Did you know that when you work with ShareBuilders, you get a weekly call with an experienced consultant and have an analyst working behind the scenes on your behalf? It’s like adding two new members to your team! At ShareBuilders, we believe that the human element of working with us is critically important. Weekly conversations with your consultant guarantee that you are getting the best possible results from our products based on the unique needs of your station and your market.
What is the best way to share rates with your sellers? First, it’s imperative to call the demand in the market to ensure we are pricing to optimize revenue based on current conditions. ShareBuilders has fantastic tools that can help you determine a realistic forecast based on history while also evaluating the current business climate. Next, you need to assess your people’s ability to negotiate. Do you have an experienced team, or is their first inclination to dive to the lowest level?
Project managers are pros at managing long, drawn-out jobs because they set checkpoints to verify their progress. As sales professionals, we can learn something from their playbook. If we don’t check milestones along the way, we will probably miss clues that can keep us from hitting our numbers.
Milestone 1 – Teach your sales team to give you REAL pending.
As you get to know your sales team, you will learn who excels at calling pending vs. those who are spouting “pie in the sky” numbers. You are accountable for your forecast, so you must trust the people reporting back. At ShareBuilders, we can work with you to determine if the pending number you are given is an actual possibility. Providing that data during your weekly call is crucial to the forecasting conversation.
Milestone 2 – Use ShareBuilder’s forecasting tools to check against pending and react if necessary.
Our forecasting tools allow us to analyze how much business is typically written from this point forward in the month or quarter. Do you have 20 points to go before you realize your number? We can tell you if you have ever written that amount of business in the past. This encourages intelligent discussion about how accurate that pending amount might be in this current environment.
Milestone 3 – Keep Revenue Potential within 5% of your Quarterly Forecast.
When the entire market is tight, it can be tempting to dive and grab as much share as possible. This may be the correct strategy early on, but it can backfire quickly if you don’t pay attention. Revenue Potential is an excellent check to verify if you can reach your forecast with current sellouts and AURs. Once you get inside the quarter and paid is all entered, Revenue Potential can highlight your ability to “hold” your forecasted number without bumping orders out.
Revenue Potential is calculated as follows:
Current Booked Revenue + Unsold Inventory at ShareBuilder Recommended Rates
Is the Revenue Potential number significantly lower than your current forecast? If so, you need to adjust quickly by raising rates for your unsold inventory OR accepting that you will be bumping out cheap rates and potentially alienating some customers. If Revenue Potential is higher than your current forecast, you can certainly hold your forecast, assuming you continue moving inventory and don’t overprice.
We can use many other checkpoints to help you stay laser-focused on accurate forecasting. Talk to your ShareBuilders Consultant about these and other options.
“I love budget season,” said no one ever! Budgeting can be time-consuming and stressful, depending on your expectations for the following year. How much political should we expect? Should we price in full or ease into full political pricing targets? How much avoidance or crowd-out of core revenue should we account for in our expectations? Do we have any tentpole events that will change historical comparisons or make one month stronger at the demise of another? Do our competitors have major events that could dilute what we can expect?
Media sales managers often have those gut feelings that tell them where the market is headed or how they are doing against the competition. Can we trust those gut feelings, or are they leading us down the wrong path? With ShareBuilders as your guide, we can help determine if your gut is misguided or spot on.
How should you handle pricing if your market expects huge political in the upcoming months? You risk scaring your core customers away if you price in full upfront. Once core clients start to avoid spending, pulling them back in can be very difficult if the political dollars don’t materialize. If you don’t price for any political and it comes in strong, you risk alienating your core by bumping them out. Researching the races expected in your market and past spending for similar races can be helpful.