Question: 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’ll need
- A landing page, where people can opt-in to your list.
- An email service provider, with an autoresponder to grow your list and send lead nurturing messages.
- A way to take allow people to schedule Discovery Calls or a complimentary strategy session.
- A way to sell your entry level products and process payments when someone hires you.
- 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 Creator Options
(Recommended for Newbies) Lead Pages—when it comes to building opt-in and landing pages, Leadpages 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 now offers a drag and drop landing page builder which allows you to customize your page as much as you like with widgets. The great news about this update is that you still don’t have to be super techie to use it.
Leadpages and Get Response have a monthly fee. Thrive Themes has a onetime fee. And Instapages has a free option be
Email Service Provider Option
Here’s what to look for in an email service provider:
- Affordable scalability: you want an email solution that grows with you as your business grows.
- Automation: you want the ability to set up email sequences that can be automatically be triggered by someone opting in or responding to another trigger that you set up.
- The ability to segment your subscribers: you’ll want to be able to tag subscribers by event, action, interest, or whatever will allow you to send better targeted messages.
- Easy navigation: the less time you have to spend trying to figure out how to set up your emails and manage your contacts, the more you can spend on revenue generating activities. You want something that’s easy to use.
- Reporting: since you’ll want to track what works and what doesn’t work, you’ll need an email service provide that provides the right level of detail that allows you to see whats happening with your messages and how your readers are responding.
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 four: Time Trade, vCita, Acuity, and Satori. What to look for in a scheduling tool:
- Do the appointment schedules Integrate with your main calendar?
- Does the service give you different links for each type of appointment?
- Do you have the ability to create both free and fee session?
- Can it easily integrate with your website?
- Does it allow you to take payments?
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.
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.
Content 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. The features I love and use the most are:
- 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.
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.