Welcome to podcast #29! We are excited to now be in 55 countries worldwide and would like to thank you for your support. Today we are bringing you the second podcast in our series on business automation and our topic is sales automation. It’s all about having more time for the stuff you really want to do!
We like to start out with what we learnt in the last week so here goes; Andrew has been noticing a few different things going on with Facebook changes. In particular he has looked at the advertising side; he would like to check further that the changes are happening, but what he can say is that it will be a very cool change for advertising!
Heather watched an amazing video about how the internet is being accessed more and more on mobile devices (here is the link: ). It is a great eye-opener to get you thinking about how websites and online content will need to change for the future. We need to start thinking more about how people are engaging with their devices and what will be an outstanding mobile experience.
Today we’d like to share with you tools and resources that we and our clients use to automate the sales process. Of course, these are not the only tools out there but they are some that we find to be good. Here are some of the things that can be automated in the sales process;
- Selling a product
- Selling a service
- Delivery and distribution
- Sales calls
- Incoming queries.
The main components you need for selling anything online include a way of getting paid (e.g. PayPal or another payment gateway) and a system that backs the sales and interacts with your payment gateway. For example, if it is a digital product you need a system to deliver that or you may use a fulfillment service for physical products.
The first tool we want to talk about is 1 Shopping Cart – this has been around for a while and basically allows you to turn your website into a shopping cart, from the ‘add to cart’ process to final payment and notification. This is a subscription service where you pay monthly. If you are just starting out or are only selling digital products, you don’t really need to set up a shopping cart right away. You can just use PayPal buttons to accept payment (on standard PayPal). It is not difficult to set-up, but if you don’t want to do this yourself you can get someone else (for example off elance.com) to help you.
Shopify and Volusion are two other platforms out there available for you to use. These are third party vendors which store all of your information for you. Our preference (and recommendation) is to own all of your online real estate yourself, so for this reason we like WordPress plugins such as Woo to help you own the whole process yourself.
You can also automate upsells and side-sells etc. One way of doing this is to include systems which help you with things such as ‘people who bought this product also bought’ or ‘today for an extra $99 you will also get …’ PayPal will not do this but the other platforms such as Infusionsoft or 1 Shopping Cart will.
If you don’ t have a digital product, you really should look at this as they are relatively easy to set up. Kunaki.com is a great site to check out for producing digital products. This site will produce your products on demand (such as CDs or DVDs) when people order from you. The cost for you is quite cheap and you don’t need to do anything for the fulfillment and delivery process. Disk.com is another site you should check out that can deliver printed materials with great packaging for you. They cost a little more because there is more included, but worth it for high-quality products.
As for delivery of physical products, you can use a fulfillment warehouse to do that for you rather than storing a whole lot of stock in your home garage. This way, when orders come through on your site they will take care of the fulfillment for you. You pay fees for storage and sending out goods on demand.
The final thing we want to add is that you can use a virtual assistant to help with parts of the sales process. For example making phone calls or scheduling for your sales calls. They can handle incoming queries for your business, create contracts or proposals and manage administration duties.
If you’ve never done sales online before we recommend that you start out easy with your sales automation. Use PayPal and begin with a digital product as these are simpler for you to produce.
See you next time for the next in our series; Time management and scheduling!