If you’re not paying attention to your franchise sales process, it could be time to start taking a closer look. Drawing up an effective sales process requires you to fully understand your franchise buyer and provide all the resources they need to make a decision. Integrated Digital Strategies has built a long-standing reputation as a trusted franchise marketing, and now we are supporting our brands by improving their franchise sales strategy.
One of the roadblocks in franchise development is the misalignment of sales and marketing. The way you overcome that misalignment is by enabling franchise sales with the analytics and content from your marketing team to answer a prospect’s needs better. Franchise development is a relationship and unlike most other sales positions, you cannot push someone into a decision – you need to find the right match through personalization and education. Are you delivering the right content, at the right time, to the right candidates? Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways you might be able to improve your franchise development.
Flaws in the Franchise Sales Management Process
Sales can be incredibly isolating, which can often lead to mixed messages and a disjointed strategy. Every element of your sales efforts should be aligned both with the trends you’re seeing throughout the industry and the message your brand is trying to promote through meaningful content. Here are just a few of our solutions to common mistakes you could be making that are stalling progress:
Aligning the Sales and Buying Process: If your sales and franchise development team is waiting for buyers to relate to a message, you could be wasting valuable time and resources on an outdated strategy. A thoughtful sales process considers the ever-changing perspective and expectations of the franchise buyer. By maintaining a good feel for your ideal candidate’s purchasing process, you’ll find that selling your brand isn’t nearly as complicated.
Simplify the Journey: It’s important to check whether your leads are qualified, but that doesn’t mean you have to overcomplicate the process to get the best possible candidates. Gated content is a fantastic way to narrow your focus on your ideal candidate, but they shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get in touch with your team. You never want to frustrate your buyer, and in franchise sales, you only have a brief moment of their attention before they explore a competitive opportunity.
Giving Back: It’s incredibly beneficial to position your brand as a resource rather than a sales-first business. What matters to a buyer is less about what you have and more about what you can offer them. By arming your sales team with informative and compelling content, your ideal buyers will feel more inclined to engage with your brand and move forward with the process.
What is franchise sales enablement? How does it help?
You want all of your sales teams to have the materials they need to get a job done well. Much like a writer draws on inspiration and a chef requires ingredients, it follows that a salesperson needs the appropriate resources to help them effectively cultivate their leads. By aligning your marketing and sales management efforts, you can increase productivity and save your bottom line. Here are some interesting statistics that speak to the importance of sales enablement:
- $1 trillion: Costs incurred for businesses annually from decreased sales productivity and wasted marketing efforts
- 43: Hours spent by sales reps each month researching the information to improve their strategy
- 65%: The percentage of sales representatives that say they can’t find content to send to their prospects
- 84%: The percentage of representatives that hit their quotas that utilize effective enablement strategies
Aligning Your Strategy
At Integrated Digital Strategies, we are incredibly passionate about the benefits of sales and marketing alignment to make the best use of relevant resources. We can help our clients achieve the results they are searching for by nurturing leads through the funnel instead of expecting them to do the work themselves. Each stage of the process can be improved through sales enablement. Let’s take a look at each stage of the process, what a prospect needs at each step, and how our team at IDS can improve your current strategy.
Discovery: From the perspective of a prospect, this could be your brand’s first impression. The candidate you’re reaching out to might know about your opportunity, but at this point in the discovery process, it’s important to let them know exactly how you can help them achieve their goals. By sending your prospects blogs that align with their personal or career goals, you will be hand-delivering a solution and doing far less selling down the road.
Research: Once a lead has assessed that your opportunity might be a fit, the next step is to dig a little deeper. How much training and support can they expect to receive when they join your team? How much does it cost to get started? What territories are available? Depending on their typical questions, your efforts can be maximized by sending them an infographic or map of available territories.
Qualification: Oftentimes franchise prospects near the finish line but won’t commit because they don’t believe they are a fit for the brand or just aren’t qualified. You can save your prospects frustration by making those requirements clear from the start to help them self-qualify. By spotlighting like-minded testimonials, your leads can determine whether or not your opportunity is a good fit.
Exchanging Information: It’s time for the first call! This is a crucial step in the sales process, so it’s important to take the information you already know about your prospect and tailor your strategy accordingly. The person on the other end is not going to sign a franchise agreement today, so if you want to make progress toward the end goal, you should give them the information they need to get there. Take this time to fully understand their aspirations, ask about their experience, and maybe learn more about what has stopped them in the past. From there, you can provide your prospects with an e-book or downloadable to give them the information they need.
Reinforce: The word success is thrown around quite a bit in the franchise space, but at some point, you’ll have to back it up with evidence. Testimonials do a great job of putting some personality behind your brand, but your prospect will want to investigate further. A prospect can determine whether or not your opportunity is the real deal by reviewing financial performance numbers that might be found in your Franchise Disclosure Document.
Numbers: Even if your franchise opportunity is the perfect fit for your prospect, they will still need help justifying the investment. If you have information regarding financing options, it will be worthwhile to send that to your prospects sooner rather than later. Some of your leads might be new to franchising, so by sending content that is specific to the numbers, your prospects will have an easier time understanding what they’ll get back.
Decision: Discovery day is a really exciting time for both a franchisor and candidate because this might be their final step before making a decision. They still might have questions about what they should expect, the culture of your team, and so on. Before they come for their visit, it’s wise to send them content to show how their experience will be meaningful and enlightening.
IDS’ content team works closely with our clients to help develop meaningful deliverables for our sales team to pass on to prospective franchisees. We can be your all-encompassing franchise development resource. If you want to learn more about our services, please feel free to contact us today!