Growing your franchise network – Lead generation and lead nurturing. Part 2 of 2.
More questions on running a franchise? Find out here
More questions on running a franchise? Find out here
In the previous post, we discussed the key methods franchisors can use for effective lead generation. But acquiring the leads is only half that battle; you also need to know how to nurture those leads in order to establish and develop strong investor relationships.
As you’ve invested serious money into generating leads, you need to be sure you know how to handle them in order to see an appropriate return on your investment. Let’s take a look at some of the top lead nurturing techniques…
Establish a buyers personas
Arguably the first and foremost thing you need to do is to create a buyers persona in order to better understand who potential customers actually are. Gather as much demographic information as you can, and ask yourself what a typical franchisee needs, wants, or might be worried about.
If done correctly, a buying persona will help you understand what typical prospects are thinking and thus inform all your sales and marketing activities, as well as improve your team’s understanding and responses.
Get to know your leads before you contact them and you’ll be sure to exceed their expectations when you do.
Score your leads
Lead scoring is one of the most effective tools for the lead nurturing, yet also one of the most underutilised. It’s essentially a way of ranking your leads in order to identify easily which have the greatest or most immediate potential. A number of platforms can be used to automatically assign leads a numerical value based on your particular criteria, which then informs which leads should be followed up first, as well as which different methods or channels might best be used to do so. While top marketers have cited lead scoring as a crucial component in their success, recent studies indicate that as little as 20% of business to business marketers are actually using this invaluable tactic as part of their lead nurturing processes. Become a part of the more successful minority, and stop treating all leads as equal.
The benefits of responding to new leads promptly has been well-established, yet a surprising number of businesses still grossly underestimate the impact that it can have on conversion rates. What’s more, many organisations that believe they’re responding quickly, are in fact contacting their leads well outside of the optimal window. While it’s easy to assume that any time within the same day is fast enough, you should actually aim to respond to new leads within the first 60 minutes, or less.
Doing so not only makes you far more likely to connect with the person in question while your offering is still in the forefront of their mind and before they looked at other opportunities, it also creates a very positive first impression of your organisation as a highly efficient and professional operation. The same basic principles apply equally to follow-up communications. If you respond quickly in the first instance, but are then slow in providing further information or facilitating the next steps in the process, your prospect may forget, lose interest, go elsewhere, or simply developed a negative feeling about you after an initially promising conversation.
So be prompt at every stage and ensure you don’t lose out for the sake of timing.
Tailor your content Having developed a clearer idea of who it is you’re actually trying to reach, you can use your newly established buyer profile to create tailored content for the typical prospect, or for different types of prospective franchisee based on their interests, goals, and the types of marketing triggers they are likely to respond to based on the specific lead generation used initially.
For example, if you’re using Start Your New Franchise as one of your lead generation channels, you’re likely going to be receiving leads from people who were not inherently interested in a franchise opportunity, but rather looking for a new opportunity in general. Unlike leads from the other directories detailed in last week’s post, they will likely need a specific approach based around providing additional information and reassurances with regards to the franchise model itself, and not just your specific business.
This sort of information can be used to tailor all your organic content and responses, and an effective CRM platform will help you automate and organise all of your marketing to ensure that it is relevant and sent out and the appropriate times.
Forget the one size fits all approach, and create tailored content to better nurture your leads.
Use multiple channels
If you rely on a single channel to reach your customers, you’ll undoubtedly experience very disappointing results during your attempts at lead nurturing.
Typically, companies will use generic email responses as their one and only follow up strategy. But when you consider that marketers in the UK report that the open rates for even their more successful email campaigns are lower than 20%, it’s clear that this one track approach is not the way forward for franchisors. These days, a prospect is likely to move across multiple platforms online and so you want to be able to engage them at every step along the way. The most affective lead nurturing therefore combines multiple channels including email, social media, remarketing, and direct sales - all of which need to be appropriately balanced and organised. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket; be sure to use multichannel lead nurturing to engage with your prospects at every available opportunity.
By using the right mix of lead generation techniques, and then applying the lead nurturing tactics detailed above, your sure to build up a powerful network of successful franchisees.
Start implementing these strategies into your franchise growth plan today!
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