By Steve Korn
For decades, businesses have used outsource telemarketing to facilitate their sales efforts. These include direct telephone sales, appointment setting for outside sales teams, toll-free inbound numbers, product and customer satisfaction surveys, and many others. This article focuses on how franchise organizations, which offer products or services to other businesses (B2B), can benefit from using an outsource telemarketing program.
What challenges does a franchisor have that other businesses do not?
It all boils down to control. If a traditional company has a hundred offices scattered across the country, each of those offices is somehow under its direct control, and the people working are employees. If a franchisor has a hundred franchises across the country selling its products or services, it has a hundred independent businesses running their day-to-day operations. This makes it challenging to keep everyone moving together toward the same goal. How can a telemarketing program assist a franchise organization?
Consider common goals of a typical franchise organization.
- Increase the bottom line.
- Strengthen its members, the franchisees.
- Make it easier to sell additional franchises by developing new markets.
- Standardize the marketing message throughout the organization.
- Centralize inbound support for the benefit of the entire organization.
Like any other business that uses telemarketing, they do so because it is not part of their core competency or they lack the needed support staff. Regardless of their need, they rely on a telemarketing agency to design and implement a program that will meet their goals at a price that fits their budget.
Outbound Telemarketing Is Universal
Designed for and shared by multiple parties, telemarketing campaigns use the same script. A consistent sales message or intent occurs regardless of where the calls originate from or for what purpose.
First, the corporate entity, the franchisor, uses it to build sales in the areas it controls and markets in. Most commonly, it has permanent sales representatives in those areas or a team working the space to build it up for potential sale as a franchise. The call center does the prospecting. It qualifies the business, sets up appointments, and notifies the local salesperson of the appointment details. The healthier the territory, the more opportunity it has. The result is a healthier bottom line for the organization.
The franchisors then offer the same program to the franchisees. Often franchisees will struggle to set up their own telemarketing operations, or they’ll tap a mismatched outbound telemarketing partner that does not do well at representing the local franchisee or the parent franchisor.
Making the telemarketing program available to the individual franchisees can make them financially stronger. It also allows the franchisor to better control the marketing message delivered throughout their network.
Sometimes the franchisor will include a certain amount of telemarketing time in the franchise agreements they offer. Others will subsidize the cost of outbound telemarketing or allow the franchisees to buy into the program, knowing they cannot afford to set up a complete call center program independently.
Regardless of implementation, the franchisor benefits as the franchisees grow their business through outbound telemarketing efforts. This makes their businesses and the overall organization more robust. A healthier franchise business means increased demand for the company, resulting in a higher franchise sales price, improved sales, and healthier financial statements. The franchisee wins, as does the franchisor.
Inbound Telemarketing Support
The inbound side has benefits as well. Of course, websites can direct people to find their closest office or dealer. However, now in a COVID world, many local offices have trimmed staff, who may lack training, unlike an inbound call center agent. Other franchisee offices may let calls route to voicemail if they cannot pick up a call.
Using a centralized inbound call center can eliminate the risk that inadequate training or unanswered calls might cause in terms of lost opportunities. Trained call center agents take the calls and handle them in a manner approved by the franchisor, often resulting in additional sales, upsells, and fewer lost opportunities. These, of course, get passed on to the franchisee or franchisor depending on the territory, but the net result is a healthier, more profitable franchise organization.
Every inquiry that hits the company’s website can become a lead. As soon as an inquiry comes in, a member of the call center team contacts them to determine their level of interest and passes that information on to the local franchisee.
A well-planned outsourced telemarketing effort, both inbound and outbound, will benefit any B2B franchise organization. It can:
- Develop the value of areas by offering to sell to new franchise buyers.
- Grow the number of territories owned by the franchisor.
- Allow the franchisor to better control the sales message across the entire organization.
- Increase the strength and value of each franchisee.
- Provide a centralized cohesive inbound support platform.
These are outcomes that would be hard to achieve in house.
Steve Korn is a business development executive for Quality Contact Solutions. His experience spans forty years and includes ownership of his own call center for over twenty. Contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or 516-656-4198.