Q&A: What Tools Do I Need to Build a Sales Funnel | Tai Goodwin
Tai Goodwin
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Q&A: What Tools Do I Need to Build a Sales Funnel

Question In Maze Shows ConfusionQuestion: I understand the concept of building a sales funnel, and can see the value of it too. My challenge: I am not that tech savvy. So how do I technically build a sales funnel? – Melody S.

Answer: Great question Melody. Assuming that you have a blog or at the least a website in place, let’s take a look at the sales funnel stages.

  • You have to have a landing page, where people can opt-in to your list.
  • You need an email service provider, with an autoresponder to capture email addresses and manage your list.
  • You need a way to take allow people to schedule Discovery  Calls or a complimentary strategy session.
  • You need a way to sell your entry level product sand process payment when someone hires you.
  • You need a way yo stay engaged with and track prospects, leads, clients, and former customers.

This is the basic framework for your sales funnel. Your frame is flushed out by your content, packages, and products. That’s a whole other conversation. For now I’ll share the tools I recommend to my clients when I work with them to set up their sales funnels. This list includes free and premium tools.

Landing Page Options

(Recommended for Newbies) Lead Pages—when it comes to building opt-in and landing pages, LeadPages.net is one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal. They’ve tracked and tested a variety of page styles to determine which ones convert best, and their templates make it super easy for you to build pages quickly. Drawback: You cannot customize the templates easily. But if you are not a techie person, you may not want to.

Leadpages and Get Response have a monthly fee. A free landing page tool that a few of my Brilliant Business Girlfriends recommend is InstaPages – its’ a plugin for WordPress.

Email Service Provider Options

Mailchimp -Their entry level plan is free but you do lose some of the functionality like the ability to send autorepsonders. It’s a great way to get started with email marketing, especially with the recent updates to the user interface.

Get Response—Probably the easiest email manager on the market. The visual interface is clean, making it easy to learn and use. The basic level starts at under $25 a month and offers both autoresponders and broadcast emails, list automation, and segmenting, so you can send emails exactly when—and to whom—you want.

Ontraport— Formerly Office Autopilot. Ontraport offers shopping cart functionality as well, so you can create powerful funnels that are fully integrated with your sales process. The benefit is that you don’t have to try to synch your cart with your email system, since it’s completely self-contained.

Infusionsoft—At the top of the list is Infusionsoft. It does customer management, funnel setup, mailing list, and even membership sites. It requires a higher investment of capital and time. The learning curve is steep for a newbie and non-techie – but you can always hire an virtual assistant that’s certified in the system.

Scheduling Tools

If one of the phases in your sales funnel is inviting prospects to a free discovery session, you need to have an automated tool. There is nothing professional about emailing back and forth to try and find the right time. I’ve used several tools over the last six years and here are the top three: Time TradevCita, and Satori.

  • All three integrate with your main calendars.
  • TimeTrade and Satori both give you different links for each type of appointment.
  • Satori and vCita allow you to offer both free and fee session.
  • vCita integrates directly into your wordpress site via a plugin, and can also be used as a contact form.

Whatever you choose, it needs to be easy for your prospects to use and send automated reminders. Another feature to consider is how easy (or how complex) is it for people to reschedule.

What do I do? I use Satori and Time Trade. I use Satori for my contacts and billed clients. I use TimeTrade to schedule podcast interviews, collaborative calls, and Get To Know You Invitations.

TIP: I’ve branded the link prospects can use to book a complimentary session with me. It’s www.TalkWithTai.com.

Selling Your Products and Services

If you are just getting started, here are the simplest solutions:

  • PayPal—The simplest of all payment processors, PayPal allows you to take payments online for a very reasonable fee. In addition to serving as a simple shopping cart, you can also use it to send invoices.
  • Stripe – I use Stripe for my coaching clients. I take their credit card information and process their payments directly, as opposed to having them pay when they receive an invoice. Saves time because we don’t have to track people down and remind them of their invoice. I also like it because the payments are delivered to your account in 2 business days (instead of 3-5 days like PayPal).
  • If you have a blog,WooCommerce is a shopping cart plug in that integrates with PayPal. It’s perfect if you have digital products to sell and you want to showcase them in a “store”.
  • Gumroad – is the easiest tool for selling your digital products online. You can literally have a product ready to offer in under an hour, 30 minutes if you already have a graphic and description.

CRM Sales FunnelContent Relationship Management

CRMs are not the same thing as email systems. You may have 5000 subscribers to your list, but only be actively tracking 25 leads that you want to nurture into clients. These are people that you reach out to with direct calls, emails, and social media posts engaging them beyond your newsletters. This is also the best way to track and nurture relationships to people that you’ve connected to at networking events.

  • My absolute favorite tool is Contactually. It’s the only one I recommend to my clients – other than using the tools in Infusionsoft if they have access to that system. Th features I love and use the most:
  • Buckets: I get to organize my contacts by lead, warm lead, former client, colleague, etc… You can create as many buckets as you want.
  • Email Templates: I upgraded so I could have access to their full template library as well as create and store my own templates.
  • Contact Options: I can connect via Facebook, LinkedIn, or directly through email.
  • Tracking: I can see the last email messages I sent, and whether they were opened. It’s a great way to see the history of the relationship with clients.

Bottom Line

You have a lot of options when it comes to building a bankable sales funnel. Explore the items I’ve listed and then choose what will work for you in each category. I recommend building the framework for your sales funnel simply as you can, using quality tools that won’t break your bank account but don’t skimp on the experience you are creating either. Once you’ve had your sales funnel running for two to three months, you’ll be able to notice patterns, strengths, and weak points. You’ll also be able to plan for how you can upgrade your tools or system to increase efficiency.

Happy Building!

By the way. You could do this all by yourself OR you could sign up for the next Positioned to Profit Course and get step-by-step guidance on creating a profitable sales funnel.

About the Author Tai Goodwin

Tai Goodwin on a mission to help 10,000 women entrepreneurs create more joy and wealth in their life and business. She's the CEO of Aligned + Bankable and creator of the Bankable Brilliance Course. An intuitive business growth strategist and teacher, her specialty is helping clients create bankable business models that allow them to increase their impact and income without burning out. Tai is a former corporate trainer with a master's degree in instructional design and over 20 years of experience designing course, training programs, and certifications. She is also the author of Girlfriend, It's Your Time and founder of Brilliant Business Girlfriends.

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