Franchisee proposal mistakes when it comes to branding
What’s really going on?
Common proposal mistakes your franchisees may be making on a daily basis:
Off-brand voice - If the proposal is using a tone of voice that doesn’t sound like the rest of your brand, buyers will be put off. They’ll be expecting the proposal to be in line with your marketing materials, which likely brought them to you in the first since it resonated with them.
Randomly-selected selling propositions - Sellers might pull together proposals with the service details and unique selling propositions that they think are important—and these choices aren’t informed by top-down strategy or customer research.
Off-brand colors, fonts, images, etc. - Sellers might use visual elements that are close to your brand guidelines, but not quite right. Astute buyers will notice these discrepancies and consider the buying experience unprofessional. This could influence their decision away from your company.
Inaccurate service details - Whether it’s your materials, approach, philosophy, process, or pricing structure, any inaccuracies or errors in proposal content can negatively impact closing rates and your brand.
Old-school or clunky proposal format - If your reps are prone to sending ugly “wall-o-text” Microsoft Word contracts, your brand won’t come across as modern or compelling, which can cause prospective customers to doubt your services or be more open to a competitor’s more attractive pitch.
The 3 Vs of on-brand proposals
Use this simple framework when auditing franchisees’ proposals for brand consistency.
1. VOICE: Make sure proposals sound like your brand
The language and tone of voice your company uses is critically important—especially in B2B.
“Join 30K users who #lovelavender. One even got a tattoo.” - Lavender
“Experience AI-powered selling.” - Outreach
One isn’t necessarily wrong and the other right. It all depends on who you’re selling to…young people just starting their career, executives who need to align themselves with CEO goals, business owners?
Franchise brand managers have put a lot of research and strategy into the brand voice in order to tailor it to your target buyers, but if sellers aren’t using it, it’s all for naught.
2. VALUE: Lead with what matters to prospects
Even if the sales process has thoroughly covered service details, differentiators, and social proof, it’s still essential to cover these things in the proposal.
Sellers need to remind prospective customers why they should choose your brand and arm them with the materials they need to convince other members of the buying team.
Make sure the proposals are consistent in terms of:
What unique aspects of your services are being highlighted
How services are described
The way that sellers appeal to specific industries or prospect needs
How common objections are proactively addressed
3. VISUALS: Provide a consistent brand experience
Visuals have a big impact on proposal performance. Done right, they can leave prospects impressed with the presentation and ready to move forward. Done wrong, visual elements can highlight a lack of attention to detail, create confusion, and put the buyer’s guard up.
Give franchisees the assets and resources they need to be successful.
Here are some elements to pay attention to when it comes to on-brand visuals:
Document color scheme
Brand or stock photo filters, saturation, and style
Quality of portfolio pictures
Whether or not photos change based on the buyer’s industry
Logo size and alignment
Project timeline infographics
Pricing table formatting
3 essential truths about the power of branding
We’ve dug into some research to show you just how crucial it is.
1. Buyers resonate with brands
Branding is so important to B2B buyers that it drives their decision-making 39% of the time. Compare that to 34% who say they’re driven by features and 27% who are driven by price and you can see just how critical branding really is.
2. Buyers appreciate familiarity
Consistent branding has the power to increase revenue by 33%.
Two-thirds of companies report that the consistent presentation of their brand has contributed to revenue gains totaling at least 10%.
When brands offer a familiar experience, they put buyers at ease and call forward the essential feelings and concepts the brand is designed to evoke, like trustworthiness, innovation, or reliability.
3. Buyers say “yes” to visually appealing proposals
Visuals help make your proposals more interesting and engaging, keeping buyers’ attention and ensuring that they read your pitch in full. Visually appealing proposals are also well formatted, making it easy for prospects to understand your timelines, deliverables, fees, etc.
We researched over 1 million proposals sent with our software. The data shows that this is what buyers want:
Images - 82% of won proposals included images, and 66% of won proposals have at least 3 images.
Videos - You can increase your proposal closing rates by 103% by embedding a video. Add professional, branded cinematography to your proposal template, or teach franchisees how to record short and sweet proposal introduction videos.
Fee Tables - Pricing tables that allow clients to select the options they want can increase closing rates by 36%.
Why a great sales experience should also be part of your brand
Let’s not forget that your brand is about more than your logo. If franchisee sales reps take too long to deliver a proposal or if they send a proposal in a format that is difficult to review and sign, this also harms your brand.
The better the buying experience, the more deals franchisees will close.
So make sure you’re not just fixing proposal content. You also need to address when proposals are sent, how proposals are sent, and what tools prospects have at their disposal during the review process to help them make a decision.
To create a strong brand, you’ll want to deliver proposal content as soon as possible (this is where templates come in handy).
Prospects should be able to view proposals online, easily add comments, accept the pitch with a legally binding e-signature, and make a deposit payment—all in one seamless workflow.
How to gain brand consistency with proposal software designed for franchises
You can gain complete control over what sales reps are sending and start presenting your brand consistently.
The solution is proposal software that’s fully equipped for franchise use.
These key features help you take control of proposals across all franchise units and drive brand consistency:
Proposal templates - Create on-brand proposal templates with great cover letters, service descriptions, case studies, deliverables, pricing tables, and more.
Reusable content library - Develop mix-and-match proposal snippets that sellers can use to easily pull together an on-brand proposal catered to their specific market and prospect.
Franchise-specific account structure - Set up your proposal software so it truly matches your franchise. Make sure that all franchisee sales reps have the right assets and all owners can control proposals and review results.
Internal approval workflows - Create internal review processes so that sellers have to get sign-off from the franchise owner or head of sales before being permitted to deliver a proposal to a potential customer. You can recommend approval workflows to franchisee owners and teach them how to set them up themselves.
Easy prospect reviews and revisions - Let buyers open up, review, comment on, and sign proposals online without having to download attachments. Make it easy for sellers to update and revise proposals according to buyer comments, so that the selling process doesn’t get bogged down or stalled.
Proposal analytics - Choose proposal software with extensive analytics so you can see how prospects are interacting with your sales documents, how they are performing, and then optimize the content and process accordingly.
Want to dive even deeper into franchise proposals? Learn how to take proposals out of the black box and gain visibility into active deals, average closing rates, and more.