Simplify Your Digital Tools To Increase Sales

Are your digital tools getting in the way of making sales? Worse, are you avoiding digital tools and completely missing opportunities?


If you are a Passion-preneur with a business built around thought leadership, subject matter expertise, and services, you must use digital tools to connect, sell, and communicate. Without the right digital tools, you will ...

  • Waste time looking for information and not on building your business


  • Lose sales because you are so slow to respond that your prospects decide to go with another business


  • Miss opportunities because you are not connecting to all new contacts


  • Lack consistency in communicating and nurturing relationships

There are two common challenges with digital tools.


1 - Having a bunch of digital tools is chaotic and complicated. Making changes or rolling out new services is slow, costly, and frustrating.


2 - Having too few digital tools makes it impossible to nurture contacts to clients. You can't be consistent or effectively connect with everyone on your mailing list.


Which are you? Digitally Chaotic or Digitally Deficient?


Both have a negative impact on your bottom line, and both have the same root cause. You aren't using the right digital solution that serves the needs of your business.


There is a better way that eliminates the chaos, provides all the right tools, and supercharges your sales.


Interested in learning more?


First, let’s get clear on what tools you need and why.

Every Service Business Needs These Tools

There is a set of tools that every Passion-preneur will need to sell, market, deliver your services, and educate your audience. There is almost no way around it.


As your business moves from idea to social proof and into growth, you will need the following digital tools:


Domain


  • Your company URL such as worksmarterdigital.com


  • Business tools like GSuite or Microsoft Office


  • This includes your email, calendar, documents, spreadsheets, and online storage ... yes, all in the cloud.


Online Appointment Scheduling


  • To schedule meetings with people you’ve met networking, discovery calls, client meetings, partnership discussion, etc.


  • You will get to the point when managing this via email is too cumbersome.


Invoice and payments


  • You need a way to accept payment from your clients and send receipts.


Website


  • Information about your company.


  • I don’t put this first on purpose. Until you know what you are selling, to whom, and what makes you unique, you are not ready for a website. There are plenty of inexpensive and simpler ways to create an online presence until you are ready.


Customer Relationship Management (CRM)


  • Having a way to track, manage, and follow up with your contacts, leads, and clients is essential to growing your business. You can do this in spreadsheets for only so long, then your manual process will start to cost you money.


Marketing Automation


  • This is way more than email marketing. It allows you to sequence emails and texts, schedule communications, and react to a contact's online actions with targeted communications.


  • While connecting, engaging, and influencing your audience is important, marketing automation is a must. It is a tool to educate, inform, market, and connect. Don’t let the name marketing automation limit your use of it.


Online courses and membership


  • Educating is a key value of Passion-preneurs because they are on a mission to change the world.


  • An online course is structured to educate someone on a topic. Memberships allow you to monetize your thought leadership and expertise by giving access to courses, experiences, and consultations. Using a tool built for this makes it so much easier.


Integrator


  • At some point you will need to integrate all of these tools with Zapier.


  • If you are using a bunch of digital tools to pull this all together, you will be using Zapier to sync contact information across the tools and to initiate processes across tools.

I call this the Digital Ecosystem for Passion-preneurs.

Two Approaches To Selecting Digital Tools

There are two approaches to building out your digital ecosystem. One approach creates a lot of complexity that needs to be managed, and the other eliminates complexity to simplify the ecosystem.

First Approach - Selecting Best of Breed Digital Tools

The Best of Breed Approach means that you are selecting the best digital tools in their category. This is how you would select your digital tools. Let’s start with the appointment scheduler. There are tons of appointment schedulers out there. You would do your research and test drive them before selecting the appointment scheduler that you consider the best. We will say you selected Acuity. Then you wanted a CRM, and again there are tons of options. You do your research, test drive, and make your selection of the best. You select ActiveCampaign. Both are great digital tools, but they are built by different companies with different philosophies and separate support systems.


The upside of the Best of Breed Approach is that you are selecting the tools that meet your needs exactly.


The downside of the Best of Breed Approach is that you have to integrate these two tools to sync contact information, purchase a third tool (Zapier) to make that possible, and you’ve doubled the ramp up time because you’ve got to work with two companies.

Second Approach - Using an All-in-One Digital Solution

The All-in-One Solution Approach means that you select one digital solution that does everything your business needs and will need. Selecting an All-in-One Digital Solution would follow a similar process as the Best in Breed, but you’d focus on solutions that solved more than one problem for your business.


The upside of the All-in-One Approach is that everything you need is included, it will grow with your business, you will be learning one digital solution, and you will have one company to deal with regarding billing, support, and training.


The downside of the All-in-One Approach is that you may have to make a tradeoff on a few features exactly matching your needs, and you may be paying for more functionality than you need when you start.

Complexity vs Simplicity

The Best of Breed Approach creates complexity for your business and your team.


This approach is more complex because it:

  • Increases the time to implement


  • Adds time and expense to plan and implement integrations across the digital tools


  • Increases the time, cost, and complexity of changes to your processes


  • Increases the learning curve for yourself and your team

The All-in-One Solution Approach simplifies because it:

  • Reduces the learning curve because it is one platform


  • Shortens the time to implement because it is one platform


  • Eliminates the need for other digital tools to manage your business and the need to integrate


  • Creates a smoother onboarding for new team members because there is only one tool to learn


  • Simplifies changes to your process

Complexity adds work, time, and frequently cost. It will make evolving your business slower.


An All-in-One Solution will simplify and reduce frustration and wasted time by streamlining your systems and automating workflows.


Let’s look at some All-in-One Solution options.

All-in-One Solution Options

The must-have features for business owners that are thought leaders, subject matter experts, and educators, in an all-in-one solution are membership and online courses, CRM, email marketing.


There are three solutions with those must-have features plus a unique combination of additional features.

Ontraport - Plus plan for $147 mo

Pros

  • Ontraport’s biggest differentiator is the ecommerce functionality.


  • Highly flexible and customizable

Cons

  • Terrible help documentation, which extends the ramp up time.


  • Receive limited one-on-one onboarding assistance, and additional training costs extra.


  • Sales pipeline functionality is simply weird.

Kajabi - Growth plan for $199

Pros

  • Great course builder and marketing tools for courses.


  • Able to host and build your website within Kajabi.


  • Lots of training on how to use the tools.

Cons

  • Limitations on number of contacts and emails per month.


  • Only one user, which makes it costly to add team members.


  • Lacks a personalized onboarding program.

Work Smarter CRM - Pro plan for $99 mo

Full disclosure: This is the CRM that Work Smarter Digital offers.

Pros

  • Excellent onboarding program with personalized support with continued in-person training options.


  • Strives to run your whole business.


  • Focuses on service-based businesses that want to educate, connect, and communicate with their audience.


  • Includes a VOIP phone # used for texting and making phone calls. It’s a great way for a solopreneur to separate work from personal without lugging around a 2nd cell phone.


  • Unlimited contacts and team members.


  • Online appointment scheduling functionality.

Cons

  • Online courses and membership functionality is new to the solution. It has everything you need, but it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles the other options have. They will be coming.


  • Limited pre-built templates. They are being built out.


  • Online Calendar only works with Google Calendar

My recommendation when selecting a digital solution is to ensure your must-have features meet your needs then focus on the support included with your subscription and availability of one-on-one support.


If you can’t figure out how to use the tool for your business, it is a giant waste of money.

Simple Automations To Increase Sales

Once you have the right digital solution, it is time to automate the high value workflows that will increase sales. These automations are fairly simply to implement and incredibly valuable to your business.


I've pulled this list together because I find many of my clients only have one of these automations.


Not only will they increase your sales, but they will simplify some of the work you are doing today.


Your task for today is to download the guide and pick one automation that you will implement today to nurture a contact to a client.

Mary Sue Dahill, Founder & CEO of Work Smarter Digital

We empower passion-preneurs to efficiently build and scale their business so they can make a bigger impact on the world. Work Smarter Digital is an all-in-one CRM solution that reduces complexity, streamlines systems, and increases entrepreneurs' impact. Schedule a Work Smarter Consult to explore what’s possible.

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