Last week I wrote a blog about the main reason I love fall: it’s the advent of hunting season. There is a second reason fall is my favorite season — college football. College football is America’s second favorite brand of football, only behind the NFL. I love the sport because even with all of its controversy, it is still played primarily for the passion of the sport. This may be the last chance in an athlete’s life to play for his teammates and to create something special, not because it’s a job, but because you just love to play the game.
I can see many similarities between my chosen career in media sales and college football. Let’s take a look at some of those:
- Establish a Culture. The first similarity, as I have discussed before, is the established culture of the organization. Players play for coaches, and coaches set the culture. What type of offense or defense does a certain college football team like to play? What language is used, and what types of plays is that team known for? The same holds true for a media sales team. Salespeople work for sales managers. What type of sales culture is being set? What type of approach to sales does the sales organization believe in? What is important to them? Is media sales just moving widgets, or does the customer’s return on investment play an important role in the value proposition of that radio or television station? Is it important to YOU that when a client works with you that you work FOR them
- Develop Talent. The second connection is talent. The best college coaches can not only identify and recruit talented players to their programs, but they are successful because they develop those talented players once they hit campus. Year after year they seem to get the cream of the crop, which leads to consistent on-field success for the program. Is your organization known in your local market for having the most talented sales personnel on your team in the market? Do your current sales people love working for you so much that they communicate to other talented people in the market that your operation is one where talent is recognized, appreciated, and then developed? Do you constantly recruit and seek out “A” talent? College coaches never stop recruiting and you shouldn't either. Build that talent bank so you constantly have a great bench to call on when needed.
- Measure and Analyze. Finally, it is the ability to measure everything, from strength and conditioning workouts during the winter to analyzing every rep or play during spring and fall practices that make a team successful. Everything that a player or team does is important enough to measure and to inspect what is expected. The same metrics and analysis attitude applies to media selling. Do you as a rep or manager value being transparent in the sales process so that everyone is on the same page? Do you analyze client opportunity and value to your organization to ensure that you are focusing on the right type of clients, which will in turn get value out of a relationship with your stations? Do you use sales intelligence and metrics to analyze certain activities, tasks, pending business, aging detail, and closing percentages? College coaches analyze tons of data to help them build the best game plan. They watch film and add or delete plays to the playbook on a regular basis. Do you use an analytics system to give your sales team the best information to be successful?
If your station group provides your sales team with a media-specific CRM and sales analytics software program such as Efficio, you are ahead of the game before it starts. If you don't currently have a system to help provide this type of sales feedback and intelligence, you should investigate obtaining one quickly.
Like college football, successful organizations have a system to optimize sales efforts and output. The most talented players always like to have the best tools in the toolbox to help them be successful. Check one out today and ensure that your team is at the top.
By Chris Crawford, General Sales Manager, Efficio Solutions