After 6 months learning the corporate sales ropes at Metroland and leaving the office for presentations I started to think to myself that there has to be other ways to increase revenue beyond general presentations. Sales do happen once relationships are established via email and phone and even social media with the emergence of digital but for those of us who sell traditional media we have seen traditional dollars shrink with increased digital spends. With these challenges come increased reporting, more attention on analytics, intelligence and focus on high impact presentations as the higher ups are watching the dollars all while paying more attention to the sales cycle. To add to this at corporate sales we have account lists in the millions with major service responsibilities so it is not always easy to get out of the office which I refer to as “doing my job”. If we do stay put and are primarily only servicing our current business we run the risk of not capturing the all-important NEW business including digital opportunities. In my humble opinion the best way we to make the gains we need is to get out of the office and make things happen.
I have been told the corporate sales cycle is different than what we see in the local markets I came from. But is it really that different?? I don’t believe my new life is that different and I will explain why. In the corporate environment each account has many moving parts dealing with agencies and in some cases direct. Step 1 for me was to set out to get a handle on each moving part for each account. No I am not doing this strictly by emailing my agency contact I am devoting 1-2 days per week of my precious time dropping in on the agencies with some old fashioned discovery at play. In some cases this means dropping in unannounced. But the agencies are too busy for that type of attention right? Not according to my early findings. I’m not saying they aren’t busy but I am getting the audience I need to do the discovery. What I am finding is I am ending up in boardrooms pitching planning teams, making key contacts at all levels, making my way around the agencies learning more about the structure and even getting the ear of the president. I am uncovering new opportunities and maybe even more importantly when I need a meeting I get it. And those that know me know that’s when I truly shine. I am establishing right relationships with the right people and get plenty of one on one time to sell my ideas before getting an official meeting with the respective planning teams.
From my experience there are many internal teams working on multiple opportunities and the best way to uncover these is to get out there and make your way around the agency. Don’t get me wrong I’m not against the general presentations and do them often but overall there will be additional sales opportunities uncovered doing regular discovery which also means you will be putting the right information in your decks while establishing key relationships. The challenges we face can be overcome but we need to change our approach.
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