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How to manage incoming leads and increase your conversion rates

Hilary Achauer

Leads are the lifeblood of your business, but it can be hard to stay on top of incoming leads -- especially if they come from different sources. You might have a system for website leads, but what about walk-ins?

Or people you meet in the line at Costco?

Tracking leads becomes especially important if your coaches operate on commission. How can you make sure to divide website leads fairly? Even if you don’t pay coaches a commission, you may want to divide the work of replying to incoming leads among your staff.

Every gym has three sources of leads: phone calls, web-based leads, and walk-ins. People you meet around town can also be considered walk-ins.

No matter the source, you need to have a way to capture the contact information of your lead quickly and easily. A landing page with a simple form is a great solution.

Just as important as capturing your lead’s contact information is following up regularly and consistently until they convert, and the only way to make this happen is automation.

It’s a lesson Ben Timm learned the hard way.

“A spiderweb of zaps and applications”

Timm is the owner of Double Barrel Fitness in San Marcos, California -- and a recent addition to the UpLaunch team.

Opened in 2015, Double Barrel Fitness has about 250 members in a 10,000 square foot space.

Before he began working for UpLaunch, Timm was a customer. He began using UpLaunch in December of 2018 after years without a cohesive marketing software and lead management system.

Timm has three full-time coaches who earn 35 percent of the membership fees from leads they convert. In this system it’s essential leads are divided evenly -- the coaches’ compensation depends on it.

Before he signed on with UpLaunch all leads came directly to Timm.

“I was the first voice they got,” Timm said.

“Then from there I kept my own round robin count, so I’d say, ‘Hey Pat (one of his coaches), this is a new lead, this is her name, this is what she’s looking for, can you call her back?'”

With an average of 30 to 40 leads a month, Timm said this system was exhausting, and he didn’t like that each lead got handed off to a different person after their initial contact.

“From a customer side, when you reach out and you talk to someone for a long time, you you think, ‘Cool I’m gonna meet person,’” Timm said.

Then when the lead shows up to the gym and has to repeat their story to a different coach, that initial connection is lost. Timm wanted a system that automatically assigned leads, taking him out of the equation. He decided to try to build one himself.

“It was basically a spiderweb of zaps and applications and Google sheets and we called it BALLS: the Big Ass Lead Locator System. We were doing custom scripting within Google sheets and I had this giant whiteboard -- we had hundreds of hours sunk into this thing,” Timm said.

Then Timm heard about UpLaunch. After watching a demo of what the software could do, Timm called the manager who helped him build BALLS.

“I don’t know why we just spent all this time working on this thing,” Timm told his manager.

He joined UpLaunch right away and began using the round robin feature that automatically divides leads evenly among the coaches, creating two specific landing pages: one “assign the lead” and one “my lead.”

When a lead walks into the gym he talks to them for a bit and then says, “If you’re interested, a coach will reach out and we’ll schedule an assessment.”

Then he hands the lead his phone with the “assign a lead” landing page open and asks them to fill out the form.

“And then that assigns it to a coach,” Timm said. Or, if a coach is in the middle of the class, they can open the “assign my lead” page and ask the person to fill it out. The software then assigns the lead to that coach.  

This system works for Timm, but how do his coaches -- who make their money converting leads -- feel about UpLaunch?

A Coach’s Perspective

Ashley Cherubini has been a full-time coach at Double Barrel for two years.

Before Double Barrel began using UpLaunch, she had to set reminders and alarms to keep up with leads, reminding herself to follow up if she hadn’t heard back from a lead in a week.

“Making all of those touch points and remembering to do it when I’m coaching one-on-ones, running classes, posting to social media, planning events, responding to emails -- it can be very overwhelming and difficult to keep track of everybody,” Cherubini said.  

Once a coach converts a lead at Double Barrel, that person becomes part of the coach’s “tribe.”

“It’s hard for me to keep track with 80 members now in my tribe,” Cherubini said.

With UpLaunch, she doesn’t have to think about following up with leads or members in her tribe. When a member of her tribe schedules a personal training appointment or a nutrition consultation, she puts it in UpLaunch right away, “and that way they’ll get a text reminder the day before so I don’t have to remember to do it,” she said.

Once a member is in her tribe, UpLaunch reminds her to check in every 30, 60, or 90 days. This regular communication improves retention, which benefits Cherubini and Double Barrel.

The Numbers

UpLaunch has not only made life easier for Timm and his coaches, it’s had an impact on his bottom line.

“Our across-the-board conversion rates are up about 15% total (from 60 to 75 percent),” Timm said, “which is huge. Our re-engagement -- anybody who drops off membership and is gone for more than 90 days -- that took a 25% jump."

One returning member said it was the emails he received after moving away and cancelling his membership that caused him to rejoin when he moved back in the area.

When he rejoined, he told Timm, “I’m back. It was great, while I was gone you guys were sending me messages. And seeing you guys continuously reach out to me was when I knew I had to pull the trigger.”

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