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Workflow Management Tools Spur Lead Generation and Retention

Having transparency throughout your organization and readily available insights speeds decision-making across the entire business, supporting proactive growth.

“You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” The quote belongs to W. Edwards Deming, the statistician and quality-control expert credited with having launched the Total Quality Management (TQM) movement of the late 1980s and early ‘90s.

The point? If you can’t monitor what’s happening in your operation, build insights around it, and then act on that knowledge, you can’t maximize your business and optimize revenue.

One way to do that is through workflow management tools. Among the key benefits of workflow management technology, notes ScienceDirect magazine, is integration and real-time reporting. A digital workflow platform has the capacity to harness all the data your business produces through its processes, make all the parts of your organization visible, and create reports with insights geared to improving and speeding business decisions.

Other benefits of workflow tools include improved overall efficiency through automation, improved accountability and visibility throughout the business, reduced errors, streamlined processes, superior control, scalability, and flexibility, improved communication, and more motivated employees.

Workflow and Lead Generation

Workflow tools can be especially important in lead generation and member retention.

“If you utilize workflow tools in a pragmatic way, you have a focal point to measure yourself against, not just internally but also against other clubs in your chain and beyond,” relates Tom Kemp, head of new business & implementation at Exerp.

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To illustrate, he offers an example of new member numbers. Say you have 50 new prospects join your club in a given month, but you don’t know how many are leaving. Knowing how many joiners you have ends up being information with no inherent value on its own. If you know you have 60 people leaving, you know you need to either sell at least 11 more memberships or “save” 11 members to get yourself into a net gain position. If you don't have the automated workflow tools to provide that information and give you insight into your position, you end up spending a great deal of time analyzing data to get it.

But, Kemp says, lead management tools can’t stand on their own.

“Today, data is king, and every chain wants to know as much as they can to make the best business decisions possible,” he says. “A common chokepoint for health clubs is the lack of cohesion between their lead management tool and their club management system. Often, these two are not linked and the data can be skewed, providing poor-quality information for decision-makers. A business only works well when all departments are in harmony. If each department knows how each other is tracking, they can help each other and complement each other's efforts to achieve their goals.

“For example,” he continues, “a club is five sales short of making budget this month. The PT manager has already made budget but wants to help the sales team so they offer a deal that every new joiner will receive two free PT sessions. This incentive will then provide the additional sales needed to achieve the overall target. Because that information was readily available, quick decision-making was possible.”

Four Workflow Pillars

While every workflow platform is different, Exerp breaks its lead-generation workflow tool into four core areas:

  1. Steps. Kemp defines these as the “milestones” within the workflow, such as “Tour Booked” or “No Sale.”

  2. Actions. “As you look at any given task, you have options such as ‘Call,’ ‘Sell,’ ‘Trial,’ or ‘Sell Membership,’ and some of these actions are supported by automated functions,” he says.

  3. User Choices. Once a user hits the “Call” button, they’re presented with choices based on the outcome of the call (e.g., “No Answer,” “Left V/M,” etc.).

  4. Transitions. “This is how you decide what the next step is, the status of the next step, categories (e.g., Hot, Warm, Cold), the follow-up interval, and any post-transition action,” he says. “Ultimately, you want to hit ‘Sell’ and be taken to the membership sale app within Exerp.”

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A Versatile Platform

While Exerp designed the workflow tool primarily for lead management, the company’s clients use it to manage a variety of related workflows.

One client used the platform to create a retention call process designed to contact members up to three months in advance of their cancellation date to keep them on board. They also utilized the workflow tool to load members and assign them to employees within the member service team to contact the members.

“The same client wanted to tackle potential debtors; members who had cancelled their payment agreement with the bank in advance of next month’s debit,” Kemp says. “So, they created a workflow to contact these members and create new payment agreements to reduce potential debt.”

Another client used the tool for debt collection, coordinating their call efforts through the tool and tracking the success of their collection efforts by club.

“Clubs can perform a wide range of functions through the Exerp platform,” says Kemp. “In addition to the lead management, debt collection, and retention opportunities already discussed, clubs can, for example, create a workflow for the onboarding process, as the first six to eight weeks of membership are the most important. Really, the applications for the tool are limited only by the ideas and imaginations of our clients.”

To learn more about Exerp, visit their website.

Jon Feld

Jon Feld is a contributor to IHRSA.org.