Which Franchise CRM Solution Is Best?
As the premier PPC ad agency within the franchise lead generation space offering PPC for franchises, one of the “luxuries” that we’ve had to deal with over the past 13 years is making sure that leads from the 200+ franchisors that we have worked with are feeding into their CRMs properly and that leads are converting into franchise sales. So, this article is designed to address which Franchise CRM is the best.
Also, over the past 4 years, we have branched out beyond just franchise development lead generation into helping individual franchisees to be successful with their local advertising via consumer development lead generation. This has helped us to understand not only which CRMs work best for franchise sales but also for managing data related to franchisees once they have been onboarded.
If you’d like to hop on a call to discuss your particular needs specifically, feel free to reach out on our Contact Us form to schedule a quick call regarding franchise leads.
Here’s our take on which CRMs are best…
#1 – Salesforce ($25 Per User Per Month)
I’ve used Salesforce personally since around 2010 and we’ve been using it internally here at Lead PPC since around 2016. It is by far the most robust CRM and can do anything that you can possibly imagine.
The big thing with Salesforce that you have to be careful with is how many licenses you require. For us, we only use 1 license and I grant access to various individuals within our team to make changes as needed. Each seat costs $2,000+ per year, so that’s where you have to be super careful. If you can get away with using just a few seats within Salesforce, it’s definitely the way to go.
Salesforce also has the largest app / plugin ecosystem. So, every major marketing automation tool and enterprise business management suite that is out there integrates with it seamlessly. It’s also very easy to integrate with any lead provider whether it’s in-house, an agency like us, a franchise portal site like Franchise Gator, franchise broker networks like FranServe, franchise sales organizations like RainTree, or any other lead source that is out there.
Creating reporting dashboards and dealing with attribution models to determine which keywords and ad campaigns are working best for you is extremely simple to achieve and can help management, franchise sales, and your ad agency get on the same page so that your marketing budget is spent on the right keywords and audiences that are actually bringing you consistent franchise sales.
Likewise, Salesforce can not only help you on the franchise development side of things but also with your franchisees. The larger and more successful that your franchise system becomes, the greater your needs for a robust franchise CRM will become. One of the hardest things to do as a business is to switch CRMs once you have all of your data stored in a different CRM. So, it may be worth taking some time to get the right CRM from the beginning that can handle not only your current business needs but also your future ones so that your main consideration becomes how many licenses / seats you want to purchase not which CRM you need to be migrating to.
#2 – Zoho ($14 Per Use Per Month)
Zoho has come a long way over the past 5 years and positioned itself as a cheaper yet robust alternative to Salesforce. Both Zoho and Salesforce offer roughly the same solution and are both true CRMs. The interface of Zoho can take a little bit of getting used to if you are used to using Salesforce. And, they do not have as many enterprise level apps that have integrations within their ecosystems.
But, if you like Salesforce but don’t want to stomach the costs, Zoho might be the right solution for you. We haven’t had any issues in the franchising space whatsoever with people using Zoho and being successful.
#3 – FranConnect
FranConnect is probably the most widely used CRM platform in the franchising space. We are a bit picky because I myself used to be a consultant for a CRM called Infusionsoft and our COO is Salesforce, so when it comes to CRMs there are some basic fundamental pieces that we feel that CRMs should have to even be called a true “CRM”, and FranConnect is missing many of them.
The most basic piece that we feel FranConnect needs is an actual API or Webhooks. Currently, all leads that we send to FranConnect for our clients have to get parsed by some type of an email parser behind the scenes (it feels like Email2DB but it could be something home grown). This is such a massive oversight. It’s hard to even take them seriously as a CRM when you can’t send leads directly into their system without some type of an email receipt that gets parsed by them. This means that if we make any changes to our web forms, it can cause leads to not get delivered unless a tech person on their end at FranConnect manually changes the template.
Reporting is also a major problem. Salesforce and Zoho both allow you to create Custom Fields for Leads and Opportunities on the fly and then drag and drop those fields into custom reports to slice and dice data in any way that you want. FranConnect is very limited in regard to reporting and if you don’t like the reports that they create for you, be prepared to export your data into Google Sheets and mine the data for what you are looking for.
To me, FranConnect is a niche online franchise brochure with some elements of a CRM. They definitely know and understand the industry well. But, if you are looking for a robust true CRM that can handle more than franchise development sales funnels and actually has an API then there are better solutions out there.
#4 – Hubspot ($800 Per Month)
Hubspot is another top tier CRM that is industry agnostic. It used to be somewhat affordable but in recent years the pricing has gone through the roof. If you have someone on your team who truly is stellar with marketing automation, landing pages, email marketing, sms texting, etc then it might be worth the investment. With the right team member in place, it’s a marketing suite that is hard to beat and has few if any holes. It’s just gotten to be really pricey. And still Salesforce and Zoho would be better on the sales end of CRMs while Hubspot is going to be stronger for marketing automation.
#5 – Pipedrive ($15 Per User Per Month)
Pipedrive is a bit of a late entrant into the CRM space, but they definitely have made their mark on the industry. Again, this is a solution that is really only going to help you with franchise sales (as opposed to handling other aspects of your business), but they do have a solid pipeline visualizer that is very helpful for management to see how many deals you have in the pipeline.
Once you get out of their pipeline visualizer, it can be a bit lack luster and hard to manipulate some of the backend data. It’s not franchise specific, and if you want other types of reporting outside of your sales pipeline, prepare to be unimpressed and a bit frustrated.
#6 – Keap ($149 Per Month For 2 Users)
Keap, formerly known as Infusionsoft, is primarily known for its email marketing capabilities within the information marketing space. Having said that, we do run into franchisors here and there that use Keap as their primary CRM.
If you have even heard of Keap before, chances are that you or someone on your team is an extremely savvy marketer and knows why they are choosing this CRM over others. If you are doing a lot of email marketing follow-up sequences or some type of a brochure style membership site, this might be a good choice for you. But, if you are unfamiliar with this whole cult CRM space, I wouldn’t recommend diving into it as it is not franchise specific.
If you would like to hop on a call to discuss your franchise sales and marketing needs, please fill out our Contact Us form. If nothing else, we can share our opinions about which franchise CRM system you are looking into.
Hello there and welcome to Lead PPC. My name is Grant James. I am the owner of the company and in this article and you know as articles rank on Google for various terms. I like to come back and shoot a video on them, so there’s like a personal connection there’ and kind of walk you through some of my thinking on some of these different articles. Obviously these are just kind of my own thoughts, but I will say we’ve worked with over 250 different franchise ores since 2010, And so as a Lee Generation Company, an agency that drives leads off of Google ads and meta Facebook ads types of situations. We do all these integrations through Zappier, the different CRMs back to the ad platforms, and so there’s definitely a lot of technical kind of know how in experiences that we’ve had over the years and just kind of want to share some of that with you. So which franchise CRM solution is best and obviously that’s going to depend on your own kind of taste in preferences.
My personal favorite number one as far as a true CRM goes as sales force, I think on their website they say it’s 25 dollars per user per month for myself. I think I pay like $2,000 per seat per year. Not exactly sure what the discrepancy is there. Maybe I have like a certain type of license that’s a little bit different or something like that’ but. I’ve had it for lots of years. I think it’s great for recording. It really is a true CRM. It works with all sorts of API integrations, basically anything that I want to pull. It’s very easy to pull, but I used to be a consulted for CRM marketing automation types of situations and so this kind of comes from a lot of just experience. So my personal favorite is a sales force. My number 2 favorite I think Zoho is the next best thing. It’s 14 dollars per years of per month, so it’s cheaper. It is a true CRM. It’s industry agnostic. We’ve never had any problems with people that use Zoho number 3 I’d say would be Frame Connect.
I personally don’t love Frame Connect um, because I don’t like that. They don’t have like an API or use web hooks and basically you have to send email receipts that get parsed by something like email too deeply or something like that on the back end and then shoved into their C. R. M. So I don’t really think of it as like a true C. R. M, but it is good as far as moving people through a sales pipeline that’s franchise focused and for whatever reason I think like 30 to 40 percent of our clients do use Francon episodes if you go with it in your franchise or it’s not the worst thing in the world, it’s just not my own personal favorite more. And more people that we work with are using Hubspot. Hubspot has some awesome things and capabilities to it it’s not cheap, it’s $100 a month. We run into some issues, sometimes with Hubspot because there are.
They have the script that you put on there, and sometimes that script can conflict with the marketing automation through Zapier. And so we’ve had situations like this last week. For instance, we had a situation that we had to debug and basically turn off their script in order to make sure everything was assigned to the right person and all the automation worked properly. So sometimes they’re their own worst problem. But these guys I think they’re out of MIT. They’ve done a lot of really cool things. I think they have a good product and it’s very marketing focus and it is cool because you can pull in things like your ad spend and tie exactly what adds did what all the way back to the user, so I think that technically it’s it’s it’s pretty cool, it’s just pretty expensive and you have to be careful with their scripts a little bit. Um, pipe tries about $15 per user per month. Um, I run into some issues sometimes when you want to break out of just the pipeline view of Pipe Pipe Drive as far as different types of reports, but I think that it’s gotten better over the years and some big brands do use it and then keep about. 149 dollars per month.
This used to be infusion soft and they’re good with like email, marketing, automation and follow up sequences and things like that. So these are my own personal, you know opinions and thoughts. If you have a single seat that you need, I’d go a sales force if I’ need lots of seats I maybe consider something else. Maybe like Zoho don’t love Frank neck but can’t say anything negative if you are using it because a lot of people the industry do pub spots good yeah, so each of these kind of has a frozen cosmic. I would definitely try to go with something on this list so you don’t have like a home grown solution that has some types of problems. But anyway if you do need help with Lee generation or would like to know more just like have a conversation, feel free to call us here at A33 lead PBC or hit the contact us button, you just fill this out hit request appointment. It goes to my Calendly and then we can book a call. Can’t book for the same day, but we can do something tomorrow. So anyway, thanks so much and we will talk to you soon.
Entrepreneur with a focus on Lead Generation, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, and Conversion.