As the industry fights to maintain and build revenues, sales staff is increasingly expected to know more about, and sell more of, a portfolio of products.

Sales today is not selling a product or two.

Today, the account manager’s world is one of options — options that can be moulded into a proposal once the business goals and opportunities are clearly understood.

But for some, these options can overwhelm. And a large portfolio can certainly overwhelm and confuse a business owner. So the role of the salesperson is to develop a proposed marketing plan that establishes a marketing path based on logical, factual decision-making.

The part of sales that I believe hasn’t changed is where the battle is ultimately won or lost: presenting yourself as the expert consultant; telling your story better than the competition; making the compelling, logical argument that makes good business sense.

It’s sometimes easier said than done.

Easy-to-use, easy-to-speak-to collateral can be a very helpful sales aid when the salesperson engages a decision-maker or a new business owner — and has but a few minutes to establish himself worthy of more time.

As we work to help the salesperson sell audiences, not products, it is essential that he/she tells their story efficiently in the field.

We are working on designing new collateral pieces that help illustrate and exchange the kind of targeted audience data that retailers want to buy today.

Below is a simple, four-page brochure The Sacramento Bee developed to help a salesperson demonstrate how we can find and deliver to a client’s most important audience segments in the marketplace. (Credit where credit is due: Our version is a localised design originating from our sister paper, The Miami Herald. I liked what they did and just recreated a version that worked for us.)

The brochure is also available as a flipbook online for use on a laptop, tablet, or smartphone in the field.  (Follow the link, and then on the Consumer Research tile.)

Interactive elements allow the rep to quickly link to and demonstrate certain product opportunities. The audience grid on Page 3 is based on Prizm Life Stage segments and profiles all of our main delivery channels by the type of consumer using a particular channel. The back page is a conceptual rendering of a new view on a consumer funnel.

We hope it proves to be a useful and directional sales aid for a rep to use. We hope it’s a conversation starter that also explains who we are, what we offer, and how we’re a great business partner that delivers the audience that ensures business growth.

So, a little back to basics with a technical twist. It’s still about simply producing the best local market results for our clients.

Confidence and focus can breed success.