Situation: At a leading media network the majority of revenue associated with traditional ad sales had rapidly shifted to interactive and on-demand marketing. In response to the entrance of new competitors in the marketplace, the company appropriately developed new products to match evolving market demands. However, account executives were expected to sell core and new products, to both first-time and existing customers. The management team introduced a support team of coordinators to assist the account executives with fulfilment and non-sales related activities. Despite this, sales productivity was low and ad sales revenue was falling.
Challenge: The company wanted to optimize sales force productivity to expand their presence in new product areas and underpenetrated markets.
Solution: Alexander Group assessed the “productivity sinks” of the current model by conducting a thorough job responsibility analysis, cross-channel activity mapping, sales time allocation study and account level revenue analysis. We developed a new go-to-market strategy focused on three unique roles and their responsibilities:
- Account Executives: Differentiated retention (farmer) and new business (hunter) customers.
- Product Specialist: Created overlay job roles for interactive and on-demand products.
- Account Coordinator: Redefined as an inside position, added prospecting and client research activities to duties.
The new coverage model and job roles reduced the responsibilities of sellers, enabling greater focus on critical tasks. The realignment allowed account executives to focus on the retention and penetration of existing accounts, product specialists to promote and improve the cross-selling of new products and tasked account coordinators with fulfilment requirements.
Benefits: As a result of these key changes, the client reversed declining sales by outperforming growth projections for new products. This top-line success was directly linked to the account executive’s ability to offload 40% of non-sales activities, increasing high value selling time by 10%.