How Your CRM Software Can Be Your Best Sales Tool

A fully integrated, automated system should take advantage of three distinct sales pipelines. Does yours?

There’s an old joke legendary British mathematician Alan Turing, played by actor Benedict Cumberbatch, tells in the movie The Imitation Game. It goes like this:

There are two people in [the woods], and they run into a bear. The first person gets down on his knees to pray; the second person starts lacing up his boots. The first person asks the second person, “My dear friend, what are you doing? You can’t outrun a bear.” To which the second person responds, “I don’t have to. I only have to outrun you.”

You may have heard some other version of this fable (there’s one about a tiger and tennis shoes), but the lesson is the same: In order to compete, you need the tools in order to outrun the competition. And while the consequences of failing aren’t as grim as becoming a bear’s lunch, it may feel that way sometimes.

As a pioneer in computer science decades ago, Turing understood the potential power of computer programming to drive all aspects of human achievement. Now we’re seeing it play out in real time, accelerated by advances like artificial intelligence and powerful mobile technology.

As a club owners, you can’t fall behind as the bear gains speed. That means plugging in to the latest technology. You need to have customer relationship management (CRM) software that optimizes your ability to drive sales, produces financial reports, manage billing, stays on top of analytics, and provides other essential functions for growth.

With the proliferation of so many CRM software vendors these days, you may be confused about what to look for. First understand why a health club operator needs a robust, all-inclusive CRM system in the first place.

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Four Reasons Why Every Club Needs CRM Software

Here’s a short list of the value CRM can provide club owners.

1. CRMs Reduce Member and Employee Frustration.

Software with full functionality helps free up employees to do more creative work, such as focusing on sales and fitness programming. CRM software also helps to minimize human error. You can save a lot on man hours with automated billing and reporting systems.

2. CRMs Expertly Track and Analyze Data.

CRM software with automated reporting can keep you aware of where your business stands on a daily and even hourly basis. You’ll find out what’s working and where you’re falling short. It’s important that your CRM software have fully integrated capabilities, so you don’t have multiple vendors with incompatible software platforms that make it difficult to compile comprehensive data.

3. CRMs Help Health Clubs Go Paperless.

Besides reducing man hours, CRM software systems provide paperless point of sale (POS) features that save on hard costs for paper and other written contracts. This also improves efficiency and accuracy. Managing memberships is also easier with a paperless system that allows for SMS messaging.

4. CRMs Support Web and Mobile Sales Options.

Everybody shops online. Why wouldn’t they buy or renew their gym memberships online? CRM that allows for online enrollment and mobile payment processing is a powerful tool for adding memberships and exploiting non-dues revenue streams. It also opens up sales possibilities 24/7 for prospects.

This last point is perhaps the most important. The sales benefits of a powerful, fully automated CRM system have become indispensible for clubs of all sizes. This is especially true of mobile payment processing.

Not all CRM systems are equal, however. You want one that allows for managing, tracking, and communicating with three distinct sales pipelines: one each for prospects, new members, and retention of existing members.

The Power of Automation

Your CRM functionality should have built-in features that are fully automated in a number of areas. Why? Every aspect of your business can be improved by automation, say experts: “So much is automated these days—from dinner reservations to airline check-in—and for good reason. Automation makes things simple and efficient for businesses and consumers alike. Just bring the same benefits to your business functions and watch the needle move.”

For a club owner, that means:

  • Automated follow-up for phone calls, emails, staff reminders, check-in alerts, etc.;
  • Automated emails for appointment reminders, membership information, new member welcome, notifications, etc.
  • Automated reporting for just about any management information needed such as daily statistics, revenue information, renewals, and online joins;
  • Automated SMS messaging to existing members, new members, and prospects.
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You’ll win more deals with automated sales workflows by keeping the pipeline stocked with sales leads. For club owners, that means all three sales pipelines you’re targeting will be fully serviced.

When you choose your CRM system for your club, you want to know you have all of these capabilities, along with other flexible features, like customizable screens and reports. And you want to work with a company with a long track record in the business that offers dedicated support when you need it.

A Company in Tune with Your Sales Objectives

If experience and a proven record of success are important to you, then you should look at Twin Oaks Software. There are a lot of new kids on the block with CRM products for health clubs, but Twin Oaks has been providing club management software since 1991. Through the strength of their products and support, they enjoy a 94% client retention rate.

One of the benefits of Twin Oaks is their versatility and ability to scale to any type of club situation. They are the only CRM software provider that offers both a cloud/web-based system and a server/desktop option. This means that you’re always plugged into your club’s vital work systems, even when the internet goes down. This is especially valuable to clubs that are located outside of major metropolitan areas without reliable internet service.

Twin Oaks CRM software offers a customizable interface for screens and reports and is fully integrated with other industry programs. And they understand the business. Twin Oaks was founded by health club owners nearly three decades ago. They helped pioneer a lot of industry practices, such as email functionality in software, and pride themselves on dedicated support to their clients. They’ll continue pushing the capabilities of their software systems while always making sure you have the right tools for your sales objectives.

For more information, visit the Twin Oaks website or call them at 866-278-6750.

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Jim Schmaltz

Jim Schmaltz is a contributor to IHRSA.org