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Predictions to inform your sales team’s success in 2023
Legacy sales tactics still get the job done for many companies. Whether publishers sell programmatically or through specialized teams, their methods are tried and tested. Yet, cash flow follows innovation, and better ways to operate sales have emerged in recent years, underpinned by digital transformations and new tools. For publishers who want to stay on the cutting edge, it’s time to evolve.
At Boostr, we have a front-row seat to the ways in which the world's leading publishers are planning for growth in an economic downturn. Their examples inspired these bold 2023 predictions, which point to major shifts in the sales status quo. We forecast a move away from specialized sales teams, programmatic to be integrated into direct sales, a 1:1 ratio of account managers and salespeople, and more bundling to achieve maximum growth.
Prediction #1: The Death of the Specialized Sales Team
The digital advertising landscape is complicated and ever-changing. This has led to highly specialized sales teams that each have ownership over distinct areas of ad space. Specialization creates tunnel vision, and teams no longer sell across the spectrum. As a result, they can’t optimize client sales plans or maximize revenue. In an era where publishers must achieve more with less, specialized sales teams also create more overhead and headcount bloat because each product area must be staffed.
As companies move away from specialized sales teams, every salesperson will become more consultative as they advise and sell across channels, which will simultaneously reduce overhead for the business. Clients not only receive a more comprehensive media plan, but they also benefit from a single sales contact streamlining communication for all parties.
Prediction #2: Programmatic Becomes Part of Direct Sales
That unified sales approach will extend to the programmatic space. By definition, programmatic is automated, but companies will shift their thinking in 2023. Programmatic sales automation simply can’t deliver the same margins as well-optimized, direct-sold plans. Technology will be used to a greater extent internally by direct sales teams to more efficiently optimize plans, enhancing the overall quality of inventory and aligning audiences and objectives with all placements. By increasing direct-sold business and leveling up strategy, publishers increase profits while also optimizing the client’s experience and outcomes.
Prediction #3: One Account Manager for Every Salesperson
Account managers live between salespeople and internal operations. They can leverage their strategic insights to optimize sales plans for results. Yet, many companies disproportionately invest in their sales forces compared to account management.
“It is far less costly to retain existing customers, not to mention that there is a higher probability of customers repurchasing and spending more on subsequent orders.” - Fortune Magazine
Customers who buy more generate more revenue for a business. At the same time, the customer experience is becoming an increasingly important piece of the sales puzzle, forcing 89% of businesses to compete primarily on customer experience, up significantly from even just a decade prior. In this environment, an emphasis on post-sales can powerfully increase satisfaction and retention. That’s key to any publisher's success in 2023.
Prospecting is essential, but it’s also critical to pour just as much energy into account managers. They play a crucial part in any well-rounded effort to optimize sales plans and cross-selling and upselling strategies, which efficiently boost both revenue and customer satisfaction.
Prediction #4: Realizing the Benefits of Bundling
As cross-selling and upselling evolve, there will be a greater emphasis on bundling. A natural offspring of both techniques, bundling in recent years has achieved higher win rates and generated more comprehensive client solutions through its one-stop approach. Bundling represents a win-win: Companies and clients save on costs, excess product gets offloaded, demand increases, and convenience is enhanced.
Publishers that increase deal sizes by 23% or more were in the top 25th percentile for year-over-year growth according to our research. Bundling supports bigger deals, which supports growth in the long term.
The trends that will gain momentum this year rely on direct sales. Yet, successfully capitalizing on new strategies cannot come at the expense of your teams. Instead of adding to-do’s to the running list, empower your team to shift their focus to strategic work by implementing digital transformations that support it.
Launching the right technology and training talent on the tech stack may take time, but it is a must on the path to continued growth. Upping company-wide investment in internal sales, operations, and finance and empowering them with real-time data enables informed decision-making that increases ROI.
Turn Predictions Into More Revenue
Our solution does the heavy lifting on proposal creation, inventory management, data visualization, and more so your people can focus on customer experience, optimizing profit margins, and becoming consultative, full-spectrum sellers. Aligning teams through a single source of truth facilitates enterprise-scale innovation that keeps pace with an ever-evolving industry.
Boostr is the media industry’s most comprehensive and accurate digital transformation technology for managing advertising sales and delivery. Boostr offers CRM, OMS, and automated RFP response technologies designed by media professionals to sell more plans at higher margins. Boostr clients include Macy’s, Lowe’s, Westwood One, DISH, BuzzFeed, and more. Contact us for a demo today.