No matter how comprehensive your franchise website is, prospects will be sure to bring plenty of questions your way before they sign above the dotted line. If you want to bolster your franchise development strategy, you’ll need accurate and transparent answers to each of the questions we go over today.
Integrated Digital Strategies works with over 40 franchisors to maximize their inbound digital marketing and development efforts. As the number two franchise supplier, according to Entrepreneur, IDS takes a personalized and purposeful approach to each project we work on. If you’re interested in learning more about our franchise development or marketing services, feel free to get in touch with our team today.
Before any prospect takes action or picks up the phone to call a member of your team, they will want to know everything they can about the financials. They’ll need to know exactly how much they can expect to spend, and what they'll get back for their investment, and additionally, the financial success of existing franchisees. A great way to establish trust with new leads is by showcasing some relevant figures on your franchise development website’s investment page or homepage.
There’s no doubt about it -- the franchise industry will feel the ripple effect of COVID-19 for a very long time, and you will certainly see that in your sales and development efforts. Prospects will have more questions about your team’s response to economic hurdles and how you helped your partners in their greatest time of need. Even if you’re an emerging brand with a smaller franchise network, it will be essential for you to showcase how your brand is “panic-proof.”
One of the top-selling points of the franchise experience has always been the added support and guidance that you can’t get from an independent business venture. We all know that franchisees come from all walks of life, from multi-unit masterminds to millennials fresh out of college. Regardless of how their resume reads, every prospect wants to know how you’ll make their life simpler from the jump. That means added support in areas such as:
What are the top five reasons that someone should invest in your brand over your competitors? What about your experience is unique? Equipping your franchise development and sales team with those answers is crucial -- they’re the people on the frontlines interacting with potential franchisees. If you’d like to learn more about aligning your sales and marketing playbook, take a second to check out our recent blog post:
A critical element of the sales process is purchase validation, and in franchise development, that can happen in many different ways. One of the most common ways for a prospect to validate their investment is by reaching out to a like-minded franchisee to ask about their experience. If you attempt to discourage a conversation, your franchise prospect will proceed with caution, and you could lose some trust. You have to let your franchise partners operate as true brand ambassadors.
Would you like to learn more about IDS or our franchise development packages? We are eager to hear from you -- get in touch with a member of our team today!
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.
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.
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:
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!
At IDS, we’ve worked with dozens of franchise brands and have been a part of many successful franchisor stories. This month, Franchise Consultant Magazine features a piece on the Titus family, the founders of franchising powerhouse United Franchise Group (UFG). UFG and IDS have been partners since 2015, and we’re humbled to have played a part in their franchise business growth strategy. Learn more about UFG and how they’ve transformed franchising over the last 35 years.
Along with his father Roy, Ray Titus opened the first Signarama store in 1986. The business had a straightforward mission: to create signs of all shapes and sizes. The business was such a success that father and son decided to franchise their concept. Today, there are over 700 Signarama stores worldwide!
Bolstered by their success with Signarama, Roy and Ray founded UFG and began building up other franchise brands. Today, legacy brands like Fully Promoted, SuperGreen Solutions, and Transworld Business Advisors make up UFG’s foundation. They’ve partnered with over 1,600 franchisees in 80+ countries. Along with his sons, A.J., Austin, and Andrew, Ray Titus continues to grow the company by investing in new concepts.
Their focus on family, knowledge of franchising, and dedication to research and development have helped UFG to stay on top for decades. At IDS, our digital marketing services help them to stay there.
Since we at IDS began working with UFG, we’ve developed unique strategies for each of their brands, helping them to find their target audience of franchise investors. Throughout this time, we’ve analyzed the performance of their websites and digital content and have continued to adjust our strategies in real-time to keep UFG on top of relevant search results.
A few of the strategies we’ve utilized for UFG include:
SEO: Keeping their websites, blogs, and other content updated with relevant keywords to capture more traffic and direct it their way.
Hyper Local Pages: Targeting prospective franchisees in specific areas where brands need to expand.
SEM: Strategically investing in paid ads to amplify their message to the right audiences.
Blogs: Regularly publishing SEO-optimized blogs that serve the dual purpose of keeping prospects updated and informed about their brands.
As franchise development experts themselves, the UFG team has had unique insight into how each of these strategies have helped to grow their business. See what they have to say about our partnership for yourself:
“I spent months vetting essentially every well-known franchise focused marketing company. After receiving detailed proposals and speaking with dozens of vendors, it was clear that Steve, Joe and the team at IDS were the best choices. Not only was their pricing the best, the IDS team were unequivocally the easiest and best to deal with on such a large project. Most importantly, after completing the projects, we needed to see a quick ROI. Bottom line, within 6 months of launching all sites and marketing plans, we had closed deals and positive ROI.” – Jason Anderson, President, Venture X
“We’ve been working with IDS the last 5 years and we couldn’t be happier. Even through all the uncertainty that’s been surrounding the country in 2020, our IDS-created websites continue to generate great traffic as well as new franchise buyers.” -- Brady Lee, COO, United Franchise Group
We couldn’t be more excited that UFG and the Titus family have been recognized by Franchise Consultant Magazine. UFG stands out among our many customer success stories because we’ve gotten to know them so well over the years, and know that their integrity and business acumen make them a standout in the franchising space. We wish them many more years of success, and can’t wait to see what they accomplish next.
If you’re in need of franchise development services, contact IDS! We’ll devise a custom plan for your franchise that’s designed to help you similarly connect with your target prospects.
Have you been exploring franchise marketing solutions for your business? If so, local franchise marketing might be just the strategy you’ve been looking for. Local franchise marketing allows franchisors to advertise for their franchisees on a corporate level. By using strategies like search engine optimization and search engine marketing, Integrated Digital Strategies helps franchisors to spread the word to potential customers and franchisees simultaneously. Learn more about this exciting franchise marketing solution below!
One of the most significant benefits of opting to purchase a franchise is the marketing support offered by many franchisors. Franchisees love knowing that they can count on the help of their franchisor to market their business most effectively. Traditionally, corporate advertising campaigns are targeted toward the consumer at large, without much attention to their individual buying habits. Local franchise marketing, on the other hand, taps into the unique internet behaviors of potential clients, allowing franchisors to strategically market their brand to the most relevant customer base. This franchise marketing solution allows you to spread the word about the products and services offered by your franchisees while also promoting your franchise development.
As you can see, local franchise marketing is a much more precise and personalized way to drum up business for your franchisees than blanket campaigns on television or the radio.
Integrated Digital Strategies helps you connect with the audience you’re seeking in a variety of ways. We stay on top of the latest internet franchise marketing solutions tools and technologies. For instance, we’re experts on platforms like Google My Business, and help our clients increase their visibility through organic and paid internet marketing strategies alike. We’re always conducting research on the keywords that are being searched most often and help our clients to identify and utilize the most relevant keywords for their brand. Thus, they’re able to better predict what their potential customers are searching for in order to make their websites more visible.
This is a great strategy to bolster both your consumer-facing and franchise development efforts online. By building a top-notch, comprehensive website with features like blogs that allow you to regularly update your content to reflect hot topics and the latest keyword research, you’ll be able to keep your brand visible online. We also utilize our expertise in paid and organic searches to help ensure your brand appears among top search results as often as possible. We’re experts in social media and are able to help you increase your online presence by networking effectively with your customers and franchisees alike.
Integrated Digital Strategies can help you keep potential franchisees clicking through your site while simultaneously letting potential customers know about new products and services. With our help, you can support your franchisees as they grow their business while also attracting new investors.
These are just a few of the reasons that local franchise marketing are the franchise marketing solutions you’ve been looking for. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you to market more effectively for your franchisees and for your franchise brand!
Franchise development has evolved rapidly, but not much of the process has changed over the years. Franchising still offers opportunities to vast audiences that have the desire to follow the American Dream. So the question now is where does this audience live today vs. five years ago? Are you still investing your marketing dollars to brokers, lead portals, or trade shows? Does your website tell your story in the best possible light and more importantly, does your website appeal to your ideal franchise buyer?
More and more potential franchise buyers are doing the majority of their research through web searches and pouring over the content on your website. They are reading reviews, checking out your social media profile, and trying to figure out why you are the obvious choice. This is all done before they submit a lead through your form or pick up the phone. So again, does your website tell your story and does it resonate with your ideal franchise buyer? The shift has happened and now it’s time to take a hard look at how your franchise development marketing is working for you today and more importantly in the future.
So how do you shift your focus? Do you take a 180-degree change and stop the traditional methods? Do you take a balanced approach to your marketing mix with these new franchise buyers in mind? The easy answer is to balance out your marketing and test the channels of each. You will be able to determine pretty quickly what works and/or compliments each other to maximize your lead generation and improve the quality of candidates you interact with and hopefully leads to franchise awards!
A persona is essentially a mockup, imaginary person created to establish who your potential buyers may be. It answers the questions who are your best prospects and what do they care about? The buyer persona includes different information and traits that may be seen in a potential franchisee including pain points, common questions, background, etc. These help establish a firm footing on who you should be targeting and an idea on how to target a specific demographic.
Fuel your website with topics and questions that will separate you from the pack. What does a potential franchise buyer “ask Google” via a search? Get an idea what questions are most common and then validate if these questions or keywords are searched often. If so, you need to create content around those topics in the form of blogs and downloadable e-books, white papers, guides, and more.
You don’t exactly know where your prospect is with their journey and so you need to make sure your website and your best content find those prospects. Using search engines and social media are the two best ways to target those prospects when they are in their research phase.
Does your highest traffic pages on your website provide visitors to take advantage of getting something tangible out of your website before they leave? Remember Bounce rates average about 50-60%. Six out ten people don’t stay on your site very long so you need to have a high-value content offer as bait to get their information.
Does your CRM know when prospects open your email, interact with your content and/or website? Wouldn’t it be great to know which prospects are more engaged than others before you spend your precious time reaching out to them? Marketing automation and drip campaigns that have a purpose is the way to really hone in on the right prospects. Also, not having to communicate with them when you want to sell but more building your credibility and their trust in your brand.
You can test, optimize, and improve with data. Each channel has a metric that can attribute to the success of your marketing—Google Analytics, SEMRush.com, Google AdWords and Facebook Ad Tracking, Call Tracking, and more.
It may be time to adapt to the evolving processes of franchise development. There has been a shift from brokers and trade shows to websites and leads, and more and more franchises have caught on to the shift.
In order to see more success, franchises need to go digital. If you would like to learn more about franchising development or what may be right for your franchise, contact us!