By Sherry McNeil

The franchising sales process starts when a potential franchisee makes initial contact with the franchisor. The term “sales process,” is used to identify the transition from potential candidate to franchisee with a new location.

The future franchisee will meet a variety of people throughout the sales process. Some franchisors may rely on one person to complete several of the roles listed below, while a larger brand might separate the roles into distinct responsibilities.

  • Franchise Development Manager. The Franchise Development Manager is often the first person a prospective franchisee meets, and is responsible for driving the franchise approval process. They ensure all documents are completed by the franchise candidate. They also act as a problem solver throughout the sales process.
  • Real Estate Manager. Assists the franchisee in finding a location that meets the requirements of the franchisor, and gets the location and project budget approved.
  • Legal Department. Ensures all legal documents are created and executed correctly by the franchisee. This could include training school agreements and waivers, design and construction services agreements, and the franchise agreement.
  • Design Manager. At this stage, the franchisee either works with a corporate Designer Manager to lay out their location, or the franchisee receives a prototypical set of plans and specifications, and they work with an architect/engineer to lay out their location.
  • Construction Manager. Monitors the project from lease execution to opening. This role consists of a wide range of responsibilities, and varies by company. The Construction Manager must ensure the location is built to required specifications, and is ready to receive the opening team.
  • Training Manager. The Training Manager ensures that the franchisee successfully completes the required training. If the new franchisee is training within an existing franchisee’s business, the training team ensures that the existing franchisee and key staff are certified as a training location to ensure consistency across training locations.
  • Marketing Manager. Works with the franchisee to organize a “Friends and Family” event prior to opening. In addition, the Marketing Manager establishes a grand opening plan for the new location. The Marketing Manager also creates a local store marketing (LSM) plan with the franchisee for the location.
  • Finance Manager. The finance staff instruct the franchisee on how to calculate cost of goods sold and labour cost; how to complete the required reports to the franchisor; how and when to submit royalty, marketing, and lease administration fees (if the franchisee is subleasing from the franchisor); and when to submit full financial statements.
  • Opening Team. Arrives and assists franchisee with location setup and training the franchisee’s key staff. The team also ensures the location meets brand standards, and that franchisee and staff can execute on the brand promise to the consumer. In short, they determine if the location and the franchisee are ready for business.

About the author:

Sherry McNeil is a senior leader in the franchise industry, and possesses an understanding of the franchise business model, from store to executive level. She was the Vice President of Franchise Development, Real Estate, Construction & Design at Dairy Queen for many years, and was National Development Consultant to Pizza Hut Canada. Sherry has been on the CFA Board of Directors since 2011, and can be reached at or 905-407-3270.

Adapted from the Spring 2016 issue of The FranchiseVoiceCheck out the current issue of FranchiseCanada, on newsstands now, or you can order your subscription by calling 1-800-665-4232 ext. 224.