How to Get Franchise Leads – 3 Things to Know
Sales leads are the blood of all franchise organizations. Failing to get quality franchise leads can be frustrating for franchisors and brokers.
When things are going well and companies are getting a healthy flow of leads, they can move them down the sales pipeline and eventually convert some prospects into franchisees. In this scenario, companies are happy, life is good.
But what should companies do if things are not as glorious and they are not getting great results, when franchise leads do not come as easily or the quality of the leads is not acceptable?
Should you change your franchise marketing strategy?
Should you change the marketing agency you are currently using?
Should you hire an agency, if all your lead generation is based on using franchise portals?
There are several important things you must address first. The key step is to build a foundation for successful franchise lead generation before investing money into marketing campaigns.
All solutions we cover in this article are things that can be controlled directly by franchisors. However, we often find them missing from the marketing strategies of most new clients we take on at Franchise Hive.
Table of Contents
Franchise sales are often referred to as a “numbers game” where a certain number of leads are required to close a sale. The numbers can vary based on who you ask, but the main point is that before getting into lead generation, you must resolve certain issues in the franchise recruitment process.
As a business owner you have to address the following issues before getting one more franchise lead.
1. Identify The Franchise Sales Problem
Before assigning a prescription to the problem, you must identify the problem first. Although most of the time the problem with leads seems obvious, the issue can be more complex that it might look.
There are 4 major areas to pay attention to:
Three of them, called the 3Ps – People, Product, Process are well covered by Marcus Lemonis, the multi-billion dollar business owner and starring entrepreneur for CNBC’s small-business TV program The Profit.
The fourth point is Presentation, and refers to the way of presenting your brand the right way.
Do you have a good product that your prospective franchisees want?
You franchise is why you are in business in the first place. Give yourself a chance to succeed: address issues with current franchisees, solve existing operational flaws.
Once negative news about your product leak into digital cyberspace, you will have to deal with damage control. This is not good PR for any organization, especially if you’ve just started franchising your business.
Put your franchise sales processes on paper. This should be a part of your sales and marketing plan.
You must have a process in place illustrating how to deal with leads after they enter the sales pipeline. Document how to follow up with leads, what materials to send through email marketing, or when to schedule the follow-up calls.
Lead nurturing is an important component of day-to-day franchise marketing activities, and automating the follow-up process can be done through a series of email and SMS drip campaigns.
Having a franchise CRM is a must and not an option anymore. Make sure that all lead generation activities are documented in the CRM system.
The customer service should start before you get customers.
Franchising is a people’s business and franchise sales is a complex process with a long sales cycle. It requires special sales skills and discipline to stay the course following the sales steps.
One of the important factors is maintaining a proper ratio of leads assigned to each business development staff to make sure there are enough resources allocated to time initial contacts, follow-ups, discovery calls, and meetings.
The last position franchise business developers should find themselves in is when they have more leads than they can handle, and start taking shortcuts skipping important sales steps.
If your franchise product is good but nobody knows about it, that means it was presented in the wrong way. Another issue can arise if your franchise product was presented to the wrong audience.
In both cases, there is a small chance of getting quality franchise leads, finding people interested in investing in a franchise, and growing the number of franchise locations.
Delivering through word of mouth, online marketing, social media marketing, and attending industry trade shows are just a few ways of presenting your franchise to prospective franchisees.
Make sure that all of your marketing materials are of the highest quality. Spend time reviewing your franchise marketing content, as it may be outdated and not relevant anymore.
2. Have a Franchise Marketing Plan
Make sure to define and allocate a franchise marketing budget before getting one more franchise lead.
If you are just getting starting with franchise development, make sure that marketing funds are a part of your startup costs, built into your business model, and included in franchise fees.
Established franchises looking for exponential growth should review their marketing plan at least once at the end of each year.
Do not put all of your advertising funds into one lead generation source, even when you find the best source for your franchise leads. Diversify franchise budget allocation to cover a wide spectrum of franchise marketing activities.
3. Measure Franchise Lead Generation Performance
“You can’t manage something you don’t measure,” said Tony Robbins in his article “The 2-Millimeter Rule”. This statement applies to measuring franchise sales and marketing performance.
Know where your franchise leads are coming from and the quality of the leads. Monitor what sources generate the best leads. Document what advertising platform and what types of ads deliver the best results.
A franchise CRM is a good place to start when it comes to measuring the performance of sales teams and quality of collected franchise leads.
There are many factors that can affect prospective franchisees’ decision making. Analyzing sales performance using a CRM software should help refine the business development process, get better leads, and, as a result, close more sales.
There are many ways to get franchise leads and lead generation activities can be outsourced or developed in-house.
Marketing agencies and franchise brokers should advise franchisors and point to issues we discussed, but it is the franchisor’s responsibility to make sure that said issues are resolved.
At the end of the day, your franchise marketing strategy should be based on short and long term goals in the franchise development process.