It takes a franchisor an average of 15 minutes (and many up to 30 minutes) initially to
‘handle’ one franchise lead manually!
As an experienced franchise recruitment consultant, I know about handling leads on behalf of franchise brands as I’ve been doing it successfully for over 12 years now, and when I look back to how I used to do things, it goes to show how combining a new philosophy based on changing buyer behaviour along with investing in technology can transform efficiency as well as results…
In 2003, when I first started handling leads (and many franchise recruiters will identify with this), I used to copy the details into an Excel spreadsheet, and also send out an email with more information and usually leave a telephone message.
I became very efficient at manually handling leads this way and for my first 4 years of doing this I tried many different systems and approaches – As well as Excel, I also tried Act! and Outlook address book, amongst others, as well as simply printing the lead information out and then following up each bit of paper and making notes on that bit of paper!!
I started using a stopwatch to time everything I did in relation to lead handling and, as efficient as I got, 15 minutes was the basic time I needed to ensure that: I had saved the lead details in a place I could find them; sent an email to the lead with more info; given them a call (which 70% of the time led to an answer message, and 20% of the time people were not ready to talk); and set a reminder to do all of this again if I didn’t hear back in a week (which usually meant calling back 90% of the leads).
Time is money
I realised that as I was handling around 300 leads per month on behalf of 2 brands at the time.
I was spending 75 hours a month simply doing the basics in terms of lead handling!!
This is exactly 2 weeks worth (working on a 37.5 hour week), or half of my time every month!
This shocked me and I started to seriously look at more efficient methods to handle leads initially as well as a system to help me identify the top 10-20% of the leads who were most serious.
Why today is different
That was a long time ago and times have moved on.
I spent 3 years (between 2006-2009) creating a dedicated franchisee recruitment system, and a further 5 years refining it. Every year sees new developments and adaptations to the system as changes in technology and processes have happened.
What used to take me 15 minutes to handle a lead on average, now takes zero minutes and I’m free to concentrate on making sure that the franchise message is clear and consistent; to write better advertising, marketing or email copy; to ensure that the cost per lead is on target; to engage with the more serious leads; book meetings and ultimately ensure that the franchise recruitment goals set by the brands I work with are met.