Moving a prospect or lead to a paid member is the job of your sales function. There are some myths about sales, but as your own progression as a martial artist, sales and selling is a discipline. It involves a process of persuasion and while there are some techniques and tools, ultimately, you will apply your own style to the process.
We recently conducted a survey to find out how our clients and prospective clients manage their prospects. The results indicated there is a lot of room for improvement. Here’s what we found:
- 40% never follow up,
- Of the ones that do follow-up, 40% only follow-up once, and
- 17% of respondents indicated that often they are too busy to deal with a prospect.
Why should I care about sales
If you are not committed to developing a robust sales process that evolves as you learn about what converts a prospect to a member, your business will never really evolve beyond a hobby. You are also wasting your marketing dollars in generating an enquiry. Let’s look at the results of a bad sales process compared to a good sales process, assuming that the marketing spend is the same and has the same effectiveness in generating a lead.
*Table assumes a monthly membership fee of $200.
A robust sales process has a compounding effect. Sure, you might think the difference between converting 2 members to 5 members per month is not that great. Over the course of the year, it is a big deal. Obviously, your business will be in a much stronger position if the cost to acquire a new member is paid back in their first month of membership (see scenario 2) rather than two and half months (see scenario 1).
Ok, I understand the maths, what can I do to improve my lead to conversion rates
The starting point for improving your sales conversion rates is to define a process you are going to follow to move your prospective clients into paying members. Too many schools have one conversation with a potential student and leave it at that. Unfortunately, you are heading for the first scenario we described above… where you are leaving a lot of dollars on the table.
To help you wrap your head around why a sales process is important, let’s consider the following statistics:
- 80% of sales require 5 follow-ups (source: The Marketing Donut)
- 63% of people requesting info today won’t purchase for 3 months (source: The Marketing Donut)
- Companies that automate lead management see a 10% increase in revenue in 6-9 months (source: Gartner Research).
So, if you are not purposely following up with people who enquire about your services, you are selling your business short.
Here is an example of a sales process:
This process can be as long as 20 steps. One of the constant questions business owners ask when developing their sales process is, what happens to those leads that are neither a sign-up or a hard no. We suggest adding these leads to a nurturing campaign, where they receive your newsletters or monthly updates. The idea of nurturing leads is two-fold. Firstly, you are educating them on the benefits of your service which assist in converting them later. And, secondly, you are remaining top of mind for when they are ready to actually sign-up.
Here is a checklist to get you started
1. Do you have a documented sales process?
Use the table above to document what happens when a prospective client contacts your business. Put little loops in the process for leads that don’t become members straight away. They might need more convincing so think through those things that will help them to become a member and include this in your sales process.
2. Is your sales process supported by a script or checklist?
How can you know what works if everyone in your organisation does things in a different way? Scripts and checklists bring some standardisation so that if you do want to make a change, you can determine if that change has had any meaningful impact on your conversion rates.
3. Do you have an email sequence for your sales process?
Every step in your sales process should be moving a prospect to closer to becoming a member. If your email is not removing a risk (e.g. offering a free trial), highlighting the benefits (e.g. of a case study) or demonstrating some form of social proof (e.g. a testimonial) you might need to rethink the value they are providing your prospective members.
Are you tracking conversion by month?
If you received 20 leads in January, you need to know who those 20 were and whether they are still a prospective client, a lost client or a member. The conversion rate will be the number that became a member divided by the number who enquired.
Do you actively seek feedback from lost leads?
One of the best things your business can do is question those people who enquired about your services but did not become a member. The information you gather from these people can be invaluable to improving your sales process and improving your future conversion rates.
A bonus tip – Implement a system to manage your leads
Sure, you can use a whiteboard. Or, you could use a spreadsheet, but having a system that has your emails ready to be triggered as you move a lead through your process and maintain a status of where they are at regarding your sales process is invaluable. As we mentioned above, these types of systems are proven to help you grow your revenue. They keep you and your team accountable. Even if you implemented some Martial Arts management software that did nothing BUT manage your leads, you will be significantly ahead of the game.
What should I do next?
If you use Clubworx and would like help setting up a kick-ass prospect management solution, just click on the chat icon in the bottom right corner of your app and let’s set up a time. If you don’t use Clubworx and would like to chat a little more about how you can convert more members, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject I need to convert more leads stat and we’ll get in touch with you to start helping you grow your business.