As a sales manager, one of your most critical initiatives is ensuring your sellers consistently engage in sales best practices. It’s a big bucket of workflows, processes, strategies and approaches. They also change and evolve as the market does. Thus, keeping up with them can quickly become burdensome and overwhelming. It’s easy for these things to stay inside sellers’ heads rather than being in a living document.

So, how can you turn this challenge into an advantage? We’ve gathered insights to help you with this problem that may directly impact performance.

What Sales Best Practices Need Documentation?

You will have multiple processes in selling media, whether linear or third-party digital. Some are more about the transaction aspect. For example, with TV, sellers need to know about real-time avails and rates before submitting a proposal that could become an order. Those processes need definition to ensure consistency and efficiency. However, you’re often limited by the technology you use and its capabilities to deliver this data.

Beyond the workflows of selling, there are many more elements to document and define. Those would include:

  • Prospecting strategies that are general or industry specific
  • Valid business reason (VBR) tips
  • Consistency in how you explain ad tactics, which is especially beneficial for digital
  • How you’ll approach reviewing campaign performance with advertisers
  • How to create the right mix of ad options to achieve specific advertiser goals
  • Specific insights about your market that sellers can use in prospecting and pitching
  • Sales plays for any aspect of the process, from getting an appointment to overcoming common objections

Many of these components fall into intelligence that your sellers have in their heads. You may talk about this in your sales meetings or one-on-one conversations. However, most of this institutional knowledge leaves if a seller does. If you can work toward a strategy to document it, your sellers could improve performance.

Well-Defined Sales Best Practices Offer Many Benefits

Well-defined and documented sales best practices provide many benefits for your team. They create a framework for sellers to take what the station knows works and combine that with their own style. This consistency helps your organization build trust and credibility. At the individual level, sellers who leverage best practices demonstrate their value as a local media resource, not simply a salesperson.

As a result, win rates and the size of deals could increase. For example, when sellers use a documented process for developing ad mixes to achieve a client goal, they propose an integrated campaign of linear and digital and can address the budget proportions. Some sellers hesitate to recommend budgets because they don’t want to scare an advertiser. The reality is that most businesses will increase their spending when they know it can tie to results.

Another example relates to renewals. Renewals depend on the relationship but also on performance. When sellers follow best practices for delivering campaign results, both with transparent and easy-to-understand reporting plus context and analysis, advertisers will stay loyal.

So, how do you get all this knowledge into a central hub?

Capturing Seller Knowledge

The first step in documenting best practices starts with making it a priority. If you, as their leader, say it’s important, they should recognize that it is. There may be pushback, with complaints about the time it will take. Any great initiative requires an investment, and this is no different. There are ways to simplify it by:

  • Making it part of your regular meetings
  • Assigning a point person to manage the flow of information
  • Ensuring there is accountability if some sellers don’t participate
  • Advising that this exercise could boost revenue for the station (You can know if it does by measuring seller performance after you have documentation in their hands.)

Best Practices Plus Training Equals a High-Success Sales Culture

Building this repository, coupled with ongoing training for sellers, cultivates a sales culture that’s positive, supportive and enabling. As a result, your retention rates may increase, which is more good news for the organization and revenue.

Get more insights on fostering the right sales culture by reading our e-book, Building a High-Success Sales Culture: What Media Sales Leaders Need to Empower and Support Teams.

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