Since the beginning of time, the Sales and Marketing teams have been at odds with each other. Instead of working together to reach the common goal of increasing the annual revenue for the club, they are quick to point fingers at each other, exposing the weaknesses and flaws in one another. Ultimately, the club suffers from the inability of these two teams to unify.
The Issue From Marketing’s Perspective
Marketing is responsible for all aspects of club promotions. They run campaigns each month to announce special offers, discounts, events, tournaments, and anything else they can do to generate as much awareness about the club within the community as possible. Marketing’s goal is to create as much buzz as possible so they can generate leads for the sales people to call.
When the leads they’ve provided fail to materialize into new membership sales, the marketing team begins losing faith (and respect) for the sales team. They view the Sales team as being lazy, incompetent, and worthless. “Our sales people just can’t close. It’s as simple as that,” is the sentiment that Marketers may feel.
The Issue From Sales’ Perspective
The sales team has one primary job function: Sell new memberships for the club. To do their job effectively, they need to be tenacious, creative, driven, and organized. When the leads come in, there’s no time to waste. The sales team needs to kick things into high gear and get to work.
However, if the leads aren’t qualified, the sales team will begin feeling like they are spinning their wheels. They view the marketing team as being useless, out of touch, and ignorant. “I don’t know what they do over there all day, but they certainly don’t know how to generate quality leads,” is how sales people sometimes refer to the marketing team.
Sales + Marketing = Smarketing
Fitness smarketing is about aligning the two departments. Fitness clubs that can successfully align their Sales and Marketing teams can realize a significant amount of annual revenue growth.
So, how can these two separate entities not only coexist, but unite so that they thrive and produce the maximum ROI for the club? Align the two departments into a single unified team by committing to these five things:
Define a Sales Qualified Lead
Has this prospect requested a trial pass? Have they made calls to the club inquiring about certain amenities, group classes, child care services at the club, or something similar? Did they fill out a form on the club’s website to take advantage of some special offers?
Compensate Both Departments on Goal Attainment
Compensate each department based on the other one hitting their goals. Doing so will help with accountability. If Marketing knows they will get a bonus if Sales can sell a certain amount of new memberships, they will work hard to make sure the leads they give Sales are highly qualified.
Set up a Service Level Agreement (SLA) Between Departments
Provide a guarantee to the Sales team that they will get a certain amount of Sales Qualified Leads (SQL) coming from Marketing each week or month. These leads won’t be cold, old, or lacking pertinent information like a name or a phone number. No, these leads will be people that have shown genuine interest in joining the club.
In turn, Sales must maintain a certain closing ratio of the leads received. Of course not every single lead will turn into a loyal, paying member of the club. However, if Marketing is producing 100 SQLs each month, Sales might realistically be expected to close 30-40% of them. But as long as Marketing is reliably producing SQLs, Sales can be realistically expected to maintain a certain ratio.
Meet and Agree to Establish the Club’s Buyer Persona
Both teams should discuss the types of potential members that are best for the club. How many different personas does the club want to target? What kinds of promotional campaigns will bring in those specific of personas? Once a game plan is constructed regarding which personas to target, both departments can work together to determine the best way to bring those people into the club.
Maintain Open Lines of Communication
Communication is the keep to maintaining any healthy relationship. The same holds true for Sales and Marketing. Openly discuss what’s working and what isn’t. Agree to make changes and adjustments along the way to ensure both departments are functioning as a team.