Building a sales team

Search engine optimization. Social media management. Mobile. Pay per click. Google AdWords. These are terms that today’s newspaper sales person should be knowledgeable about when speaking with clients. As the advertising landscape transforms and the needs of the customers shift to where the readers are, sales people are arming themselves with the right skills in order to get the best results. Whether it’s repackaging their print classifieds section or training their sales force, publishers are investing in the continued growth of their printed and digital products and finding success.

To collect the right tools, sales teams need to partner with the right people. With 30 years of experience, Sales Transformation Now ( co-founder Mike Centorani has helped more than 20 newspapers, Yellow Pages publishers, direct mail companies and search companies throughout the U.S. and in 17 countries. He considers change itself the biggest challenge for advertising sales staffs.

“Twelve to 15 years ago, newspapers were able to go out and pitch projects to advertisers. It was a necessary evil for them because they knew they had to be there in order to reach customers,” said Centorani. “As traditional media usage drops off, traditional media sales reps are not comfortable with the transition or with selling digital products. They either retire or move into other industries.” His solution is to “train (reps) to become product experts.”

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