The journey from capturing a lead to signing them up as a full paying member can be full of pitfalls and hurt your revenue targets if not done correctly – which is why you need a solid lead management process in place.
According to the recent statistics around sales and lead management, 77% of marketers who use an automated system convert more leads than those who don’t. What this really shows is that your lead management process can’t be spreadsheets and sticky notes – a proper system is needed to convert those hard won leads.
Why this topic is important: Only 2% of sales are closed within the first contact with a person. This means a huge 98% of leads need more than one contact. Knowing how to organize your leads in a system where you can nurture them down a pipeline is vitally important to increasing your close rate.
What you’re going to learn: In this article, we will look at what lead management is, why it’s so important and the important elements of a successful lead management system. We will also look at some key insights around the lead management process from fitness sales and marketing expert David Steel.
Here’s what’s coming up:
- What is lead management?
- What the experts say: David Steel
- Why lead management is so important
- The 5 elements of a proven lead management system
What is lead management?
Lead management is the process by which you score, qualify and organize leads in a pipeline. The goal of a lead management system is to make sure the right leads are going to your sales team so they have a higher chance of converting these leads into full paying members.
An unorganized lead management system is a bit like a lucky dip or a raffle – you are just thrusting your hand in, hoping for the winning ticket that will become a full paying member. The problem with this system is that you’re going to end up picking out more losers than winners, wasting valuable time and resources in the process.
A well organized lead management process cuts out all the guessing games and gives you a clear overview of who is ready to take to a salesperson and who isn’t. Those who aren’t ready are then stored away and fed relevant communications until they are ready to convert. This type of system saves time, money and ultimately your sanity!
There are three main areas of a successful lead management system:
- Lead qualification: When the lead comes in through your lead generation channel, you need to assess if they are the right person to convert right now. Phone or email the lead with a set of qualification questions to figure out if they are ready to convert.
- Lead prioritization: Once leads are qualified and lead scoring is done, they are placed in either a high prioritization (schedule them for a consultation) or medium to low prioritization (nurture them with scheduled outreach).
- Communication: One of the most important aspects of lead management is communication – you need to send the right messages at the right time to the right leads. For example if you’ve qualified a lead as high priority and ready for conversion, you need to send out regular communication to make sure they come in for an in-studio consultation to close the sale.
What the experts say: David Steel
“Let’s say your sales process for your club is to call them the next day. If that’s the case you might as well take a pile of cash, go outside, light it on fire and leave.”
When it comes to everything to do with sales and marketing for fitness studios, David Steel is one of the best in the business. He is the Chief Viral Officer of New Jersey based online marketing company Sneeze.it, who help a range of different businesses, including fitness studios and gyms.
David has joined us on The Fitness Founders Podcast and for a really insightful roundtable on sales and marketing during our fitness business conference Glocon 2021. When we interviewed him on our podcast (which you can listen to above), he gave some key insights into lead generation and more importantly lead management.
Here are the key takeaways from that interview:
- Follow up instantly: As you can see from his quote above, it’s vital that you follow up with a sales lead as soon as possible or it’s a waste of time. The person could see an ad from a rival studio who is quicker off the mark with outreach.
- Have a sequence in place to follow up: Map out exactly what communications are to be sent out in your sales funnel and when for both higher and lower priority leads.
- Check out what your competition is doing: David is a big fan of this strategy – basically sign up to your rivals membership offers to see what their sales process is like – look at what happens when you have immediate interest and then less urgent interest to see what nurture communications are sent out.
Why lead management is so important
As David Steel has pointed out, time and clear organization are the bedrocks of any lead management system. Lead management is clearly an integral part of growing a successful fitness business so let’s look closer at why that is the case.
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- Less time wasted for the sales team: As the old saying goes, “time is money” and this is definitely the case when it comes to sales and lead management. If your sales team is wasting time with leads that are ready to convert into members, then you are not using your resources the right way. On top of this, the sales team will get frustrated with dead ends.
- Higher conversion rate: Another reason effective lead management is so important is that you and your sales team have a better chance of converting leads which leads to a higher conversion rate. If you have systems where leads are qualified into higher and lower priority, the focus is on leads who can qualify quicker and a nurture is put in place to make it easier to convert lower priority leads further down the line.
- Greater chance of long term retention: One of the benefits of leads management is that you produce a better quality experience for your leads. Member experience is crucial for long term retention and first impressions really do matter. If the sales process is smooth at the start of the members journey, you’ve massively increased your chances of keeping them long term.
Now that you understand the ins and outs of an effective lead management process and why it’s so important for the success of your fitness studio, let’s look at the important elements of a lead management system.
The 5 elements of a proven lead management system
Different fitness studios will have different ways of setting up and running their lead management systems. Whatever way you decide to set your system up, there are a couple of key elements you absolutely need to include to be in any way successful – let’s take a closer look at what they are.
Make sure your lead generation is up to scratch
Before you start organizing your leads into a system, think carefully about how your leads are generated. Most fitness studios and gyms these days rely heavily on digital marketing as a lead source, specifically Facebook and Instagram Ads – but some fall short if they aren’t generating enough high quality leads
We’ve written an extensive article already on this topic – which you can find linked out in the middle of this article – but we will summarize the key points here:
- Write copy in your ads which offers a compelling lead magnet
- Create a couple of different personas to target with your advertising
- Make sure the sign-up process is quick and easy
Qualify your lead
Once you receive the information provided by the new lead, the next step is to reach out to the potential customer and qualify them to see if they are ready to be moved onto a consultation or if they need to be nurtured with more communication until they are ready to sign up – this is a qualified lead.
As David Steel made clear in his interview, the key here is to reach out as quickly as possible – if you wait too long, you are wasting your time. Follow up straight away after you receive the information if possible. This will show the person you are interested in taking them on as a member and it will give you a better chance of converting them when their interest is high.
Score your lead
Not all leads will be ready to come in for a sales consultation straight away. They might be hesitant about the price or just not ready to sign up now. While you should try your best to get the person in for an in-person conversation as soon as possible, the reality is that some people aren’t ready – that’s why you need a lead scoring system in place.
After you’ve had an initial phone call with the leads, give them a score that represents how ready they are to be moved along the sales process. For example, for lead scoring using the numbers 1 to 5 :
- A person that is ready to have a consultation in-studio could have a score of 1
- A person who needs a few days/weeks might get a 3
- A person who needs more time than that might get a 5
Map out a conversion journey for each type of lead
As we discussed in the opening part of this article, one of the most important parts of lead management is communication. If you go dark on a person and not send out any communication when they give their information, you will quickly lose them.
The first piece of communication is always a follow-up call or email when the person signs up through the lead capture form. If they are qualified as ready for a sale consultation, then you should send out reminder calls and emails up to the day so they turn up. If they are not quite ready yet you should have a communication sequence in place where they are sent out emails (with content such as member testimonials) until they are ready to make a decision.
The above steps we’ve described are key components of a solid lead management system. However if this system is spread across Excel sheets, white boards and notebooks, the likelihood is things will break down and you won’t convert the volume of high quality leads you need to drive the revenue needed.
The best fitness studio owners in the business use an automated lead management software solution to organize and convert leads into full paying members. This type of solution is crucial as not only will it help you build a strong membership base with high sale and retention rates, it will also save you the time you need to focus on other revenue driving areas of your business.
Well organized lead management is part of the foundation of every winning fitness studio, so it’s worth the investment to make sure it’s a well oiled, lead converting machine.
Here’s an overview of what we covered today:
- What exactly lead management is
- Expert advice on why you need to follow up quickly from David Steel
- Why lead management is so important for a fitness studios
- The elements of a winning lead management system
- For more information on how to grow your business, download our expert guide below on the barriers slowing your fitness business growth.
- Check out how this Glofox customer converted 2.7x more leads across their 5 locations over a 6 month period while using Glofox Amplify.
- Speak to a member of our team if you’d like to know more about how Glofox can drive your lead management and conversions – simply click on the Demo & Pricing button at the top of this page.