Over the past eight years, I’ve been helping one of our clients automate the fulfillment in his coaching businesses. We’ve also personally coached over 1000 high-end clients over the past eight years. In doing so, we started to notice that we HAD to automate some of our systems if we wanted to grow. Here are some of the areas that we automated that really helped us scale our business over the past few years.
- Scaled Our “Problem Surveys”
When we are doing paid advertising one of the things we like to do is ask entrepreneurs and small businesses, “what are some of the biggest problems they are having right now in their business”. The issue with this approach was that when you are using different marketing systems it becomes difficult to track what the actual problems were without logging into different systems.
You can definitely use different survey tools for this, or one of those custom survey marketing systems. We’ve found that it is a lot easier just to integrate everything into our CRM. Most CRM’s allow you to do this easily by adding custom fields. This is exactly what we do in our Infusionsoft CRM. By putting the survey responses directly in Infusionsoft, we were able to use that information in our email broadcasts to make the emails very personal.
There are two different ways to do this and both of them have their pros and cons.
Method number one: Using multiple choice options
When using multiple choice, you are able to control the messaging of your marketing a little bit better than when you use fill-in the blank surveys. For example, if someone were to ask how much money are you currently making in your business, you could have five multiple-choice options that the survey respondent could choose from. By doing this you could communicate differently to your prospect depending on which one of those options they choose. If someone were to choose your “no money – in startup phase” option, then your emails can be tailored to solving their problems that they may have with starting their business. I really like the multiple-choice option because it allows you to tailor your marketing to no more than four or five groups.
Method number two: Asking open ended questions
Fill in the blank and multiple-choice are great marketing techniques for your surveys but sometimes you also want to ask open ended questions to get better information. One of the open-ended questions we like to ask is: “what would you say is your biggest roadblock in your business right now”. We like this question because it allows us to find out more about the prospect then we would find out if they were just choosing multiple-choice options. Sometimes prospects will put personal information about themselves in this field or they may put information regarding what’s not working in their business right now. What you can do once you have this information is you can manually put the prospect into one of your five categories or one of your few categories that you’ve set up whereby they will get certain emails depending on which category you put them in.
The greatest part about using the open ended question field, is the fact that your sales consultants will have access to this detailed information when talking to a prospect. This information can be the difference between your prospect signing up for your high-end product or service or not.
If you aren’t using surveys in your business right now I would definitely recommend that you integrate them by using one of the services below. Or you could simply use your CRM like we do.
- Automated dialer integration
If you are not familiar with what an automated dialer is, it’s simply a web application that allows you or a sales consultant to make a call to a prospect by using a web app or software directly on your computer. We put our dialer system on steroids by integrating it directly into our CRM, Infusionsoft.
When we first did this five years ago this truly transformed our business. We used to have big problems with importing and exporting leads from different systems such as email marketing systems, different CRMs and leads we got from clients. Once we started using a dialer that was integrated directly into our CRM, we no longer had to import and export leads every day. It used to take me an hour a day just to update leads that we would have our sales consultants calling. The best part about this whole process is that my sales consultants can now be instantly notified when we get a new lead from Facebook, Google, Bing, and any paid email marketing campaign that we are doing.
Did you know that if you call a prospect or email them within five minutes of them filling out a form that you are more likely to get a sale?
This is why it’s so important to have a dialer that is integrated directly into your lead or CRM system.
Hubspot.com says that: research from InsideSales.com shows that 35–50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first.
If your competition has an integrated system where they are able to email and call a lead before you do, they are going to get up to half of your sales, based on this study by insidesales.com.
If you aren’t using an integrated system you’re definitely going to be losing sales in the short term and losing out to your competition in the long-term.
There are many different automated integrated dialer systems out there here are the ones that we use and recommend:
- We currently use Infusionsoft integrated with Turbo dial.
- Salesforce has a great integration with insidesales.com
- For those in startup mode there are great tools like SalesEnvy, Phoneburner, and Vanillasoft are good but they do not integrate with your CRM. Although, Vanillasoft does integrate with Saleforce and we created a script that would add our leads from Infusionsoft into Vanillasoft. This was a short term solution though because the integrated dialer was a far better approach.
- Automating Your Upsell Campaigns
There are a few ways we found that work really well when automating upsell campaigns. In this case, this would mean that the customer purchased a front end or inexpensive product or service from you, which then triggers a campaign where you attempt to upsell the customer on one of your more expensive products.
If you’ve ever heard of the marketing terminology called recency frequency monetary, you know how important it is to make new offers to your customers especially if you want to increase your profitability quickly. One of the first jobs I ever had was a telemarketing sales rep for a company called Time Life Libraries Inc. You probably heard of them before or if you haven’t, you’re probably too young :-)
One of the strategies that they used really well was calling previous customers that ordered CDs. For example, 1980s country music, and offering them an upsell to a different country music set.
As a small business, or entrepreneur, you can utilize these strategies both online and off-line.
One Click Upsell:
The easiest way to implement this online is by using one click upsell technology. One click upsells increased our sales by 10% to 30% depending on what the client ordered online. What’s great about this type of upsell is that you do not have to ask the customer for their credit card information again. They simply click and add to cart button and the new sale is added to the card that you have on file in your system. If you aren’t using one click in your sales process you are truly missing out. The first step to getting this type of sales upsell set up is having a shopping cart that supports it. There are quite a few companies that now allow you to do one click upsell, those companies include: one shopping cart, woo commerce, Infusionsoft, Ontraport, Clickfunnels, SamCart, and many many more. Some of these companies including Infusionsoft make you purchase an additional software application that works in conjunction with the shopping cart to make it work. The reason we like Infusionsoft is because there are so many vendors that create different apps that work in conjunction with it, and this one click upsell technology is no different. There are about 10 different apps that you can use that will help you set up these one click upsells easily.
One click upsells our great but the most profitable and powerful form of upsell that we found is by simply making phone calls to your new customers. This is what we did at Time Life. Remember when I mentioned recency frequency monetary earlier? What this phrase means is that when a customer has recently purchased a product from you, that is the best time for them to make another purchase with you. Sometimes though, it may be difficult for a customer to make a purchase right away after they have just made their initial purchase online. This is when phone follow-up can really add to your bottom line. During my first full year at Time life, I was the rep of the year because I made over 5000 sales. What’s really interesting about this though, is that 80% of my sales were made to customers that already made a purchase with us using their credit card. This is the same strategy we now used to create upsells when we are doing sales calls. When a customer has used their credit card to purchase something from us online, and we built rapport with them over the phone, it’s very easy to make an offer that fits directly with the customer’s previous purchase.
An example of this could be, “hello Mr. John, my name is Flo and I just wanted to say thank you for ordering our lifetime membership to Product A. We wanted to see if you were able to access the member’s area? Okay that’s a great! Did you get a chance to see the email about the discount we were offering for all of our lifetime members? Oh you didn’t? What we are doing is offering a 30% discount on our lifetime membership to Product B, because you bought Product A. A lot of people have been really excited about this, did you like what you saw so far in Product A? Okay great! We can go ahead and give you the 30% discount and we can put Product B on the same credit card that you purchased Product A with. Would that be okay?” (End of sample intro)
So this is what we would do when we are making upsell offers over the phone. So based on these offers that you make over the phone, a certain percentage of your customers will take the upsell.
Could you imagine using the same strategy if you have 1000 customers per year and 20% take the upsell?
- Virtual Sales Team
In our previous step we talked about automating the upsell process. You can really scale this automation if you have a team of sales consultants to make the calls for you. The issue that most people have though, is that they don’t want to have a big office of sales consultants, manage a lot of people, and make sure the sales consultants are doing their job.
Some years back I decided that it was time for us to come up with a system where we can have virtual sales consultants making the calls for us. This was actually discovered by accident because we had one of our best sales consultants working out of state. We did a ton of research to figure out what systems would be best to use to monitor, record, train and make sure the sales consultants were doing their job properly.
We currently use a combination of Infusionsoft, Vonage business services, and the system called Turbo dial which is our integrated dialer system. What’s great about all of these systems is that they now integrate into one platform so that we don’t have to login to three different systems in order to make sales. You can add, remove and manage users in one central system.
I also created custom report so I can monitor how many calls are being made, which leads we’ve called, and how many sales have been made.
You’re probably thinking there is no way that you would want to hire or manage a team of virtual salespeople, this is why we’ve actually put together a service where we manage trying and set up your virtual sales team for you. You can either have your own virtual sales team or we can use our team to make the upsell, initial sales and follow-up calls for you. A virtual sales team was one of the missing pieces in my business and I really believe it could help you scale your business if you aren’t taking full advantage of marketing and selling upsells on the backend of your business.
- Automated fulfillment campaigns
Another issues some people have with selling high-end products and services is actually fulfilling on what they sold their customer. They don’t have a problem making one, two or even five sales of a product or service. But they do have a problem if they have to consistently make 10 20 30 or even 100 sales among of a high-end service. In order for your business to scale you have to be able to scale the fulfillment of your products and services and not try to do everything yourself. This is one of the biggest issues that small businesses and entrepreneurs have, trying to do everything themselves. Below you’ll see a screenshot of the automated campaign that we set up for every time we get a web design or coaching client. All of these tasks run on autopilot once a client starts the orientation process. Tasks are assigned to different individuals or teams involved in the process and once those tasks are completed the next phase in the campaign is triggered until the campaign is completely finished. I highly recommend that you set up automated campaigns that run without you to service your clients and make sure that other people are held accountable for completing these tasks in a timely manner.
- Automated High-end Lead Generation Campaigns
We’ve all heard a lot about automating high-end lead generation or generating high-end leads for your products and services. This is probably the most advertised service or area that coaches, consultants and service providers are sold on the most. We see ads about generating leads EVERYWHERE. The reason we put this here is because without all the other pieces in place that we’ve listed above, having leads come into your marketing funnel won’t do you any good because you won’t be able to close the sale. You won’t know what problem you need to solve for the client. Or you won’t be able to scale fulfillment for many different clients at once. We definitely have our own methods for scaling high end lead generation, but we won’t go into the detail here because there is so much we could cover. What I will say is this: don’t buy the hype that you have to market ONE WAY in order to be successful. For example, almost everyone is saying that the best way to generate high end clients today is via paid social media ads. While this may be true for some, we’ve been getting high end client through joint ventures and email marketing for over 10 years. So I would definitely recommend the hybrid approach once you figure out one marketing medium, move on to adding another.
- Automate repetitive tasks with Zapier.com
Once you start building your business and you start getting customers consistently, you’ll start to see that there are many repetitive tasks that could slow you down from building your business or taking care of your clients. These repetitive tasks could be making sure that a client’s marketing campaign is running properly, following up with patients, notifying the right individuals about issues that a client may have, answering phone calls, answering support tickets, checking tasks for errors, and many many more. These repetitive tasks could end up taking up a majority of your day if you don’t set up systems to actually take care of them for you. We now use Zapier to automate these repetitive tasks for us so we don’t have to do them over and over again. The great thing about Zapier is that it integrates with all, or almost all of the major CRMs, project management apps and marketing platforms out there.
There are actually many other strategies that we use to automate our sales, support, and fulfillment. But we’d have to write a really long book to cover all of that :-)
If you’re interested in us actually helping you set up some of the systems or set up a high-end sales system for you were virtual sales consultants make the sales for you, apply to work with us here and will be in touch if you are a good fit.
Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below and we’ll definitely be happy to answer them for you.