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Franchise Sales Enablement | e book

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Franchise Sales
Enablement
ALIGN YOUR SALES PROCESS WITH THE
BUYER’S PROCESS TO CLOSE MORE DEALS.
Sales enablement is an evolving trend in franchise development defined as
the delivery of the right information in the rig...
Why is Franchise Sales Enablement
Important?
The Cost:
			 “Sales and marketing misalignment costs businesses
		$1 trillio...
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Franchise Sales Enablement | e book

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Sales enablement is an evolving trend in franchise development defined as the delivery of the right information in the right format through the right channels at the right time to assist in moving franchise candidates through the selling process. Unlike traditional sales and marketing roles, sales enablement is a new function that aims to ensure that everyone involved in selling a franchise opportunity has the required tools, knowledge, processes and information to optimize the franchise buyer’s experience during the sales process. Contact Rachael Wachstein at rachael@800lbmarketing for more information.

Sales enablement is an evolving trend in franchise development defined as the delivery of the right information in the right format through the right channels at the right time to assist in moving franchise candidates through the selling process. Unlike traditional sales and marketing roles, sales enablement is a new function that aims to ensure that everyone involved in selling a franchise opportunity has the required tools, knowledge, processes and information to optimize the franchise buyer’s experience during the sales process. Contact Rachael Wachstein at rachael@800lbmarketing for more information.

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Franchise Sales Enablement | e book

  1. 1. Franchise Sales Enablement ALIGN YOUR SALES PROCESS WITH THE BUYER’S PROCESS TO CLOSE MORE DEALS.
  2. 2. Sales enablement is an evolving trend in franchise development defined as the delivery of the right information in the right format through the right channels at the right time to assist in moving franchise candidates through the selling process. Unlike traditional sales and marketing roles, sales enablement is a new function that aims to ensure that everyone involved in selling a franchise opportunity has the required tools, knowledge, processes and information to optimize the franchise buyer’s experience during the sales process. What is franchise sales enablement? 1I N T R O D U C T I O N704-557-0304www.engage54/franchising Table of Contents Chapter 1 Common Franchise Sales Mistakes: It’s Not Them, It’s Your Process Chapter 2 Aligning the Franchise Sales Process with the Franchise Buyer’s Journey Chapter 3 Refresh Your Franchise Sales Process by Enabling Your Sales Team Conclusion Why Should You Start Now Bonus Guide PR Tips for Franchise Sales by Fishman Public Relations 3 5 13 15 16
  3. 3. Why is Franchise Sales Enablement Important? The Cost: “Sales and marketing misalignment costs businesses $1 trillion each year in decreased sales productivity and wasted marketing efforts.” —HubSpot, 2015 “Sales reps spend up to 43 hours every month searching for information” —Aberdeen, 2015 More Growth: “Aligning sales and marketing is proven to deliver 19% more growth.” —Sirius Decisions, 2015 More Leads: “Marketing teams with high visibility into content utilization see 33% more leads accepted by Sales.” —Aberdeen, 2015 Success: “84% of reps achieve quota at companies with best-in-class sales enablement strategies.” —Aberdeen, 2013 2I N T R O D U C T I O N704-557-0304www.engage54/franchising
  4. 4. “65% of sales reps say they can’t find content to send to prospects.” —Kapost Failing to align marketing and sales is not unique to franchise organizations. According to Kapost, 65 percent of sales reps across all industries say they can’t find content to send to prospects. Sometimes the content needed to support the franchise sales process doesn’t exist. Even when it does, it often doesn’t make it into the hands of sales executives. When sales and marketing aren’t working together, you are leaving qualified leads on the table and wasting precious resources driving candidates into a broken process. The sooner franchise sales executives and franchisors face up to the flaws in their franchise sales processes, the sooner they can make the changes necessary to recruit and close qualified candidates. Chapter 1 Common Franchise Sales Mistakes: It’s Not Them, It’s Your Process 3C H A P T E R 1704-557-0304www.engage54/franchising
  5. 5. Your selling process doesn’t align with the prospects’ buying process. That’s right, franchise buyers are not going to follow your sales process if it doesn’t match how today’s buyers research, investigate and make decisions about investing in a business. Franchisors that insist a prospect “get in line” and follow an outdated process in order to learn about and engage with the brand are living in the past. Leads are required to jump through hoops like circus ponies to prove they are qualified. Gated content and placing high barriers to entry into the franchise sales process only hurt the organization. If you think buyers must prove that they can follow YOUR process and jump through hoops to get the information they seek, don’t expect to close many deals. Management expects franchise sales executives to close deals without providing them with the resources they need. Regardless of the experience level, personal charm and budget allocated to generate leads, if the franchise sales representative doesn’t have the right content to deliver to prospects to keep them moving through the sales process, you are setting them up to fail. The first step in fixing the problem isn’t simply asking for more budget to create the required assets. Going that route, you’ll most likely face resistance because you haven’t made your case. Even if you do get a budget increase, throwing money at a broken process won’t yield any better results. To get more deals done, you must start by making changes to the process so it aligns with how prospects buy. After you put the right process in place, assess the assets you have for each step of the buyer’s journey. This means coordinating with marketing and leadership to discover all available assets. Finally, you will identify the content gaps and ask for the resources needed to fill those gaps. Common Flaws in the Franchise Sales Process 4C H A P T E R 1 1 2 3 704-557-0304www.engage54/franchising
  6. 6. 5C H A P T E R 2 The purpose of this e-book isn’t to convince you that times have changed but to provide direction on how to make the change so you close more deals. Let’s work from the following assumptions: Prospects want to buy a franchise; they don’t want to be sold a franchise. Prospects have questions and apprehensions about your opportunity, and they want information and answers. Prospects are primarily self-guided in their buying process and want to discover and vet opportunities without having to rely on a gatekeeper. How do you align your sales process with the buying journey of today’s franchise prospect? The ideal road map spans all industries and investment levels. To align the sales process with the buyer’s journey, you’ll need to map out what content assets you have available and what needs to be developed to keep prospects moving seamlessly through the sales process. Chapter 2 Aligning the Franchise Sales Process with the Franchise Buyer’s Journey 1 2 3 704-557-0304www.engage54/franchising
  7. 7. The Franchise Sales Process Discovery Prospects discover franchise opportunities in many different ways. Targeted marketing campaigns, franchise portals, word of mouth and online advertising are some of the means to get prospects into the top of the sales funnel. Not all lead sources are the same. Some lead sources have an element of built-in credibility. Media coverage of a brand or franchise opportunity acts as a third-party validator and starts building trust even before a prospect is fully engaged. According to leading franchise PR firm, Fishman Public Relations, “PR has stood the test of time as one of the single most powerful tools for franchise sales.” What kinds of press coverage influence a prospect? • An online feature story on a business website profiling a successful franchisee • A national TV or radio interview with a franchisor on a trending industry topic • A local business journal covering the expansion of a franchise brand into a new market • A trade magazine article focusing on a brand’s best practices in operations • Positive sentiment via blog reviews about the franchise brand’s products or services, which lends credibility to the franchise opportunity 6C H A P T E R 2 1 704-557-0304www.engage54/franchising
  8. 8. 7C H A P T E R 2 Research & Due Diligence In the beginning, prospects are self-guided in their research and discovery of a franchise opportunity. You won’t have direct contact with them at this stage. Your digital footprint — the franchising website, review sites, press coverage, social media presence and others — act as the primary sources of information as candidates compare your opportunity to others and make a mental short-list of top possibilities. At this stage, prospects want to know • Why should I choose this opportunity over others? • What makes this the right concept at the right time? • Is this opportunity profitable? • Will it be profitable in the long run? Don’t wait to cover this information on a call. Today’s buyers likely won’t consent to a conversation until they have these answers. To get this important information in front of interested parties, you should provide it in the formats and channels preferred by your target audience. Your website is the information hub and should include information that validates your segment and demonstrates consumer demand. Consider adding franchisee testimonial videos about achieving to keep prospects moving forward. In addition to your franchising site, third-party validation of your franchise opportunity can make an impact. Debra Vilchis, COO of Fishman PR*, suggests using press coverage of the brand as a third-party validator. “A franchise sales team can send prospects links to news articles about the brand on a regular basis, illustrating to the candidate that the brand is relevant and credible enough to be covered in the news.” *Learn more about the role of PR in the franchise sales process in Fishman PR’s bonus guide, “PR Tips for Franchise Sales” that follows the conclusion chapter of this e-book. 2 704-557-0304www.engage54/franchising
  9. 9. 8C H A P T E R 2 3 Qualify As much as franchise sales executives don’t like wasting time with unqualified candidates, candidates don’t want to waste their time with opportunities that aren’t a fit for them. Cut to the chase with content that helps prospects self-qualify. At this stage, prospects want to know • Do I have the skill set and experience to be successful with this opportunity? • What are the capital requirements? • Is there territory available in my area? Save yourself and the prospect time and frustration by making the basic qualifications known upfront. Provide a clear and concise overview of the financial requirements, available territories and ideal candidate profiles on the franchising site, in marketing collateral and via email. To help prospects understand who you’re looking for, provide content that features current franchisees, their backgrounds and the skills needed to be successful. Providing information about current franchisees will help prospects self-qualify and entice like-minded prospects to continue engaging with the opportunity. 704-557-0304www.engage54/franchising
  10. 10. 9C H A P T E R 2 Information Exchange If you’ve successfully kept a prospect in the sales process up to this point, it is time for the first phone call. This is NOT a sales call. You’ve come this far, don’t blow it with an impersonal sales spiel. This call is a chance for you to gather important information about the prospect. The information you uncover will play a critical role in the success of the sales process from here on out. At this stage, the franchise sales representative should ask questions about the prospect: • What are your goals and aspirations for your financial situation, lifestyle, family, etc.? • What is your background? • What skills and experience do you have? • What motivates you? • What are you passionate about? • What do you fear? The sales representative should tailor the rest of the sales process according to what they learned about the prospect. Instead of forcing a franchise buyer into a generic process where they are force fed cumbersome content and required to attend exhaustive webinars on every last detail of the franchise opportunity, franchise sales executives should leverage what they learn about the prospect’s goals and needs to create a personalized experience. Content should demonstrate how the opportunity will address the prospect’s specific goals and why they will be successful with the franchise opportunity. For example, if a prospect is looking for more work/life balance and your opportunity affords that, send them franchisee interviews talking about how their life is finally balanced, and they get to participate in the lives of their kids. 4 704-557-0304www.engage54/franchising
  11. 11. 10C H A P T E R 2 Proof of Concept The prospect really likes what they’ve learned so far about the franchise opportunity, but if they are going to feel comfortable investing their money, they need proof that the franchise model and support systems are up to par. At this stage, prospects want to know • What tools and support services are available to me as a franchisee? • Will the marketing program drive revenue? • What systems are in place that will make me feel secure? • How will you guarantee my success? (We aren’t suggesting that you make revenue claims, rather what information can you provide to make the prospect feel more secure about investing with you?) Franchise sales reps should make content available that clearly outlines the tools and support available to franchisees. Show prospects how the systems and processes contribute to the success of the franchisees. Prospects get cold feet and drop out when they don’t have confidence that they will be successful with a franchise opportunity. Help them overcome their fears and hesitation by proving to them that the model is built for winning. Franchisees can really help in this step. Point prospects to video content about the support services, marketing programs, POS technology ... whatever it is that goes into your success formula. 5 704-557-0304www.engage54/franchising
  12. 12. 11C H A P T E R 2 The Real Deal To maintain the trust needed to close a franchise deal, prospects will expect to hear the truth from you, their trusted guide. At this stage, prospects want to know • What is the franchisee-franchisor relationship like? • How long will it take me realistically to reach my goals? • Are the current franchisees happy? • What is the loan default rate? • What am I agreeing to? • What am I responsible for? • What happens if I violate the agreement? Franchisee testimonial videos, third-party franchisee surveys and conversations with like-minded franchisees can help ease fears and answer questions that would otherwise slow down the process. Provide the prospect with a guide when you send the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) to help them make sense of the overwhelming document. Review the FDD with the prospect and answer their questions to keep the sale on track. Be transparent, and don’t try to hide the realities of being a franchise owner. Face issues head on, and be prepared with content to help prospects overcome objections and concerns. 6 704-557-0304www.engage54/franchising
  13. 13. 12C H A P T E R 2 Information Exchange The final hurdle you must navigate on your way to getting a yes is the financing piece. Candidates have to figure out how they are going to make the franchise purchase happen. At this stage, prospects want to know • What are my financing options? • Where do you suggest I get financing? • Can you recommend a lender? If you want to secure the deal, it is in your best interest to support the prospect by connecting them with trusted lenders. Help them find the right option to make the deal happen. Provide a contact list of lenders. Offer resources that help the franchise owner understand what options are available. This is the last hurdle in the buying journey. Don’t drop the ball. Be helpful. Decision Most franchisors host an in-person meet and greet for qualified candidates that have the intention of buying the franchise. You need to make sure that things go smoothly. As the franchise sales representative, your job is not done until they sign on the dotted line. At this stage, prospects want to know • Do I believe that the leadership and support staff are going to contribute to my success? • Do I like the culture and the people? • Am I impressed by what I’m learning and seeing? Use content to manage the prospect’s expectations about the in-person meeting. Make sure that their experience is organized and meaningful. The last piece of content that you’ll present them with is a contract. If you’ve gotten this far, the chances are excellent that you’ve closed this deal. 7 8 704-557-0304www.engage54/franchising
  14. 14. 13C H A P T E R 3 It’s your turn to take action and build a franchise sales process that works with the way your franchise prospects buy. In the chart below, we’ve filled in the process that franchise buyer’s go through and their needs at each stage of their decision-making journey. Your job is to fill in the assets you have at your disposal. The chart will show you where your process is weak. You can use the chart to initiate the conversation about what you need to close more deals. Chapter 3 Refresh Your Franchise Sales Process By Enabling Your Sales Team FRANCHISE SALES PROCESS PROSPECT NEEDS CONTENT/ASSETS CONTENT/ASSETS NEEDED Discovery Is this opportunity interesting to me? Research & Due Diligence What is the opportunity? Qualify Is this opportunity an option for me? Information Exchange Will this opportunity help me achieve my goals? Proof of Concept How will their systems and support help me be successful? The Real Deal What is it really like to be part of this system? The Numbers Do the numbers work? Can I get financing? The Decision Do I believe in the leadership and support staff? 704-557-0304www.engage54/franchising
  15. 15. Content/Assets Note the specific content you have for each stage. Keep the prospect’s needs in mind. Content and assets could include specific pages on your franchising site, email communications, reports, FDD guide, marketing collateral, media coverage, FAQ sheets, franchisee and leadership video clips, franchisee surveys, etc. Content/Assets Needed Most franchise brands will find that they have gaps between what information a buyer wants and needs at a given stage and what content or assets are available. In the content/assets needed section, note the gaps and what materials need to be created. Instructions 14C H A P T E R 3 NEWS 704-557-0304www.engage54/franchising
  16. 16. Stop fighting franchise prospects by trying to force them into an outdated and futile process. When you transition from being a salesperson to being a trusted resource and guide, the process of selling franchises will become easy, efficient and effective. You can’t do it alone. Fight for the tools and resources you need to be successful. 54 can help. We’ll help you take an honest look at your sales process, including determining what information your prospects need and at what time, taking inventory of available assets, formats and delivery methods, and developing the content to convert prospects into franchise owners. For more information, contact Jack Burris, Burrisland jburris@engage54.com 704-557-0304 www.engage54/franchising 15C O N C L U S I O N Conclusion 704-557-0304www.engage54/franchising
  17. 17. Over the past few years, a marked shift has taken place in the franchise sales process that has triggered franchisors to put even more emphasis on PR and related content that can be found by potential franchisees. Surveys such as the Annual Franchise Development Report show that increasingly, candidates are conducting more self-directed research. They scour the Internet, looking for both positive and negative information to help educate them about their potential investment before taking the step of contacting a franchisor representative or filling out a lead form. With nearly half of franchisors reporting that lead flow comes from “the Internet,” clearly franchise candidates are seeking information to help them find concepts they connect with and believe in. The “story” they find online is almost always the result of PR efforts — or lack thereof. 16B O N U S G U I D E Bonus Guide PR Tips for Franchise Sales by Fishman Public Relations www.engage54/franchising
  18. 18. How can franchise brands leverage PR in the franchise sales process? In addition to securing media coverage, franchisors should put more focus on how to leverage the coverage with every potential franchisee. Franchisors often make the mistake of thinking of media placements as “one and done.” Sure, media placements definitely generate leads the day they appear in a media outlet, but franchisors can extend the life of the placement in a variety of ways: • Sharing it over social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest • Posting it on the franchise opportunity section of your website • Linking to the placements in your email signature for weeks or months after it comes out • Creating a video reel of placements and uploading it to YouTube, sharing the link with prospects Franchisors can utilize a feature story about a franchisee that appeared in a high-level business publication, for example, in their advertisements and promotions by mentioning or linking back to the article or video. Franchisors can also link to stories and videos in company newsletters, which can result in employees sharing the link with their social networks. A franchise sales team can send prospects links to news articles about the brand on a regular basis, illustrating to the candidate that the brand is relevant and credible enough to be covered in the news. Do you think enough brands are using PR in their franchise sales process? Many franchise brands today are doing a great job at traditional PR, but need to expand the way they define or think of public relations. We consistently see familiar faces in trade publications, business magazines and on TV, and several brands have a lock on being visible via TV, print and online news sites. However, with the ever-changing landscape of social media, there is no such thing as “doing enough.” Every day a new website, blog, video sharing app or podcast pops up. The world at large now listens to influencers, and franchise 17B O N U S G U I D Ewww.engage54/franchising
  19. 19. brands now more than ever need to leverage relationships with them. Influencers can be bloggers, celebrities or Internet sensations, as well as regular “moms” and “millennials” with large, dedicated followings across Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube or other social media networks. Some franchisors are starting to realize the need to rely on influencers to market their products and their franchise opportunities, while others are stuck solely directing their PR firms to conduct traditional media relations. A balanced mix of the two approaches is critical. Where does PR belong in the franchise sales process? PR belongs in every step of the franchise sales process — beginning, middle and end. If a franchisor is looking to expand their brand through franchisees in a new market or grow in an existing market with new franchisees, they can get the word out before a franchise sales rep gets a foot off the plane. Reach out to local business journals, daily newspapers and news radio with information on upcoming expansion, the type of franchisee you’re looking for and how many new community jobs the expansion will create. This will help generate leads and really rev up the franchise sales process. One company who has seen extreme success with this method is Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery. When Tilted Kilt decided to pair a press release announcing it was actively recruiting franchisees throughout the Midwest with proactive pitching to designated markets, the company secured several media placements highlighting its expansion. Once a franchise brand has an Interest prospect, they should be showing off their media placements every chance they get. Whether it’s a deck with the different types of local press the company has gotten when opening a new location or national coverage that has grown brand awareness countrywide, sharing the PR you have secured for your brand will help gain credibility with your prospects. 18B O N U S G U I D Ewww.engage54/franchising
  20. 20. Here are some of the best types of PR for your franchise brand to leverage with potential franchisees: • Expert Guest Articles: News outlets are often desperate for quality content from external sources. Bylined articles from outside experts on a variety of topics help publications fill that void. Franchisors and franchisees can write guest pieces about relevant industry news and topics. This helps to establish your business as being at the forefront of their industry. • Consumer Broadcast Segments: Being featured on a national morning show is like striking gold for a franchise brand. It not only gains the interest of consumers, but also creates a significant increase in traffic on your website from people looking for franchise opportunities. • Franchisee Profiles: When potential franchisees see an article about a successful existing franchisee with a compelling story, they relate to the person in the article and are inspired to take action. Franchise profile pieces are perhaps the most powerful type of PR for generating franchise leads. A prospect wants to investigate the potential of owning the same business of the franchisee that was profiled because they share the same backgrounds and beliefs. They begin to think, “that could be me.” One brand who has put a focus on franchisee profiles and seen an exceptional amount of leads flow in is Tutor Doctor. Their franchisees have been profiled in Inc., Entrepreneur and DailyWorth. • Blogs: When done properly by providing relevant content, blogging can become a lead-generating machine for a growing franchise. Blogging provides a continuous flow of content that gets your company’s name out there, while showcasing your expertise and thought leadership. When this compelling content is shared and accepted as a guest post on an influential blog, it is as powerful as a trusted third-party endorsement of the company. 19B O N U S G U I D Ewww.engage54/franchising
  21. 21. If you were to give a franchise brand three tips for using PR to sell franchises what would they be? Don’t miss a beat to show off, but PR is not always about “you.” When your company is highlighted as a top franchise opportunity for the year in a major business publication — show it off. Write and distribute a press release announcing the honor and send the release to prospective franchisees. If you have a franchisee who hit a sales record or created an initiative that is now brand wide — show it off. Direct your PR team to get on the phone and/or email reporters to pitch that franchisee to media in his or her local market and to national and trade publications. If you have a campaign that receives a slew of media attention, retweets or Facebook likes, share it on every one of your social media channels. There is no time to be humble when using PR to sell franchises. At the same time, it’s not always just about “bragging” about your own brand. Help establish your brand as a thought leader by having your executives weigh in on important and newsworthy issues being discussed in the media. Doing so will lend credibility to the general public and prospective franchisees. Stay relevant, take risks and don’t be afraid of the unknown. In the realm of public relations, there will always be an unknown. Things are always changing, but if you stay on top of the changes you will be ahead of the game. Having your brand’s name in the media already provides you with credibility. But showing that potential franchisee that your brand is also going after coverage through new media advances you ahead of your competitors. Dive into social media, bloggers and influencers. If you see someone talking about your franchise opportunity on Twitter or Facebook, engage with them. Spark a conversation. There are hundreds of business bloggers who want to hear about your business model. 20B O N U S G U I D E 1 2 www.engage54/franchising
  22. 22. Hire professionals. Most franchisors, including emerging, mid-size and established brands, will have somebody on their team with a marketing or advertising background and some PR knowledge, but usually this position includes multiple responsibilities that prevents the individual from dedicating the necessary time to generate consistent PR results for a brand. That’s why most brands choose to utilize their marketing director to manage an outside PR agency. A PR firm knows what types of angles will appeal to the media and knows how and when to communicate with journalists. Because agencies work with media all the time, they have established relationships. Agencies also invest in tools such as vast media databases and media monitoring platforms that brands typically do not have. Mainly, building relationships with media requires a vigorous outreach and follow-up process that franchisors simply don’t have time for. 21B O N U S G U I D E 3 For more information, contact: Brad Fishman bfish@fishmanpr.com 847.945.1300 www.engage54/franchising

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