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What A Difference Digital Only AEs Can Make.
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What A Difference Digital Only AEs Can Make.

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Having digital-only sales rep on staff lifts attitudes, increases understanding of digital products and increases digital revenues for traditional media companies. But competition is stiff to hire …

Having digital-only sales rep on staff lifts attitudes, increases understanding of digital products and increases digital revenues for traditional media companies. But competition is stiff to hire digital reps: Pureplay companies are offering 50% more base pay than traditional media companies.

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  • Having a digital leader in your sales department is very important to having a more well-rounded offering, a more educated sales force, and fostering a deeper relationship with advertisers as they feel more comfortable having their favorite media partner as a resource (which would command a greater share).
    However, having a dedicated digital 'seller' (aka 'Digital Account Executive') at 'traditional' media companies is not the same thing.
    Here's something to chew on: your traditional sellers have your largest accounts, best relationships, and they must be multi-platform sellers. Don't canabalize your share, don't put your client's in a position that they feel they are taking 'money' out of their radio or television AE's pockets (who they likely have many years of history working with, trust for, respect for and often a relationship beyond the sale with), and don't bring a digital seller on board that then just has to pass the 'big bucks' over the fence to one of the 'traditional' sellers. Your 'traditional' AE's must be that resource, they must remain relevant, and they must understand, advise on and sell all platforms in a strategic and meaningful way.
    Pure Play shouldn't even be measured with traditional media in this research...it skews the data and really is it's only animal. Very different expectations than your television, radio and newspaper groups.
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  • 1. Slideshare Summary Summer 2013
  • 2. Introduction The following slides summarize research published by Borrell Associates in May 2013 in its report, “Assessing Local Digital Sales Forces.” The full report is available at www.borrellassociates.com.
  • 3. First, the Methodology • Survey conducted April/May 2013 • Sales Managers & Digital Managers • Conducted online • 220 participants • Solicited via RAB, LMA, LSA & Borrell Clients* • Mean size of digital operation: $1.5 million Local Media Association Local Search Association Radio Advertising Bureau
  • 4. Key Findings  Hiring digital AEs on the rise again  Stiff competition from pureplays  Digital AEs make big difference  Comp plans vary widely
  • 5. Source: © Borrell AE Compensation Survey May 2013; N = 220 Who Has Dedicated AEs? Radio continues to lag industry.
  • 6. Source: © Borrell AE Compensation Survey May 2013; N = 87 Two-thirds have just 1 or 2 reps Number of Digital-Only Reps
  • 7. Effect of digital-only reps Having digital-only reps seems to vastly increase the staff’s understanding of digital products. See the results on the next slide.
  • 8. Source: © Borrell AE Compensation Survey May 2013; N = 191 Understanding Digital Products 50% say Excellent to Outstanding. 14% say Excellent to Outstanding.
  • 9. Effect of digital-only reps Having digital-only reps helps the staff do a better job of educating advertisers. See the results on the next slide.
  • 10. Source: © Borrell AE Compensation Survey May 2013; N = 191 Helping Advertisers Understand 23% rated this poor to average. 43% rated this poor to average.
  • 11. Effect of digital-only reps Having digital-only reps improves the staff’s motivation to sell. See the results on the next slide.
  • 12. Source: © Borrell AE Compensation Survey May 2013; N = 191 Motivation to Present Digital 63% rated this excellent or better. 25% rated this excellent or better.
  • 13. The Most Amazing Thing Having digital-only reps tends to double digital revenues. See the results on the next slide.
  • 14. Source: © Borrell AE Compensation Survey May 2013; N = 176 Multiple of total digital revenue
  • 15. Want more? The full report answers these additional questions:  How much revenue does a typical digital AE generate?  How much are digital AEs being paid?  What are pureplay Internet companies paying local AEs?  What’s the breakout between salary and commission?  Do non-digital reps get different commissions on digital sales? Download it at www.borrellassociates.com.