Sales and Marketing Alignment for Franchise Development [Part II]

Are your sales and marketing teams speaking the same language? Are they both focused on the same goals? Are they working together to generate greater revenue for your business? At a time when 50 percent of B2B salespeople miss their monthly quotas, it’s apparent that many companies have teams that have built up silos around themselves. This isn’t a sustainable practice for any sort of business, especially franchise brands.

Where’s the Disconnect?

Many times, it’s difficult for marketers to identify with the results-driven approach to converting leads into prospects and into franchisees—or a purely transactional approach. They often look at the journey and work to create strategy-driven campaigns that engage prospects and motivate them to move along the buyer’s journey with content that provides relevant information.

Sales professionals have a primary focus, and that’s closing leads. The tricky thing about franchise sales is that the time it takes for a lead to convert to a sale for the average franchise brand is nearly 15 weeks, according to the 2015 Annual Franchise Development Report. In other words, sales managers typically spend almost four months with a prospective franchisee before they sign a contract. No matter how you position that number, that’s a lot of time dedicated to making certain the prospect continues to be motivated to sign the franchise agreement and become a part of your system.

For roughly 20 percent of franchise sales teams, closing period has increased over the previous year, while the majority has seen it stay roughly the same. The annual goal should be to make the closing period shorter than the previous year—as much as feasibly possible.

Where Should You Begin?

Organizations that are most successful at aligning their marketing and sales teams were able to achieve 20 percent growth in annual revenue on average, according to Aberdeen Research. The jumping off point should be a shared agreement about who your franchise brand is trying to attract. This means creating clearly defined franchisee personas that everyone understands are the most likely to engage with your franchise brand, be attracted to the investment opportunity, bring a shared mission and culture and have past experience that will set them—and your franchise system—up for success.

Some of the key features that should be included when creating personas include:

  • Demographics
    • Job title and industry
    • Age
    • Education
    • Income
    • Years in role
  • Situation
    • Highest priorities
    • Needs and desires
    • Pain points
    • Objections to investing
  • Influences and habits
    • Media consumption
    • Research methods
    • Trusted resources
  • Decision-making
    • Key stakeholders
    • Decision-making process

By addressing these characteristics together, your sales and marketing team will have a shared understanding of who they’re targeting, why they’re interested in your franchise brand, and how they reach a decision about investing. The number of personas you create is only limited to the types of franchisees that are attracted to your system. You could have single-unit and multi-unit franchisees, area developers and people converting their independent shops into a franchise. As a result, there’s no one-size-fits-all persona. You need to carefully consider who your existing franchisees are—or you can even look at competitors’ franchisees—and use them as a guide to determine who your ideal personas will be.

How Do You Capture All of the Necessary Data?

One resource that helps marketers and sales teams stay on the same page is customer relationship management software—or a CRM. This tool is used to capture nearly every kind of interaction a potential franchisee has with your brand. This can include visits to your website, activity on your social media channels, email engagement, interactions over the phone and even face-to-face encounters. The information is shared in a single system and gives your teams a better idea of who your leads are and whether they’re valuable—or seriously interested in your investment opportunity.

Equipped with a complete picture of your ideal franchisees and in-depth information about your leads, your marketing team can create content and campaigns that keep prospects engaged. As a result, your sales team has the resources it needs to motivate potential franchisees to continue considering the investment and potentially shorten the closing period.

Marketing and franchise sales are two business functions that are increasingly intertwined. To get more information, connect with us here…

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