Sales and Development Executives in franchising are always looking for ways to increase qualified lead flow to sell more franchise units. Many marketers are finding that purchased leads do not convert at the same rate as leads gained through organic search. Often it is thought that the more leads the better, but we have learned that it’s about the quality of the lead in the first place that can make all the difference. Quality over quantity is the way to go in this instance. The world of franchise development is changing every day. With so much information available about almost every business model, it’s difficult to get prospects interested in your brand over others. We've put together 6 ways that you can elevate your marketing efforts in order to return more qualified leads.
Use Franchisee Buyer Personas to Define Your Audience
Creating franchisee buyer personas is 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.
We've created a worksheet to help with this for you to create each of your franchisee buyer personas to be able to share with your sales and development teams. This will help you better understand who your ideal target prospects are and target your marketing messages to attract the right leads.
Max Out Your Franchise Recruitment Website
Make sure your website is easy to navigate and provides a great user experience. Prospects should be able to find information quickly and easily, and the overall tone and content of the website should appeal to your target audience. Utilize the buyer personas you formulated to influence the messaging on your site. This will help bring your brand to life in the eyes of the target franchisee. You will also want to be sure your website is up-to-date and provides accurate information about your brand. This includes everything from the types of franchises you offer to the investment required and the potential return on investment. Your website should also feature a Frequently Asked Questions section that addresses common questions and concerns about your brand.
Be sure to optimize your site for search engines by including keywords throughout the content on your site, especially in the headline tags and page URLs, as well as meta description tags. This will help increase the likelihood of being found by potential franchisees.
Utilize Your Marketing Team
If you're looking to grow your franchise, it's important to work hand-in-hand with your marketing team and utilize different digital offerings to increase qualified leads. Putting together a solid lead generation strategy can make all the difference when it comes to generating more traffic. Here are some ways leaning into digital marketing can help your sales and development teams:
- Your marketing team can help you create email campaigns that engage with your leads and keep them updated on relevant company news. We can also invite them to events and suggest they reach out with questions. The right emails, sent at the right time, can lead to thousands of dollars in revenue. While their value doesn't just come from constantly sending emails, the effects can be measurably lucrative when done so correctly.
- We know what it's like out there: big franchise names eating up all the leads, and the little guys getting nothing but crumbs. With Google AdWords and other Pay-per-click advertising platforms, you can target people who are researching franchises (or anything else that could be remotely relevant) and guide them to your recruitment site without having to worry about them clicking on those other links first. You can also reach out to franchise-specific media to see what opportunities there are to get the word out that you have open territories.
- There are a few things that franchisors can do to attract more qualified leads through social media platforms. One is to make sure that their social media platforms are up-to-date and relevant. They should also make sure that the content on their platforms is high-quality and engaging. You can feature success stories from your open units showing how amazing it is to be a part of your brand. Another plus to using social media is many platforms are additional drivers to your recruitment website. Social media can be used to gain as much knowledge about your leads as possible. Learning about their interests can help you tailor your franchise offerings to your target market.
Make Franchise Referral Consultants Part of Your Team
Sales executives can ultimately increase their number of qualified leads by working with franchise brokers or franchise referral consultants. These types of people have access to a vast network of potential franchisees, and they know how to target the right people for each opportunity. Additionally, franchise referral consultants are experts in the franchising industry and can provide valuable insights into the process of buying a franchise. By working with a broker, sales executives can focus on what they do best -- selling franchises.
Franchise referral consultants can screen potential franchisees to find those who are not just interested in buying any franchise, but those who have a genuine interest in the company and product. Working with one allows sales executives to spend less time meeting with people who aren't qualified, and more time engaging partners who are interested in opening units.
Sales executives can use technology to make their sales processes more efficient by automating the processes that they use to interact with customers. Technology can help sales executives to find information quickly and easily about their customers, as well as provide a way for them to easily keep track of their interactions with those customers. The days of tracking down a shared spreadsheet to track leads have come to an end. Finding a good lead management tool can do everything from automated workflows, status tracking, reporting, and lead nurturing.
BONUS: Provide Prompt Response to Leads
Having a great website and email campaign isn't the only thing that's going to keep those qualified leads coming through. Make sure you're following up with leads properly. All the great content and design in the world won't mean anything if you're not responding to leads' questions and concerns. When a lead expresses interest in your product or service, respond as quickly as you can. This shows that you care about their time, which will likely give them the impression that you'll do the same for them when they eventually become a customer. Looking ahead into 2022, the best (and fastest) way to respond to a lead in through text-based follow-up programs. This ensures you get a response from them right away, as opposed to if you did it through email.
With the right franchising technology, you can save time and money by automating many of your tasks. Utilize technology tools to stay up to date on your leads and follow conversations that are taking place across social networks. The right technology will also allow you to engage with your prospects, making it easier for you to stay top of mind.
Want to learn more? Contact FranConnect today to see how other franchisors are already using our technology to beat out their competition for the best franchise leads!