Inspired by a popular nationwide fitness trend, SalesFitness, LLC’s mobile, scenario-based, e-learning and team engagement platform aims to increase and streamline communication between sales representatives and their managers, whether their offices are across the hall from one another, or across the country.
“You’re creating give and get and helping one another, and doing it virtually,” said Bill Young, Plymouth resident and president and co-founder of SalesFitness. Young’s son owns a CrossFit gym, and the concept of utilizing different “workouts of the day” and awarding users for progress made appealed to Young from a business standpoint.
The cloud-based system uses mobile technology, asynchronous two-way video, a social learning feedback system, and a unique “gamified” motivation system, allowing users to earn points and badges for content successfully completed, giving feedback and rating videos found to be helpful.
“Each exercise uploaded onto the platform is a video and test. The idea is that whatever an organization wants sales reps to do is modeled in behavior and nuggets of information communicated in two to three minutes, and shown in a video. Reps can then replicate that behavior in their own video and upload it to show that they have learned it successfully,” said Young.
Users access expert training content and use the camera on their iPad to learn additional skills demonstrated by a manager and access information that needs to be shared with a wide base of employees quickly. Representatives can then confirm with managers that they have learned the skill or received a directive through completing and uploading their own videos, demonstrating methods which could include introducing oneself to clients, or explaining a product succinctly.
SalesFitness allows users to practice their new skills in an environment in which they are comfortable doing so, and allows them several “attempts” to perfect a video before sharing it. Once shared, they can request feedback from peers, a coach, or a manager to improve performance. The process is meant to foster team collaboration and success.
In the age of modern business, as companies go nationwide or even global, many organizations have experienced turnover when sales representatives are unable to communicate regularly with an out-of-state manager. Research has shown that as much as 84 percent of knowledge gained will be lost in the first 90 days of learning, largely because there is no “after-care” solution. Additionally, the advent of smartphones made office communication via voicemail system largely obsolete.
SalesFitness eliminates both time and travel constraints, allowing managers to get information to employees quickly and regularly.
“We aim to transform training from an ineffective, antiquated classroom ritual to something that aligns the circadian rhythm of a distinct business – where real behavioral change can be seen and measured,” Young said. “The SalesFitness app enables both sales managers and staff to be more accountable for their success by giving them a fun way to collaborate, compete, recognize wins and share best practices.”
Inventors Young and Wilson Garland co-founded SalesFitness in 2013 with the vision of harnessing mobile technology to create a new learning and communication solution, and to improve field and customer engagement. Their 50 years of combined expertise in sales, learning, marketing and product development was gained at such big name companies like IBM, 3M, Capella University, and J. Walter Thompson.
“In any organization there are things you want people to know, and with the platform you can share those things with a team, or anyone in the organization that is in the SalesFitness system can see a video that you want to share,” said Young. “Like Crossfit, it is a collegial environment in which team members can compete and collaborate. A manager can see all of the team's attempts, but users don't have to widely share until they feel the video is perfect.”
SalesFitness is currently subcontracting with the U.S. Navy, which is using the platform for leadership coaching for its civilian employees, and MacPhail Center for Music is currently piloting it as a teaching tool as well. The company's first client was major league soccer, which initially used SalesFitness content and is now using the platform to upload its own, something the SalesFitness team encourages, as it personalizes the platform for users.
Young also serves on the Board of Directors for Hammer Residences and will become President of the Board in April. The organization has expressed interest in using SalesFitness in its homes, where it would serve as a tool for direct caregivers to demonstrate initiatives and employees to confirm that they have learned them, and would allow residents to see themselves in videos.
SalesFitness will continue expanding sales-related content, and future plans include branching into music, health and wellness and further into leadership-related videos for teaching and communication.
Currently, SalesFitness is available exclusively for the iPad, with an iPhone version expected early this year. For more background on this story, see our Business section on weeklynews.com.