Are Your Salespeople Ready to Sell Integrated Proposals?
Everyone involved in creating media is affected by major changes in the methods of delivering content to readers. In turn, the demands of today's buyers have changed, which can be a serious challenge for any publisher whose salespeople fail to respond to those changes.
In our arena of the advertising sales space, most agency RFPs submitted to publishers now routinely request proposals that integrate various media products. Many salespeople learned their craft by selling one or two products. But now buyers often want multi-platform, multi-product, integrated marketing solutions, and significant revenue can be lost by salespeople not equipped to create and sell them. Magazine salespeople must be able to sell everything from a brand's traditional print products to digital and mobile products, webinars, events, native advertising, branded content, and more.
To better understand how this current situation affects the buying process, my company partnered with Kantar SRDS in October 2013 to conduct a study of media planners and buyers from all types and sizes of advertising agencies. Respondents to the survey reported that, on average, they work on four clients and five brands.
We found that 84% have digital media responsibilities along with responsibilities for one or more other media types. 61% of respondents said they are responsible for six or more media types and almost all (94%) are responsible for planning across three or more media types.
Buyers are simply too busy to meet with several different sellers from the same media brand, so today's ad salespeople are increasingly responsible for presenting all the offerings of their brands. However, the sellers' knowledge will probably be stronger in some areas, weaker in others. Thus the question for sales management is, how do you hire the right people and prepare them for today's sales environment?
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