FranConnect's Franchise Sales Index Report is the most complete and authoritative source of insight into the current state of Franchise sales. Now in its fifth year, the data reveals critical insights relevant for franchise operators looking to confront the economic reality of the pandemic.
This year's report confirms that there was already a notable decline in franchise sales leads before the pandemic, the result of a then full-employment economy. And now, with the unemployment rate skyrocketing, there is going to be a rush by those impacted as they seek new opportunities and a sense of control in these turbulent times. What the pandemic has accomplished is to reveal the cracks that already existed in many franchise sales programs and systems (including 53.2% of all leads never got any response at all).
Some of the most important findings gleaned from the report can help point the way to improved sales effectiveness:
- Total lead volume per brand fell 12% year-over-year, likely due to the effects of 2019’s full-employment economy; but some sectors fared better than others;
- The overall deal closure rate (lead-to-deal ratio) decreased by 10% year-over-year, as Franchise Development teams struggled with stronger competition for a smaller overall pool of leads;
- Franchise Portals generated the most leads, but they ranked 4th in terms of closed deals;
- Referrals and Brokers proved to be considerably more effective at helping to close deals, based on lead-to-sales conversion rates, relative to the prior year;
- 85% of the leads that resulted in deals were those that were contacted within the first four hours of their inquiry, demonstrating the power of “speed to the lead”;
- Lead follow-up processes are not implemented sufficiently in most organizations, as nearly three-quarters of all leads never receive meaningful responses.
This year’s edition of the report benchmarks 597 franchisors representing the nine vertical markets consisting of Personal Services, Quick Service and Fast Casual Restaurants (QSR), Table/Full-Service Restaurants, Lodging, Retail Food, Retail Products & Services, Real Estate, Business Services, and Commercial & Residential Services.