A common misconception is that sales and marketing people should live in separate worlds all of the time. The truth is, both parties rely on each other for positive results when measuring performance, so why be at odds with each other? Instead, there is a way that we can come together, develop an educated sales management strategy, and bolster our marketing message.
At Integrated Digital Strategies (IDS), we have solidified ourselves as a top supplier to offer digital marketing for franchise brands. We soon realized through experience that the best way to master your craft and develop a comprehensive strategy is by coordinating your sales and marketing efforts. Our franchise development sales team and marketing professionals work in tandem to accomplish a common goal for our clients. We’ve seen how this entire process unfolds time and time again, and now we want to share some of our experiences with you.
Inbound marketing is a hyper-focused method of sending a message to the right buyer at the right time, but we needed to dig deeper. Our sales management experts can relay valuable information to our marketers to fully understand a target demographic. Conversations that a salesperson has with prospects can be repurposed to develop meaningful content about a specific subject or draw in qualified candidates from a particular industry. By doing so, our campaigns have a greater purpose of helping guide the right individuals through the sales funnel.
What is stopping your prospects from moving down that funnel? Are they not getting all the information they need to feel confident about making a decision? Understanding your target audience is a great way to build your fundamental understanding of who you’re speaking to -- the next step is to address the most frequently asked questions by creating SEO rich content.
If your sales representatives are having conversations with prospects that lead to familiar comments or concerns, your marketing team can help get them the right answers before picking up the phone. IDS’ content marketers will take the time to continuously update your website and incorporate pertinent information that will keep the discovery process running smoothly. Also, by updating your FAQ page, we have an opportunity for our writers to include relevant search terms throughout your web copy.
You have all of your content ready to go, but you don’t have to sit back and hope that your leads will stumble upon these resources organically. Sales enablement is the process of arming your sales management team with the right content to pass on to your prospects. To see the process through fully, your outreach team can include relevant links in their marketing emails or even use those resources as a reference in ongoing conversations. By nurturing a healthy relationship between your sales management and marketing departments, you’ll minimize your efforts and eliminate some of the pain points that once limited your outreach efforts.
The importance of digital marketing for franchise brands is only growing, and IDS has years of experience to help you stay ahead of the competition. Feel free to contact a member of our team today if you have any questions.
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!