Leads are the lifeline for any fitness business. Without a steady stream of high-quality leads, a company will struggle to scale. For businesses to grow, you need to convert strangers into paying customers. Your lead management process takes potential customers on this journey, converts them, and ultimately closes the sale.
Lead management is a multi-faceted process that crosses departments. You need to have a proven system in place that ensures your marketing and sales team align so they can effectively capture, identify, nurture and convert leads. In this article, we discuss what exactly is a lead management process, why you need one, and how you can drive more sales with effective lead management.
Skip ahead to:
- What is a Lead Management Process?
- Why is a Lead Management Process Important?
- 3 Best Practices for Good Lead Management
- 9 Steps to Creating an Efficient Lead Management Process
What is a Lead Management Process?
Put simply, lead management is the process of attracting and managing leads so that you don’t lose potential customers. It’s how you convert strangers into paying members and drive revenue. To manage leads efficiently, you need a proven system in place that can be replicated across your team members.
A lead management process contains the following steps:
Lead capture: These are your lead generation activities that attract potential customers like email, website, social media, and paid ads.
Lead tracking: This is the step when you start to gather more information and continue to track your leads.
Lead qualification: By scoring leads you can prioritize who you need to contact first. You can then pinpoint who you should invest your time in to close a sale.
Lead distribution: assign leads to your sales reps. The sooner you contact your leads, the better.
Lead nurture: not all leads are sales-ready. During this step, you’re trying to determine pain points and demonstrate the value of your services.
In a typical sales system, leads will come in from multiple channels. Your lead management system will help to maximize every lead. You want to make the most out of every prospect who shows interest in your services. That means converting more leads in less time as your resources and efforts are spent in the right area. You’re not missing out on leads due to mismanagement.
Industry experts delve deeper into the topic of sales and marketing in The Fitness Founders Podcast. Fitness industry veterans talk about the best way to get leads through the door and convert them.
Why is a Lead Management Process Important?
In the right hands, lead management is a well-oiled machine. But, without a system in place, it’s easy to invest resources into low-quality prospects or even lose potential customers from a lack of contact and follow-up. Here are four reasons why a lead management process is so important.
For a business to grow, you need a steady revenue stream. While your member retention strategy focuses on retaining members in the long term, your sales plan will get new members through the door and allow you to grow. A smart marketing strategy tailored to your target audience will attract new leads and keep your sales pipeline full of potential leads.
Manage Time Efficiently
The process of qualifying leads allows you to determine who you should contact next and where they are on the sales journey. If you’re speaking to someone who has already said that your gym is too far away, they are unlikely to move forward. By tracking leads and qualifying prospects, you can manage your time efficiently and ultimately close more sales.
Increase Revenue and Sales
Nurturing leads is a key part of the lead management process. Statistics show that companies that nurture leads increase sales by 50% at 33% lower costs. The majority of the time, a prospect isn’t sales-ready until they are further through the sales funnel. Without lead management, you could lose a fair amount of sales through a lack of organization.
Boost the Customer Experience
Good lead generation puts customer experience as the number one priority. Often, a lack of emotional connection and immediate response negatively impacts lead generation. When you don’t offer support across multiple platforms, prospects can feel discouraged. By creating a customer-led sales strategy, you can boost the overall customer experience. This elevates every interaction a prospect has with you and increases your member retention at the same time.
Dr. Paul Bedford talks about the importance of continuity in the sales journey from converted lead to member onboarding. Paul is an industry-leading expert on retention and the owner of Retention Guru. In the episode on The Fitness Founders Podcast, he talks about member retention, creating an engaging customer experience, and delves further into the sales process.
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3 Best Practices for Good Lead Management
From initial prospecting to onboarding a new member, setting the right foundation for your lead management process is essential. You need to give your sales reps and marketing teams the tools, training, and knowledge they need to hit targets and close more sales. Here are three best practices for good lead management.
Utilize Lead Management Software
Managing your sales process is key to attracting and closing sales. CRM lead management software can streamline the process. Without this type of software, managing, tracking, reporting, and monitoring leads often takes more time. It can also result in issues like your sales team following up with cold leads and wasting staff time.
Align Marketing and Sales
Receiving enriched leads from marketing to the sales team can be extremely valuable. By owning your lead management process and aligning the right teams, it makes cross-team communication easier. Your sales team already has valuable information on prospects from your marketing team.
Define Your Goals
Think about your goals. You want to increase sales but does that mean you want more customers? Or do you want to reduce your cost per lead? Defining your goals will support your marketing and sales strategy. It will help you to avoid going after prospects that don’t fit with your business.
9 Steps to Creating an Efficient Lead Management Process
An efficient lead management process is essential for growing your business, attracting customers, and closing sales effectively. You can improve your gym sales through a wide range of processes, one of them being your lead management. When you don’t have a clear sales and lead management system in place, you risk not converting gym sales leads. Here are nine steps you can implement to build an efficient lead management system and start converting more leads.
1. Map Out Your Sales Process
Start by mapping out your entire sales process. Identify the phases and departments a prospect needs to go through to convert them into a customer. Think about who they will need to speak to and who is responsible for each phase of the sales process. There should be a clear system in place where your prospect switches from your marketing to your sales team. By the time your lead is at the nurturing stage, you should already have a ton of information.
2. Lead Capturing
Every lead you come across is not a potential customer. Some people will interact with your website, social media, or sign up for your newsletter and not convert. But, you need to determine who those people might be by defining your ideal customer. Create an ideal persona for the perfect lead. Effective lead generation will capture leads and enable your sales team to convert more customers in less time. Content marketing, email marketing, social media, fitness challenges, and referral programs can help you generate more leads.
3. Organize Your Leads
Organizing your leads is a key part of managing leads. To track and monitor your leads, you need to organize cold leads, prospects, and customers. If you are dealing with large lists of prospects and leads, it can get messy quickly if it’s not organized properly. Lead management software will be a major player in organizing your sales system. Other tips for organizing leads are to remove duplicate data, assign customer personas, and capture more details as you learn about your prospect.
4. Implement a Lead Scoring System
A lead scoring system helps you to qualify leads and identify who is ready to move forward. To implement a system, you assign a value to each person who has performed a specific action. For example, someone who has signed up for your newsletter, and has streamed one of your classes would score higher than someone who engages with your brand on social media sporadically. The overall score will tell you where the lead is in the nurturing process.
5. Assign All Leads
No matter where leads are in the customer journey, they need to be assigned to someone. Sales reps should follow up with potential customers quickly. Every potential member should have a dedicated sales professional who will guide them on the decision-making journey. Lead distribution is crucial to developing relationships and nurturing the lead. Before you can manage a lead, they need to be assigned to a salesperson so they can be guided through the sales funnel.
6. Track Everything
Capture as much information as you can. Your sales efforts will be more successful if you can have a pipeline of leads that actually fit your target audience, member personas, and demographics. A clear lead generation strategy will improve your chances of attracting people that fit your services and brand. By tracking everything, you can gain more insight into every part of the sales journey. Tracking your progress and customer journey can help you pinpoint weaknesses and make sure no one gets lost in the system.
7. Automate Your Lead Management Process
Every fitness business can use automation to warm up leads and turn them into qualified prospects. You can use marketing automation to deliver personalized lead generation email campaigns, collect referrals from existing customers, and stay in contact with potential customers. It’s important that you continue to personalize content when using automation in lead generation activities. You can also automatically capture leads from your website into your lead management software and automate communication to increase member retention.
8. Nurture Your Leads
Often, a large majority of leads aren’t sales-ready after the first interaction. You need to nurture leads to turn them into new members. Answering questions, communicating the value of your services, and creating human connections are key parts of the nurturing stage. Lead nurturing is your opportunity to provide value to your prospects. By scoring each lead, understanding your customer base, and keeping prospects engaged, you can nurture leads more effectively.
9. Refine the Process
An effective lead management process will drive more sales and maximize your productivity. A lead management system is something that can evolve. By capturing and tracking data, you can continue to refine the process. Lead generation is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to getting more sales. The process of lead management is complex. You can refine and improve the overall customer journey by personalizing lead capturing, creating member personas, and scoring leads.
Gym owner, sales consultant, and the author of The Art of Selling Memberships, Erik Charles Russell, talks about the sales process and addressing your prospects’ concerns. He delves into how to talk about pricing, overcoming sales objections, and knowing the real value of what you’re offering.
A lead management system is crucial to the success of your fitness business. The system is a defined and clear set of procedures that your team follows to engage with potential members throughout the sales process. It’s the lead management process that ensures that your sales team follows a high standard and potential customers don’t get lost.
An efficient lead management process maximizes your time and productivity. Remove the guesswork by scoring your leads and nurture leads with targeted and valuable content. By continuing to refine your lead management, you can create a proven sales system that converts strangers into paying and loyal members.