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.
I know there are tons of platforms and tools out there – I’ve tried many of them. Some of them just plain don’t work well. Some of them work really well, only for specific tasks. In this post, I’ll share my favorite tools for building a bankable sales funnel.
One you are clear about your audience, problem you solve and the solution you offer, you will need
- an outstanding opt-in offer that delivers value and showcases your expertise.
- a landing page, where people can opt-in to your list.
- an email service provider, with an autoresponder to capture email addresses and manage your list.
- an online calendar that allows prospects to schedule discovery calls or a complimentary strategy session.
- a way to sell your products or process payment when someone hires you.
This is the basic framework for your sales funnel. Your frame is flushed out by your content, packages, and products – and that’s a whole other conversation. For now, here’s 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
If you don’t have a website: Use ClickFunnels. It’s one of the most powerful platforms you can add to your toolkit. They track 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.
Already have a WordPress based site? Check to see if your theme has a landing page template with no navigation links or sidebar.
Email Marketing Platforms
Active Campaign—This is our top recommendation. In addition to robust automation options, it also has CRM (customer relationship management) functionality, website tracking, and it plays nicely with a number of other tools you’ll use to create your funnel. 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.
ConvertKit—Not as robust as Active Campaign, but a very simple to use platform that’s easy to set up. Comes with simple templates for landing pages that allow you to get started quickly but don’t really give you an opportunity to customize things.
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.
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 years and here are the top three:
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.
Selling Your Products and Services
If you are just getting started, here are the simplest solutions:
- Thrive cart – Our favorite payment processor is Thrivecart. It integrates seamlessly with Active Campaign, lets you create upsells, coupons, and you can set up and manage affiliates for your your products.
- PayPal—The simplest of all payment processors, PayPal allows you to take payments online. In addition to serving as a simple shopping cart, you can also use it to send invoices.
- Bonsai – If you offer services that require a proposal or contract, Bonsai is one of the simplest platforms you can use. It integrates with Paypal and Stripe and has a bookkeeping feature to allow you to manage expenses.
- WooCommerce is a shopping cart plug in for WordPress that integrates with PayPal. It’s perfect if you have digital products to sell and you want to showcase them in a digital “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.
- Shopify – This is the number one platform for creating an online store for physical products.
(CRM) 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.
Active Campaign and Hubspot are the top two recommendations. (Hubspot has a free version of their CRM. The features I love and use the most:
- Tags: 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.
- 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.
By the way. You could do this all by yourself OR you could sign up for Sales Funnels for Beginners and get step-by-step guidance on creating a profitable sales funnel.