Boost Your Health Club Customer Conversion Rates

How CRM tools can improve lead management and overall revenue.

Sales and revenue are the lifeblood of your business. But maintaining target membership fees and non-dues revenue is a constant battle. Shiny new boutiques pop up daily, and sales staff have to cut through a growing clutter of marketing messages over multiple platforms that get noisier by the day.

To grow your business, you need to approach it like any journey. You need to know where you’re starting from and where you want to go. Your sales funnel has to be organized and well-defined. How many leads do you generate per month? Where do they come from? What are your conversion rates? Goals? How many memberships per month do you want to add? How many points of contact do you have with members and prospects?

Maybe a more pressing question is: Do you have your mobile strategy in place? Social Media Marketing Consultant Scott Rawcliffe identifies three levels of the social media sales funnel:

  • Audience
  • Engagement
  • Conversions

Conversions are where most of your energy and investment goes, whether or not social media is a significant part of your sales outreach. (It should be, says Rawcliffe).

To improve lead management, conversion rates, and subsequent sales, you need to make sure your customer relationship management (CRM) is on point. First, make sure you have the foundational aspects of good selling in place by doing the following.

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Photo: Franco's Athletic Club

Improve Sales Training

Too much turnover of your sales staff is never a good idea. Take the time to educate them so they understand your brand messaging and your goals. Seeing too much churn and burn in your club staffing also impacts member perception of the club and reduces engagement. Build a stable culture and train employees well.

Have a Consistent Message

Are you results driven? Do you serve a specific demographic? Whatever your brand identity and marketing message, make it clear and consistent. Each part of your sales funnel should align with your company message.

Do a Needs Analysis of Members and Prospects

Everybody walks in the doors of your club for a different reason. Chris Stevenson, owner of Stevenson Fitness in Oak Parks, CA, presented a session at IHRSA 2018 called “Solution-based Selling: Making Sales Easy by Uncovering People’s Needs.” He believes that understanding why that person is in your health club is a powerful sales tool.

“As you get to know them, you might find out they’re out of shape or they just got their blood-work from the doctor and their cholesterol is high,” he says. “We find out what really brought them in and find the best solution. They might need an appointment with a trainer or to enroll in small group training.”

Become Data-literate

Do you know how to read the reports from your club management system, or do you feel buried by a barrage of data? Work with your software provider to get the reports you need to reach your goals. This is especially crucial for club operators who have more than one gym under their command.

Update Your Communications

How often do you reach out to leads with emails, texts, and other messaging platforms? What about follow-ups to offer them other services in your clubs? How many points of contact do you have with prospects and members? Three? Five? Take control of your communications.

This is where CRM technology can become your savior in executing your sales strategy. It can organize your sales funnel, so you can concentrate on what you do best.

How CRM Systems Can Be Your Best Sales Tool

A recent article in Club Business International listed four ways CRM technology can benefit your club:

  1. Reduce member and employee frustration by streamlining labor-intensive processes and simplifying point-of-service and other financial transactions.
  2. Expertly track and analyze data by integrating information from multiple resources into readable reports.
  3. Help health clubs go paperless to ease operational functions and file storage.
  4. Support web and sales options with online enrollment, a growing source of new memberships.

Consumers are on their mobile devices an average of five hours per day, according to research firm Flurry. In addition, mobile drives 56% of all web traffic, and two-thirds of emails are opened via mobile devices.

Bryan O’Rourke, the president of the Fitness Industry Technology Council (FITC), says health clubs need to pay attention to the potency of mobile outreach.

“What digital presents right now to club brands is the opportunity to gain the most quality attention at the lowest costs possible, and in the process earn the trust of consumers to transact business as a result,” he says.

A ‘Mad’ Approach to Sales

Industry CRM software developers are continually improving the power and functionality of their products. Your CRM should be able to get you to the next level of sales revenue.

Dana Milkie, president and CEO of InTouch Technology, says to make your target sales conversion rates, you have to go MAD: Monitor, Analyze, Decide.

“You need insights into your business that are actionable,” he says. “You need a strong reporting module, but you also need the flexibility to meet the ever-changing consumer landscape.”

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InTouch’s CRM technology covers four main areas: acquisition, conversion, retention, and reporting. According to Milkie, improving conversion rates is one of the main goals of Drive, their latest upgrade to CRM products.

“The mobility that we're bringing to Drive makes it easier for clubs to connect with people outside of their building, because fitness is now outside of the four walls. It's not just in a gym, it's on our wrists, at weekend events like Tough Mudder,” says Milkie. “You have to go where the people are.”

InTouch Drive offers several ways to amp up your sales efforts with a guaranteed 7-11 points of contact to leads and members through:

  • A daily plan for sales staff and proactive communication to connect with leads and members to close more sales;
  • Custom email and personal, automated text messages to prospects and members;
  • Follow-up automatic communications that you can schedule for optimum results.

The Drive platform is supported by SmartGoals, a tool that uses a club’s actual data to develop meaningful targets.  “It helps you understand the other Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of your sales funnel and how those work together to make sure you're hitting the right sales numbers,” says Milkie.

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

Jim Schmaltz

Jim Schmaltz is a contributor to IHRSA.org