If you want to manage franchise leads effectively, you need to use a CRM. A Customer Relationship Management system is an online platform where all of your customer or enquiry data is stored. This enables you to easily manage the data you hold from people who have expressed interest in your franchise.
CRMs enable you to manage all of your franchise recruitment leads in one place, and the best franchise recruitment CRMs will be those that allow you to seamlessly integrate with other applications. For example, a good CRM will let you channel leads from all of your sources (be it your website or franchise directories).
Different CRMs will have different ways of integrating your leads. Some CRMs might make use of Zapier, whilst others will give you a special parsing email address to sent enquiries to. The CRM will work its magic and extract the data from the email, into your software.
But which CRM should you use for your franchise recruitment? Let’s take a look at some good franchise recruitment and lead management CRMs.
Extensive lead management tools to help manage your leads with the SalesForce Sales CRM
At first glance once you’ve registered with Salesforce, the comprehensive sales dashboard can be daunting, but it really doesn’t take long to understand what you’re looking at. For most, the core functions of the CRM are along the ribbon at the top. You’ve got your leads, customers, tasks and other functions which all integrate seamlessly. Actions are brought up via a modal popup, meaning you won’t be taken away from what you’re looking at. SalesForce has fantastic integration options, including parsing emails and integration through Zapier, however it is a Premium App on the latter, meaning you’ll need a paid Zapier plan to use it.
- 30 Day Free Trial Available
- Comprehensive Suite of Lead Management Tools
- Fantastic Integration Options
- Plenty of Features
- Although Plans Start at £20 Per Month, Annual Commitment is Required
- Can Be Overpowering For Someone Looking For a Really Simple Solution
2. Hub Spot CRM
Free and Easy to Use
If you’re looking for a CRM that has a free forever plan, packs lots of features, has lots of integration options and is easy to use, then HubSpot is a fantastic choice. At its simplest level, you can create contacts for leads either manually or automatically via plenty of free apps via the HubSpot Marketplace. Just like SalesForce, HubSpot also integrates with Zapier but wins a point over due to the fact it’s free to integrate.
If you wanted to get leads from Franchise Planet or any other franchise directory into this CRM, it would be free and easy using the Zapier Guide we have written. Simply create a free Zapier Parsing email address, send your leads there (either from your website, Franchise Directories etc) and then process the data in the Hubspot Zap Step.
- Free and Paid Plans Available
- Rich and Easy to Use Tools
- Automation Funnels for Automating Followups
- Powerful Integration Options
- Whilst Free & Starter Plans Sufficient for Many, Pro Plan is Considerably Pricier
3. PipeDrive CRM
Powerful Tools to Help You Manage Leads – And Generate More
Similarly to SalesForce and HubSpot, PipeDrive also integrates with Zapier, meaning leads can be entered automatically. PipeDrive utilises a similar approach to managing leads as the previous two examples, but the fields are a lot simpler. You can enter name, email, sales value, all of the basic data but there isn’t much else – this might be a good thing. After all, the main things you want for a franchise recruitment CRM are their contact details, investment level and a good place to add some activities and notes. PipeDrive very much does that.
One of the best things about PipeDrive is its web chat system that you can integrate with your website. As seen in the picture above, you can adapt an automated chat bot to handle conversations with your site visitors, and if they pick a specific option (in the above case “Interested in franchise opportunities”, qualify them as a lead in PipeDrive. With this, it bypasses many of the other integrations you’d require with other CRMs such as Zapier and parsing emails. But PipeDrive does integrate with Zapier as well so using the parsing email to collate leads form many sources is also a viable option.
- Powerful Features
- Simple but Effective Lead Management Suite
- Automation Flows
- Integrations via the PipeDrive Marketplace
- Sync Emails to your PipeDrive and Send Emails to Leads
- Only a 14-Day Free Trial, Pricing Starts from £20 per Month for the Most Basic Plan
- A Simple Lead Dashboard For The Simplest Requirements, There Really Should be a Free Plan
4. SendInBlue Email Marketing & Contact CRM
Automating Just Got Easier
The beauty of SendInBlue is its growing list of features. At its most basic level, a free email marketing platform with the capacity to send upto 300 free emails per day – thats up to 9,000 free emails a month. Built in, a CRM which is simple but effective. With the SendInBlue contact centre, you can add custom attributes to contacts (so that’s anything extra you need, like sales value, postcode, etc). Add the fields you need and with the activity tabs and contact history, you’ve got yourself a CRM which is easy to use and just like the other CRMs we’ve looked at, integrates with Zapier too.
Just some of the powerful features that come with SendInBlue include:
- Email Automation (pictured) – Just like Zapier, you can automate email sequences for new leads. In a use case scenario, maybe you’ve received / added a lead and want a franchise prospectus sent out. SendInBlue can do that.
- Chats – Similarly to PipeDrive, you can embed a Live Chat on your website and speak to prospects. Chats are stored in the Chat Dashboard and you can convert them to leads by adding the attributes you added earlier.
- Powerful Marketing – Use the SendInBlue drag and drop editor, or import a HTML email from elsewhere and communicate with your leads. SMS marketing is also available.
- A Powerful Email Marketing Service with a CRM Customisable to Your Requirements
- Free Plan with Paid Plans for Extra Email Sends
- Growing Number of Features
- Integrates with all of the Above CRMs via Zapier
- Useful Insights Into Email Delivery
- You Need DNS Changes For Sending Emails, Requires Some Technical Setup
- Automation is Very Basic
5. Really Simple Systems CRM
Really Easy to Use, Very Basic Yet Cost Effective. A good choice for storing and handling data.
If you’re looking for a straightforward franchise recruitment CRM that’s free and integrates with other applications like Calendar, 365 and Zapier, then Really Simple Systems is a good choice. It does lack the powerful features that you’ve seen in the other solutions we’ve covered, such as automation and marketing, but it does exactly what its name suggests. It’s a Really Simple System.
As expected, you can integrate Zapier so that the functions that it does lack, can be adapted via other apps, be it Gmail or another automation system. The benefit of Really Simple Systems for franchising is that you can add your own fields and then sort leads by those fields. So that might be capital, territory, etc. Right out of the box, as pictured, you’ve got some handy widgets too.
- Free and Easy to Use
- Upgrade Plans Available, that Don’t Cost The Earth
- Integrates with Zapier
- Colourful Dashboard
- Lacks Automation
- Paid Plans Don’t Seem to Achieve Much More than the Free Plan
- Requires a lot of Customisation to Meet Most CRM Requirements (eg addition of extra fields)
6) What Converts Lead Tracking
Google Analytics Meets Lead Management
What Converts has grown rapidly over the years. Starting out as USA based call and form tracking software, it has diversified reaching across the World with plans to suit both agencies and franchisors and franchisees. However in a lead management setting, What Converts excels when it comes to tracking leads, virtually eliminating any need for further integration outside of a CRM setting.
One of the best features in What Converts is its ability to track how leads were generated. This might be through PPC, Organic Search or Facebook marketing. When a visitor uses these mediums to land on your website and post a franchise enquiry, this is all tracked and recorded, along with their contact information. What Converts gives you the option to assign a Quote Value – and this might be their capital or sales value, as well as notes on contacts.
- Also Zapier Compatible – Follow Up Your Leads with Zapier Automations
- Comprehensive Lead Tracking Tools for Campaigns and Every Day Usage
- Built For Lead Management
- White Label Setups & Branding for Franchises
- Includes Other Features Such as Phone Numbers, Call Tracking & Recording
- Responsive Support
- Plenty of API Docs
- Pricer Than Some Other CRMs That Include Automation (eg SendInBlue)
- Lead Tracking Can Feel Restrictive
- Takes Some Time to Get Used To
Well those are our picks! There are many different CRMs out there that we haven’t covered, from the likes of Zoho and Freshworks, through to more simpler solutions such as Google Sheets. There are so many different types of CRM out there, but the ones we’ve chosen are quite diverse, each offering a unique USP. From live chats to automated emails, there are some good solutions out there, why not try out one of the above?
If you’re looking for a very straightforward, free franchise CRM, then definitely give Hubspot a go. If you’re a new franchise looking to set up some automation with less emphasis on contact management, SendInBlue would be a good choice. We’ve also had positive feedback about websites such as MailChimp as well, offering two in one contact management and automation. Having said that, if something doesn’t offer what you want it to, Zapier is there to easily integrate the two!
All of the above solutions we’ve covered offer free trials if not a free plan, meaning you can try out them all and see which one works for you!