How the Sacramento Bee turned data into sales


Back in March, I wrote about using your local market data to find sales opportunities (“Sales opportunities? Look to your data to find opportunity and direction”).

My example was the financial services category, a category we have not seen much business from lately. Roberta Klepser, one of our national account representatives, took the information/presentation and lead list and went to town.

One of our senior analysts, Frank Wofford, combined local consumer investments data and our product connections from Scarborough with the Borrell media spending trends on that category to create the foundation talking points from which Roberta created “her story.”

Roberta started calling on financial services businesses to inform them about these local consumer trends and media trends and to propose a digital-first advertising package.

Results: I am happy to report Roberta sold US$50,000 worth of new business, persuading five brand new (inactive) business partners to take advantage of our digital-first packages.

The success Roberta has had comes from an account manager doing her homework, preparing her information and approach, developing a compelling story, and selling it with confidence.

This approach can deliver because it uses basic principles that work:

  • Data.

  • Organised proposal.

  • Good storytelling.

  • Delivered by a representative who is confident.

The last two bullet points are key. Reps must be confident in what we offer. Our market-leading portfolios will drive results for the local business. And that confidence will translate into appointments and sales.

We have great products, arguably the best digital portfolio in our local markets … yet we suffer from a perception of still being “just the newspaper.” While I personally look at “still being the newspaper” as a positive, too many businesses still do not perceive us as digital experts.

That is simply wrong.

Our sales staff has not only the best digital product portfolio, but is constantly undergoing training to stay in the forefront of this fast-changing business environment.

Moral: Train, support with facts, instill confidence, and go out and educate businesses on what we really have, what we can really do, and who we really are. We have so much to offer!

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