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How to Build and Optimize Your First Lead Generation Funnel

The biggest challenge for B2B companies is finding leads. The lead funnel is their lifeblood. So, the question is: how do B2B companies generate leads?

The answer 👉 build a lead generation funnel. Building your first lead generation funnel can seem intimidating to any newbie (sometimes even to a seasoned marketer). But optimizing your first lead funnel doesn’t have to be scary — or require the skill of a ninja marketing professional. It’s all about having the proper arsenal. In this article, I’ll teach you what a lead generation funnel is and how to build one in five steps. Sound like a plan? Then let’s get started. Note: If you are funneling people to your site? Sign up for free Leadfeeder's 14-day trial to learn who is visiting your website and generate new leads.

What is a lead generation funnel?

A lead generation funnel also referred to as a lead funnel, is a systematic approach to generating leads (i.e., potential customers). It’s the process of funneling your target audience through distinct stages until they ( hopefully🤞) decide to make a purchase.

A lead generation funnel can range in complexity from surprisingly simple to I-need-a-degree-in-rocket-science to understand. Your funnel should go hand-in-hand with the marketing team's growth marketing tactics so you're on the same page. Lead funnels have three stages. Let me walk 🚶🏿you through them.

Understanding lead funnel stages

Stage 1. TOFU (Top of the Funnel)

The first stage, the top of the lead funnel, is all about awareness. The top of the funnel is your company’s first contact with a potential lead. You get the opportunity to “introduce” yourself to a future buyer.

Stage 2. MOFU (Middle of the Funnel)

Once prospects reach the middle of the funnel, they begin to engage with your company. You need to continue nurturing them. You can offer them content such as ebooks, whitepapers, and case studies. At Leadfeeder, we do this during our onboarding email campaigns for free trial users.

Stage 3. BOFU (Bottom of the Funnel)

Lastly, there is the bottom of the lead funnel. By now, you’ve turned random website visitors into leads and started to build a strong relationship with them. They trust your company and need a final push to become paying customers. Optimal BOFU content consists of trial extensions, demos, consultations, and discount offers.

1. Use the right tools

There are plenty of software tools that will generate more leads. You’ll be able to learn what company they work for, how long they spend on each of your web pages and get detailed content information for employees at that company. Armed with this data, you can then adjust your entire lead funnel strategy appropriately. If your business has the budget, look for tools that will make lead generation more effective. Remember to pair said tools with the five-step process outlined above.

2. Qualify your leads

Not all leads are created equal. It’s in your best interest to qualify leads and spend your time on the ones that are the most likely to make a purchase. To qualify a lead, first, look at how they have interacted with your content. Those that download something that directly relates to your business, i.e. a case study, are probably a higher quality lead than someone who reads your careers page. You can also qualify leads based on their interactions with your company after they’ve given you their contact info. Do they regularly open your emails? Are they willing to take surveys? Do they respond to sales calls? The answers to these questions will tell you how qualified each lead is.

3. Never stop experimenting

Finally, never stop experimenting! There’s always a way to improve your lead generation funnel. And what worked last year might not work today. Your audience is changing, and your lead funnel needs to change with them. So try creating different kinds of content to see what your ideal customers connect with best. Also, adjust your advertising efforts, landing pages, and sales efforts as needed.

Boost your business with an effective lead generation funnel

There you have it: a complete guide to building and optimizing your first lead generation funnel! If you follow our simple, five-step process and optimize your funnel correctly, you’ll put yourself on the road to building a sustainable lead generation pipeline.