I’m about to get on my soapbox… But this is important. Setting up a sales pipeline is an absolute must for online business owners. Even better if you can automate parts of the process. So many freelancers get overwhelmed with building a sales pipeline. They end up with bits and pieces of one… or without one entirely.
But this part of the business does NOT have to be overwhelming. It can be super simple actually. Let’s break down how to set up a sales pipeline for your service-based business…
“Sales pipeline” is just a fancy buzzword for how your clients and customers get from discovery to sale. It’s the journey they take once they encounter your business and (ideally) make a purchase or invest in a service.
This can be complicated with a bunch of steps. Or it could be streamlined, simple, and easy for both you and your lead to follow. I prefer the later option… And I’m assuming you would too!
I’m so grateful for the growth that my business has seen… Over the last couple of years especially. It’s literally so f*cking cool that I get to do 2-4 hours of focused work each day, and that’s it. The rest of the day is spent doing stuff I love.
Yes, I love my work. But I also love doing stuff like…
✨ Hanging with my little dude (obvs). I’m so happy that we don’t have to put him in daycare. No judgment if that’s what you do, but this is the perfect setup for our family.
✨ Working on myself. I get to workout regularly, journal, read, and am trying to get consistent with a meditation practice.
✨ Work on our house and garden. We’re very much DIYers and appreciate that we have time for this kind of thing!
✨ Enjoying life + adventures + time with friends and family. We’re a social family + love to get out of the house together.
✨ Family walks around the neighbourhood and little dates to the market.
But I know that achieving this work-life integration wasn’t because of luck. I got to the sweet spot by consistently prioritizing the right sh*t to get to the next level. Then the next. Then the next.
I’ve been stuck in the messy middle before, so I get it. But you don’t have to stay there.
If you attended my free webinar a few weeks ago, you know that I always always always recommend starting in the BUILD phase of your business. In this stage, your goal is to get leads coming in consistently—and converting just as well.
Why? Because when you don’t have to stress about where your next dollar is coming from, you can focus on other things in your business, like development or systemes.
So if it’s not running 150% yet, maximizing your sales pipeline should be your number 1 goal.
Building a sales pipeline for your business is one of the key steps inside the BUILD phase of my framework.
Even though it sounds complicated (and some people make it hard), it doesn’t have to be. BUT it is super important if you’re going to convert leads into buyers. A solid sales pipeline can mean the difference between converting 50% of your leads versus 90%. Which could result in THOUSANDS of extra dollars in revenue depending on how your projects and packages are priced.
And that’s leads you’re ALREADY getting… Everyone knows that’s cheaper than having to find new leads.
So how can you increase conversions?
That’s right. Just 5. When you really break it down, you don’t need some elaborate funnel with a million parts. Instead, narrow in on these 5 areas for immediate growth.
Your website needs to be user friendly and have a very clear value proposition. It should also guide your people from your home page through the website to your contact form.
When you skip this step, you can end up cold pitching, DMing, or commenting all over the place on LinkedIn hoping something will stick. This is NOT sustainable or scalable. You need a home base on the internet. Somewhere you own, that’s entirely yours that you can send people.
This needs to be targeted toward your ideal client to filter out any leads that are unqualified. That way you don’t get the wrong people in your sales pipeline.
If you’re a service provider, think about what you need to know before you get on a call. What’s helpful to know beforehand? And what will they need to put into the form that will make them actually show up to the call?
This eliminates the email back and forth that can clog up your pipeline AND waste your time. My personal favorite is Dubsado. This helps me save time and creates a streamlined, automated process so nothing falls through the cracks.
This is especially helpful if your lead process is a little longer. Multiple leads can mean each person is in a different place in the process of being onboarded or even mid-project. A CRM helps keep track of all this for you and keeps things running smoothly.
This is your first entry into their world and vice versa. Create a standard onboarding process that you follow each time so there’s no guesswork. Without an onboarding process, next steps can feel chaotic and kind of all over the place, and your potential client will feel that and could potentially back out. It’s up to us to make things as easy as possible for your client.
A documented onboarding process is a must to stay organized, efficient, and professional.
There are SO many ways to connect with your ideal clients. It doesn’t really matter how you do this in the beginning, but you have to choose something and do it consistently. Networking events, social media, pitch to speak as a guest on podcasts to get seen and heard— whatever works for you. Just show up. Do it consistently. And over time it will evolve and change and you’ll find your sweet spot.
Too often we get overwhelmed with the bigger picture. But don’t get stuck creating a sales pipeline for your business. In the beginning, just focus on putting together something simple. Something that works for now. Once you get things running, you can go back and make changes as you go.
What you need right now depends on where you are in your business journey.
If you’re new-ish and trying to land consistent clients, check out 4 Steps to Profit. This free course will help you position your brand, even in a potentially saturated market. Learn more and enroll here.
If you’re further along in business and are looking to streamline so you can scale, you might be a good fit for The Inner Circle: An intimate hybrid-style mastermind combining private coaching, consulting, and a like-minded micro-community for multi-passionate, growing copywriters, marketers, and freelancers. Learn more here.
Cheers to building a sustainable and profitable business that makes an impact but doesn’t detract from your life.
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