The Ins and Outs of Sales Software
Years ago, scribbled notes on clipboards were the most detailed notes you could get out of your sales staff. Now, with so much information available online about potential prospects, sales software is an essential tool for clubs to track how effective they are at prospecting, membership sales and retention.
Learning how to best pick a sales software, use it to elevate your sales numbers and effectively manage your sales team to maximize results, will be difference-makers in the long-term success of any health club.
Following are thoughts from several industry experts on how clubs can choose the right sales software to fit their needs and how to maximize results.
1. Choosing the Right Sales Software. Whether you’re starting from square one or dissatisfied with your current software partner, picking a new sales software can seem like a monumental task. But when you know what to look for, your list of prospects will be considerably narrowed down.
Andy Marino, Best Fitness: “Working with brands such as Club OS and VFP has been a pleasure. Not only is the software great, the people are great. When we are running into issues, which is bound to happen when using any software, they are always very responsive to getting those issues resolved. Look to partner with companies that will provide excellent customer service and intend to keep innovating their software system. As our industry continues to rapidly change, the tools we utilize to run our business need to adapt.”
Daniela Spaid, Fitness Formula Clubs: “We use GymSales and love it because it is specific to our industry and speaks our language. Our team finds it easy to learn and intuitive to our needs. The reporting has provided us with invaluable data around our key metrics, including number of leads, leads sourcing, where they are in the sales process, closing percentages and follow-up activities. Ease of use is essential [when choosing sales software], especially if you are asking your salespeople to learn something new. It should also work well with any existing integrations you use, such as web forms and club member management systems.”
Bill McBride, Active Wellness: “Club operators should look for several things. One is ease of use by the membership sales staff, including a great user interface. Training membership staff to use it is critical — the simpler, the better. Second is simple and clear reporting — daily sales reports, performance reports in real time and lead reports, etc.”
Chris Stevenson, Stevenson Fitness: “When researching software, there are some basic needs that must be met. For example, automation. Ensure the process is automated, all the way from prospect to member. The automation should happen across a variety of platforms, such as emails, calls and texts. The software should also offer integration with marketing. Leads should easily come through your website, social media ads or app. Currently, we use GymSales and what I like about it is the software is user-friendly. Even the least tech-savvy user has no problem using it. Many companies offer additional bells and whistles, and some of the new sales software can do amazing things. However, clubs need to understand what they truly need and not get too caught up in those bells and whistles.”
2. Posting Great Sales Numbers. Sales software is more than just an organizational tool. Yes, it’s extremely helpful in keeping information under one umbrella, but when used properly, it can help your sales team drive its strongest numbers yet.
AM: “The role of sales software is to act as a tool to help your team communicate a consistent message to members and prospects. Whether you are educating prospects on why they should join your facility or following up with members to ensure they are having a good experience at your club, companies such as VFP and Club OS provide you with systems that allow this to happen effectively. And more importantly, they give you access to important KPIs so you can ensure this is happening.”
DS: “It is vital to understand the department’s KPIs, marketing effectiveness and sales team productivity. It is the platform that gives us the tools to effectively manage our leads, time and communications. The reporting aspects of the sales software we use gives us a clear picture of what is going on in our sales department and allows us to make better decisions on how to allocate our resources. Coaching becomes more about developing behaviors and less about discussing outcomes.”
BM: “Membership sales CRM is critical to drive new member acquisition. It is the most efficient way to manage your pipeline of new and existing leads, and also can be used to manage the new member’s journey. Sales CRM should be used across the organization for prospect, lead and member relationship management.”
CS: “The fitness industry is more competitive than it has ever been. With consumers having so many options, it is harder than ever to acquire new leads. When your sales team does get leads, it is essential they follow up with every single one. All the necessary follow-up and communication has to take place. There is simply no other way to make sure this happens efficiently, effectively and 100 percent of the time, other than utilizing strong sales software.”
3. Maximizing Results. Your club’s success doesn’t stop at integrating cutting-edge sales software and teaching your sales team the basics. It takes a strong leadership team analyzing data and using it to drive decision-making — then you’ll truly maximize the effectiveness of your sales software.
AM: “It’s important to understand a good software in and of itself is not the answer to solving issues and boosting production. You need to make sure you collaborate with your vendors to create in-house training protocols that will ensure your team has a good understanding of how to use the software.”
DS: “It goes back to the old phrase, ‘garbage in, garbage out.’ A good sales software program provides a clear lens through which you can analyze data and make sound decisions on managing your department.”
BM: “The way clubs get the most [out of software] is to fully embrace and use it. Using it to determine the club’s sales and marketing ROI is extremely important. For example, you can see how a certain direct mail campaign worked out on the number of leads and number of sales. A proper sales CRM allows for this critical function to be accomplished. Otherwise, clubs are throwing money in the dark with no visibility on results and efficacy.”
CS: “Clubs must do training, training and more training — just like anything else of importance. Clubs need to invest time into making sure every member of the sales team knows the sales software inside and out. Every team member must understand all the features, and specifically know the cadence of email, phone and text follow-ups. On top of that, you need a dedicated leader — typically a sales manager — to oversee the team. The team leader will use data from the software to track progress toward club goals, and they’ll need to set goals in all areas of the sales process, from booking appointments to appointment shows to converting trials. If the sales team is not on track to meeting goals, the software can help isolate areas that need support.”