On March 30th, our founder and CEO Ian Mullane delivered a webinar for Dubai Active Industry entitled “How Top Performing Fitness Operators Maximise Sales Revenues”. As you might have gathered from the title, the session was focused around membership sales, with Ian sharing four essential rules that top performing operators follow to achieve industry-best sales performance.
We’ll touch on these rules below, but for a more detailed look, be sure to watch the full video, which clocks in at a concise 28 minutes.
Rule #1: Define and document your sales process
This rule is all about standardising your sales process so you have a repeatable, scalable process that can be continuously improved. As Ian points out, this isn’t about restricting your sales staff’s individual talents – their interpersonal skills will still play a significant role. But by operating within a defined structure, you can find opportunities for optimisation at every stage of the process, not to mention bringing new joiners up to speed more quickly.
- Not all leads are equal. Understand your lead sources and which leads are the most valuable, with the highest probability to close.
- Prescribe the action to be taken at every stage in your sales process.
- Standardise the key points that you want to be relayed in phone calls, SMSes and emails.
- Understand the reasons why leads did not move on to the next stage and track this data in a structured way.
- Set up a process for consistent follow-up. Leads should not leave your sales process unless they explicitly ask to be excluded.
Rule #2: What gets measured gets managed
Or, as Ian puts it, “people do what you inspect not expect”.
This all ties back to the idea that you cannot improve what you do not measure. Within every sales funnel, you’ll find enormous opportunities to measure and improve. Record as much data as possible, and with a wealth of metrics at your disposal, you’ll be able to identify exactly where you can make adjustments to increase your sales performance. It will also make your projections of future performance far more accurate.
- Measure your cost-per-lead. Remember, not all leads are equal.
- Don’t discount the importance of Lifetime Value (LTV). LTV gives you a true understanding of whether the leads you’re converting, and the marketing channels you’re using to attract them, are contributing to your profitability.
- Track the time it takes to execute each stage of the sales process. Time erodes momentum, and you want to engage with leads while they’re in the mindset of joining.
Rule #3: Use automation to manage scale and consistency
In our last takeaway for Rule #2, we mentioned that time erodes momentum. Even the most well built sales processes can fail if they rely on human intervention, which often serves as a weak link. Automation allows you to deliver sophisticated processes at scale, and with consistency, so every engagement happens at the prescribed time.
Some areas where automation can drive instant improvements:
- Lead capture; make sure every lead is captured across all your channels and automatically fed into your sales funnel.
- NPS; generate referrals automatically when someone provides a high NPS score.
- Email and SMS templates; use standardised templates to ensure you can engage consistently and at scale.
- Certainty of action is key. The very best sales teams execute consistently.
- Don’t view automation as “impersonal”. It’s a tool to support your sales team, reducing human intervention where it isn’t required, increasing the certainty of action, and allowing them more time to focus on personal interaction where it counts.
- A/B test constantly. You’re not guaranteed to find a winner in each test, but incremental improvements each month add up to massive improvements over the year.
Rule #4: Your data + AI = rocket fuel for sales performance
If you’ve been diligent about data capture and measurement, you’ll have a solid foundation to make AI predictions with. This has powerful implications for fitness operators. For instance, you can use AI’s predictions to accurately score leads based on their expected LTV and probability of closing, allowing you to prioritise these leads in your sales process.
AI can also help you further down the membership lifecycle, from increasing retention (by identifying attrition risk) to increasing non-dues revenue (by spotting which members are likely to purchase added services). Why should sales teams care about this? Because high retention clubs generally have the most new member leads and highest referral traffic, and members that purchase added services are also more likely to be retained.
- AI may seem intimidating to some operators, but it’s developed to the point where it’s accessible to virtually any business.
- By combining AI with automation, you can engage consistently with content that’s targeted to each lead or member.
- Sales teams should be concerned with retention and non-dues revenue; these are correlated with increased sales.
About Ian Mullane:
A respected thought leader, white paper author, regular industry event speaker and member of the ukactive Digital Futures Council, Ian has a singular ability to first understand the challenges faced by our sector, then demystify the ways in which technology can help neutralize them. Ian is a Fellow of the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management, holds a Msc. in Marketing and is a trained economist with a speciality is markets and competition.