FranConnect and FRM Solutions Discuss What Franchisors Should Look for In CRM System
Once a lead comes into the franchise site, the next most important piece is the management of the lead. This is where integration with a CRM platform becomes very valuable to a franchise leadership team, providing a clear glimpse into KPI performance and lead processing.
There are several CRM platforms commonly used by franchisors, the largest being FranConnect, along with FRM Solutions, IFX, Franchise Soft, Franchise Sales CRM, and Naranga. We asked FranConnect President Keith Gerson and FRM Solutions’ President Stan Friedman about adding a CRM solution to a sales process.
1851: At what point in a franchisor’s lifecycle should a brand add a CRM?
Gerson: From day one. In research that has been published in the 2017 FranConnect/IFA Franchise Sales Index, it’s been proven that the ability to track and act upon metrics such as “initial lead response time” can increase closing effectiveness rates by as much as 5X. For that matter, it’s also critical to know that leads are being responded to at all given that 52 percent of candidates are never even contacted. And let’s not forget the importance of having a CRM that can automate lead nurturing campaigns based on stage of sale, etc. All these things are part of a good CRM.
Friedman: Ideally, day 1. Begin with the end in mind. You can’t scale and manage what you don’t or can’t measure. Today, franchise specific CRMs provide so much more than just contact management. There is a tremendous amount of business intelligence information woven into these tools. The metrics and KPIs that they deliver are simply not evident to those relying only on spreadsheets or non-franchise specific tools. Whatever you spend for lead generation, don’t squander those leads for lack of proper tools to manage them.
1851: What advice do you have in finding the right CRM solution?
Gerson: You want to find a CRM that has some of the following capabilities – native apps to allow management from smartphones and handheld devices; the ability to handle lead parsing and web-services to eliminate the need to key-in information into the CRM; text-campaigning capabilities as 92 percent of text messages are opened and read; workflow capabilities so that marketing campaigns are not just automated, but can be personalized for a large variety of different groups based on their interests; robust reporting including drop-off rates, pipelines reports with visibility into where all leads are in the sales cycle (and how long they’ve been stuck in statuses), etc.
Friedman: There are several franchise specific tools to choose from. Shop them all and find the one that fits best for you and your budget. You should pick one that is easy to access, easier to use and that provides an experience for both your sales people and their candidates.