Collaborative Research For Better Prospecting


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Collaborative Research For Better Prospecting

  1. 1. 02$&()5*6&$)7*+)'/##(5/)4/ !"##$%"&$'(")*'"*+,-&"./*0-")1"&12(-*0$#/1*3&"1-/4'()5 243 5th Ave #121 New York, NY 10016
  2. 2. 02$&()5*6&$)7*+)'/##(5/)4/ !"##$%"&$'(")*'"*(+,&"-.* /,")/"&/0(,*/$#./*,&"/,.1'()2 06. 01. 2010 MANAGEMENT SUMMARY While brands have bene ted greatly from the development of Internet software that manages sponsorship related activity throughout their business chains, the sponsorship sales side has experienced only marginal gains. Several tools have been deployed to aid sales promotion (online listing 1 services), contact management (Salesforce) and post-sales activity (Property Port). Surprisingly, a Conf id ent ial dedicated resource designed to help develop bona de sales leads from real time data remains elusive. Considering brands are now making decisions based on real-time data, today’s selling environment demands better information management. To stay relevant, sponsorship sales professionals must understand brand activity quickly and thoroughly. Unfortunately, the evidence suggests current alternatives make adequately meeting this challenge much more di cult than should be the case in an Internet economy. General consensus among sponsors is about only one percent of unsolicited proposals receive serious consideration. is leaves two options for sales professionals: either more proposals can compete to be among the fortunate one percent, or the volume of proposals must decrease as a result of being the product of more research and customization. Spending more time and money on research and quali cation in the name of producing fewer, more customized proposals enhances the need for reliable information. However, despite the need to have more insight the resources to capture it remain limited and fragmented. ” e average sponsorship A survey of today’s sponsorship information market reveals a hodgepodge of resources critical to the rst proposal meets just 44.8% stages of prospecting. Individuals tasked with selling sponsorships mostly turn to brand web sites and publications focused on sports business, advertising, of brands’ needs.” marketing, and sponsorship. Search engines and – Sponsorium, October 2009 blogs are commonly used, as are mass-market social media sites. Published directories o er random bits of information about brand decision-makers and deals. While these sources can yield good data, they also may be time-intensive to survey, incomplete, out
  3. 3. of date, and/or provide limited strategic insight about brands. that the tenures of high-level brand decision-makers Accordingly, given the relationship accurate, timely are quite short (generally less than two years for many information has on persuading brands on buying sponsorship CMOs, for example). opportunities, SponsorPitch believes sponsorship salespeople As the less expensive directories are published, need a dedicated prospect quali cation tool that can provide their accuracy can quickly begin to erode. e more 06. 01. 2010 real-time, robust brand intelligence. Combined with a expensive sources require constant reconnaissance by new approach to collecting brand activity data online, this dedicated sta . is can drive their cost above $5000 system can reduce research time and free the sponsorship per year and include data for hundreds of brands sales force to develop more targeted, creative pitches with outside the scope of interest of many properties. more value to sponsors. us, the choices are to do in-house research, pay a few hundred dollars for data that may or may not be accurate, and/or spend massively for limited data that SPONSORSHIP SELLING CHALLENGES: 2 means nothing without other research that drives Whether the seller is an agency or a property itself, the creation of proposal content. In other words, even challenges of selling sponsorships are almost always the same. after a brand’s decision makers are identi ed, the Conf id ent ial ose selling them must: research and diligence has only just begun. – Understand brand messaging, positioning, and target audience CHANGING FROM AN INDIVIDUAL – Know what brands want from sponsorship and if/ TO COLLABORATIVE APPROACH how the opportunity at hand can meet these wants, preferably before solicitation Clearly, the challenge of gathering brand intelligence is daunting, particularly when assessing – Present turnkey activations and leveraging programs many brands. ough everyone acknowledges to alleviate the need for brands to determine how a the need to deliver informed, tailored proposals to sponsorship will work for them quali ed decision-makers, only so much time can be – Clearly identify the true decision–makers in each organization spent on research before salespeople must consider Essentially (rightfully), brands want sponsorship sellers matters of e ectiveness, e ciency, and their other to be armed with knowledge as if they worked inside the duties. e principal frustration comes down to this brands they target. ey must know things like a brand’s vexing dichotomy: spending activity, audience, business model, marketing – Spend more research time on each company, strategy, messaging, sales channels/retail locations, activation generate fewer proposals, thereby increasing invested tactics, etc., to make successful pitches in most cases. is time on each and the opportunity cost of rejection puts a great burden on sponsorship sales executives. Several – Spend less research time on each company, interviews conducted with sponsorship sales professionals generate more proposals, but reduce their quality con rmed a required minimum of 1-2 hours of research per and response rate because they are less targeted. brand to obtain a cursory understanding of its business and sponsorship activities. Presenting an initial communication Another matter to consider further is the capable of securing a conversation or meeting requires perspective of brands, particularly large and more tat. Ation utet ad approximately 2-4 hours of diligence. visible ones, which can easily receive more than 500nulla Tionsequam sponsorship solicitations per month. Essentially, adionum esed One of the smarter sponsorship sales strategies is to have not only are the same brands being pitched tin estrud magna informal conversations with brand decision-makers that misguided proposals, many people spend many hours feugait veliqua don’t include sales pitches per se. No-pressure conversations duplicating e orts researching virtually the same mconum dolorting can help reveal how content brands are with currently data and attempting to answer the same questions. er si etum velit lut sponsored properties, their future spending plans, and When factoring in how few proposals receive serious sponsorship objectives. nostisi. consideration, most prospecting research done by the Amet, quat. Com- Published contact directories can help identify relevant universe of sponsorship salespeople is simply wasted. my nis num essenis brand employees with whom to have these discussions, but Worse, the totality of sponsorship sales e orts amet niat. Nulput many other people likely are trying to contact them to have produces so many unwanted proposals that brands similar conversations. Moreover, personnel and activity in would rather say no to everything than spend time organizations change over time. Research clearly indicates trying to nd the appealing one percent. 243 5th Ave #121 New York, NY 10016
  4. 4. 02$&()5*6&$)7*+)'/##(5/)4/ While an every-man-for-himself approach opportunity to take a great leap forward given the fact most to prospect research might seem to preserve a people are now comfortable embracing the ethos of the competitive advantage, the true added value for social web, i.e., giving is the new taking, through sites like properties lies in their assets, attributes, creativity and MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Digg, Wikipedia, ability to execute a given sponsorship opportunity. LinkedIn, Jigsaw, etc. Internet users know they receive 06. 01. 2010 Even if brand activity data is shared between other much more information from these applications than they sales executives representing di erent properties, the individually contribute to them due to the network e ect. In sale does not hinge upon the intelligence each one turn, they perceive information as a commodity and implicitly has. Instead, it hinges upon a property’s ability to understand that user-generated and third party content drives assimilate data, generate e ective ideas, and convince the quality of their experiences. us, they appreciate the a brand buyer that the property’s ideas and assets will value of sharing and are willing to assume the responsibility to deliver value. Sharing information between peers do it themselves, a philosophy not yet e ectively embraced by would therefore save time on research and make the sponsorship industry. 3 prospecting for leads exponentially faster. is in As a multi-billion dollar industry, sponsorship and the sales turn would lead to a higher percentage of valuable professionals who fuel it deserve a resource that: Conf id ent ial proposals for brands, better outcomes, and ultimately more deals. – Provides access to targeted real-time data about brand sponsors while reducing time spent qualifying leads Optimally, one salesperson would research a few – Aggregates strategic conversations among properties brands and share the intelligence gathered with with insight into and interest in the same brands other salespeople collecting data on other brands. – Allows time saved on prospect research to be put toward developing greater value propositions (better assets and ”McDonald’s gets 2,700 unsolicited activations) in sponsorship proposals. sponsorship proposals each year and Accurately and e ectively customizing and rejects every single one of them.” articulating sponsorship o erings to decision- – John Lewicki, McDonald’s makers that clearly demonstrate understanding of Director of Sports Marketing brand needs is now an imperative in the sponsorship industry. is requires the ability to keep pace with information more quickly than current practices is would create a dynamic whereby everyone who allow. e collection of relevant, accessible, real- contributes receives exponentially more information time brand intelligence can: drive faster development than they individually collect. Whereas one person of more informed proposals; foster collaboration might need more than a month to investigate and assess 100 brands, 10 collaborators could collectively among property peers researching or already servicing spend less than a week to size up those same 100 like-sponsors; and leverage the comfort with social brands. Individuals acting exclusively in their own networking applications into value for sponsorship interests have no chance of matching the productivity sales professionals. Perhaps more importantly, of a group of dedicated collaborators working together a dedicated intelligence tool will result in more, to increase the value of a resource. better proposals and be an impetus to lift the value sponsorship can bring to brands. THE CASE FOR A NETWORKED Simply stated, an interactive brand intelligence BRAND SPONSOR INTELLIGENCE database driven by collaboration is the best way DATABASE to bring researching sponsorship prospects and e assessment of current industry conditions, qualifying sales leads into the 21st Century. demonstrates sponsorship has clearly been left behind most other industries because it has failed to evolve to the new real-time information-sharing For more information: standards of the Internet. is suggest there is an Kris Mathis Michael Munson