I caught a recent webinar from BIA/Kelsey and the Local Media Association that broke down the key success factors for local media sales organizations transitioning to digital. A few things stood out from the session — the importance of collecting data and letting it guide your sales process, and using robust tools like BuzzBoard to create successful sales interactions with SMBs.
BIA/Kelsey interviewed a number of local sellers, including newspapers, Yellow Pages publishers, pure plays and digital agencies, and boiled success down to four key drivers.
- Leadership Commits — Beyond Lip Service. We’d agree that transformation won’t happen without meaningful buy in from leadership. This commitment takes many forms, but it has to go beyond words — through structural change, training, incentives and investment. And leaders need to demonstrate mastery of the new products, services and platforms it asks its people to sell.
- They Don’t Let Underperformers Stick Around. Sales is about accountability and change requires having the right people in place. In sales, C players rarely become A players and transformation requires urgency. Have a process for evaluating people and replacing them quickly if it’s clear they won’t meet their goals.
- They Gather Data — And Listen to What It Tells Them. Sales as a science is a growing theme, particularly among newer pure plays selling digital marketing solutions. BIA/Kelsey cited Main Street Hub, which sells marketing services to SMBs. Main Street isolated dials per day as the single metric most closely associated with a high close rate. From this insight, dials per day became the key metric Main Street used to measure its inside sales reps, thus reinforcing the KPI that brings in the most cash. Without data, isolating KPIs is mostly guesswork.
- They Use Robust Tools. BIA/Kelsey noted that successful digital sellers also tend to use some kind of robust sales prep tool to facilitate smart and efficient sales interactions, whether it’s BuzzBoard or something built internally.
While hardly a complete list, we generally agree that these factors are all important elements of successful sales transformation. If you want to check out the webinar on Local Media Sales Transformation, be sure to visit the LMA archive.