Top 5 Tools for Analyzing and Optimizing Your Marketing Funnel
Approximately 96% of website visitors are not ready to make a purchase yet. However, they may be willing to provide useful marketing data in exchange for value. A study by First Page Sage revealed that only an average of 1.9% of B2B website visitors convert into leads.
With that being said, your ability to make the most of your incoming traffic can substantially impact the quality of results generated from your marketing funnel.
To ensure that your funnel is consistently generating high-quality leads, you need to regularly optimize it, paying attention to trends and changes in consumers’ behavioral patterns.
This is where marketing funnel analysis comes in.
Marketing funnel analysis allows you to identify who your prospects are, where they’re coming from, things that can trigger their exit, and everything you can implement to help them progress to the next stage.
In this guide, we will dive deeper into the concept of marketing funnel analysis and how you can leverage it to generate the best leads possible. Let’s get down to it.
What is a Marketing Funnel?
A marketing funnel is a visual representation of the series of stages prospects pass through before becoming customers. It illustrates your customer’s journey from the point of awareness (first contact with your brand) to their first purchase and beyond.
Just as with a regular funnel, a marketing funnel is wide at the top and gets smaller as you progress downward. This is because only a relatively small percentage of the people who interact with your brand for the first time end up as qualified leads, and even a smaller percentage of those will become customers.
It is also important to understand that in B2B, a marketing funnel and a sales funnel aren’t quite the same.
The main goal of marketing is to acquire and nurture leads. This essentially entails creating awareness, generating interest, and building trust with prospects over time.
On the other hand, sales is focused on generating cash flow by converting qualified leads into paying customers.
That said, a marketing funnel consists of stages spanning from the point of awareness to the point where the prospects become engaged with the brand. Meanwhile, a sales funnel consists of stages spanning from the point where prospects become qualified leads to the point where they actually become customers.
This doesn’t mean that they’re mutually exclusive. In fact, to cover the full length of a customer journey, marketing and sales funnels must be fused together.
Ultimately, by breaking their journey into multiple visual stages, you can understand your prospects better and further lay the foundation for proper analysis and optimization.
Marketing Funnel Analysis: Why Does it Matter?
In a nutshell, marketing funnel analysis is the process of evaluating the performance of a marketing funnel.
This process involves dissecting all of the components and levels within a marketing funnel to define the identity of your prospects, their behavior at each stage, possible roadblocks, and things that can motivate them to progress toward the end goal.
Let’s say you work for a SaaS company and have launched a campaign for new premium users. Here’s a basic illustration of how your marketing funnel will flow:
- You drive traffic to your offer page through a series of blog posts and paid advertising campaigns.
- Some of your website visitors click on your CTA to sign up for a free two-week trial.
- You send them a notification toward the end of the free trial, reminding them that they’ll need to upgrade to the paid version soon.
- Some of the trial users accept your offer and make the upgrade.
- You sustain their loyalty by consistently offering valuable content and support.
This looks like a very straightforward process. However, in the B2B world, there’s a lot happening between each stage.
According to Google, B2B prospects run an average of 12 searches online before interacting with a brand. This means that you will need to position yourself on all fronts (blogs, social media, search ads, etc.) to create enough awareness and potential interest.
Post-interaction, you might discover that some prospects lose interest at the second stage after realizing they need to click a confirmation link in their email or that some just don’t want to input their card details for an automatic post-trial upgrade.
You might also realize that prospects who go past the second stage are most likely to progress to the end goal.
These consumer behavioral patterns, along with their points of incidence, can only be uncovered through marketing funnel analysis.
As consumer habits continuously evolve, it is vital to keep track of these changes, as well as understand how prospects communicate their pain points and how you can connect with them through your marketing funnel.
How to Ramp up your Results with Marketing Funnel Analysis
The main aim of a marketing funnel is to help marketers generate positive results more predictably. Below, we discuss how you can leverage marketing funnel analysis to make the job more efficient.
Define Your Marketing Objective
This is the first and most crucial step for B2B marketers looking to build high-performing marketing funnels. Defining your marketing objective will lay the foundation for setting up your strategies, tracking performances, and analyzing your competition.
Know Your Audience
To build a successful marketing funnel, you need to have ample knowledge of the individuals who might be interested in your products and services.
This entails building buyer personas and mapping out their pain points. It also includes defining your unique selling point (USP), marketing angles, and value proposition, as well as analyzing your competition.
The more you know about your prospects, competitors, and target market, the more efficient your marketing funnel will become.
Derive Cross-Channel Insights
According to Clutch and R2i, enterprises rely on an average of eight channels for driving their marketing objectives.
Your marketing funnel is mostly likely receiving traffic from multiple channels. You could be sending traffic through Google Ads, social media marketing, email campaigns, etc. Each of these channels has its own data and metrics, and analyzing them individually is not only challenging but also time-consuming.
This is what makes cross-channel analysis a game-changer for marketers.
Tools for cross-channel analytics allow you to pull metrics and data from all of your marketing channels into one destination. By consolidating your data into one place, you can quickly analyze your entire marketing performance from a single source of truth.
With this, you can easily determine what channels are bringing in the most qualified traffic so you can focus more on them. Cross-channel analytics also makes it easy to identify underperforming channels so you can troubleshoot more efficiently.
Know Your Metrics
It is also crucial to know the metrics that are important to your marketing objective. Understanding these metrics will help you determine what to optimize for in your marketing funnel.
As a B2B marketer, some of the metrics you should pay attention to include:
MQL-to-SQL Conversion Rate: Marketing qualified leads (MQL) are prospects that have indicated a higher interest in your products or services. On the flipside, sales qualified leads are MQLs your sales team has confirmed to be ready for a direct sales approach.
Measuring the percentage of MQLs that qualify as SQLs helps you determine the quality of traffic you’re receiving. According to First Page Sage, a good MQL-to-SQL rate for a B2B SaaS funnel would be 38%. Thus, if you’re in this category, you should be aiming for figures above the benchmark.
Lead-to-Close Conversion Rate: This refers to the percentage of leads that become customers. While converting leads to customers is mainly for the sales team, marketers need this metric to gauge the quality of their leads.
For instance, low lead-to-close conversion rates can be a sign that your marketing funnel has been generating low-quality leads.
Research by First Page Sage suggests that the average lead-to-close conversion rate for a B2B SaaS funnel is 37%.
Cost Per Lead (CPL): This refers to the average amount you spend on each lead acquired. This metric is critical to helping you determine your return on marketing investment (ROMI).
According to Marketing Charts, the average CPL across industries is $198.
Your goal should be to achieve lower figures. You can do this by running retargeting campaigns, narrowing down your target group, and optimizing your landing pages for faster load times.
Align With Sales Teams
For a marketing funnel to be fully optimized, marketing and sales teams must collaborate. While marketers are tasked with generating qualified leads, sales professionals are responsible for converting these leads into paying customers.
Through marketing funnel analysis, both teams have the opportunity to cross-pollinate insights with each other.
As a marketer, you can send traffic in the thousands to your landing pages, but if you don’t know who your ideal prospects are, your traffic will not amount to much. As a result, your cost per lead will be at an all-time high and your MQL-to-SQL rate will be at an all-time low.
You need to understand what the perfect prospect looks like, their pain points, and the kind of content that drives them to action. All of this valuable information is best obtained from members of the sales team, as they are constantly interacting with customers on the frontlines.
On the flip side, marketers get the first contact in the conversion funnel, so they have valuable insights into how sales professionals can gain and retain attention. This will be instrumental in helping sales teams approach and follow up on their SQLs.
A data disconnect with the sales team is something you do not want to have across your marketing funnel because the sales professionals are the ones who make the last move. Thus, a collaboration between both teams is mission-critical.
Tools to Leverage Marketing Funnel Analytics
This section will look at some of the best tools you can leverage to analyze your marketing funnels and get insights on how to optimize them for better results.
HubSpot is an all-in-one CRM platform with a wide array of products. It allows marketers to efficiently track customer lifecycles from the point of awareness to the point of conversion, offering insights on behavioral trends so you can understand your prospects at a deeper level.
HubSpot also helps you analyze your traffic on both a website and page-to-page basis. This makes it easy to identify your best-performing pages, as well as the traffic sources that return the most website sessions, leads, and conversions over time.
Improvado is a Revenue Data Platform that handles the full cycle of marketing and sales data operations. The platform retrieves and normalizes marketing data from hundreds of channels and sources, and it streamlines cleansed data to visualization platforms like Tableau, Google Data Studio, or Power BI.
Its wide range of functionalities reduces reporting time by up to 90% and helps marketers achieve a deeper understanding of their funnels.
The Kissmetrics platform stands out for its ability to go beyond generic marketing funnel metrics and show data on actual user behavior.
Kissmetrics allows marketers to track prospects at a deeper level. For instance, it can reveal the percentage of prospects who completed a signup process. You can see the percentage who viewed your signup page, entered their business category, phone numbers, and website URL, as well as people who hit the submit button. By understanding the reasons why your prospects are dropping off, it becomes easier to optimize your funnel.
Google Analytics helps you uncover trends and predict behaviors across your marketing funnels. The platform offers real-time analytics, helping you access proactive insights into how prospects arrive at your funnel, where they drop off, the pages that engage them the most, and more.
Through its cross-channel attribution functionality, you are given access to data on how every touchpoint contributes to the overall performance of your marketing funnel. You can also compare multiple attribution models to understand how they impact the valuation of your marketing channels.
Weborama is a consumer intelligence platform that helps businesses understand customer expectations and anticipate their reactions to sales strategies. It offers a behavioral database that makes it easy for marketers to implement lead scoring—the process of attributing numerical scores to leads based on their likelihood to convert.
With Weborama, marketers can identify behavioral patterns among their prospects, predict outcomes across their marketing funnels, ignite growth, and reduce costs.
The Ultimate Marketing Stack for Your Business
The strategic objective of marketing funnel analysis is to reduce cost per lead and improve your funnel’s MQL-to-SQL conversion rate.
That said, one of the smartest ways of achieving this is to identify the channels that generate high-quality traffic and simply focus on those. However, with more touchpoints involved in consumers’ conversion journey, channels, geographic regions, and other variables, tracing events back to the right channels has become more challenging.
Marketing teams must equip themselves with a full set of tools to track, source, analyze, optimize, and implement marketing strategies. Choosing the right software and setting it up is an essential part of running successful marketing campaigns.