By John Turner, founder of SeedProd

There is no question that having your own business can be extraordinarily time-consuming. You'll spend hours every day sifting through data, talking to your team and figuring out what you need to do next to push your profits in the right direction. You may think that you don't have enough time to develop a sales funnel.

That's where you're wrong.

For new business owners, a sales funnel, as the name implies, is a metaphorical funnel where you catch potential leads at the top and try to get them down to the bottom of the funnel or get a conversion. Think of the funnel top down with three main steps:

  • Awareness: Consumers need to know your brand/product/service exists, right?
  • Consideration: Now they need to think about whether or not your product can solve their problem or improve their quality of life.
  • Decision: The end decision is that they follow through and buy your product, sign up for your newsletter, order your ebook, etc.

With the three tips outlined below, you can create an automated sales funnel so you can focus on other aspects of your business while the sales come "funneling" in.

1. Create content to pull in potential leads.

In order to get your automated sales funnel off the ground, you're going to have to put in a little prep work. The best way to start your sales funnel is by creating valuable content that will draw in potential customers.

Many consumers make a purchase because they want to solve a problem. The best way to accomplish this task is by considering how your product or service is going to solve a problem for customers or how your products will improve their lives. Start from there and consider topic ideas that could spark awareness while your customer base is browsing online.

For example, if you're trying to sell a marketing course, you are going to write content based on the biggest mistakes new marketers make, marketing success stories and tips and tricks. As your customers search for marketing information, they stumble across your article(s) and you've accomplished the first step. Awareness.

2. Use a strong lead magnet.

The second and most important step in the sales funnel process is the consideration step. After they are done reading your article, you need to step in and show them what you have to offer that can solve their problem.

Lead magnets come in many forms. Most businesses offer a free ebook, guides, a discount, webinar and access to podcasts or courses. You can use machine learning to monitor the behavior of your customers and have the lead magnet pop up at just the right time.

In most cases, when the customer gets toward the bottom of the page or goes to exit your website, you can trigger a popup. The popup will encourage the leads to enter their email address in order to gain access to the free thing that you are offering. The word "free" in your copy is one of the most persuasive words you can use, as everyone likes getting something for free.

When you set up lead magnets to pop up automatically, you're setting your automated sales funnel to help pull customers down to the final aspect of the funnel -- the decision.

3. Set up split tests.

Part of creating a good automated sales funnel is making sure that you are constantly tweaking and reworking your funnel so that you can maximize conversions. Luckily, with the power of automation, you don't have to spend every day looking at your funnel to make sure it's working.

Instead, set up split tests that randomly use different popups for random customers. For example, you can have one popup that offers users a free ebook and another that gives them 25 percent off their first order. The conditions for both is that they must enter their email address so they can get their cod/ebook and, in the process, join your newsletter.

Try out both of these tests for a week and check the results to see which one did better. If the free e-book did well but the coupon didn't, you can then try something new against the ebook to see if there is a change.

Setting up an automated sales funnel does require some work, but soon you will have a set system that runs smooth as butter. A successful automated sales funnel boosts your profits while you focus on other aspects of the business. A win-win situation for any entrepreneur.

John Turner is the founder of SeedProd, the most popular coming-soon page solution for WordPress used by over 800,000 websites.