Why B2B Franchises Need to Leave Status Quo Proposal Processes Behind
Sponsored content by Proposify.
Sometimes the status quo is a good thing. It can mean your franchise is using proven processes instead of reinventing the wheel.
But other times, opting for the status quo can be a major revenue killer. The methods and tools that got you here aren’t always the ones that will take you there.
Here’s how most B2B franchises describe their status quo proposal process:
What are they using that makes them feel this way?
For the most part, it’s the usual status quo suspects: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, InDesign, or maybe even just a plain-text email via Outlook.
When you break down how these tools stack up in the areas that are most important to sales and marketing pros, you can see why people are frustrated:
Does this sound like your proposal process?
- Franchisees all using different tools to create and send sales documents
- Difficulty editing and updating proposals
- Inconsistency with content, branding, and pricing
- Lack of visibility into current deals and success rates
If so, you’re probably also dealing with these issues:
- Poor buyer experience - Potential customers aren’t getting the best possible buying experience and this can influence how they imagine working with you.
- No control over proposal creation - You can’t quickly deploy new content or troubleshoot issues.
- Inability to test and optimize - Without data, you can’t optimize proposal content or processes and you don’t know what your best franchisees are doing vs. your low performers.
- Low closing rates - All of these issues contribute to low closing rates and lost revenue.
5 things B2B franchises need to succeed in their proposal process
1. Proposal software with franchise-ready account structures
Unlike standard document creation software, you need a platform that’s designed for franchises and supports any type of organizational structure, including different regions, brands, multi-unit owners, etc.
2. Control over proposal content
You need control over what franchisees can send to their prospects while still allowing them to customize certain sections for their specific region and deals. You should be able to easily deploy updates whenever a new service or offering is launched.
There are three main ways you can use proposal software to gain control over content:
- Provide branded, company-approved templates.
- Create a proposal content library with different snippets that can be mixed and matched, like industry-specific pitches, different service/product explanations, and relevant case studies.
- Set up internal approval workflows so that costly errors or inconsistencies are caught before going out to potential customers.
3. Brand consistency
Just like you wouldn’t give franchisees marketing assets that didn’t match your brand, you also wouldn’t deliver sales materials that weren’t aligned.
Proposals should be consistent across a variety of elements. Not just what your proposals look like in terms of colors and fonts, but also what franchisees are sending and the format used to present service or product details.
4. Visibility into active proposals
What’s being sent? What do prospects have to say?
Which proposals closed? Which are still open?
You need visibility. Without it, you won’t know what’s going on, let alone how to help franchisees who are struggling.
But when you gain visibility into active proposals, a whole wealth of opportunities open up.
At the franchisor level, you gain insights into the current pipeline and better forecast your cash flow. You can also peek into important deals, troubleshoot any detected issues, and support franchisees.
Meanwhile, sellers are able to keep tabs on how prospects are interacting with proposals so they can be nurtured to a close.
5. Proposal viewing and closing metrics
And lastly, you’re going to want proposal analytics.
You can track viewing and closing metrics for…
- Franchise locations
- Service categories
- Individual prospects
You can determine average closing rates and provide these as a benchmark for franchisees that are struggling. You can also train and upskill the owners that need more support.
You can also gain visibility into which pages have the longest viewing times. Use those insights to optimize your content, create new variations, and test how they affect your closing rates.
Proposal software built for franchises
Let’s look at that graph comparing the status quo tools again, this time with proposal software added in:
Proposify is online proposal software for franchises, providing franchisors and franchisees with the consistency, control, and visibility they need to grow their business.