Getting franchise leads is important, but more important is getting qualified leads, these are leads who are most likely to convert to a sale. Otherwise, a lot of time, effort, and money is wasted on the wrong candidates. Here are some sales and marketing techniques that can increase qualified leads.
Define your target prospects – It’s hard to sell if you don’t know who you should sell to. Creating franchisee buyer personas are a key component to any franchise sales and marketing strategy. By defining exactly what types of franchisees are successful for your organization, you can create a targeted approach to exactly when, where, and how to reach qualified leads, ensuring you’re spending your dollars in the right places to reach the right people.
Note: A buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer based on research and data from your existing customers.
Have a franchise recruitment website – It is important to have a dedicated website for franchise recruitment. Candidates who land on your website should be able to quickly identify if your brand appeals to them through easy navigation, discoverable information, and engaging content. The website should guide interested prospects to complete an inquiry with full transparency of next steps. Based on your franchisee buyer personas, your website should include content that speaks specifically to these defined targets. For example, if one of your franchisee personas is millennials, be sure you have content that explains how it’s a great opportunity to embrace their entrepreneurial spirit without all the risks that come with starting their own business from scratch.
Work with your marketing team – If you build it, they aren’t just going to come. A franchise recruitment website does not magically bring qualified franchise candidates to the hands of your franchise sales team. It’s important that sales and marketing work together to qualify and engage with leads. Here are a few marketing tactics to consider generating targeted leads:
Create email campaigns that engage with your leads. Keep them updated on relevant company news, invite them to events, suggest they reach out with questions. If a prospect shows interest and they never hear from you again, you’re the one putting an end to that relationship.
Content Marketing offers one of the greatest benefits for businesses and franchises by improving brand reputation. In today’s busy digital marketplace, it’s vital that businesses work to build trust with their leads and customers. Blog posts, e-books, press releases, videos, podcasts – all of these are tactics to attract new leads to your brand.
Even small budget for paid advertising can go a long way. With Google AdWords you can target keywords and phrases for people investigating franchising and guide them to your franchise recruitment website. You can also use franchise specific media outlets, such as the International Franchise Association, Franchise Update Media, and World Franchising, just to name a few to schedule dedicated email blasts, newsletter ads, and more.
There are a number of franchise events throughout the year, hosted by IFA, Franchise Update Media, Franchise Expo, and other ones. People interested in franchising will attend these events to learn about what kinds of franchise opportunities exist. This is a great way to face-to-face interactions with potential candidates.
Social media has to be a part of every business now, and it’s a great storytelling tool. You can showcase your current franchises to show how wonderful it is to be a part of your brand. Consider paid advertising on platforms that are most engaging for your brand.
Consider a franchise development company – Franchise development companies work with your sales, finance, and operations teams to grow your franchise. They work with franchisors to attract qualified leads and with candidates to help them find a brand that’s a good fit. Some development companies specialize in certain type of franchises. Do your research to discover if and which development company may be a good fit for you.
Use technology – The more you grow, the harder it will be to keep track of your leads with spreadsheets. Fortunately, there are franchise development tools to help you and your team grow you brand in an organized, efficient way, managing every aspect of the engagement process with franchisee candidates. A good lead management system will have a CRM and include automated workflows, email campaigns, status tracking, source tracking, and reporting.
Franchise CRM software and why you need one
A franchise CRM software is an important tool that is used in franchise business development. A franchise CRM system helps boost franchise sales by qualifying franchise leads and prioritizing sales activities. As the number of franchises leads increases, emails and spreadsheets can no longer organize sales activities effectively. This builds the need for software that organizes customer contacts and manages the franchise sales pipeline. A franchise CRM software centralizes information and helps the entire sales teamwork as a well-oiled machine.