Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

To Bundle Your Sales Efforts Or Not To Bundle . . . That Is the Question

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Since the age of media consolidation going back to the 1990s sales orgs have gone back and forth on this question – is it better to align your sellers to specific products (like individual websites, TV stations, radio stations, etc.), or is it more beneficial to bundle all of the company’s assets together and give your sales team “the full tool belt” to sell?

From an efficiency standpoint it makes sense to have one team sell every media property a company owns.  In theory these reps would have a product solution for every conceivable brand KPI, and the clients/agencies would only work with one central point of contact.  But if you go this route an unintended consequence can rear its head.  If everyone can sell everything than most reps will gravitate to the stronger properties because they’re an easier sell.  That leaves the weaker properties with less of a sales effort which ends up de-monitizing the business units that need the revenue the most.   Hence the argument for assigning dedicated reps who can only sell their home property – even if it’s a dog with fleas.

While there’s no clear answer to this question, we’re about to see a case study both ways.  Meredith Corp, fresh off its acquisition of Time, Inc., is planning to overhaul its sales org from an everyone sells everything model back to dedicated staffs for each property.  Meredith execs have gone so far as to say the current sell everything approach actually led to Time’s revenue decline, which made it a ripe M&A target.  I could argue having to monetize a legacy print business might have been more of an anchor for Time, Inc. than their sales strategy, but I’m just in the cheap seats on this one.  Regardless, it’ll be interesting to see if assigning dedicated teams to each Meredith title actually turns around their sales fortunes.  We shall see . . .

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