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How To Address Middle And Bottom Of Funnel Pain Points

Drive pipeline velocity with playbooks to effectively address the most common middle and bottom of funnel lead pain points.

The B2B marketplace has evolved rapidly in recent years due to various global factors, with the pandemic and economic turbulence being the top drivers.

As a result, there has been a notable change in both marketer and buyer priorities in recent years.

Speaking with our clients and partners, I have observed that in 2024, marketers’ top priorities have shifted from personalized outreach to generating sales-ready leads and driving pipeline opportunities.

This likely results from a more evident objective of proving return on investment (ROI), and pressuring marketers to effectively guide prospective clients through the discovery and purchase journey more efficiently.

However, this focus is understandable given the benefits of a stable pipeline with middle (MOFU) and bottom (BOFU) of the funnel leads.

Not only does it offer a consistent avenue for sustained growth, but it also allows sales teams to capitalize on the best opportunities for conversion.

In this guide, I present playbooks we implemented at INFUSE and recommend for B2B organizations in 2024 to effectively address the most common MOFU and BOFU pain points to increase conversions.

The Evolution Of The B2B Buyer

The increasing complexity of the buyer’s journey – a result of buyers taking a largely defensive position in an effort to de-risk their portfolios – has resulted in expanded B2B buying committees, extended sales cycles, and more discerning buyers across buying committees of organizations of all sizes and complexities.

This shift is unsurprising, considering that 83% of buyers initiate first contact with vendors. It suggests that sellers learn about buying processes on the buyer’s terms.

Buying committees are also increasingly younger, with many now comprising Millennials and Gen Z. These generations demonstrate unique buying behaviors compared to their predecessors; they are more independent, tech-native, and display a greater need for autonomy in their client journeys.

In fact, research shows that approximately 70% of the buyer’s journey is now done completely independently, without ever engaging with sales.

These young buyers have also prioritized cloud purchases, particularly due to the effortless integration of low/no-code solutions that allow organizations to build on their purchases in their own time as resources allow.

Addressing Middle-Of-The-Funnel (MOFU) Pain Points

Below is a list of the four most common middle-of-the-funnel pain points and strategies to address these challenges:

1. Lack Of Personalization

Conversions often stall due to a lack of understanding of the key needs buyers face in MOFU, as well as identifying the right timing and messaging to increase velocity to the bottom of the funnel.

Below are four tactics to address this pain point effectively:

Utilize Accurate Targeting With Segmentation

Ensure that prospective buyers are correctly segmented throughout their buyer’s journey.

Adjust targeting as their pain points and goals change to ensure aligned messaging. This can be streamlined with the use of data analytics tools to identify and categorize audiences based on their unique behaviors.

Make Use Of Data Throughout The Buyer’s Journey

It is normal for prospective clients to move freely in their buyer’s journey, often skipping phases or going back to research as needed.

Be sure to continually assess their position using behavioral data and other feedback mechanisms to ensure they receive the correct nurturing for their funnel stage.

Implement Feedback Mechanisms To Understand Prospect Challenges

Set up regular feedback loops via surveys, focus groups, and social listening tools to gather insights.

These can be used to make adjustments and optimize nurturing to target buyers at the right time with relevant messaging on the platforms or channels they frequent.

Find The Right Go-To-Market (GTM) Motion To Lead Your Nurturing And Funnel Efforts

GTM models act as a blueprint for molding an organization’s frameworks.

This involves determining target buyer personas, establishing interdepartmental data processes, and coordinating efforts to ensure a seamless revenue cycle.

Often, organizations have several GTM motions running simultaneously, which can be beneficial to accelerate velocity with certain buyer segments, hone in on the right product-market fit, or test a new market or solution.

2. Limited Budgets

Budgets will consistently remain a focal point, particularly in a time of high expectations – not only for vendors, but internally within organizations and buying committees.

Committee members are tasked with making carefully considered purchases that yield tangible returns, underscoring the importance of budget consciousness.

Below are three tactics to address this pain point effectively:

  • Create a tiered pricing structure per persona designed to evolve alongside their budget and requirements. This allows for strategic upsells and cross-sells, maximizing revenue and catering to diverse needs.
  • Provide referral programs to accommodate their budgetary requirements (with incentives) while encouraging clients to stimulate top-of-funnel demand.

3. Incorrect Content Or Messaging

When buyers receive content or messaging that is not relevant to their pain points, role, or stage in the buyer’s journey, it diminishes their interest and trust in the brand.

In fact, 47% of buyers reported that the key driver behind opening emails was relevant messaging.

Below are three tactics to address this pain point effectively:

  • Deliver the right content to the right audience by tailoring messaging to suit the specific pain points and buyer’s journey stage of each prospect. Utilize customer relationship management systems (CRMs), data analytics, surveys, and other sources of buyer data to build highly personalized nurturing programs.
  • Ensure your content is demand-ready by understanding the role of core decision-makers in the buying process and tailoring your content accordingly. In addition, ensure that your messaging is adjusted to the channels they frequent.
  • Keep your brand top of mind by engaging buyers early with relevant content that addresses their evolving pain points. Providing answers to frequently asked questions and highlighting distinctive value propositions are essential for driving high engagement rates at the top of the funnel. This, in turn, facilitates the transition toward conversions in the subsequent phases, fostering sustained interest.

4. Single Channel Engagement

Buyers utilize more channels than ever, with the majority engaging with brands on 10 or more channels.

This trend is evident in current B2B buyer behavior, as prospective clients consult a variety of sources before making buying decisions. As a result, organizations that rely solely on single-channel engagement risk overlooking crucial audience segments.

Below are two tactics to address this pain point effectively:

  • Omnichannel engagement is a necessity. B2B buyers increasingly seek a seamless omnichannel journey, with 87% preferring a personalized and consistent experience across all channels. To meet this demand, it is important to integrate your sales and marketing efforts across multiple touchpoints, ensuring consistency and continuity throughout the buyer’s journey.
  • Email-only does not work anymore. While email remains a fundamental tool in B2B communication, its effectiveness as a standalone channel is fading. With crowded inboxes and evolving buyer preferences, organizations must diversify their communications and invest in strategies across multiple channels to create demand in their market – not just capture it.

Addressing Bottom-Of-Funnel Pain Points

Below is a list of the three most common bottom-of-funnel (BOFU) pain points and strategies on how to address them:

1. Performance Against Competitors

Considering the increased scrutiny of buyers in the current landscape, it comes as no surprise that most buying committees will seek to compare your solution with multiple competitors.

This highlights the importance of establishing key differentiators and demonstrating how your solution best supports your buyers’ business growth and objectives.

In fact, brand equity – as a precursor and counterbalance to full-funnel demand generation – is a critical element of a solid business strategy. Research shows that 84% of deals are won by the first vendor a buyer contacts.

This first contact requires companies to have comprehensive brand-to-demand strategies in place, to ensure they are first on their buyers’ minds.

Below are three tactics to address this pain point effectively:

  • Offer competitor analysis that clearly defines your unique value proposition (UVP) to engage BOFU leads. Develop personalized comparisons of products against your competitors based on the features that are of the most interest to each segment. Make this information engaging and accessible in brief reports and datasets that highlight your strengths at a glance.
  • Provide assurance through nurture streams that engage and educate prospective clients. Offer problem-solving content such as case studies, whitepapers, webinars, executive briefs, and industry reports demonstrating how your solution addresses challenges and delivers ROI.
  • Offer free tools and demos illustrating personalized problem-solving. Enable buyers to experience the benefits of your solution firsthand by offering free tools, demos, or trials that allow them to explore its capabilities. Tailor demos to address the specific pain points and objectives of each buyer or segment, and adjust your demo tactics to meet the needs of the increasingly younger, tech-savvy, and independent buyer.

2. Integration And AI Concerns

Amidst the challenge of managing bloated tech stacks, integration has become a key concern. 35% of executives reported their legacy software was rigid, expensive, and difficult to use.

Buyers actively seek tools to solve new business challenges while navigating integration requirements.

In addition, the B2B landscape has embraced the advantages of incorporating generative AI into day-to-day operations, as demonstrated by the fact that 73% of marketers were already leveraging generative AI, just six months after the release of OpenAI’s GPT4.

Below are three tactics to address these pain points effectively:

  • Ensure solutions seamlessly integrate with existing systems. Proactively evaluate compatibility features of popular software and prioritize features that facilitate seamless integration. Establish a robust testing protocol to verify compatibility before deployment, ensuring minimal disruption and maximum value to clients.
  • Integrate AI into existing solutions where possible. Identify areas within your solution where AI integration can truly enhance functionality and value for clients. Collaborate with developers to seamlessly embed AI capabilities into these solutions and ensure thorough testing to guarantee integration and optimal performance.
  • Provide training to meet the demand for innovation and automation. Develop customized training and coaching programs tailored to your buyers’ specific needs and skill levels. Offer ongoing support and resources to facilitate continuous learning and adaptation to new technologies.

Due to the democratization of technology, the rise of low-code/no-code solutions, and the increasing tech-savvy Millennial and Gen Z buyers, sellers now require a more solution-oriented approach, equipped with technical knowledge.

By the time buyers are ready to meet with sellers (typically 70% or more into their purchasing journey), they often have detailed technical inquiries and may no longer require the high-level discussions that vendors are traditionally accustomed to.

Meeting buyers where they are has become a fundamental requirement.

3. ROI Concerns

Buyers are increasingly pressured to achieve ROI goals, making this a recurring concern among those seeking information on how solutions can assist them in reaching their performance objectives.

Below are two tactics to address this pain point effectively:

  • Support claims with case studies and/or customer testimonials. Utilize tangible ROI data from existing clients, preferably from the same or similar industries to the buyers. Combine this with case studies to inform bottom-of-funnel nurturing activities such as content and webinars.
  • Foster brand evangelism to build confidence. Provide exemplary post-sales service to support clients and regularly check in with them to ensure their satisfaction. Brand evangelism can be utilized to address common objections after a sale while establishing brand credibility within your industry.

Key Takeaways

Engage Buyers Where They Are In Their Buyer’s Journey

Lead nurturing and engagement tactics should always be tailored to address the pain points, challenges, platforms, and context of your buyers at their current stage in the sales funnel, ensuring relevance and effectiveness.

Innovate In Both Service And Technology To Maintain A Competitive Edge

In the B2B landscape, where technology is becoming increasingly democratized, it is crucial to consistently evaluate and refine your strategies, such as prioritizing low/no-code approaches, to stay updated with industry trends.

Explore Go-To-Market (GTM) Strategies

To fuel your GTM strategies with iterative approaches and data-driven insights, establish protocols for testing and optimization.

Continuously analyze performance metrics, refine tactics based on feedback, and foster collaboration across teams to ensure relevance and effectiveness.

Continuously Assess And Optimize Strategies To Streamline Nurturing

Given that each buyer’s challenges, needs, and readiness to purchase will frequently shift, ensure that you are closely monitoring their behavior triggers to optimize nurturing activities.

More resources: 

Featured Image: NicoElNino/Shutterstock

VIP CONTRIBUTOR Alexander Kesler Founder & CEO at INFUSEmedia

Alexander Kesler is a visionary B2B digital marketer and an effective CEO with over 20 years of experience in building ...

How To Address Middle And Bottom Of Funnel Pain Points

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