FranConnect Franchise Sales Index 2020 
Data and Insights for Navigating Today's Economic Reality.


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FranConnect's Franchise Sales Index Report is the most complete and authoritative source of insight into the current state of Franchise sales. Now in its fifth year, the data reveals critical insights relevant for franchise operators looking to confront the economic reality of the pandemic. 

This year's report confirms that there was already a notable decline in franchise sales leads before the pandemic, the result of a then full-employment economy. And now, with  the unemployment rate skyrocketing, there is going to be a rush by those impacted as they seek new opportunities and a sense of control in these turbulent times. What the pandemic has accomplished is to reveal the cracks that already existed in many franchise sales programs and systems (including 53.2% of all leads never got any response at all). 

Some of the most important findings gleaned from the report can help point the way to improved sales effectiveness:

  • Total lead volume per brand fell 12% year-over-year, likely due to the effects of 2019’s full-employment economy; but some sectors fared better than others;
  • The overall deal closure rate (lead-to-deal ratio) decreased by 10% year-over-year, as Franchise Development teams struggled with stronger competition for a smaller overall pool of leads;
  • Franchise Portals generated the most leads, but they ranked 4th in terms of closed deals;
  • Referrals and Brokers proved to be considerably more effective at helping to close deals, based on lead-to-sales conversion rates, relative to the prior year;
  • 85% of the leads that resulted in deals were those that were contacted within the first four hours of their inquiry, demonstrating the power of “speed to the lead”;
  • Lead follow-up processes are not implemented sufficiently in most organizations, as nearly three-quarters of all leads never receive meaningful responses.

This year’s edition of the report benchmarks 597 franchisors representing the nine vertical markets consisting of Personal Services, Quick Service and Fast Casual Restaurants (QSR), Table/Full-Service Restaurants, Lodging, Retail Food, Retail Products & Services, Real Estate, Business Services, and Commercial & Residential Services.

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About The Author

Keith Gerson Square

Keith Gerson, CFE, President of Franchise Ops, FranConnect

Keith Gerson brings 40+ years of executive level expertise as a passionate and driven Franchisor and Franchisee with a proven track-record in building rapid-growth, and highly profitable franchise organizations. Over the last eight years, Keith has served as President and Chief Customer Advocate for FranConnect where he has been able to work closely with many Executive Boards and Leadership Teams that are part of FranConnect’s portfolio of 800+ brands and 148,00 locations. His focus is on helping franchisors to get to their desired future state in sales, operations, communications, and engagement. Recognized in franchising circles for his extensive leadership experience, and ability to drive execution, Keith is a highly-rated keynote speaker and has had the rare opportunity to have created several leading franchise systems from their very conception through launch and sustained growth taking these systems from micro-emerging status to that of successful enterprise level brands.


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FranConnect is the leading franchise management software provider. Based on an analytics approach, only its award-winning, unified FranConnect platform engages stakeholders to grow, scale and optimize franchise systems through a connected and complete view of the business from sales to multi-unit and multi-brand performance. Over 800 brands — including 40 of the Entrepreneur’s Top 100 Global Franchises — in 18 countries count on FranConnect to successfully grow their franchise systems. FranConnect customers span all sizes, growth phases, and industries and have grown 44% faster than the broader franchising market. Backed by private-equity investor Serent Capital, FranConnect is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia, with global follow-the-sun operations.