Chances are this sounds familiar:
Your franchise sales team decides to email all members of a list provided to you by your franchise development marketing department. The list contains people who have downloaded a free report on what it takes to be a successful owner of your franchise opportunity. Sounds good, right? It would, but the list of people is comprised of top-of-funnel leads and your sales team wants to schedule calls with them to discuss numbers.
The emails get little to no response. Why? Because the list was full of people who were just in the “looking around” stage. They were nowhere near ready to discuss numbers.
Separate Marketing and Sales
Your sales and marketing departments aren’t aligned. They are working separately, not together. There’s a huge disconnect!
When it comes to a successful franchise marketing strategy, your sales and marketing teams need to have not only the same goal – finding and closing leads – but the same understanding of what it takes to accomplish that goal. After all, your sales department knows who they need to target and your franchise development marketing department knows how to target them. If the two work together, they’re unstoppable.
With increased franchise sales as the result.
A short description of the difference between sales and marketing: sales wants to close, marketing wants to inform. Because the purchase of a franchise is a life-changing decision, your prospects are going to need a lot of information and to get answers to their questions before a salesperson ever comes into the picture.
How to Align Marketing and Sales
Aside from locking them in a conference room with the orders to “work things out,” how about this: let your sales team tell your marketing department all about their perfect prospects. Details. Numbers. Data. Who buys. Who just looks.
Then, allow your marketing department to generate the type of content your best sales prospects wanted/used. In other words, let marketing create information that will pique the interest of leads.
Do so by:
- Streamlining collaboration processes (cloud storage, for example, to which members of both teams have access).
- Creating terminology and processes aligned to both departments’ needs. For example, “lead” and “prospect” often mean different things to members of each team.
- Helping them spend time together. Shared retreats, conferences, seminars, etc. are a good idea.
- Educating both teams on the whole sales process.
- Most importantly, creating common goals. Ask them to meet regularly to set marketing and sales goals together.
Here’s a fun idea: You provide commission/bonuses to sales people when they close a sale. Why not create a commission/reward system/bonuses for your marketing team for the number of sales-qualified leads they present to your sales department? Make sure to announce numbers and winners during regular joint meetings of the two teams.
Customers Always Come First
Remember, it’s all about your customers, not your sales. Not your marketing.
Make sure the sales department knows that your franchise marketing strategy is designed to provide information that then generates leads. Let your marketing department know that providing information is wonderful, but they’re also going to have to create marketing information that impels a prospect to take action: download an ebook, request the Franchise Disclosure Document and, perhaps finally, ask to speak to someone about financing/purchasing the franchise.
Want to learn more about franchise development marketing? Contact Jeff Hays, our director of client services, and set up a one-on-one discussion of the difference between sales and marketing and how to help the two departments understand and work with one another better.
If you prefer, you can contact us any time.