We asked Van J. Ingram, Vice President for Franchise Development at Taco John's International, how his company is using technology to identify, reach, and track prospects. Here's what he had to say.
At Taco John's we are capitalizing on technology in a few areas. Selling a franchise is a systematic process. From solicitation to prospect management to executing an agreement, and then providing support through the term of the agreement, we use technology to provide structure and maintain system compliance.
Today's franchise prospect is tech-savvy. By using technology in our solicitation process we are ensuring that our brand matches up with how they prefer to conduct their research. Prospects want to engage in initial due diligence on their own time and are using smartphones, tablets, etc. We have optimized our website for clear viewing on each device and are finalizing our electronic brochure to allow them to review the opportunity before speaking with a sales representative.
This is a departure from the industry norm of even five years ago, when we relied on initial phone calls and printed brochures. Candidates are clamoring for more information, and the technological advances allow us to provide the data in a professional, easy-to-digest format that eliminates some of the up-front questions of the past.
We also have implemented a CRM system, with FranConnect as our platform. We can track all our leads, determine their origin, and monitor their progress on key milestones within the selling process. We use an email drip campaign to provide multiple touch points in the process.
Once a franchisee has executed an agreement, we also use technology in the real estate and construction phase. We have an electronic site package that can be completed online. The franchisee is responsible for providing their rationale for the proposed location, and our chief development officer adds his assessment so that our approval committee has a comprehensive package for review.
As a legacy brand in existence for more than 45 years, Taco John's continues to evolve to match up with the technological requirements of an ever-changing prospect base.
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