At Authority Brands, our marketing team supports more than just our 10 consumer brands. We also have dedicated teams serving Franchise Development, our software brand Successware, and our group purchasing department, BuyMax.
These three departments within Authority Brands have one significant characteristic in common – they have large sales teams to help us continue to grow in these areas. With that comes a separate responsibility for the marketing team – sales team enablement.
For the sake of simplicity, we’ll focus today on marketing’s role in one of the most critical sales functions in franchising - enabling the franchise development team in supporting candidates through the validation process. Bringing new franchisees into our family of brands brings more energy and fresh perspective to the table – and finding candidates that are a mutual match for our brands is one of the main ways we grow our brands over time.
What is sales team enablement? Think of every step in a sales process, from initial contact with a candidate until that new franchisee signs their agreements. Sales team enablement literally is giving the sales team all the resources they need to be more successful in their roles – with the ultimate goal being to close more deals. As you know, investing in a franchise is one of the biggest decisions of someone’s life and an emotional one as well as financial. Our role as marketers is to tell compelling stories that enable those potential franchise owners to connect with our brands in a meaningful way.
Those stories come in so many different forms, from video content that showcases training facilities and introduces operations staff to collateral and press clippings highlighting successful franchisees within the brand. The marketing team can help showcase the great work both our corporate teams are doing to advance the brands and the existing franchisees who have built successful businesses within the system.
There are two main areas for the marketing team to focus on:
1. New Franchisee Pipeline Stages
As candidates start to engage with the sales team, each of our ten brands has a cadence of communications, calls, webinars and other content dissemination forums to help educate candidates on the brand they are investigating.
Some forms of content are quicker and easier for a marketing team to produce, like email content. Others, like video, may be a part of the pipeline that you add over time based on budget and capacity. Don’t forget Discovery Day // Meet Your Team Day content. That also, while often driven by another department like operations, is still part of the sales process.
2. Resource Library for Sales.
Each potential franchisee has a different background and their own concerns about going in to business for themselves. As marketing and sales work together to identify common threads between each unique candidate, they can together develop first, a wish list, then, a resource library, of different material the sales team can leverage based on each candidate’s unique situation. Being able to show a potential franchisee someone who’s walked a similar path and has succeeded within the system is invaluable.
In both categories, this isn’t a static process! Content creation should be ongoing. Over time, your sales process and pipeline will change. COVID was a great example of how brands shifted to accommodate an all-digital franchise sales process, with little to no in-person interaction with candidates. It also highlighted the ability of home services brands to position as “essential” – a term that prior to 2020, wasn’t top of mind for anyone!
In addition, it’s critical that sales and marketing work together to identify what’s resonating with candidates. Neither can work in a vacuum, both teams must collaborate in order to be the most effective team possible.