July 8, 2013

The Best Way for a Media Company to Increase Sales (Without Spending Money)

A constant question for a media company is, How do we increase sales? Most often, the answer is either to make your clients lives easier, or to find ways to help them increase market share. Common approaches media companies take to achieve that: Invest in talent, create new and compelling products, improve client service to increase renewals, further train your sales team, and much more. However, all these things can cost money. Since solving things with money isnt always an option, lets assume that youre trying to drive revenue without a hit to your expenses.

The best way to increase sales without spending money is to do a great job at prioritizing your teams efforts. But instead of internally-focused prioritization (questions like, who havent you called this quarter?), look externally for signals as to where your time will be best spent. A few examples of external signals that can clue you in:

  • Know which industry topics are important to your potential clients. As a media company, you have the ability to position your clients as thought leaders on the topics that matter to them. One effective way to determine which topics are important to your current and potential clients is to know which companies have their executives speaking as keynotes or on panels at in-person events, and on what topic.
  • Pay attention to shifts in market priorities at large companies. For example, Siemens was recently bought out of their Nokia Siemens partnership. This article mentions that the move is part of a larger strategy whereby Siemens is shifting resources out of the telecom market, and into the energy market. Knowing that energy is their priority can make your conversations more focused and productive.
  • Know who is taking action to get their message out. When you see a company promoting a white paper, hosting a webinar, sponsoring an event, spending money on a keyword, etc, this is a clear signal that they are investing time and money to disseminate their message. Your readers are their buyers, so you can help them generate industry interest in their message.

While these are just a few examples of external signals that can help drive revenue, ultimately the key is to not get stuck in the vicious cycle of looking internally, and even worse, at the past. Just because something happened one way last year, doesnt mean anything for this year.

The best sales teams are strategy partners for their clients, and to do that you must understand the state of the markets you serve, and where they are headed.