A bit of backstory for you.
This post chronicles the journey I went through to convince a couple of skeptics (my family) that Infusionsoft’s Sales Pipeline Component isn’t an unreasonable, hunk of junk, waste of time.
Let me tell you what I did wrong when creating a Sales Pipeline for my family business. Yeah, egg on my face. I’m putting this out into the world so you dear reader, don’t get any egg on yours.
And then what I did right. Read this, and it won’t matter if you’re building pipelines for your own business or for your clients, you’ll be able to do it right from the start.
I learned Infusionsoft four-ish years ago by implementing apps and campaigns on our new-at-the-time family remodeling business.
My mom and husband are owners, and they were my test subjects. I start here because there’s a different dynamic to implementing new technology when your co-workers are your family. Grumbling about change is a little more pronounced when you’re related by blood or a vow. Understatement of the year?
The Sales Pipeline feature in Infusionsoft is wonderful when you have a situation where you are having one-on-one sales conversations with prospects. Typically, these are higher ticket items that require a longer sales process. Home remodeling = Perfect Fit. Lots of 1:1 conversations. High-ticket items. Long sales cycles. By definition, it’s the perfect tool. (Editor’s note: And if you may need more than one pipeline, no problem. Read more here.)
Now, here’s the beginning of how things went wrong for me.
In my attempt to get the team all aboard the Sales Pipeline Express, I originally built a Pipeline that would make your grandma say “hot damn!”. (Sounding good so far, right?)
I spent days and days creating this masterpiece of a campaign. Circa 2015, it most likely took this form:
Family Drama. (Tragedy of tragedies).
Even after the explainer videos, SOPs, and daily walk-throughs, the team did not seem to “appreciate” the beauty that was this pipeline. They did not “appreciate” my genius.
The team’s stages of emotion went as follows: Excitement → Overwhelm → Frustration → Fury → Abandonment → Mutiny.
I was mad. They were mad. Horror of horrors.
Husband and Mom said to me “Yea. Infusionsoft is never going to work. Turn it all off.” It was the abject failure of what I’d hoped to achieve. A painful and bitter defeat, as you can imagine.
Has this ever happened to you? Overwhelmed with the depth of possibilities of Infusionsoft – the eject button starts to look more and more appealing, you, your staff, the client, everyone just wants out? So much so, that they give up on a masterpiece of a campaign you’re created. Whether it has or hasn’t happened, I’m hoping this post will help you prevent it entirely.
After this epic fail, a new adventure turned up for me professionally.
New Year. Who dis?
In January 2017, I left Infusionsoft to work in the family business full-time(ish).
I ramped up social and traffic on the inter-webs. Of course, this meant that there were more consultation appointments, and it was difficult for the team to manage the follow-ups manually.
I enjoy sarcasm and fighting with my family (exasperation can be fun, no?), so I decided to give the Sales Pipeline integration another shot with a different approach. So this is what I did.
Ready for Home Makeover Pipeline 2.0?
Tah-Dah! Presto! Voila!
With this new, improved Sales Pipeline campaign, team buy-in increased 200%. Daily usage of Infusionsoft increased 600%. Hearts were healed. The pope kissed my ring.
“But Reyna – Where is the pipeline? What converted the skeptics? I don’t get it. You’re weird.”
The change in team member adoption had nothing to do with a campaign.
It had everything to do with
- Access to real-time reports
- Instant opportunity organization
- Easy access via Infusionsoft Mobile
Make Infusionsoft Feel Like Home.
As an Infusionsoft implementer, we tend to think we know what the world needs when it comes to a Pipeline.
We know the value that a ladder pipeline offers over a linear one. But even so, inevitably, we’ll miss.
On day one, people want to feel like they’re still in their comfort zone, even though they’re in a new system. Whether it’s your clients or your in-house sales team, they want to feel like they still have control.
“But Reyna – Sales Pipeline can do so much more. This is beneath me.”
Sure! Version 4/Death Star in a few months will look different. But I’m telling you – START HERE.
I lovingly refer to Version 1 of Sales Pipeline as “Zombie Autopilot Phase”
I dare you – deploy Sales Pipeline for two weeks exclusively via Zombie Autopilot Phase to your team.
As soon as the dashboard reporting starts reflecting and helping out with their Opportunity organization, they are grateful.
Grateful that Sales Pipeline is 1. easy. 2. helpful. 3. does exactly what they expect it to do (sans surprises).
Now, I’ll tell you what’s kinda surprising. Suddenly, unprompted by you, people start asking Infusionsoft to do a little more. Take notes. Send a reminder email. Forecast revenue.
See that psychological flip? The asking part? The transfer of ownership? #money
Looking back, the cause of the mutiny after I released the original Death Star campaign was not a group of people excited to start a fight with each other.
It was ME.
I was big-headed and conceited. I was too excited to show off my fancy new automation.
By not focusing on a fancy feast campaign, here are some positives that came out of Zombie Autopilot Sales Pipeline deployment.
Instant Gratification. It takes less than 15 minutes to build something like this and put it in your client’s hands. Wow moment? Yep! Great time to ask for a review? Yep!
Confidence Boost. Clients understand Sales Pipeline right away. They feel smart. Especially if they’ve heard negative things about Sales Pipeline before.
No Desktop Login. Infusionsoft Mobile is so ridiculously simple for managing the day-to-day in Sales Pipeline. Ever have clients that spend time outside of the office, on-site? Ever had a client get overwhelmed the second they log in to Infusionsoft? Yep. Mobile avoids that.
Proof of Concept. One of the harder parts of Sales Pipeline is learning to operate it and the concept of moving an Opportunity around. By focusing just on Opportunity movement first, clients are sold quickly.
Transfer of Ownership. As soon as I stopped begging the team to care about using Sales Pipeline, and I showed them the results, they stepped up and asked for more features. This is what we want in a client relationship, right?
In summary, QTMB&KISS – Quit The Monkey Business and Keep It Simple, Stupid. You’ll win the appreciation of your clients, staff, or anyone else who needs a pipeline that way.
Note: Remember that in order to utilize Opportunities you’ll need to have a version of the software that includes this module. If you don’t have it currently, you can upgrade to add it.