Costs in Tight Times
Forecast: Partly cloudy with a chance of outsourcing
BY MARC KIEKENAPP
As we all hope for the best in 2010 and realize wehave weathered the biggest part of the economic
storm, we need to look at the franchise
development world differently—in this
case, under partly cloudy skies.
Marketing for new franchise candidates must continue, and as leaders
of our respective development departments we must scrutinize every dollar
we spend on people, advertising, and
travel. Lately we’ve all been challenged
on cutting budgets, people, and advertising but still somehow we are expected
to attain the same number of sales as we
did in previous years.
So how can we preserve our advertising and recruitment dollars and still get
the job done and deliver new franchisees
to our companies? Get creative!
In reviewing your department and personnel, start by considering whether any
cutbacks should be made. Since the lead
flow is slower, can one person do two jobs?
Can you turn that money into advertising
dollars for more candidates? Do you have
any internal functions you can outsource
to cut costs and gain efficiency?
1. Invest advertising dollars wisely.
2. Know what sources are the best
producers with respect to both leads
(quantity) and conversions (quality).
3. Enhance your company website.
4. Use an electronic brochure.
5. Use an electronic FDD.
6. Eliminate/combine salaries of sales
7. Work the leads effectively.
gram right. We can’t be experts on all
aspects of the franchise development
department. As leaders, however, it is
our responsibility to pull the respective
pieces of the puzzle together to give our
department the best chance for success.
I have found most department heads reluctant to suggest using outside services;
they believe they were hired to do everything, when in reality they were hired
to move the brand growth ahead. In my
earlier years in franchise development,
I was no different—until I realized that
my results and reluctance to use outside
vendors only held back my personal and
franchise development growth.
• Franchise advertising agencies.
Are you delivering the right message in
your franchise collateral materials? Do
you really know what to say, or should
you find an expert who has multiple
clients and may have recently tested
ideas of where and when to spend your
recruitment dollars? When is the last
time a professional agency wrote an advertisement for your company?
• Website companies. Is your website
doing everything it can for your brand?
Does it give you the number of leads
you need? Many websites are optimized
for retail customers, not franchise candidates. Creating a separate website for
franchise prospects can make a dramatic
difference in traffic, conversions, and
extended messaging more appropriate
for franchise candidates.
cost of an in-house employee to prepare
mailings; enable candidates to forward
them to others who might be interested;
and make changes easily.
The FDD is one of the most important
tools in the sales process. Every qualified
candidate must receive one at some point.
Early delivery of an electronic copy can
be very effective. If the candidate continues to move forward and becomes a
serious candidate, you then mail them
a printed copy. The electronic copy also
makes it easier for a candidate to send
to their advisors and attorney.
In-house sales consultants
Evaluating your internal team is the
hardest part of the decision process.
Personnel changes aren’t easy. But as
a wise man once said, “You can’t save
a villager and lose the village.” It is our
responsibility to run the most efficient
and profitable department we can. You
have to look at lost opportunity for the
company and your other sales professionals and make tough decisions today.
Several companies I know of are cutting
all internal cost by outsourcing the entire
sales process. Each company must look
at this alternative in 2010 and make the
best decision for their program.
Outsource changes to the experts
Outsourcing these cost-saving ideas is
an important step in getting your pro-
Electronic delivery of materials
Electronic brochures, now used by 40-
plus percent of companies, not only
save postage, they create a more effective sales process by speeding delivery;
allow the sales consultant more control
of the process and timeline; eliminate the
Work the leads—then rework them
Be sure you are making the most of the
leads you are receiving. Are they being
followed up in a timely manner? Is the
best person working them? Is your CRM
system recording all the leads? Are you
using your CRM system effectively to
measure results? Check two or three
times a month to be sure all the portals
are working properly. Leads are like gold
today. Treat them accordingly!
What I’m talking about here are all-around best practices. To succeed with
partly cloudy skies we must manage all
the moving parts of our departments
more effectively. Take the time to give
your department an unbiased assessment,
think of how you can help close more
deals, do more training, and run a tight
ship. Finally, clean up your expenses
and ensure that you have a budget for
success. This is your opportunity to “be
the solution, not the problem.”
Happy Selling, Marc