The increase in local media competition has created a host of competitive and economic challenges for traditional media organizations. These challenges are compounded by steep declines in both revenues and customers and organizational cost cutting to reduce declining margins.
What can be done to offset these situations? Media companies have been engaging in what is regularly termed, "sales transformation." What is this "transformation" about and can a company really “transform”?
In the report, "Sales Transformation:
Building a Sustainable Model," BIA/Kelsey
analyzes the rapid changes that have taken
place in the digital media sales environment
and offers insights into six respected media
companies whose sales operations have undergone
some degree of change. Their experiences offer
best practice examples for similar local media
companies looking to advance their own sales
for report TOC.)
"BIA/Kelsey's Sales Transformation report is a durable "working document" that has given our management team specific concepts and case studies that bring structure and clear definitions to a topic that can easily become unwieldy and lack clarity. It's become an active reference document that we refer back to frequently."
- Tim Murphy, VP Digital Strategy & Enterprise Platforms, Entercom
The report, Sales Transformation: Building a Sustainable Model, analyzes the rapid changes that have taken place in the digital media sales environment and offers insights into how companies have taken on the sales transformation challenge.
Identifying several common denominators for beneficial transformation -including emphasis on customer metrics rather than revenue- the report reveals that each of the common traits is truly unique to the culture of the company and demands organizational transformation from top to bottom.
Key takeaways from the report include:
Sales transformation and organizational transformation are difficult, if not impossible, to separate.
Companies that are making progress selling digital to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) tend to share common traits, which include thoughtful segmentation of sales channels, innovation around training, and a focus on driving the business on customer-centric key performance indicators (KPIs).
Execution is the often-overlooked component of transformation. It is much easier to transform a sales organization that sells products that deliver a strong ROI, and is supported by efficient fulfillment and a strong customer service team.
"The current local media sales environment bears little resemblance to what it was even a decade ago, straining traditional sales models and requiring change beyond simply adding new products, revamping training, or claiming to have been transformed. Although our study illustrates there is no single magic template to transform sales within an organization, we've identified several common denominators that become unique to the culture of the company and demands organizational transformation from top to bottom."
- Charles Laughlin, report author, senior vice president and managing editor, BIA/Kelsey
Click the video above to hear Charles Laughlin, report author, SVP and managing editor, BIA/Kelsey, discuss the top takeaways from the report with Tom Buono, BIA/Kelsey, CEO.
This 40-plus page report offers a series of best practices and a "Digital Sales Transformation Playbook" that details areas most important to evaluate when considering transformation (e.g., culture, compensation, transformation, focus, KPIs, sales force development, product portfolio, execution and more).
The companies examined share a common focus on small and medium-size business advertisers. They include directory publishers, newspapers, verticals and local SEM/SEO pure plays, all of which provided exclusive access to BIA/Kelsey.
The report also features numerous charts and figures, including data from BIA/Kelsey's Local Commerce Monitor study. Among the trends highlighted is the finding that the number of media used by small-business advertisers to promote their businesses has nearly doubled since 2007, from 3.0 to 5.8.