For years, I have used an amusing cartoon from Harvard Business Review to open my sales training sessions. It shows a group of fusty looking executives around a boardroom table and the caption says; “All in favor of putting the sales staff on performance enhancing drugs.” I use it as a counter point to my opening to point that there are no short cuts to sales success. Management may wish they could just tweak the sales compensation plan, or redesign the sales presentation to increase sales. But in the real-life of advertising sales it takes hard work and multiple skills to make sales grow.
So I was gratified to see three articles in the April 2015 issue of Harvard Business Review addressing important aspects of how to invest more intelligently in sales.
Media company managers talk all the time about how fast the media business is changing around them. Do you invest enough on helping your sales force stay up-to-date with new media competitors and with new tactics to win in today’s hyper-competitive advertising sales market? Other US companies spend 1.75% of sales compensation on training. That would translate to $1,750 annually for a $100,000 a year media sales executive. Are you investing enough?
I have clients in many media sectors. I am guessing that — ironically — the ones in the sectors growing slowest, or shrinking, are the ones spending the least on training. No wonder they have a hard time competing in a fast changing market!
One easy place to start is to send a single sales person to my public Masters of Media Selling fall seminars scheduled in San Francisco, Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles. These small-group intensive-participative seminars are designed to help even the most experienced sales people grow their business by reaching a new level to become masters of their sales universe.