At around the 5 minute mark of most of the demos I do, the question that titles this piece comes up. At the beginning of my time at FranFunnel, I thought it was me not explaining what we do well enough. Or maybe it was that people were zoning out during my calls. But as my tenure here has stretched from a couple months to almost a year, my opinion on why people equate us to a CRM has evolved drastically. FranFunnel is very different from a CRM.
FranConnect. Naranga. FranchiseSoft. FRM Solutions. Hubspot. Salesforce. InfusionSoft. ZoHo.
It feels like everywhere you turn, there is another CRM company sprouting up. Some aren’t unique to any given business (i.e Hubspot, Salesforce, ZoHo, InfusionSoft, Pipedrive, etc.) Some are more industry-centric; these systems (FranConnect, Naranga, FRM, FranchiseSoft, etc.) are called “franchise management systems”. As most of you reading this know, CRM systems are an INTEGRAL part of running your franchise. From marketing to operations, finance to franchise development, CRMs (industry-specific or not) play a major role in your entire business as a whole.
In my time as intern at FranConnect back in 2015, I once counted how many different modules they had available to franchisors. Knowing my Millennial attention span, I got to about 30 and I stopped counting...but the POINT is that CRMs offer a ton of different capabilities to help you manage your business. What I quickly learned in my time there was that they certainly didn’t get 600 clients for nothing. A CRM's focus is on record keeping and organization -- 24/7/365. In my view, a CRM’s goal is to create an environment of technological stability for their customers; allowing them to manage as many aspects of their business as possible in one place without worrying about anything going awry.
“Hold on a second, Zack. What does all of this have to do with FranFunnel?”
It’s actually quite simple. First and foremost, FranFunnel simply focuses on sales and marketing automation. No operations, finance or real estate are happening at all in our system. If a lead comes to one of our clients, our system is designed to use a combination of SMS and e-mail to get the most out of those leads.
“But wait a second, I already DO email through my CRM system….”
Yes, I know most of you guys are probably thinking this. If you like the way your initial emails are performing, keep it in your CRM system! Our goal is to help increase your response rate. We spend all day trying to figure out how to do that. It’s ALL we focus on here at FranFunnel. Things like deliverability, open rates, and click rates keep us up at night.
Additionally today texting is the major breakthrough in communication. For every one person you get a hold of through e-mail, you'll get a hold of five through text. And the texting world is ever-changing. Who knows? Maybe Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates will decide on the same day that outside systems are able to integrate with Facebook and LinkedIn Messenger! If they do that, you better we’ll work on building it.
On the other hand, CRM systems have to worry about 29 other problems on your behalf. Spending even 1 week focusing on 1 problem and letting the other 29 fall by the wayside would be business suicide for them! Whether it’s having real-time push notifications when you get a new lead/a text response or being able to respond to the prospect over text on-the-go, it takes a LONG time to build features like those to be consistent.
“OK, I get it. You guys are not a CRM system. But just because you guys are doing things faster doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. Right?”
We're not perfect. Admittedly so. But the mistakes and bugs are also what makes FranFunnel better and better everyday because we learn from them! We have the luxury of making mistakes in our system because initial communication is ALL we care about. If something happens, we focus on nothing else but fixing it immediately. You want to test some new text copy for August? Done. Someone goes on vacation? Let us know. You want us to talk about texting strategies to your franchisees? Let’s do it!
FranFunnel is not Salesforce FranConnect, Hubspot or Naranga. But then again, we never wanted to be. Our goal is to focus on one problem (in this case, initial communication) and be absolutely unbelievable at it. I couldn’t recommend having a CRM system more if you need something to be the technological backbone to your business. But if you’re looking for some folks who are experts in getting prospects to schedule discovery calls with you, hopefully you think of FranFunnel next time.
Zack Fishman leads FranFunnel's sales efforts. You can reach him at Zack@FranFunnel.com.