For more than a decade now, Franchise Update has deployed teams of mystery shoppers to evaluate the performance of sales teams, specifically their responses to phone and online queries from qualified prospects. The companies surveyed each year are franchisors registered to attend the annual Leadership & Development Conference who ask to be mystery shopped. This year, our telephone mystery shoppers phoned 155 franchisors and submitted forms on 132 recruitment websites; and a separate team evaluated the websites themselves.
"Mystery shopper": two words that strike fear in the hearts of franchisors with poorly managed sales departments and weak sales processes. But for those on top of their development game, who always have a finger on the pulse of their sales team, it's simply a validation of what they already know.
Will the 2011 economy provide a further drag on franchise development, or will it allow development to start to gain some speed? I believe the answer is that it will allow some gradual acceleration in most sectors. Let's look at what's been happening in development and the economic factors that will influence it in 2011, and some implications for development that will last beyond 2011.
The process of recruiting franchisees can be grueling. Half the battle is deciding where and when to reach your audience. What if there were a recruitment strategy that eliminated the need to search high and low for franchisees, and instead turned them right to you
Why is it that so many franchisors have not mystery shopped their sales teams in the past 12 months? That's one of the findings highlighted in Franchise Update's 13th annual Lead Generation Survey of 126 franchise organizations representing 38,800 units. Maybe if some of these companies monitored their sales execs, they wouldn't be among the 40 percent of franchisors that never called our mystery shoppers who submitted qualified inquiry forms from their websites. Ouch!
As a franchisor, what are some things you are doing (or considering doing) to help give your franchise development people enriched selling opportunities in today's economy?
Are you conveying the correct message about your brand? Are you taking advantage of your opening programs to get new franchise owners to monthly breakeven more quickly? How long does it take your prospect to understand the long- and short-term financial opportunities of your franchise concept?