Selecting Sales Technology
After over a year of members freezing or canceling their memberships, it’s crucial to get them back. A great way to increase your membership sales is to ensure your sales process is seamless. Implementing sales technology can ensure you are simplifying the process, instead of complicating it further.
Here industry experts share the sales technology that works best for their ecosystems, what they like about technology and the best advice they have for other operators.
The Fitness Performance Group
New York-based The Fitness Performance Group is a unique consulting company that provides outsourced executive leadership and functional expertise in all areas of fitness management.
Rich DeStasio, the president of The Fitness Performance Group, said there are a number of different technology services the facilities he works with use to help sales and marketing. However, the one that has been instrumental over the past year is FlexIt, a virtual personal training platform.
“FlexIt is an awesome tool for both in-club lead generation for new memberships and adding personal training revenue to service both new and existing clients, as well as keeping and retaining your top personal trainers,” said DeStasio.
Additionally, DeStasio said FlexIt is an awesome partner by bringing an operator’s mindset and always looking for ways to add value to their partners. FlexIt has been great in helping the facilities DeStasio works with push new customers through their doors. Plus, it has driven significant revenue through its virtual training platform.
While implementing another technology can be overwhelming, it is critical for club owners to keep abreast of changes going on in the sales industry. New technologies brought about by digitization have made the sales process much easier, and new companies have sprung up to help chains increase their revenues and reach.
“It is important to consider the experience and support level offered by any new technology provider you bring on,” said DeStasio. “For example, I have spent time working with FlexIt, which impressed me with the attention to detail, responsiveness and operator mindset. Having a partner like that means new technologies are a net positive to the company instead of a distraction. I would always do a trial with any partner ahead of time to ensure they are going to be there to support you throughout the entire process.”
The Hockessin Athletic Club
The Hockessin Athletic Club in Hockessin, Delaware, utilizes multiple technologies together, which has worked well for them.
“Our ecosystem begins with lead acquisition, which comes from several different places, both digital and in-person,” said Lisa Maguire, the marketing and advertising director for The Hockessin Athletic Club. “Some come from our website, social media and pay-per-click. Those are easily captured electronically. We use Unbounce to create our landing pages, and Zapier to funnel those into our customer relationship management software (CRM), Agile CRM.”
For phone leads, the Hockessin Athletic Club’s membership team manually enters them into the CRM. For in-person leads, they use two methods to capture their visit. Guests who do not visit with the membership team simply check-in at the front desk, provide some information and sign a guest waiver through Envoy. Guests who are visiting with the membership team fill out a simple form they created with JotForm and provide a bit more information and sign a liability waiver.
“In both instances, we use Zapier to transfer that information to our CRM,” explained Maguire. “For our guests, since many are from out of town or repeat visitors, we filter out based on zip code, visit purpose and whether or not they’ve previously visited.”
While it was a lot to setup in the beginning, Maguire said it was one-and-done. It’s kept their data clean and their membership team more organized, which has paid for itself many times over. Since going digital with all their lead intake, they tripled their monthly contact information pre-COVID.
While this works for them, this piecemeal may not be for everyone. Each software serves a unique purpose for their specific lead flow. Maguire breaks it down below:
Unbounce: “We chose Unbounce for our landing pages because of its low cost and robust tracking, as well as it’s easy-to-use drag and drop editor. The forms are built-in, and it has several integrations existing to help with lead distribution and management. In some cases, low-quality leads are sent directly to MailChimp to help warm them up and weed out leads before they get to the membership team.”
Zapier: “Zapier has been an amazing tool for connecting together all of our technology that wouldn’t ordinarily talk to each other. I highly recommend exploring all of their features. It’s another low-cost, high-performance tool and it can save hours of manual work.”
Envoy: “We chose Envoy for guests because it allows for a repeat check-in right from a tablet without adding more membership types to our multimedia messaging service, and it gives us a lot of great information we can report on and analyze over time.”
JotForm: “JotForm is a simple form builder we’ve used for several years. Another great one is Formstack. These types of tools allow you to collect a great deal of member information for very little cost.”
While individually each tool is fairly inexpensive, Maguire warned they can add up quickly. “All in, these tools cost our facility about $7,500 a year, so it’s important to carefully consider what features are must haves and what return they’ll give you in the end,” she said. “For us, the front-end service to the members and guests and the back-end ease it’s provided was payback enough on its own, but these tools have returned hard dollars and cents many times over.”