Challenge the Pros: Integrating Technologies For Overall Development Strategies
What are you doing to integrate technologies for both your overall development strategies and into how you create a profile of your best prospects?
Vice President, Franchise Development
It's really incredible how much technology continues to evolve! There are so many tools available to assist franchisors with their development plans today, and at CruiseOne integrating technology is an essential part of our development strategy.
Invest in technological enhancements. Get creative with your development budget and ensure there is room for technological enhancements. We continually invest in our existing technology tools and new platforms. This allows us to continue creating innovative programs, giving us access to the latest and greatest franchise development tools. This investment has not only provided us with a positive return on investment in obtaining new franchisees, but also in maintaining satisfied franchise owners with a 94 percent retention rate.
Develop technology for efficiencies. Our standalone recruitment website is separate from the consumer website and has proven to be the most beneficial tool in our development strategy. Having a responsive website is the best, most efficient way to increase website conversions because you are providing a user-friendly experience for prospects. It also gives you a platform to build your credibility through highlighting milestones and accomplishments such as industry recognitions. Plus, with an average 90-day sales process, we ensure our development team is equipped with a robust CRM system and presentation tools that track the progress being made with the prospect throughout the entire process. This is an extremely important part of our development strategy because we want our team focused on determining whether or not our franchise model is mutually beneficial for us and the franchisee.
Identify the best prospects. Unless you are tracking how your marketing and advertising dollars are spent and which lead sources are yielding the best return on investment, you are likely not attracting the best possible prospects for your franchise system. With a robust CRM, you can maximize your opportunities by pulling reports and data mining your franchisee database to track franchisee performance back to the lead source, demographics, etc. At CruiseOne, we have several ways we recruit new prospects. Whether it's attending trade shows or placing print and franchise portal advertisements, we ensure that our marketing dollars and results are continuously monitored with regard to cost per lead, cost per acquisition, conversion rate, etc. It is also important to see how these compare not only with other lead sources but also year over year.
Vice President, Franchise Development
Chem-Dry uses inbound marketing strategies to help us connect with potential franchisees. Our online marketing strategy is designed to make significant information available to people researching franchise opportunities.
The foundation for Chem-Dry's recruitment strategy comes from our relationships with existing franchisees. We stay in contact with them throughout the year as we help them identify ways they can grow and improve their businesses. We then use what we learn to build an inbound marketing strategy designed to attract people who are likely to have success in our brand.
Our recruitment website is full of information about our business model, startup costs, and past performance to proactively answer questions people ask as they research the brand. Dry facts and figures go only so far--that's why we also invite franchisees to share their stories with others who are considering the brand. They share how they got into the business, what they like about owning a Chem-Dry franchise, and factors driving their success. By telling these stories, we help future franchisees understand what success looks like within the brand and understand the hard work and diligence it takes to succeed.
We also share stories about a variety of franchisees. While one franchisee may love having a job with flexible hours that allows them to spend a lot of time with their family and is happy as an owner-operator, another may want to build a fleet of Chem-Dry vans and employ a team of technicians to dominate the carpet and upholstery cleaning market in an entire metro area or region. The profiles we publish help people get a feel for the organization.
Other tactics to connect with candidates include:
SEO: Our website and its pages and blog posts are search engine optimized.
PPC: We target search terms that are used by people researching business opportunities, and the ads connect with our website where candidates can fill out a form to learn more and connect with our recruiting team.
Portal presence: Sites like Franchise Update do a great job of introducing people to different brands they can consider as they look to start a business. We stay active on franchise portals so people can discover us and then visit our site to learn more about the opportunity and get to know the brand at a deeper level.
CRM: Our customer relationship management platform allows us to keep track of franchise candidates as they enter the process of learning more about Chem-Dry and gives us visibility into where each candidate is in their learning process, which helps our team decide the most appropriate follow-up.
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