Marketing / Automation

Financial services company leverages automation to grow over 1,000% in just two years

Oct 13, 2020 · 36 min read

Toolkit for download in this article

financial services company

STEPHANIE HOLMES-WINTON, THE MONEY FINDER

Tell us why you started your business.

I was compelled to be the change I wanted to see in the industry. There were many courses out there but not one showed me how to help a human with their spending or debt. Sure math galore was out there ready for the study, but the “how” to get people to change financial habits and how to capture those changes to compound progress towards both short and long term goals just didn’t exist. When I was an advisor, I originally created the concept people would say to me “Now that’s what I thought financial advisors did” or “Where have you been I needed you 25 years ago” or “Why doesn’t everyone have a Cash Flow Plan”. I knew it needed to happen; I gave up waiting on anyone else. And one of my favorite people, Seth Godin, says “Pick Yourself” so I did.

Please describe your business in detail.

The Money Finder is a Financial Services Training company. Our clients are all financial advisors, lending professionals and some accounting professionals. Our business model operates much as a SaaS company intact we do have a SaaS product (The Money Finder Pro, Cash Flow Planning Software owned by our 50% owned subsidiary Money Finder Software Inc.) included in our training program the Certified Cash Flow Specialist. Most of our revenue is recurring and monthly and most of it comes from the CCS Designation itself. Individual advisors are the bulk of our clients; they pay between $427- $550/mo for the first year for training and software, and then $225/mo for every year they stay in the program. We did not develop the monthly payments and recurring revenue model until August 2014 and it took us until October 2014 to get the price right and then until spring 2015 to get the conditions (cancellation conditions and process) just right. Since July 2014, we went from $0/mo in recurring revenue to nearly $85,000/mo in recurring revenue. By February 2016, we will have over $100,000/mo recurring revenue. While we compete with share of wallet against other training programs that financial professionals may want to take, there is nothing like us in the free world. Most financial services designations consist of 700+ page books that advisors study, memorize to take a 6-hour exam. The biggest designation in Canada is the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) they have 18,000 CFP Professionals, yet less than 3% of our population has a written financial plan. In my whole 10-year career as an advisor, I asked every client I worked with to show me his or her existing financial plan, to this day I have yet to actually see one. It is not that there is no planning; it is that the program was created to get people to pass an exam as the goal and it is torturously boring to get there. Our program had a purpose, To Fund People’Dreams, and we cannot do that by creating people who pass exams but do nothing. So our designation is the first of its kind, the entire program is audio visual. An advisor can even download the podcast portion and listen to training while they commute to their office or client appointments. Everything we teach and even the way we teach is behavioral so the advisor starts to use the training and the concepts in almost a default manner. We made a condition of keeping one’s CCS each year is that all must complete a case study and they must prove they did at least 20 Cash Flow Plans per year to show their skills are still sharp. Unlike other programs, we also include group coaching (when one person asks, everyone learns) marketing materials and behaviorally functional tools to help them grow their business and keep their clients and themselves on track. It is not an easy sell, the whole industry has gotten used to being a certain way, but between our way of delivery, and the fact we can measure our impact on the CCS Community on a regular basis through the data in the cash flow software we are really starting to make some noise and gather momentum. Additional sources of revenue include sales of my book $pent, speaking engagements, live training events for large financial companies, event sponsorship and affiliate fees.

What other systems were you using before Infusionsoft?

Sticky notes :) Ha!

How did you hear about Infusionsoft? Why did you buy Infusionsoft?

I kept seeing it pop up on every site I went to (brilliant you guys) because I was taking an online course on how to create online training products back when all of my training was live and in-person and I had no team. The course talked about autopilot but I didn’t like it ... so I googled ‘all-in-one marketing software” Infusionsoft seemed to “get” me but I still didn’t “get” it. I am 37, I think like gen Y and I’m surrounded by them at TMF but I fear technology I don’t understand like a true Gen X. So was asking my buddy Michael at Strategic Coach who runs a HUGE and successful training company. He literally grabbed a hold of me a shook me....”Just by the &%$ software, Infusionsoft is exactly what you need. Oh and don’t you try to learn it you’ll hate that part, get your team to take that on and own it” what he did not know is I did not really have a team I had this awesome chick from a VA firm who loved TMF helping me out as needed. But hey that’s what I had so I reached out, bought Infusionsoft and got Chantel from the VA company to attend the training with me and hen lether run with it. Chantel is our COO today, and my team uses more of the functions of Infusionsoft than my friend Michael’s company does!

Did you work with an Infusionsoft partner to set up your application?

That is where our experience was less than stellar. This also stems from the fact I had no full-time team when I started in March 2013. We used Darrell through the training included in the kick-start. He was great and we still see him every ICON and sometimes just when we are there for Elite education programs. He was great but we were so unsure of what we wanted, and our company has gotten so much bigger and more complex that we have really struggled to make the original training much use. Four of our team of 13 can do significant functions inside of the program. Almost all of our team uses it for everything from call tracking, profile notes, tasking other team members etc. I use it mainly to see my company. I love the “Green” number and hate the grey one. But have struggled to get the guidance we need and sometimes it’s resulted in disaster. We do use Shaun Whynaught who is Certified Partner to turn our campaign idea for our CCS Clients from copy and concept to campaign. And we are Trusted Advisors now we have access to Mychael Edelman but we’ve had challenges getting his time or figuring out how to best use access to him.

How has Infusionsoft affected your business? What is the one thing you’ve implemented with Infusionsoft that has made the biggest impact?

Infusionsoft has had a HUGE impact on our business. There is simply no way we would be as far along as we are without it. These are just a few and have had the biggest impact:Being able to “See” the business through the sales numbers, revenue and the comparison over last month, quarter and year, call and noting activity of our sales team, notes on client profiles so anyone can help but everyone is informed if they got into a client file, metrics because of tagging and custom dashboards I can see how many people are where and we’re finally getting clearer on data, churn and over all cancellation rate in the lifetime of the program. A major impact as the CEO is this is the way in which I can let my team own their role but can still stay on the same page and spot check or peak in when I need an update to sooth myself, praise them for results or coach them before something gets too far off track.

The biggest impact has truly been how it supports our remote work environment. Without it, we would have no ability to work remotely the way we do. Our team members have been able to have babies and return to work far earlier than other Canadian parents (Canadian maternity leave is 1 year, fathers and adoptive parents can take up to 9 months of that year). Our COO has had two babies in the 2 years she has worked for us and has managed to be contributing shortly after childbirth but still raise and nurse those babies the way she saw fit. Back when our CSO was our only sales person for all of 2 weeks could follow his wife to a town 4 hours away because she could get a great job there without giving up his own. Our Director of IT (and new to our leadership team) was able to live his dream, move to Cape Breton (island off the coast of Nova Scotia), and buy his first house within months of coming to our company. I can start at 5 a.m. which I LOVE, stop and have breakfast with my family and then stop early afternoon to go pick up my 8 year old from school and take him to his dance lessons (that kid lives to dance) and still make and enjoy dinner with my family. If you want to know the biggest impact Infusionsoft has given to us it is this: “The ability to stay connected without holding each other back from any aspect of our lives as we work, grow and live together."

How has Infusionsoft affected your personal life?

I alluded to it above but it has facilitated the work from home ability for the whole company. What this does for my personal life and me is three fold. 1) I can see the numbers. I am less stressed and we are forever improving on this so I am getting calmer about it, and the calmness spreads to my family. 2) I can access it from anywhere. I can see it when I’m on the road growing the business or myself and our leaders so I don’t take time away from family when I’m home “catching up”. 3) The Elite Education Programs that I would never have known about if we didn’t use the software and we hadn’t gone to ICON14 has given me the best group of mentors both in the participants, the team that runs it and Clate himself. You guys never failed to see us as whole people, not just small businesses. Infusionsoft and the people who made it have changed my personal life and my way of thinking period!

Have you had the opportunity to give back? If so, how?

I have. Recently I was a judge at the “Junior Achievement Pitch It” competition (think shark tank for local high school kids with local entrepreneurs as the sharks). I have also been able to be very active within our Elite Momentum Accountability group sharing various resource and time with other small business to help us all grow. Recently being becoming Dream Manager Certified through Dan Ralph’s has also uncovered many dreams within our team that turn out to have a massive lean towards community growth and involvement. Our Director of IT just declared his dream to create a free IT safety course for his local area. In addition, our team wanted to create conscious opportunities for us to give back and we recently sponsored a mission to Gambia through an event held here locally. There is a lot more giving to do but it is thrilling to see my team so keen on making that a conscious part of the business!

What features of Infusionsoft do you use?

  • Contact Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Sales Automation
  • E-commerce
  • Infusionsoft Add-Ons

Which Contact Management features?

  • Task Management (My Day, Calendar, Tasks), Tags and Segmentation.
  • Which Marketing Automation features?
  • Campaign Builder, Campaign Marketplace, Email Marketing, Landing Pages, Web Forms and Web Activity Monitoring.

Which Sales Automation features?

  • Lead scoring, Opportunity and Pipeline Management.
  • Which E-Commerce features?
  • Storefront, Shopping Cart, Order Forms, Upsells, Payment Plans and Collections.

Which Infusionsoft add-ons?

  • Snap

Describe your process for attracting and capturing leads. What advertising channels do you use to reach your target market (PCC, direct mail, Facebook ads, events, etc.)?

Our process is to attract leads with one primary focused lead magnet that is relevant to scare our ideal client the most. We use that lead magnet to get name, email and phone (yes phone is a required field and we get a ton of them. We have no interest in email only as our ideal client has a low tolerance spam filter and we know their phone number shows true interest). Our lead magnets are showcased at the top of our website (above the fold) http://themoneyfinder.ca as a pop-up, boosted through Facebook ads, shared on Twitter and LinkedIn. Between workshop seasons, the whole team puts the CRM2 Kit sign up link in their email signature as well. Once we have their information they receive the lead magnet, then they get their promised items and nurture emails are sent if they don’t access the video training, then little while later they get an offer to make a small purchase for our starter product. We then want to convert them either directly from the lead magnet to our live events or from the small purchase to our live events. Our goal with the lead generation concept is to get advisors purchase tickets to our LIVE Cash Flow Workshop where we do 80% of our sales. The workshop page itself is also shared and marketed through several large national financial services companies who want their advisors to use our concepts to generate more sales and protect their businesses from the big banks by managing client debt (there are 5 big banks in Canada they control 2/3 of the wealth and they are the natural enemy of our client). The workshop tickets are sold online primarily through the website, email marketing, social media and then our team does follow-up calls based on people who come in through other lead magnets and end up on the hot list (see lead scoring, lead nurture and use of opportunities answers below).

Describe your lead generation content and magnets (reports, webinars, blog posts, etc.).

Our most effective lead generation is our CRM2 Survival Guide Kit (CRM2 is a new regulation in Canada where all clients will see in black and white exactly how much their advisor makes from their investments each statement advisors need to prove their value). The CRM2 Kit itself is a 20-minute webinar, a CRM2 checklist for the advisors to print off and check off the services they provide, along with a handy report with helpful tips. Then the advisors is invited to pay $27 for the Value building tool kit which is a 1 hour webinar (which gives them 1 CE Continuing Education Credit), a valuation mapping exercise sheet and then an online tool where they select all the services they include and it spits out a value range for their advice and services. Our live workshops also serve as lead generation, and many people go straight to that page (preferring a hands-on experience) with us first. The workshop is 6 hours long, includes 3 CE Credits, a workbook, a hard copy of my book $pent and 3 amazing concepts they can take from there and use right away.

Ready to level up your lead generation? Check out this webinar on how to attract and nurture business leads.

How do you get leads to opt-in to your marketing list (landing pages, forms, etc.)?

Please include links to any online materials. http://themoneyfinder.ca you will see the CRM2 kit at the top of the home page here, between that and the pop up wedrive all traffic from all other sources here to sign up. You can read more about the actual kit here http://www.themoneyfinder.ca/free-crm2-survival-kit.html and you can seethe video here: https://qy129.infusionsoft.com/app/linkClick/14382/4c9dc7a2ab7f06c7/234550/738714664fc52cc1 You can see the Value tool kit additional worksheet (to see the video we must allow some permissions please let us know if someone would like access to that) plus link to online valuation tool (possibly omit b/c of permissions necessary to view?) http://www.proprofs.com/quiz-school/story.php?title=financial-services-advice-value-index

Describe the results you’ve seen from your lead generation efforts (list growth, return on investment, etc.).

We launched the CRM2 Kit in July 2015. 597 qualified leads have registered or the CRM2 Kit since that time. Our average registration over the summer was about 60 per week, and then through the fall we turned our focus to workshops directly. Now that workshop season is over the lead magnet is picking up steam again with over 43 having registered in the last week. Our email marketing will focus on CRM2 Kit and spring workshops through the winter.

Describe your results (revenue generated, revenue collected, etc.).

Of the 597 who registered for the CRM2 Kit, 158 advisors attended workshops which created $15,326 in revenue from ticket sales, and 65 those came into the CCS program. 65 CCS’s represents $265,200 of annual revenue for a total of $280,526 for the first year and $107,640 recurring revenue every year after.

Describe your process for nurturing leads. How do you segment contacts for targeted follow up?

We use Lead Scoring to figure out what bucket to put leads in to -- we have hot, warm and cool lists to work from. Those who open and click frequently drive themselves on to the hot list. The hot list is viewed weekly and whatever number of contacts is needed to fill sales team’s capacity that week are turned into opportunities and sent to the sales team members as their call lists for that week. These contacts get phone follow-up and human email follow-through; we found that a good four voicemails are often left combined with follow-up emails before we see the majority of conversion. The leads that don’t make the hot list go to the warm list where they continue to receive campaign emails until they either click enough to move themselves up on to the hot list, or disengage enough to move to the cool list. Warm list get gently but frequent messaging but no phone calls, cool list get infrequent but consistent long-term nurture until they start clicking and move up or unsubscribe.

Describe your lead nurturing process and content.

Once a potential client has signed up for our lead magnet we first put them in our CRM2 Campaign nurture sequence to urge them first to actually view the materials they signed up for and then to purchase the second item on our “yes ladder”. This is a small purchase of $27 for our Value Building Tool Kit (between workshop seasons) or a Cash Flow Workshop ticket of $97 if they don’t take the next step in the nurture sequence we use a combination of adapted processes from “The Machine” as well as our own in-house writer’s cleaver work. Nurture sequences may include video links, additional webinars, attached tool samples, or whiteboard videos. We are currently laying out our long-term nurture sequence for advisors who attend a workshop but do not sign up for training; this includes surveys, template emails and other items the advisor can test on their existing clients. We have found when we started testing this, advisors who send our materials to a client get a very positive response and this leads to a more effective close.

Describe the results you’ve seen from your lead nurturing efforts (conversion rate, % increase in sales, return on investment, etc.).

Our lead nurturing effects have led to a majority of the remainder of the attendees to workshop who didn’t come from referrers (20%), online self-sign ups (20%) and didn’t come from CRM2 Kit (26%) came from calling behaviors created by our lead nurture process which accounted for 34% of workshop sign ups. That is over $19,000 in workshop ticket revenue and over the first year as clients, we will see $208,000 training sales.

Describe your process for selling online. What products and/or services do you sell?

We sell tickets to our live Cash Flow Workshops, Annual CCS Symposium tickets, as well as my book $pent and our Value Building Tool Kit all online.

What kind of online sales tools are your using (shopping cart, order forms, etc.).

We use order forms for all of these online product sales.

Do you use any of Infusionsoft’s promotional tools to increase sales, such as discounts, upsells or payment plans?

We use 20% promo codes with some of our large corporate partners so that the advisors who are contracted to them can save on workshop tickets. We also offer payment plans (in the form of a subscription for automation purposes) as we discovered that monthly payments drastically increased our close rates. Our only upsell (and they are not on order forms yet because we ONLY sell these two items to existing CCS customers) are bulk orders of my book $pent and CCS Symposium we have added these to manual order forms and will be working to integrate them as upselling to our automation.

Describe your results (annual revenue, increase in sales, conversion rate, etc.).

Our workshop tickets are our best example of online sales. We attracted leads from various sources for our workshops but the measurable example of nurture is the ones that came through the CRM2 Kit sign up and we are actively nurturing through to a workshop ticket. Twenty six % of advisors who signed up for the CRM2 Kit registered for a workshop, and 41% of those who attended a workshop purchased our training program. The result of this nurture was equal to 30% of our total workshop ticket sales for the year and 43% of annual revenues generated from training sales at a live workshop. Our sales are currently up by 164% over last year and the training sales at workshops were the single greatest contributing factor to that.

Describe your referral partner program (optional) and the results you’ve generated from it.

Not in active or accurate use at this time. We intend to give this more attention in 2016. We can tell who many of our workshop tickets had a referral field filled out that was not one of our team members though and that we used that to determine that about 20% of workshop tickets sold through 2015 were from referral sources. While we won’t be using the referral partner program until later in 2016 we plan to use customized promo codes given different corporate partners (who cannot take referral fees) so we can track their exact referrals.

Please provide links to your storefront and/or order forms.

Workshop registration form:https://qy129.infusionsoft.com/app/form/tmf-hosted-workshop-registrationValueBuilding Tool Kit:https://qy129.infusionsoft.com/app/linkClick/14292/b204d090fe400923/234996/f39bb30e6d7d3594

Describe how you use Infusionsoft to streamline the product and/or service delivery process.

We use the Customer Hub plug integrated with our Infusionsoft app to deliver ALL of our training material. Our clients can find their class videos, materials, marketing tools, their test links, coaching calls, mp3 audio and cash flow software tutorial videos etc. easily accessible in Customer Hub. We’ve even nicknamed it Tribe Central (for my favorite author Seth Godin and his book Tribes)

How do you upsell customers and/or get repeat sales?

We have 3 levels of access:1. Free Stuff: We upsell them by putting links/buttons (clickable images) to sign up for items live Cash Flow Workshops, or market more free tools they can sign up for access to which causes them to go up on to a warm or hot list for their activity.2. Training Clients: These people get everything. They are upsold three things only here, either bulk orders of $pent, discounted tickets to live cash flow workshops to get a refresher (a CCS in the room also helps with close rates) or our annual event our CCS Symposium ONLY for our clients so we can’t actually market publicly so an internal ability tocross-sell is key!3. NDA large corporate access: We have let them in there to see everything for compliance and company-wide approval. While we are not trying to sell them anything, our openness and ease of use had gotten us easy approval and promotion within several large Canadian Financial Firms.

How do you get referrals and testimonials?

Testimonials. We deliver an automated follow-up message after a live event and ask for feedback. Right in the survey we ask for permission to share publicly with their name they simply have to type “OK to share” before their comments. Have a look at our website workshop page http://themoneyfinder.ca/workshops.html. We grab testimonials left on the follow survey and every so often, we update the testimonials. We also use them on the bottom of blog posts. Our Marketing manager also turns some of the neat ones into memes of use in social media or marketing materials as well. So far, 23% of workshop attendees have given us permission to share wonderful comments. We have a 98% “would recommend to another financial professional” rating and it has held steady through all 33 sessions in 2015. Currently, referrals are more complex. Advisors cannot take referral fees, and neither can the large companies we work with. Therefore, we offer discounts for people who sign up through the big corps we work with and give training discountsto CCS’s who refer other advisors. Our data is still growing on this, and not clear enough to measure, which is why we have a quarterly theme of “Know Your Numbers”. We are all working diligently on data. This one is lean because we do not have enough data to measure yet.

Describe your results (customer satisfaction, # of referrals, repeat sales, etc.).

This is a recurring revenue model so our best indicator of customer satisfaction is through surveying, first-year retention and year 2+ continuity. Event surveys we continue to receive a 98% “would recommend to other financial professionals” across both non-clients and clients. Our first-year retention in 2015 is 96% on average and our year two + continuity currently sits at 81%. These numbers are above the assumptions we originally made when projecting. Referrals still hard to measure we can see that 116 workshop ticket sales which are 20% of total 2015 workshop ticket sales and over $11,000 in revenue came from our large corporate referrals and that lead to $122,400 in annual training sales. I would also like to add, it is not unusual for us to get an email in a given week telling us we have saved someone’s practice, marriage or even life. We do not make everyone happy all the time of course, but our team is very engaged with our clients and every week they share with each other the love the got!

What social platforms are you using to market your business? (i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)

Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

How many followers do you have on each social platform?

Facebook 575 likes (number is low but the quality of our likes, the engagement and the fact they are nearly 100% our target market is huge with GroSocial experts thought would be near impossible when started working with them). LinkedIn 3824 (97% target market). Twitter 2999 (again significant target market as followers).

How are you using social media to market your business? (i.e. targeted ads, contests, branding, lead generation and capture, etc.)

We use Facebook organic posts and engagement, contests, boosted posts and ads. We tested Linked In found their ads pricing and very ineffective. We also use twitter, and Linked In to share lead magnets, blog posts that lead-to-lead magnets etc. Facebook contests and Infusionsoft forms for lead capture.

How much on average do you spend per month on social advertising?

$500 or less.

How are your social campaigns integrated with Infusionsoft and/or GroSocial? Please provide a screen shot of your campaign (see below).

We use GroSocial in conjunction with Infusionsoft to run contests for clients and potential clients via our Facebook business page. Cross posting is the key to social media success - meaning, once we have built a GroSocial tab for our Facebook business page, we share the link via Twitter and LinkedIn and in email marketing blasts, newsletters, and blog posts as well. We find that running GroSocial contests not only allows us to connect with financial professionals, it also increases ‘likes’ on our Facebook business page; serving to grow our online fan base. Another feature we really like with GroSocial is that it allows us to craft tabs for our contests that are consistent with our branding. It is important for our social media presence to be in line with our overall branding strategy. We also have leveraged the fact that GroSocial gives us a contest link optimized for mobile. The screenshot is from a quick Facebook contest that we ran to give away a couple of extra tickets we had for our annual symposium. The GroSocial contest app allowed us to add a field where those who entered were required to state the financial company they worked for. This feature is important because it allows us to ensure we’re capturing leads we can follow-up with, in other words, we avoid the risk of having people outside of our target market enter our contest. It was exciting to meet the advisors who won tickets to our event in person during the symposium - that’s when you really get to see the power of social media because you’re bringing together people offline as well as online! We use various types other types Facebook integration to track online engagement. Our current company theme is “know your numbers” and we utilize analytics to help reach our goals via social media. In keeping with the knowing your numbers theme, we have implemented Facebook social media plug-ins on our website and in our online training environment Tribe Central. From there, we are able to track the progress of our campaigns. We have also utilized Google Analytics to track referrals (hits to our website) from Facebook, and other social media platforms. To give a specific example, using Facebook integration, we were able to see that a Facebook ad we ran for a month during the summer received 157 clicks on Facebook, boosted our page likes by 6, and got 25 clicks over to our website. With the growth of The Money Finder team, we have been able to increase our analytics tremendously as we recently hired a full-time programmer!

Please describe the results you’ve seen from using social media to market your business (please provide data on increase in followers, customers, ROI, etc.)

During our third quarter this year, we grew our Facebook followers from 383 to 576. Meaning, we acquired 193 new Facebook fans. While building a valuable social media following can be a process that takes time, we have been able to utilize a combination of tools to expedite the process and build our followers more quickly. GroSocial contests, promotionof our Facebook business page via marketing blasts and email newsletters, promotion via Twitter and LinkedIn, and Facebook advertising are all tools we have been using in the past few months. Again, we always take an integrated approach when it comes to reaching our ideal clients online. We publish two weekly blogs posts with original articles, and we have three monthly newsletters that go out to current clients, potential clients, and members of the public. Via social media, we share those blog posts and newsletters. The advisors in our designation are a tribe of like-minded financial professionals and we use our Facebook page to foster that sense of community, keep in touch, and update everyone on our exciting news! A campaign we are currently running which allows up to capture leads and get them into Infusionsoft where we can measure ROI is our CRM2 campaign. To give context, in Canada regulations requiring that financial professionals disclose their fees and commissions (CRM2) have come into existence. Our overarching goal at The Money Finder is to fund people’s dreams, and underneath that umbrella - we are always working to help advisors to articulate their value to clients. In keeping with our mission, we created a CRM2 Survival package for advisors. The package includes a CRM2 video, a checklist to help advisors organize their thoughts about the value of their advice and a PDF Survival Kit for download. We share the link via all social media platforms, newsletters, blog posts, and email marketing blasts and thus far, social media has contributed highly to the 597 people have registered. Of those registrants, we were able to register 158 for a live Cash Flow Planning Workshop facilitated by me, The Money Finder CEO. Those 158 earned us $15,346 in revenue. Following that success, 65 of those workshop attendees registered for our CCS Designation bringing in $265,200 in revenue over 12 months. This means that the CRM2 Kit helped to attract leads that will produce over $280,000 in revenue in the first year with us!

Describe your sales organization and your typical sales cycle.

Our direct sales from a live Cash Flow Workshop, which is about 80% of ours sales in the last year, is humming. Most workshop registration happens from 8 weeks prior up until about 2 weeks prior to a workshop. So the sales cycle from interested to closed at a workshop is about 5 weeks, the sales cycle from arrived at the workshop to closed is 6 hours. We know that approximately 25% of the attendees at any given session are ineligible to buy (they work for head office, are a manager or are already in our program). We close 32% of the workshop registrants on average or 42% of eligible onsite. This year we had 583 advisors attend workshops (We just started them March 2015), we held 33 workshops, 14 of which were pilot tests, and the other 19 were after testing with the refined program. We know we need to increase the average attendance to 45 per workshop, hold 40 workshops and increase the close rate to 40% to meet our goals next year.

Follow-up sales: The 58% of those who are eligible who don’t buy are then phone followed up and long term nurture. We are actually working on Phone Sales as one of our quarterly priorities right know this process is still being honed. We do make phone sales for about 20% of our business but we are still figuring out our metrics, as it appears to be at least 2-5 months after the workshops before we see significant data showing purchase behavior. We also see this takes at least 4+ phone follow-ups along with monthly nurturing via email. One of the nurtures we think will be most effective is an email template we send to advisors to ask to send to their clients. We say, “Hey don’t take our word of it that your clients want this service and would pay to send them this message and watch the responses, we’ll follow-up next week.”

Describe your sales process. What are the stages in your sales process?

Stage 1 - FREE they sign up for something free best example CRM2 Kit they trade information for value. We also have a newsletter, a few other webinars and “free tools” that attract these same “no money yet” clients.Stage 2 - Small Purchase. Once they get something FREE and valuable we encourage a small purchase (meaning smaller than training at $5k/yr.) so this ranges from $24 for a book, $27 for our Value Building Tool Kit to $97 for our workshops.Stage 3 - Recurring Purchase. This is the final stage where one time or small purchase customers are converted to the training purchase. The workshop is the primary item for Stage 3, we also get long-term nurtures that will all of a sudden phone in and sign up and then our active focus on Phone SalesStage 4 - Ongoing nurture, hugging and community. We build on the relationship through live events, coaching calls, new tools, class, and regular connection with the whole team!

How does your sales team use Infusionsoft’s opportunity module?

We first use Lead Scoring to categorize engagement level through open and click rates and frequency; from there we follow-up until at several contacts have been made, at a minimum 4 voicemails before that lead moves back to the warm list. The number of hot list contacts to meet sales team’s capacity are turned into opportunities for the team. Other on-off “hot calls” people who call in asking to sign up for training are also added to the opportunities manually for a given sales team member. Hotlist is divided up round robin style to avoid cherry picking.

How do you leverage automation as part of your sales process?

We leverage automation in several ways, saved searches, reporting, total sales results, dashboards, sales reports,automated emails, lead scoring etc. Here is an example of each:Save searches: We create a saved search for each workshop location we are currently taking registrations for. Key team members have these numbers feed via the saved search right to their dashboard so key team members and all of the sales team can see their progress towards the sales goal for workshop registrations. Reporting: All sales report is pulled and sent to our bookkeeper to check against our merchant account where actual funds are received.

Total Sales Results: The lovely green (scary when gray) number showing our total sales against last month, year and quarter are ideal for progress assessment and gross revenue tracking. I look at this several times a day.

Custom Dashboards: Different team members need to see different items. On a regular basis, key team members with Infusionsoft knowledge assist others in customizing their dashboards so we can all see our numbers. CRM Reports/ Sales--> Call Log. Leveraging automation has allowed our company to grow over 1,000% in under 2 years, giving us the Capacity to do the role of 4 people that we otherwise would not have had the resources to put forth. Using, email campaigns to hone our sales funnel, to the use of recorded voicemails to mass update our live events attendees has given us the reach and penetration of triple that of an actual human interface. Automated emails: Our CCS clients get their anniversary notice via automated messages synced with the month before they are due to come to their next year of training.

Lead scoring: We use opening and clicking activity to push contacts into hot, warm and cool leads as mentioned above and below.

How do you utilize lead scoring and distribution?

We first use Lead Scoring to categorize engagement level through open and click rates and frequency; from there we create a hot, warm and cool list. Contact who click and open enough move to hot, those who engage a little but not as much stay warm, and the cool list gets a long term nurture but very little additional contact until they start clicking on items which will drive them back up to warm or hot, or they do nothing and stay cool, or unsubscribe. Lead scoring is also used on existing clients a team member who is servicing them is taught to take in to account the lead score before engaging on the phone or via email. This gives them a sense of how engaged or detached the client may be feeling orbehaving before reaching out or responding.

How have your results improved since implementing Infusionsoft (annual revenue, growth, increase in sales, conversion rate, etc.).

Hahaha I love this question. My corporate revenue pre-Infusionsoft was $102,000 but less than half was training sales and I had ONLY EVER sold $13,965 of online training when I signed up and I had a VA manually emailing all materials. Soon after Infusionsoft I was able to see how to create our now core product offering the CCS designation. That program made us $65,000 in sales in 2013, this year we have made over $600,000 in sales on that same program and now have created a recurring revenue model from it as well. It would literally be impossible to do what we do now without Infusionsoft and since I had no conversion rate, or other metrics other than revenue that is all I can use. My corporate year ending May 31, 2013 my revenue was $102,000 My corporate year ending May 31, 2014 was $199,000, May 2015 was $466,000 and this May 2016 we’ll have exceeded $1,000,000 in sales (that’s on current clients, no new sales are needed to see that number).

Are you leveraging the forecasting and opportunity pipeline reports? If so, what is your sales forecast?

Not at this time. We need to get some of our other metrics figured out and we are just getting enough data now. We have 3 years of projections I will make them available for review if requested.

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