When I was younger, I had an older cousin who served in Vietnam. Thankfully, he came home safe. When he returned, we would talk about his combat experiences during his tour and what it was like for him. He recalled being in combat and hearing all of the bullets flying around and the loud sounds of war. One of the most memorable things he told me was that it was always the bullet you don’t hear that can get you.
I have reflected on what my cousin Mark shared with me many times, and have applied it to my less lethal career of selling media and managing media sales organizations. In media sales or sales management today, it’s the information we don’t have visibility on, or information we don’t pay attention to, that can hurt us.
Let’s think about a few areas we need to monitor and know about our sales operations to avoid negative consequences and to be able to consistently achieve sales growth.
- What are your largest and most important accounts? Do you know who they are? Have you quantified them on a regular basis? How much revenue do you derive from them? Apply the 80/20 rule of Pareto and find out. Then, make sure you offer those accounts a higher level of focus, marketing expertise, and problem solving capabilities. Job One is to protect the most influential businesses in your revenue streams.
- Your second mission is to attack attrition. Every seller has some, but it is essential to quantify how big a hole you have in your bucket and to create strategies to reduce the leak. If the bucket is leaky, all the revenue you put in the top as new business or account growth doesn’t have as great an impact as it should because you are losing too much out of the bottom. Know where and why your attrition is happening. Quantify the percentage both of total non-returning accounts and accounts that are still on but spending less. Then figure out a customer-focused solution that allows you to produce solutions and ROI for these accounts.
- For today, the last topic is the pipeline. Do you have enough in pending opportunities to get you to and above goal, given your average closing percentage? The job of any seller or manager is to put demand on the station’s inventory through matching station capability to client need. Are you doing enough of this, and is your reporting of pending accurate enough that you can take it to the bank.
These are just three examples of information you need to have a confident grasp of to be a successful sales rep or manager in the media space today. A quality industry-specific CRM and analytics solution created especially for media sales, such as Efficio or one of the others out there in the media software space, can give you a tool that will easily and quickly give you answers to all three of the information subjects I talked about above. Make sure you have a clear view of the most dangerous bullets in your world every day and you won’t have to duck for cover!
Recently, Efficio Sales Manager Chris Crawford was interviewed for a podcast about the evolution of the media industry and the most common questions that he receives regarding Efficio. Listen to the podcast!