Handling the Onslaught of Leads

Spikes in lead flow always present an interesting challenge. Our client, Sub Zero Ice Cream and Yogurt, was on ABC’s Shark Tank last night and it generated a tremendous amount of interest in the Sub Zero franchise opportunity. Sub Zero has never had trouble generating interest in the franchise, but Shark Tank definitely increased the number of inquiries we received.

So how did we prepare to deal with the lead flow? Here are a couple things we did and they seem to be working. Hopefully they are useful to you if you find yourself in a similar situation:

  1. We use a great CRM. At Foundry, we use Salesforce.com. There are a number of CRMs that are exceptional and some of them are designed specifically for franchising. We use Salesforce.com because we are nerdy enough that we want to be able to completely customize our workflow and autoresponders. It has been a great tool for us because we know how to use it. It’s overkill for many development operations but it works for us.
  2. We use MailChimp. I am a huge fan of the simplicity of MailChimp for sending out and managing lists. We were able to directly import all of our new contacts into MailChimp and send out an email campaign to everyone who responded to the show.
  3. We setup a public calendar to simplify setting up phone calls. One of the hardest parts of lead qualification is trying to get people on the phone and arranging schedules. This posed an especially difficult problem for our team with the huge influx of leads. We wanted to spend more time on the phone and less time trying to arrange schedules. By posting our available times at Doodle.com and allowing interested parties to schedule a time with us, it greatly enhanced our ability to get people on the phone.
  4. We updated our electronic collateral to highlight the show. This provided relevant information to people who had seen the show and wanted to know more. We also updated the website and social media channels to make sure everything was in order so that people could explore and learn more before submitting an inquiry.

It’s a work in progress, but so far so good!

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Christian Faulconer
Christian Faulconer

So far, we have handled well over 800 leads and that's just in the first 24 hours. I'm pleased with the way the team has pulled together. I'm also pleased with our implementation of various technologies -- it has helped us to manage the spike in lead flow very effectively.