Part of maintaining your excellence as an established franchise is offering a robust support package to assist your franchisees. As market trends continue to move to digital, so do the requirements of your support package to enable your franchisees continued success. This is especially true in the world of B2B, where securing the value of a long-term client relationship often involves a significant investment of time and multiple touch points. Here, Leila Him, Senior Business Development Executive at cost management specialists ERA, details how the rollout of one of their latest initiatives – the Power Assist Programme – is now showing results for their franchise network.
We have seen in the last two years that LinkedIn has made a big difference in our outreach. The business world is evolving to become more and more digital, and the traditional methods of securing clients are still effective, but they need bolstering with new initiatives. Many people are not in offices anymore and therefore, outreach for decision makers has permanently changed. The Power Assist Programme aims to start business conversations with the 61 million decision makers on LinkedIn, with 40% of them using the platform daily.
For 75% of B2B companies, it takes an average of at least four months to win a new customer1. So, finding ways to generate more leads for our network is vital. The Power Assist Programme is a bespoke sales and marketing service that helps with this endeavour. The main aim is to increase brand visibility and, as a result, start conversations with decision makers. The programme acts as a touchpoint to support traditional client relationship management (CRM) methods as it gives our target audience a stronger visibility of our brand. We then tend to cater to individual franchisee’s needs having weekly catchups on activity, so we can agree on the next steps to take.
Since we launched the programme in June 2020, we have achieved over 16,000 connections with decision makers, over 800 conversations and over 220 first meetings with potential clients. This matters to us as data shows that nine out of 10 B2B buyers say online content has a moderate to a significant effect on their purchasing decisions2. Therefore, having an online presence is vital in modern B2B selling. In the UK, we’re trialling the system with a pilot group of six established franchisees. It has led to franchisees who did not consider social selling as an option gaining clients that they would not have accessed through traditional CRM methods. What I find particularly impactful about the system is that it supports franchisees who are very busy with client work to carry on pursuing new clients. Our job, simply put, is to help keep the marketing funnel full for the franchisees in our network.
Chris Foster has recently joined ERA and the support of initiatives including the Power Assist Programme was one of his main reasons for choosing the global cost management specialists, “A powerful support package was one of the key areas I looked into when evaluating prospective franchises. One of the main benefits of joining an established franchise is the network that you connect with to assist you with your business ambitions. Hearing from Leila about the range of support available gave me great confidence in the credibility of the ERA offering. This combined with the broad marketing collateral which is built around customer testimonials, giving credible social proof, provides the foundation for the programme. The world of B2B is always evolving and as digital communication becomes more prevalent, it’s really important to have the right framework in place so you can start conversations and access the right decision makers.”
If you’re starting a B2B-focused business, then the investment required to keep on top of the digital marketing to win high-value clients is astronomical. So, partnering with a reputable B2B franchise instead will allow you to focus on your service, whilst also getting support in lead generation from an established network. The way that you access decision makers is changing and therefore the reach of a franchise, who have expertise in your sector is an extremely valuable tool as you grow your business. Due to this, offering an evolving support package as a B2B franchisor has never been more critical as it highlights the incredible value of your network for prospective franchisees evaluating your business offering.
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1 Hubspot, 2020, B2B Sales Length
2 CMO, 2021, B2B Report