Media Firm’s Specialist Deployment: Shared vs. Paired

By: Tyler Miller Media Sales, Sales Productivity, Sales Transformation

A national print and digital media firm needed to improve efficiency of pre- and post-sales processes and manage headcount costs. Alexander Group (AGI) recommended the company transition a pre-sales digital sales specialist resource from “paired” to “shared” deployment. The minimally disruptive pivot in their sales model quickly enhanced productivity.

Paired vs. Shared: What’s the Difference?

Paired (or Teamed) Resource: Paired resources align to a set of sellers and may report directly to a first-line sales manager while consistently collaborating with the reps on that team. Other times they report to a functional leader but sit within a specific sales team.

Shared Resource: Shared resources typically centralize and report to a functional leader. Most often, these resources will cover opportunities via “round-robin,” where opportunities will route to whomever is next in line, or has the most available capacity.

All specialists at the media firm initially sat within the sales team or “pod.” They reported directly to a specialist manager but were accountable to only one sales team. The team of specialists did not co-locate with one another, so they did not regularly interact. This limited best-practice sharing allowed for unequal workloads across specialists, and resulted in inconsistent specialist deployment. The definition and accountabilities of the specialist role evolved to suit sales team needs. Each sales team’s specialist was different from the next due to this lack of role clarity and inconsistency.

AGI recommended centralizing the specialist role and deploying a “shared” model to drive role consistency, enable adoption of best practice and codify processes. The client saw this as a “Quick Win” which they swiftly executed with minimal cost and disruption.

Whether a “paired” or “shared” deployment model is right for your specialist resource team, don’t overlook executing simple changes in favor of larger and more transformational initiatives. It is critical to develop a roadmap to guide implementation of quick wins and more disruptive and transformational initiatives to maximize ROI and manage risk.

How well do you understand the implication of a shared or paired model for your organization? Contact our Media practice leaders to help you navigate your choices.

  1. Media Ad Sales Study
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Tyler Miller

Tyler Miller is a manager in the Chicago office. As a manager, Tyler works with client leaders in sales, marketing, finance and human resources to solve revenue growth challenges. He designs and conducts fact-finding activities to understand client objectives and issues. He participates in and leads client meetings to present recommendations and consulting deliverables. Tyler manages business analyst and associate consultant resources at the Alexander Group on project engagements.

Prior to joining the Alexander Group, Tyler was a regional sales engineer for an industrial manufacturing company. He established and managed a distribution network and handled direct sales for large customers. Previously, Tyler worked as an executive recruiter, focusing on managing client relationships and creating hiring strategies for sales, marketing and engineering management teams in the industrial automation and medical device industries. He holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a B.A. from Illinois Wesleyan University.