Most B2B technology and innovation driven brands have an apple shaped funnel.

It’s by far the most common funnel shape and in fact there are many subsets of the apple. But for now let’s focus on a ‘generic’ apple. The shape is relatively narrow at the top, it bulges at the middle before narrowing down to the point of purchase.

The core (sorry!) features of the apple funnel are that the product is complex and the price is significant. It’s a medium to long sale. The complexity of the product demands an educational approach. This means there is much potential for engagement from the consideration stage onwards.

There will be a specialised and specific customer set. A few buyer personas at the top at awareness stage. By the consideration stage a sale will involve many influencing roles and stakeholders. The buyer roles narrow back down again by the decision stage as the technical requirements are worked through.

From the outside enterprise software company Zuora looks to be a master of the well-designed apple shaped funnel.

Zuora offers cloud-based software to power the ‘subscription economy’. Its platform plus four apps enable businesses to operate anything-as-a-service (XAAS) models. You may have used their platform. Zuora customers include: Box the storage app, the Guardian, the FT and SurveyMonkey.

There is a pretty specialised and definitive set of people whose problem is wondering how to change their operation to a subscription model or how to build a XAAS business. Zuora has done its homework on who those personas are.

At the awareness stage it leads with its Vision content. It talks about the ‘subscription economy’ and business transformation. It has blueprints for scaling XAAS businesses. Zuora has a wealth of educational and engagement resources for the consideration stage. Its Academy, for example, which you can filter by job role or industry. Those at decision stage can literally filter Zuora’s impressive case study library by persona.

Zuora has a well-managed and comprehensively thought through apple shaped funnel.