings

We’re not convinced there is a “perfect” funnel for B2B

While the Flywheel was the most popular funnel (33% of respondents) the others were equally split between SiriusDecisions, the BowTie by Winning By Design, and “unknown” or “no perfect answer.”

Why do people implement funnels?

There are several efficiencies people can gain through system improvements, process streamlining, and cross-functional alignment by using funnel data. A high percentage (48%) of respondents said the main problem they were looking to solve when implementing their funnel was to evaluate how efficient their marketing and sales processes were. 

The ability to see marketing and sales data in a single view rather than siloed in their core systems motivated 24% of respondents, 14% wanted to get alignment on core metrics, and 10% hoped for some insight into what the “next best action” may be for someone who has engaged with their brand.

Why are funnels difficult to get right?

Most of the problems B2B professionals face when trying to implement a funnel stem from two fundamental truths. 1. Marketing technology is made to view records at a person level. 2. Sales sells at the account level.

The results were aligned with our suspicions. Around 20% of respondents for each category claimed that the following was the most difficult aspect of figuring out funnels:

  • Figuring out how to capture signals at the account level without repetition
  • Getting lead and contact data consolidated at the account level is difficult & our data is messy
  • Not all of the data we want to track is housed in our CRM
  • We want to capture every step of the buyer journey and not just activity associated with a single stage

Only 10% expressed frustration with their dependence on “correct” data entry by sales. We were honestly surprised the number wasn’t higher.

What do we spend so much energy on getting funnels right?

We know funnels are hard to implement. So why do we spend so much time developing and maintaining these metrics?

Nearly half (45%) hope funnels will help marketing and sales understand what is and isn’t contributing to bookings. Another 19% are hoping for efficiency gains in their funnel, 13% want to elevate the right accounts to sales, 10% want to help marketers improve their messaging, and 5% wanted to ensure that sales never misses a lead.