Your sales team is an asset. You invest time and money in making them effective. But are you really supporting them to be as profitable as possible?
Let’s assume you don’t have lazy, ineffective sales people who can’t string two words together because you were so desperate to fill a vacancy. By asset, I mean the guys that consistently score business for your publishing company.
How easy do you make their lives? How easy can you make their lives? Not only are they trying to sell print advertising and some digital products, but you will soon be expecting them to sell solutions that will probably include programmatic advertising, unless you are going for a standalone digital sales team.
Even then, how easy is it for those guys?
Advertising products are going to become more targeted, and targeting means data, conversion tracking, RTB, analytics, campaign optimisation, reporting, and everything else that goes along with selling super effective online ad campaigns.
You have a challenge (another one) ahead of you. How do you take a potentially complicated sell to market in the simplest way possible?
You need to consider not only the sales knowledge, but the process.
Identifying the customer need is the start of a slightly longer journey than usual. You’re talking about budgets rather than a ratecard of options. You need to identify and estimate audience segments, drop pixels in the right places for the right reasons, gather multiple creative assets, create proposals, and close deals – with SMEs.
And then, the sales person has to tell someone about it so that they can deliver it. How many additional steps is that?
All that happens before the optimisation and campaign reporting even starts, which you hope will lead to a conversation about a renewal. This may be even more complicated than the first campaign and may take more time.
What is the job of the sales person? It’s to make sales, but how will you manage to keep them from getting wrapped up in campaign planning and administration?
Hopefully, you will have a robust booking engine and developers that work with APIs with their eyes closed, so that, before you go in to targeted display advertising delivered programmatically, at scale, your delivery process will be simple.