Technology tools that help make sales and marketing simple and seamless.
From the metaverse to Jack in the Box’s burger-flipping robots, it’s clear that life — and technology — as we know it are evolving. While the industry isn’t adding robot personal trainers anytime soon, there are areas of the business you should lean into with technology. One of those is sales.
Implementing more technology in your sales process can make the process simple, seamless and quicker to close.
However, before jumping into it, Michele Wong, the COO for Active Wellness, said you need to first look at how it improves experience and facilitates the member journey.
“So many of the technologies consumers use today are ubiquitous, so what you deploy needs to be frictionless for the consumer,” said Wong. “The expectation is links for information, or the steps to join, are easy and not clunky. If it’s not easy you run the risk of your prospect not engaging with you and moving on.”
Once you’ve developed a system that provides for ease of use, Wong said it’s important to consider what sets you apart from competition. “This is where the first introduction via a webpage or social marketing post comes in,” she explained. “It’s important to make sure the experience being expressed through content and visuals is inspirational and moving, with a call to action.”
Wong and the Active Wellness team use an expansive list of technology that aid in their sales strategy including:
- Mindbody: Their preferred member management software for a number of commercial sites. Wong said they appreciate the branded app and web widgets, and the automated email messaging.
- WaiverKing: This allows Active customers to electronically sign required documents online, creating and storing them within the client’s Mindbody profile.
- Emma: Wong said this enterprise email management software is beneficial to Active because they’re able to manage multiple sub-accounts for several brands. “We appreciate the ability to create new email templates, asset libraries and templates that can be shared across sub-accounts, as well as the approval process features,” she added.
- GymSales powered by ABC Financial: Active’s CRM platform supports daily membership sales management with prompted actions, real-time one-on-one prospect communication via SMS/email, member retention, automated messaging and marketing reports.
Of all these technologies, one of the most helpful when it comes to closing a sale is CRM software.
Being able to track the journey a new member takes from initial contact through the point of becoming a member is critical. According to Jesse Anderson, the network administrator of Merritt Clubs, a CRM system creates a central place to capture and store all contact information and communication history you’ve had with a prospect. This generally includes the ability to email and text your lead directly from within the program instead of getting stuck in a single salesperson’s inbox or on their phone.
“Another good function of a system like this is the ability to capture feedback early on from your prospect regarding their fitness level, fitness goals, past fitness experiences and preferences for the types of workouts they enjoy,” said Anderson. “This information not only helps during the sales process but later gives you a head start once they join, and you transition to onboarding them.”
Merritt Clubs also utilizes GymSales as its CRM. Mark Miller, the COO, said it’s been very beneficial to their team and facility.
“GymSales has been great for us to help focus our salespeople, ensure we are conducting member follow up as well as driving new business,” said Miller. “We use it for both leads of new sales as well as onboarding members through our various offerings.”
Sales isn’t your only operation that can improve with the help of technology. Your marketing can also greatly benefit from digital tools.
Anderson noted it used to be enough just to have a website for your business as it allowed for prospective members to get more information. While it’s still vital to have a good website in place, he said it’s no longer enough in today’s world.
“Now we have to go out and meet them where they already are — Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc.,” explained Anderson. “Certainly, you’ll often be using those platforms to drive prospects back to your website, but having those extra tools makes it that much easier for your next new member to find you.”
When it comes to marketing at Merritt Clubs, HubSpot helps ease the load.
“HubSpot is what sits behind our website offers and allows us to capture leads and track our data,” said Miller. “We use it to make decisions on ROI as well as what funnels are working best. It also serves as a central point for all our member communication like newsletters, blogs, etc.”
Various technologies play a role in assisting Active Wellness’ marketing team.
Wong said they use the graphic design platform Canva to create brand kits and templates for various marketing campaigns shared across sub-accounts. They then use Sprout Social, a social media management platform, to schedule these campaigns and social posts, as well as analyze audiences/results.
Inside of the club, they use Zero-In — a digital marketing screen and content management system — to keep members in the know while they work out. “We appreciate their ability to customize display screens throughout the club and their ability to use APIs to pull in content from other systems like Mindbody to display class schedules,” said Wong.
Overall, there are various ways to implement technology into your operations to help improve your workflow and member experience. However, technology is a tool — it’s not the end-all, be-all. For Miller, it’s only as good as the people who use it and the data that is put into it. Plus, in order to be successful, you must always be putting feelers out for what’s to come in the tech world.
“I think we need to constantly be adapting and adjusting our technology,” added Miller. “The world is evolving, and the health club world must also. We need to embrace technology across the board as an asset and tool to enhance our team and member experience. Make sure there are no friction points behind its use, and ensure it’s helping free our teams up to make impact within our memberships and communities. It’s exciting to think where we will be a year from now.”