Tag Archives: best practice

Best Practice No. 10: Arm Your Reps with Research

Best Practice No. 10: Arm Your Reps with Research

Have your local champion do the research for your sales reps up front for targeted accounts. If the prospect is Bob’s Hardware Store, the local champion (or a corporate level co-op subject matter expert) will go to the store’s site and investigate what brands they carry, and research which offer co-op, what the current promotions are and so on. Then the rep can at least take that into the sales call and say, “I see these five companies you were with are offering co-op plans today and I have the details of those plans etc.” This research boost for reps elevates the conversation they have with the prospect to something more than just, “Hey I know you have co-op available.”

Title

Organizations that rely on reps to take the initiative to do this research will have inconsistent results. Supporting all reps with co-op prep will produce more consistent and better conversations about co-op on sales calls.

iconThis article was written by Charles Laughlin of the Local Search Association in Breaking Through the Co-op Clutter: Best Practices for Improved Co-op Advertising Sales. For more information on how Recas can help expand your brand advertising potential, please visit www.recas.com.

Best Practice No. 9: Contests and Promotions

Best Practice No. 9: Contests and Promotions

awardribbonc1408_x_th_cContests can work to drive short-term boosts in co-op sales. However, they are by their nature not sustainable, so they should be seen as a supplement to more fundamental, long-term changes like integrating co-op into the sales process. Simple things like a party for the local office or media property that generates the most intake forms or inquiries can amp up short term performance.

iconThis article was written by Charles Laughlin of the Local Search Association in Breaking Through the Co-op Clutter: Best Practices for Improved Co-op Advertising Sales. For more information on how Recas can help expand your brand advertising potential, please visit www.recas.com.

 

Best Practice No. 7: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Title

Best Practice No. 7: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Gatehouse Media produces a co-op newsletter every other week. “We will take a sampling of manufacturers who have just released promotions and we will put those logos in the newsletter — click here to get details of the promo, here’s a link to Recas for more info,” Sigler said. “It keeps it out there all the time. We can then take that list and share it out with local champions, and reps can access that too.”

iconThis article was written by Charles Laughlin of the Local Search Association in Breaking Through the Co-op Clutter: Best Practices for Improved Co-op Advertising Sales. For more information on how Recas can help expand your brand advertising potential, please visit www.recas.com.

Best Practice No. 5: Eliminate Complexity

Best Practice No. 5: Eliminate Complexity

Simpler is always better. But simple isn’t easy. Innovations that limit the steps required of local businesses and media sellers, that make information more accessible and easier to understand and streamline the approval and reimbursement processes, will gradually transform the co-op opportunity.

wemakeiteasyheadingc0906_x_th_c

For example, Netsertive has developed an approach that narrows the set of choices that a local dealer needs to make to a simple few, so that co-op becomes more like a simple opt in than a raging battle against red tape and opaque rules.

iconThis article was written by Charles Laughlin of the Local Search Association in Breaking Through the Co-op Clutter: Best Practices for Improved Co-op Advertising Sales. For more information on how Recas can help expand your brand advertising potential, please visit www.recas.com.

Best Practice No. 4: Track Performance

Best Practice No. 4: Track Performance

“What gets measured, gets done.” The quote has many fathers (Peter Drucker and Tom Peters among others). But it applies to co-op. Organizations that measure co-op performance in real time are in a better position to drive co-op performance.

goalchartc1411_x_th_cSigler note that Gatehouse tracks its co-op sales by property on a monthly basis, which enables the company to know if co-op utilization is keeping pace, lagging or exceeding its targets. These figures can be triggers for conversations at the local level to improve performance or to glean best practices from those media properties that are outperforming the company as a whole.

A key challenge with best practices 3 & 4 is that many media organizations lack the mechanisms to track co-op revenue performance, making it difficult to hold sales leaders accountable for co-op performance.

Sales organizations using CRM tools do better with tracking performance and holding managers and reps accountable.

“Those using CRM tools do better,” said Hall of the RAB. “Especially if there is a manager checking in who can say, ‘Hey I see you are calling on an HVAC guy, but I didn’t see anything in there on co-op. So what’s the deal?'”

iconThis article was written by Charles Laughlin of the Local Search Association in Breaking Through the Co-op Clutter: Best Practices for Improved Co-op Advertising Sales. For more information on how Recas can help expand your brand advertising potential, please visit www.recas.com.

Best Practice No. 2: Have a Local Champion

Best Practice No. 2: Have a Local Champion

Several of the co-op experts interviewed for this report cited a strong relationship between having a co-op champion/subject matter expert in the local sales office and greater success with co-op.

“Having a local champion at each location is key,” Sigler said. “This person can remind the sales staff of new promotions that are out there. This person can remind them to make co-op part of every needs analysis and new and existing customers.”

Title

Giving local sales mangers and their superiors a co-op target and holding them accountable for it is a powerful driver of co-op performance. This used to be a common practice but the industry has drifted away from it, amid shifting priorities and thinning ranks.

In recent years, trends have been moving in the opposite direction. Many organizations have let their local co-op managers go, or moved them into new roles, leaving little in any local co-op support for sales reps.

Adding to the difficulty is the new era of virtual sales office, where reps work from home and are managed remotely. The Yellow Pages industry in particular has moved in this direction, which has many benefits, including reduced sales costs and greater autonomy for sales reps. One drawback is it makes promoting co-op more difficult.

“It creates another challenge,” a senior Yellow Pages executive said. “You are not able to hang up posters. You are not able to have the co-op subject matter expert walk up to a rep and say, ‘Hey, I see you were calling on a roofer last week. How much co-op are they using?'”

If a dedicated local co-op manager isn’t realistic given your organization’s resources, consider designating someone at the local level to be the co-op champion, even if it is only a small part of their job description.

iconThis article was written by Charles Laughlin of the Local Search Association in Breaking Through the Co-op Clutter: Best Practices for Improved Co-op Advertising Sales. For more information on how Recas can help expand your brand advertising potential, please visit www.recas.com.

Best Practice No. 1: Make Co-op an Integrated Part of the Sales Process

Best Practice No. 1: Make Co-op an Integrated Part of the Sales Process

“The hardest thing to get done within sales organizations that use co-op is making sure the search for co-op, the processing, the facilitation and so on is part of the actual sales process,” said the RAB’s Hall. “Too often salespeople will have some co-op, will go in and get the sale, but when the co-op is gone, so is the client. Others will do a needs analysis and never mention co-op.”

TitleHall believes co-op performance would improve if sales organizations baked co-op into all of their sales processes, for example by making sure a co-op search is a routine part of their sales prospecting and sales prep activity.

“Find out what brands are available (for a prospect), or which brands will the client respond to, for example those offering 100% participation. Do that research as part of the needs analysis,” Hall said. “If you make it part of the process it pays off well and it doesn’t seem like a lot of work because it comes a part of the work flow.”

Gatehouse Media’s Sigler agrees. “In training and roll-out, reinforce the idea that co-op can supplement a current ad buy,” Sigler said.

Sales people have so many products or initiatives to sell at any given time. Sigler’s point is if co-op is “integrated into everyday conversations, it can help with existing sales. It is not something else the rep has to go do.”

iconThis article was written by Charles Laughlin of the Local Search Association in Breaking Through the Co-op Clutter: Best Practices for Improved Co-op Advertising Sales. For more information on how Recas can help expand your brand advertising potential, please visit www.recas.com.