Did you just have an initial sales call? Well, it’s unlikely that you closed the deal on the first call considering only about 2% of sales are made in the first contact. Marketers who follow up with web leads within five minutes are nine times more likely to convert. Organizations that use marketing automation with prospects experience a staggering 451% increase in qualified leads.
Every business, big or small, depends on leads. The majority of businesses in the fitness industry are sales-focused. In order to grow your gym, you need to convert leads into loyal members. To do that right, you need to manage your sales leads effectively. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about lead management and how to nail your follow up process.
Skip ahead to:
- What is Lead Management?
- Signs of Poor Lead Management
- 5 Stages of Lead Management
- 9 Ways to Nail Your Follow Up and Improve Your Lead Management Process
What is Lead Management?
No doubt, you spend a lot of time and effort generating sales leads for your business. You now need to work on those leads and turn them into paying customers. Lead management is the process of capturing leads, tracking their activities, qualifying and engaging with them until they are ready to become fully-fledged members. There’s a lot that happens between lead generation and closing a deal.
Lead management helps to keep businesses on track. By tracking and monitoring prospects, you can save time and focus on putting your efforts into sales-ready prospects. Follow up is a crucial part of nurturing lead relationships. In order to follow up effectively, the lead management process keeps your sales team active and on the same page. The lead management process usually includes the following elements:
- Lead generation
- Lead capture
- Filtering and grading
- Distribution and contact
- Lead nurturing
Signs of Poor Lead Management
Even with the most high-powered sales-focused gym, there’s usually room for improvement when it comes to lead management and closing deals. The concept of lead management may sound simple. Find potential members and turn them into paying members. However, it’s easier said than done. If you’re having a tough time generating leads or find that your lead management process isn’t delivering, maybe it’s time to take a look at improving your system.
Overlooking Opportunities Frequently
If you find you’re frequently missing or overlooking opportunities, then you need to upgrade your lead management. If the whole sales process is feeling sluggish and you’re failing to connect with prospects, you’ll find it difficult to increase your membership rates. Whether you’re just lacking high-quality leads or no one has actioned a follow-up, your sales efforts aren’t being put to good use.
Poor Conversion Rates
Another sign of poor lead management is poor conversion rates. If your sales costs are skyrocketing yet prospects are not converting, there’s a problem that needs to be addressed. Of course, the sales process has a ton of different elements that either hinder or help to close a deal.
No Single Source of Information
Is your sales team juggling between several different spreadsheets? Are they using multiple tools to access sales and lead information? If the answer is yes, then your lead management process will benefit from consolidating all your sales information into a single source. It’s easy for information to be missed or prospects to fall off the sales journey from a lack of organization.
5 Stages of Lead Management
Lead management is made up of multiple stages and ingredients that all contribute to closing a sale. A lot of work goes into the whole process from the initial contact call to a prospect signing up with your gym. Here are five stages of lead management.
The first of the lead management process is lead generation. It’s the process of advertising and acquiring leads. You capture leads from multiple sources like referrals, event marketing, landing pages, marketing campaign, and advertising. A major part of lead generation and sales is timing. It’s important to be fast, highly responsive, and spot the signs of a good lead.
Tracking & Enrichment
You will need to store all lead information and track data so that you can make well-informed decisions. Tracking engagement and behavior will also help you when it comes to lead scoring and lead qualification. Lead enrichment helps you to collect and verify additional data that helps to enhance the information you have on your lead.
Lead Scoring or Qualification
Not all leads are equal. It’s likely that some leads have a much higher probability of becoming members than others. It’s important to qualify a lead which is the process that lets you find out whether a lead is worth pursuing and has the potential to become a member. If a person lives in a different city from your gym, they are less likely to be a full-time member than say someone who lives or works within five miles of your location.
Depending on the size of your sales team, it’s a good idea to distribute your leads. During this stage, your sales team will be assigned different leads that they then focus on going forward. It’s important to keep track of each stage of the sales process and who is doing what.
At this point, you’ve qualified and scored leads and collected valuable data. You know exactly who your leads are and who are the most valuable. More value doesn’t necessarily mean prospects are ready to turn into paying customers, you need to nurture the relationship. This involves following up with your lead, raising awareness and interest before eventually taking action and closing the deal.
9 Ways to Nail Your Follow Up and Improve Your Lead Management Process
A strong sales follow up is integral to your lead management process. Following up on leads is something that is completely in your control, can make prospects feel special and therefore more likely to become paying members. A solid follow up strategy adds value, builds rapport and improves your lead management process.
1. Align Marketing, Sales and Customer Service
Make sure your customer service, sales, and marketing teams are all on the same page. Define what you consider a lead, a qualified lead, and what the lead management process consists of. The marketing and sales teams should work toward the same measure of success in terms of qualified leads.
It doesn’t matter whether you own a multi-location fitness studio or a small independent boutique studio, it’s important for different areas of the business to be in alignment. Make it easy for your employees to collaborate and ensure communication is open between all departments.
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2. Make Sales a Priority
50% of all new members will quit going to the gym in the first six months. With numbers like that, it’s crucial to make sales a priority. Even with the best facilities and world-class instructors, it doesn’t mean you can just sit and wait for members to come to you. You need to be proactive. That means finding leads, having conversations, regularly following up, and building rapport with potential members.
Invest in good software and hardware. If you’re using inadequate phone systems and software that takes a lot of work to use, you’re not giving your sales staff the tools they need to perform at the top level. It’s no surprise that selling gym memberships takes time. Give your team the best chance of success by providing the tools they need to make sales a priority in the business.
3. Keep the Lines of Communication Open
So, how soon should you follow up with leads? This is a question that many sales professionals face. Even a few minutes can make a difference. Fast response time is crucial in lead management and it looks like the sooner the better. If you can, follow up within five minutes after they have made contact with your business. The chances of contacting a lead and getting it in the first five minutes are 100 times greater compared to just 30 minutes.
When it comes to how you communicate with leads, ask for guidance on the best way they like to be contacted. This way you can add value without being annoying. Decide between email and phone communication, or maybe a combination. Think about using push notifications, Facebook and Instagram messages. Choose the right channel to communicate with prospects. Do the research and ask questions, don’t just guess and potentially lose a prospect.
4. Organize Your Day
Time management, consistency, and organization are key to sales success. Structure your day in a way that works for you. Research shows that the best time to make a sales call is between 4 PM and 5 PM when most people are finishing their day. In terms of the best day for sales, Wednesday and Thursday seem to be the most popular days. This kind of information helps to structure your day effectively.
For more information on gym sales, listen to The Mind Muscle Project Podcast’s episode on The Most Important Tool In Any Sales Process – Make More Money, Every Time. The episode talks about the Sales Deck and how you can create one for your fitness business.
5. Leave Effective Sales Voicemails
Unfortunately, as a sales rep, you will end up spending a lot of time leaving voicemails. Around 15% of a sales professional’s time is spent leaving voicemails. Studies show that by tweaking your sales voicemail and adjusting your strategy, it could have a huge impact. Well-crafted voicemails can improve response rates anywhere from 3% to 22%.
When leaving a voicemail, try to keep it short and sweet, no more than 30 seconds long. Start with relevant information and ask a question that you wouldn’t include in an email. Personalize the message, the more specific and personal, the more likely you will get a response.
6. Marketing and CRM Automation
Your sales and marketing technology can provide the tools you and your team need to perform. Once set up, it will be the place where you capture and manage new leads all through the customer lifecycle. The best solutions are really easy to use and incorporate different elements like:
- Marketing automation
- Content creation and promotion
- Website content management system
- CRM integration
- Lead conversion and nurturing
The ABC Financial Podcast delves into the topic further in the episode How To Grow Health Club Business Using CRM and Marketing Automation. The episode talks about how lead management has evolved in health clubs and gyms and explores CRM and marketing automation.
7. Keep Following Up
A strong sales follow is integral in converting prospects into paying members. It takes around six to eight touchpoints to close a sale. A touchpoint refers to an interaction like an email, phone call, or live conversation. It’s important to keep following up and to stay on top of the lead.
Following up is an ongoing task, so don’t give up after the first attempt. Remember to switch up your method of communication. Think about you can add value with each contact.
8. Track Your Leads
Tracking and monitoring your activity is essential to lead management. Without this step, it’s easy to lose track of potential customers. If you have multiple spreadsheets on the go without clear lead management in place, you could miss out on opportunities.
You should have a solid grasp of vital metrics and conversions. All this information will help you determine what needs improvement and how you can look to boost your sales.
9. Ask for Feedback
Finally, always ask for feedback. The best sales professionals learn, adapt and grow. No one can read minds so find out how you can do better. Once your prospect is an official member, ask how they found the process and what they would change. Did you call too often or too little? Would they prefer to be contacted via a different channel of communication? You don’t know until you ask.
How you attract and manage your leads is an integral part of your success. There’s a fine line between being persistent and just being flat out annoying. A proper lead management process helps you to organize your time, keep track of leads, nurture customer relationships, and increase your chances of closing a deal.