Pivoting has never been an issue for Sandy Slade, CEO of Skillastics. In fact, you could say she’s a master of it. Prior to starting Skillastics 20 years ago, Sandy put her spinning skills (along with other basketball tricks) on display while entertaining at NBA games, colleges and school assembly programs.
While she loved entertaining the crowds, Sandy’s true passion was getting kids to enjoy being physically active, which motivated her to start Skillastics. Her program focuses on an innovative technique of play executed on oversize mats placed in the middle of a play area where up to 100 children can play at one time. Additionally, play is themed around general fitness, character development and even academic integration, among others.
And it’s clear Sandy has achieved her passion; her program is currently enjoyed by over 10 million children in more than 25,000 educational settings across the United States and she pulls in more than $770,000 in revenue annually.
Previous lead gen methods sapped resources
Although Sandy reached critical mass in terms of revenue and the number of children enjoying the program, she was spending a lot of time and money attending 30 to 40 conferences every year to build up leads. She knew she needed to change course.
“A lot of work (is) involved in that, and a lot of expense, and so I knew that we had to find a streamlined way of being able to get in front of people,” said Sandy. “So I reached out to Daniel Bussius of Built By Love Agency, a certified partner of Keap, and I asked if he could help us.”
Built by Love uses a holistic approach to address the entire client journey by identifying ‘ideal’ customers and creating customized campaigns that address client concerns.
“Bussius mapped out Skillastics' entire customer journey and identified where and how we could use automation to collect leads, engage clients and create fans,” said Sandy.
Like many small business owners who are introduced to automation for the first time, Sandy had her doubts.
“At first, I was skeptical, because he kept on saying, ’This is going to be amazing for your business,’ so I just didn't really know. But you know what? Within three months, our sales grew 30%, and we were on track for 2020 to be our best year yet,” she said. “He explained to me how we could create a customer's journey through videos and through lead magnets, etc., so I jumped onboard and had his agency create a whole marketing strategy.”
In 2015, Daniel provided Sandy with a strategy that included a customer's journey by using PDFs and videos that are powered by Keap. Built by Love also empowered the sales team to quickly and easily move the prospect into any customer journey stage with the click of a button. From brand new leads to raving fans, the messaging, content, custom videos and campaigns empowered the journey.
“My sales team uses Keap to follow up on their own leads and we use the email system to quickly send out an email regarding a new product we've created,” Slade said.
Leveraging Keap’s features
Overall, Built by Love created 11 campaigns addressing the 10 stages of the customer journey. This resulted in record breaking revenue, great client experiences and a ‘smart’ system that provided sales intelligence, a custom dashboard showing progress of all of the contacts and a foundational system, which was designed to scale and built to last for years. The goal of the system was to save time and money and simplify every aspect of the process including marketing, sales, database segmentation and nurturing and task assignments.
Overall, the Skillastics team has employed the Email Marketing, Appointments, Sales Pipeline, Marketing Automation, Integrations, Reports & Insights tools available in the software.
“Keap has allowed us to continue to be in front of our customers without having to have the expense of travel. This has also allowed me and my team to be able to spend more time at home than we've ever done in the past,” Slade said.
While they had success with Keap for nearly five years, when the pandemic hit, Sandy knew their program, which works in schools with large groups of kids, wasn’t going to work the same way. She knew she needed to change gears yet again.
“What I ended up doing was creating virtual physical activity programs. And again, I had to reach out to Daniel, and ask him, [to] create a campaign based upon my virtual programs, and he did it, it was amazing, and we are on the radar through Keap, through the campaign,” she said.
Growing with Keap
Once again, Daniel and his team were able to create a program to help Skillastics shine.
“We're making more money than we even dreamed possible, especially during a pandemic year, so I just want to thank Keap, and I also want to thank Daniel Bussius, a certified partner of Keap, who really has helped change my small business. We've become more efficient, more effective, and we're making more money, so thank you very much,” she said.
In addition to growing revenue, Skillastics has grown their business in other ways including adding another employee to their team of three, growing their lead list by nearly 30% and increasing repeat sales to 43% from 35%.
Other notable business achievements include boosting lifetime value to $1,941 from $1,200.
She also reduced her work time from 60 hours a week to 40. Most importantly, Sandy said she went from feeling stressed at work to having fun.