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Is Your Sales Team Digitally Motivated? - 6/22/2016 -


Is Your Sales Team Digitally Motivated?

Here are four ways to get your associationís ad sales staff charged up to sell e-advertising.

By Thomas Chaffee

Your sales reps may be digitally savvy, but are they digitally motivated? Itís not unusual for people to stick with what they know, and itís likely that your sales reps know print ads best ó even if digital ads have been in their media kit for a decade or two. Itís not that they donít want to expand into digital, but when one is accustomed to one way of selling, itís hard to shift the brain and wrap it around another way ó the digital way.

Are you taking steps to help your sales team make the shift to digital? If youíre short on ideas, here are four to get you started:

  1. Use testimonials as a bridge. Itís likely that your sales folks are still really good at making that connection with people. And, theyíre probably well versed in perennial sales; meaning they make and keep connections that continue to produce revenue. Why not use testimonials to help your team see a path to digital sales? They can connect with current customers, get their feedback, then use those testimonials across multiple digital channels (social media, website, e-newsletters etc.) to generate and pursue leads. Of course, they are doing this in concert with the marketing team (if the two teams are in fact separate).
  2. Pair them with your digital design team. Give your sales team the opportunity to just sit down and brainstorm with your digital designers. Let your designers listen to their pitch and translate it into digital sales pages, with strong images and layout. Sometimes, all it takes is for someone to see his or her work in a different light, and they get really excited and motivated. But, donít stop there; let this be a continuous partnership that involves frequent tweaking and testing. The sales team will then have the opportunity to see how a digital audience is different from and the same as a print audience.
  3. Offer opportunities to expand partnerships. There is no doubt that a good sales team continuously networks and builds partnerships. Those relationships are only as good as their evolution. They must continue to be mutually beneficial. One way to add a new dimension to existing partnerships is by developing affiliate programs. Why not offer commissions to bloggers and email marketers who promote you? Or, why not scratch each otherís backs and do a little cross promotion? Itís not a new concept, just a new medium that can be a lot more efficient, with automated digital publishing platforms.
  4. Play with the Targeted Funnel. There is no question that the influx of deep data can seem overwhelming to sales teams (or anyone for that matter). The potential is exciting and often paralyzing. Put it in the context of something they can embrace and understand: the sales funnel. Do a team workshop built around constructing a digital sales funnel. Demonstrate how the data comes into play. Encourage a little healthy competition among sales team members ó whoever generates the most leads through their funnel design, wins! Encourage testing and small teamwork.

Of course, it always pays to check in with your team and ask each member what will help them get highly motivated for digital sales. Itís usually not some monetary incentive ó it has to do with things that build confidence and a sense of ownership. What are you learning from your associationís ad sales team?

Thomas Chaffee is CEO of ePublishing. AM&P member and 2016 Annual Meeting exhibitor ePublishing is a software and consultancy provider agency, with a focus on cloud-based, software as a service backed by custom development.


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