6 Quick Ways To Grow Your Qualified Leads in 2022
Sales and development executives in franchising are always looking for ways to increase qualified lead flow to sell more franchise units. Many are finding that purchased leads do not convert at the same rate as leads gained through organic search. Often it is thought “the more leads the better,” but we have learned that it’s the quality of the lead 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 you can employ to elevate your marketing efforts to return more qualified leads.
1) Use franchisee buyer personas to define your audience
Creating franchisee buyer personas is a key component of 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 that you’re spending your dollars in the right places to reach the right people.
We’ve created a worksheet to help you create each of your franchisee buyer personas to share with your sales and development teams. This will help you to better understand who your ideal target prospects are, and how to target your marketing messages to attract the right leads.
2) 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. The overall tone and content of the website should appeal to your target audience. Use 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 FAQs 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.
3) 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 employ different digital offerings to increase qualified leads. When it comes to generating more traffic, putting together a solid lead generation strategy can make all the difference. Here are three ways using digital marketing can help your sales and development teams.
- Your marketing team can help you create email campaigns that engage your leads and keep them updated on relevant company news. You also can 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. Their value doesn’t just come from constantly sending emails, but the effects can be measurably lucrative when done correctly.
- We know what it’s like out there: Big franchise names eat up all the leads, and the little guys get nothing but the crumbs. With Google Ads (formerly 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 also can 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 franchisors can do to attract more qualified leads through social media platforms. One is to make sure that your social media platforms are up-to-date and relevant. Also, make sure that the content on your 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 that many platforms can serve as additional drivers to your recruitment website. Also, 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.
4) Make franchise referral consultants part of your team
Sales executives can 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: sell franchises.
Franchise referral consultants can screen potential franchisees to find those who are not only interested in buying any franchise, but those who have a genuine interest in your company and product. Working with one allows sales executives to spend less time meeting with people who aren’t qualified, and more time engaging with those interested in opening units.
5) Embrace technology
Sales executives can use technology to make their sales processes more efficient by automating the processes they use to interact with candidates. Technology can help sales executives to find information quickly and easily about potential candidates, as well as provide a way for them to easily keep track of their interactions with them. 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 to status tracking, reporting, and lead nurturing.
6) 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. 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 promptly to the questions and concerns from your leads. When a lead expresses interest in your product or service, respond as quickly as you can. This shows them that you care about their time, which will give them the impression that you’ll do the same for them when they become a franchisee. Looking ahead into 2022, the best (and fastest) way to respond to a lead is through text-based follow-up programs. This ensures that you’ll get a response from them right away, as opposed to responding through email.
With the right franchising technology, you can save time and money by automating many of your tasks. Use 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.
Editor’s note: To learn more about how franchise development executives are using technology, download FranConnect’s free “Executive’s Guide to Franchising Technology in 2022.”
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