How to choose the right platform for you
I quite often get asked the question which is the best online sales funnel software to use, and I tend to always give the same answer: It’s not that you want sales funnel software particularly, it’s that you want more sales.
And this is the key thing to keep in mind when you are evaluating and choosing the right platform for you. Each of them is great with their own pro’s and con’s. Many of them have very similar features, so the question is how do you work out which is the correct online sales funnel software for your business?
Before you start
So before you begin signing up to a platform, take a step backward and start to consider what you want from your sales funnel software. And it’s not all about just figuring out the features and benefits of each (although naturally that is important), there’s a few other considerations to take into account too.
Defining your outcome
It seems obvious right? Know what it is you’re trying to achieve before selecting a tool seems sensible. You don’t drive a 1-inch nail into a wall using a 16lb lump-hammer to do the job do you? Well, not unless you want a bloody great ugly hole in your wall you don’t.
But you won’t believe the number of people who don’t select the right tool for the job. And not getting this bit right could end up costing you a small (or maybe even a large) fortune.
Questions to ask yourself
Taking the time to define your goals therefore is absolutely critically important. Questions to ask yourself include:
- What audience will I be targeting (B2B, B2C, a blend etc)?
- What am I selling (physical products, digital products, services, a Saas platform etc)?
- How many leads do I realistically want?
- Where do I want to get traffic from (for example from Facebook ads, Google PPC, Organic traffic from blogs)?
- What information do I need to collect from my users?
- What is my target goal (Is it getting signups to my newsletter, app downloads, product purchases etc)?
- Do I have technical and/or design skills?
- Do I need customers to be able to interact with me live?
- Am I going to run lots of campaigns, or just one or two?
There are likely going to be loads of possible questions which you could ask yourself. But make sure you can answer these questions before you start. Scoring each platform on a spreadsheet for each of the questions you need to answer is a really good idea.
Evaluate a few platforms
Even if someone has recommended a particular online sales funnel software platform, it might not be the one that works for your business. It’s useful to speak to a consultant who has a broad knowledge of many different platforms to help figure out which is right for you. And even then, it’s strongly recommended you do your own homework too.
Ranking your features
Figuring out what features you want is vital. Sales funnel software these days can be pretty complex. Therefore, it’s easier to get together a spreadsheet of the necessary technical features and make a matrix for all the different platforms you are evaluating.
Rank your features in terms of how important they are to you, then give them a necessity score (maybe 1-5). For example, if unlimited campaigns is an absolute must have, then you might assign it a necessity score of 5. Then you can go through each platform and see if they have it. If they do, big tick, they get 5 points. If not, then it’s 0 points. You can then simply add up the points to narrow down your choices a bit.
Get a Demo
Seeing under the hood before you start shelling out loads of money is a good idea. There are a number of great platforms which allow you to try their products for a few days or weeks. This is great, and gives you a good chance to make sure there is a fit with your business needs.
Some of the best platforms don’t offer a free trial. This is especially so for those which are really top of the tree ones, such as Force24, Databowl and Cake.
And there’s a reason that they don’t normally offer trials. Generally, these platforms want to be able to have a sales person walk you through their solution. Why? Because then they can tailor their demo to the most important features for you.
This is both a positive and a negative. As most demo’s are pretty short, it’s quite a challenge to evaluate and decide if it will be the right one for you. On the flip side, they will quickly understand your needs and be able to demonstrate how easy it is to accomplish what you need to do with their software.
Get a free (or cheap) trial
Getting a free (or a very low cost) trial is a great way to evaluate online funnel software.
However, be aware you may spend a few days getting frustrated trying to figure it out for yourself.
Take a look at platforms such as Kartra which gives you a 14 day trial to evaluate the solution for just $1 USD. This has one of the best self-service onboarding I’ve seen anywhere. In fact, Kartra has a whole ‘Kartraverse’ which teaches you pretty much everything you might need to know.
Working out who will use it
Conversely, if you need a few people to operate the system (perhaps a designer and/or a product manager) you’re going to need to make sure you can add them as users, so do check the licensing in terms of number of seats and how you manage the access to the platform.
It is absolutely vital that you get an onboarding session, especially when dealing with the more enterprise grade solutions. When you enter an onboarding session, it’s a good idea to have a basic campaign setup in mind (and ideally already mapped out). Ask the person onboarding you to walk through the entire campaign setup. Don’t get them to do it, get them to show you how to do it. You will learn so much more doing it yourself than watching them do it.
Also, it’s a good idea to set your expectations when having an onboarding session. You will likely need at least a few hours, but this may be more time than the person onboarding you wants to spend.
Getting stuck in a contract and then finding out that it can’t do what you want is just no good at all. It’s important to note that a lot of platforms offer a benefit if you pay on an annual basis up front rather than paying monthly.
Typically, they may give you a couple of bonus months, or charge a significant discount for paying annually. This is great, and obviously very tempting to take their offer to make the savings.
If you are going to enter into a contract, sometimes it’s important to negotiate this. I’d recommend starting with a short term contract. Renegotiate a better rate for a longer contract later when you’re absolutely sure it works for you.
Do they offer consulting services?
Some platforms will offer a consultancy service, where you can simply pay a fee to get them to do a lot of the setup work for you. This can save a considerable amount of money in the long run, as you can spend the time focussing your attention elsewhere. Ideally, just do the sums and work out if this is going to be beneficial for you in the long run.
It’s worth pointing out though that if the software has been sold to you as simple to use then they might not offer consultative services. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find them. Some platforms have a community which allows you to access support from other users all around the world.
Customer support and help
Finally, one of the most vital considerations in your new platform is how well they support their users.
Take a look at the different pricing levels, and you might notice the cheaper ones only offer email support, and in order to get live support you may need to pay a lot more. At the beginning, paying for this can be very useful, but you might not need all the other features being a more premium member offers.
In this case, it’s worth just asking if you can pay a little more per month for enhanced support without having to take the upgraded package.
If you aren’t an expert in funnel technology, make sure you take a little time evaluating a few different platforms first. Getting the right online sales funnel software isn’t always the most intuitive thing, and sometimes it helps to get some expert advice on this topic.
That said, if you’ve got the time to evaluate them properly, then do it. There is no substitute for slowing everything down and taking a few extra days. This can save you huge amounts of time, money and stress in the future.