The advertising landscape is and will always be dynamic and ever-changing. That’s the result of technology, more tactics, consumer behaviors and the drive to be more profitable. Local media companies are weathering these changes by evolving their local media sales model.

If your model looks the same as it did five years ago or even last year, it’s time to rethink and revamp it. This change involves many moving parts — technology implementation, strategy, upskilling sellers and cultural shifts.

In this post, we’ll explore why evolution is necessary and how it will drive your success.

Does Your Local Media Sales Model Align with Your Goals?

The first question to ask is how your sales model complements your goals. Are you striving to grow digital advertising revenue? Do you want your salespeople to propose linear and digital consistently? Are you planning to add more tactics for advertisers?

Whatever your objectives are, your sales model should support them. There is bright news ahead for local ad spending in 2024. BIA Advisory Services projects an 8.6% increase in 2024. To win these dollars in traditional and digital, you’ll want to evaluate how your model will help you do so.

Is Your Sales Strategy Keeping Up with Changes?

A sales strategy is fluid, with internal and external factors impacting it. You have to respond to the market and have an approach that considers what advertisers need and how sellers can deliver on these expectations. There are a few areas of strategy to assess in evolving:

  • Helping, not selling, in your approach: Local businesses are looking for a partner who is knowledgeable and can guide them to reach their advertising goals. Leading with data, ideas and answers to questions is a more collaborative way to sell.
  • Rethinking VBRs (valid business reasons): The first step in prospecting is telling the customer what’s in it for them. VBRs need regular updates depending on what’s happening in the economy and within an industry. Revisiting these as a team can be beneficial for all.
  • Focusing on converged selling: Do advertisers know you can deliver integrated campaigns that include radio, O&O (owned and operated) and digital? It should be a pillar of your strategy. It’s also something businesses want in a partner to reduce costs and avoid managing multiple vendors.

Does Your Sales Culture Support a Modern Sales Model?

The next area to assess is your sales culture. It should be supportive and transparent. Sellers want resources, processes and tools to reinforce this type of culture. Compensation, commission and other incentives matter as well.

In looking at how to evolve your culture to be in alignment with your sales model, consider these points:

  • What’s your turnover rate, and why do sellers leave? If the rate is high, understand why it’s happening and what changes you can make to keep high performers.
  • How engaged is your staff? Creating a culture of collaboration and learning from each other positively impacts this.
  • Are your sales processes defined? Processes are part of culture because when you have them, there’s no confusion about how to be effective. It also ensures consistency and the broad use of best practices.
  • Do sellers feel they have a say in culture? Building a culture is a team effort. Sellers should be instrumental in evolving it to drive better outcomes.

Do Sellers Have the Skills to Be Successful and Competitive?

Selling is about relationship building, which your people excel at. It also involves product knowledge for all ad types. Continuous training and upskilling are critical to keep sellers current on tactics. Ensure they have these opportunities to grow their acumen around digital, linear and O&O. Can they provide simple explanations to customers and get more granular when answering questions? The more they know, the more confident they’ll be in selling.

Is Your Technology Easy and Helpful?

The final component in updating your local media sales model is how you use technology. Sellers need simple platforms that help them do their jobs. Many systems are too complex, expensive or insufficient. The ideal solution that supports converged selling is a third-party digital platform that integrates with traffic systems and other applications. It should enable salespeople to propose, order, track and bill radio and digital in one place. With such a solution, sellers spend less time on admin work, as it streamlines the process.

Technology can be a great influence on evolving your sales model to support your sellers and advertisers.

Win More Revenue in 2024 by Evolving Your Local Media Sales Model

By looking at strategy, culture, training and technology, you can make changes in your sales model that set your team up for success. The media industry is in a state of evolution, and there are opportunities to grow. Get more insights on how the industry is transforming by viewing The Evolution and Resilience of the Broadcast Media Industry.

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