Are Your Health Club Sales Drowning in Digital Noise?

Poor integration will cost you revenue. Here’s how to get the most from your digital sales tools.

Noted philosopher Bishop Berkeley once introduced a thought experiment by asking one of the most famous questions in history: "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

As even learned chin-scratchers know, there’s no right answer to that question. But one thing’s for sure: Bishop Berkeley wasn’t running a sales seminar. In sales, the forest is vast, and you have to record and organize all of the data. If nobody is around to “hear” a solid sales lead, it won’t be converted.

You don’t want your best prospects to fall unnoticed in the proverbial forest of digital noise. Unfortunately, too many club owners are seeing their sales software missing promising leads due to poor integration and lack of digital literacy. Culling leads from social media is great, but if your sales staff doesn’t act on them, they’re just bytes floating in the cloud.

Keeping track of leads and prospects was a lot easier for health clubs when they used old media for marketing and promotions. Magazine ads, direct mail, or coupons in brick-and-mortar retail locations were more easily tracked. A customer would fill out a short card, put in a box or mail it in, and a gym salesperson would follow up a week later.

Now leads come from everywhere. Facebook, Google AdWords, website ads—and when customers respond to promotions, they expect an almost immediate response. If your CRM software doesn’t efficiently track and organize these leads, you’ll lose your best opportunities for sales conversions.

Are you confident that you’re gaining maximum advantage of your digital tools? You should, because digital is the lifeblood of your sales efforts. You want to hear every falling tree.

Going Where the Customers Are

How important are digital leads? A lot, according to Eddie Tock, CEO of REX Roundtables for Executives, a global network of health club executives. Tock reports that 50% of their sales leads come from digital sources, adding that “for some, it’s as high as 80%.”

Your mileage may vary, but the current percentage of your leads coming from digital will without doubt increase in the future. The CMO Survey, for instance, found that social media spending overall was projected to increase 32% in 2018 and double by 2023.

One reason is that the amount of technological innovations is expanding. A recent CBI article listed some of the digital sources that are important in lead generation for health clubs. The most popular are Google AdWords and Facebook. It you’re doing it right, you’re taking advantage of such tools as:

  • Pixels (pieces of code on your website that tracks visitors)
  • Geo-targeting
  • Carousel ads
  • Canvas ads
  • GIF ads

That’s a lot of data flowing into your CRM system. If you’re missing these leads, then you’re like a lot of businesses, inside and outside the health club sector. A survey by Marketing Signals found that:

  • 31% of companies aren’t tracking calls into their company;
  • 27% aren’t tracking sales or discount codes;
  • 21% don’t measure paid social media activity.

In total, 46% of business leaders said they didn’t have a marketing attribution model, and 37% felt overwhelmed by the complexity of data! If that sounds like you, it’s time to create a marketing attribution model.

A marketing attribution model is an important part of sales analysis. According to Google Analytics, “An attribution model is the rule or set of rules, that determines how credit for sales and conversions is assigned to touchpoints in conversion paths.” In other words, it’s measuring what’s working in your sales ecosystem.

If your digital sales tools and operational software systems aren’t fully integrated, then you can’t create an attribution model, even a basic one, that will provide a complete picture of what’s working and what’s not. You’re going to lose prospects.

A Digital Integration Solution for Any Size Club

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Another reason digital leads are important is because of the high turnover rate of salespeople in the health club industry. But even if you’ve eliminated employee churn that sometimes plagues even well-run clubs, you need a CRM and sales system that eliminates digital clutter and organizes leads properly. You need seamless integration between multiple systems.

“These days leads come in from every form of social media available,” says Dana Milkie, president and CEO of InTouch Technology. “You need to be able to integrate your software with all forms of social media to make sure that the lead gets entered into the system and gets treated appropriately.”

Integration is at the center of the CRM capabilities provided by InTouch. The company’s array of integrations designed to work seamlessly with other software systems, so your operational tools don’t conflict or override your critical sales data.

Dual systems that don’t “talk” to each other create redundancies and miss key leads. InTouch solves these integration issues. They pull leads from AdWords, Facebook, web forums, and other sources that fit into your sales funnel, then create communications in the form of texts and emails to nurture the lead and take the final steps by the use of APIs to move leads into the club’s Club Management Software (CMS) system.

“It’s not just your CRM, but even your smaller ancillary software and CMS providers that need to integrate into the same ecosystem to create an integrated tech stack,” says Milkie, who himself was once a club owner. “All that communication back and forth between systems is really important for clubs.”

A fully integrated ecosystem eliminates redundancies and creates a more precise record of member contacts and information. This is critical for those club owners who find themselves buried in data that’s not organized in a usable dashboard.

“You need to make sure your databases are as clean as possible,” says Milkie. “This eliminates mistakes, duplicate entries, and other problems that waste time and manpower.”

An integrated system also helps your club stay on brand. “The more you use digital and automated technology, the more disciplined your system is going to be,” says Milkie. “You can control the content of your texts and emails, so every message is consistent with your club culture and tone.”

InTouch software is the ideal solution for those club owners who are drowning in noise. It’s time to leverage an integrated solution to capitalize on every lead that comes your way.

To learn more about InTouch Technology’s products, visit InTouch’s website, or email them at sales@intouchtechnology.com.

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Jim Schmaltz

Jim Schmaltz is a contributor to IHRSA.org