Consultants told you to hire a separate digital sales staff to win online. You were told that traditional staffs could never sell interactive marketing to local business. So, upon that consultant’s recommendation, you hastily hired a bunch of hip 20-somethings with i-Phones and limited sales chops to start knocking on doors.
Outside of a few success stories, this strategy is a money loser and massive time suck. Not because the digital reps are weak, (many are really great) but because they’ll likely be set up to fail by reporting up to a print manager. While newspapers waste precious resources trying to make this work, Reach Local, Google and the Yellow Pages actively steal local dollars right from under your nose.
We’ve seen it first hand. A newspaper hires a separate digital sales team and the print team immediately shuts down. The ‘burden’ of selling digital was taken off their shoulders. As time goes by, the print team falls even further behind with understanding digital. Why should they care? The digital reps do all of that really hard, icky stuff.
We’ve know many so-called ‘old-school’ print & broadcast vets selling digital like a pro. How does this happen? It’s simple. These legacy sales teams have excellent client relationships and the maturity to sell just about anything. All you have to do is provide regular training, attractive financial motivation, a simple sales process and smart leadership from the top.
So think twice before someone tells you that your print or broadcast staff can’t be trained for web. It’s a total fabrication and it’s incredibly disrespectful to the sales reps. It’s also foolish to avoid teaching digital reps about traditional sales. They’re very interested in becoming multi-platform pros. The digital team is not only in front of many new business targets, but they’re also in the best position to upsell digital advertisers to print.
Need more details on this issue, we have plenty of well documented case studies. Email or call us. Here’s one example: Major Newspaper companies like Morris Communications now merging their once separate teams.
TOP REASONS: Separate web-sales will hurt your online and traditional business
1. Internal civil wars will erupt between print & web teams. (bank on that one)
2. Print reps look out-of-touch when they can’t talk about, and sell simple web marketing concepts.
3. Digital rep not properly incented to sell print and other non-digital products to advertiser.
4. Where do you find good digital sellers? If they’re good, they’re already living large with a pure-play.
5. Multiple points of sales contact between a media company & advertising client is always bad.
7. Allows boss to blame poor web sales on digital reps, not current sales system & traditional team.
8. You failed to fully understand the unique situation of Deseret Media in Salt Lake City.