Almost every B2B website I visit provides an option to learn more about the company and its solutions. But few websites provide a path for the prospect to further explore that’s aligned with the buyer’s journey.
Most website visitors are still in the self-education phase. They’re looking for a path that allows them to learn and explore. However, most websites seem to align their visitor engagement path with their desired sales process instead of the buyer’s journey. They try to fast-track the visitor to a meeting with a salesperson by limiting the available calls-to-action to “Contact Us,” ”Get Quote,” or “Schedule a Consultation.”
Uhg! What if I don’t want to talk to a salesperson? What if I just want some of my basic questions answered? What if I’d rather read to find answers or watch a short video instead of scheduling a 30-minute sales appointment?
If I’m close to making a decision, I’d love to talk to a salesperson. But I’m not there yet. It’s too soon. I’m just not ready. If I agree to talk to a salesperson now, then I'll continue to get calls for the next several weeks, and they’ll fill up my inbox with marketing fluff. I don’t want that, and believe me—neither does the salesperson.
Prospects at the Top of the Funnel are Still Good Prospects
Does this sound familiar? The fact that I don’t want to talk to a salesperson doesn’t mean I’m not a good prospect. It just means that I’m not ready to buy today. However, many companies miss out on earning my business because they’ve limited the options for me to learn about their solutions online. They try to rush the process of these early-stage prospects.
These prospects are referred to as TOFU leads because they are still at the top-of-the-funnel (TOFU). They’re just beginning to explore their problem and potential solution. Unfortunately, many websites only have bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) offers as a call-to-action to take the next step. When there isn’t an appropriate offer/call-to-action that matches the prospect’s buying stage, the prospect is likely to move on to another resource to continue their exploration/education process.
What to Offer When
The goal of the offers/call-to-actions on your website and blog is to get the prospect to continue exploring your solution and to take another step in the buying process. If they’re at the top-of-the-funnel (TOFU), then provide a path to the middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU). If they’re at the middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU), then provide a path to the bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU).
Top-of-the-Funnel (TOFU) offers to include:
Middle-of-the-Funnel (MOFU) offers to include:
Bottom-of-the-Funnel (BOFU) offers to include:
Schedule a demo
Schedule a consultation call
Request a quote
Your prospect’s journey is rarely a straight line through the paths of offers and calls-to-action that you’ve mapped out for them on your website/blog. Often, your best prospects will bounce around to multiple offer types throughout their buying journey.
They may go from TOFU to MOFU and back again several times before they are ready for a BOFU offer. It’s not an exact science. But the more call-to-action options that you can offer your prospects, the more likely it will be that they’ll stay engaged with your content, view your website as a valuable resource, and eventually seek your thought leadership to help them solve their business problem.
*Editor's Note: This blog was originally written in 2016 and has since been updated.