Collingwood Advisory Director Fergus Gregory was delighted to host Maria Villablanca, Co-Founder and CEO, Future Insights Network Nick Fielden, Chief Commercial Officer, Omdia Phil Jarvis, EMEAI General Manager, Citeline, in a timely discussion and an audience of global media entrepreneurs in our recent ‘Get match fit for sales growth in 2023’ webinar. Here are the key takeaways from the discussion:
With macro-economic uncertainty, changing buyside needs and annual strategic plans being cemented across much of the world, now is the time to refine, document and communicate your your own sales strategy and plans.
The right sales strategy is critical to Scaleup success – especially in uncertain times
Get the basics in place and be nimble: your sales strategy has a significant impact on value creation and it is vital to have everyone in your business aligned with it, review sales plans monthly and refine them quarterly to ensure you can act and capitalise on major shifts in customer demand.
Get close to your highest value customers and prospects
By dividing the market into tiers, media businesses can see more clearly where to prioritise their time and resources, and also work out how best to test new products or models with the market.
Prioritise the bellwethers and high growth potential clients.
Develop a robust, forward-looking and regularly reviewed set of Tier 1 account plans aligned to long-term customer needs.
Plan to build relationships across the organisation and decision making unit rather than risking and relying on a string relationship with a single point of contact.
Be a disruptive force
Now is the time to undertake a deep review of your competitors, you will have them in some form or other; identify weaknesses to exploit, use those to inform your unique value proposition, then arm your sales team with it and target them on growing market share and share of wallet.
Sales is a team sport
Sales success is not something that just happens in isolation. Set up your structure, processes and rewards systems to maximise collaboration between all the departments in your business to drive your sales strategy.
Building the right team can be tough, get really clear on your employer value proposition and focus on the benefits of working in your firm, this goes beyond salary and benefits. Team culture, high-level access and opportunity to make an impact in your market can all play a part in your hiring success. Make sure these benefits are made clear in your hiring campaigns and consistently to existing staff.
Hire specialists; build a roadmap that sees you structure accounting for sales specialisms at the right time to accelerate growth: BD, Account Development, Client Success.
The panel discussed the BI/Media version of a sales technician – this could be a sales person with specific product expertise and/or a commercially-minded consultant, content creator or marketing expert that works in tandem with the sales team.
If appropriate to your growth strategy; consider recruiting local language speakers to grow in markets like Germany and France (despite their product still being English language).
Seize the opportunity that uncertainty presents
Work with your sales team and customers to clearly identify the value your products and services already provide and the unmet needs that you could help with.
Explore the certainty and benefits that locking in a long term deal can present for both parties, but don’t lock yourselves into prices that you may live to regret!
Spend time and energy working with you sales team now to ensure they have renewed confidence in your value proposition, are exemplar at communicating why you do what you do and how that benefits the customer.
- Fergus Gregory, Director, Collingwood Advisory (Moderator)
- Phil Jarvis, EMEAI General Manager, Citeline
- Maria Villablanca, Co-Founder and CEO of Future Insights Network
- Nick Fielden, Chief Commercial Officer, Omdia
Here’s the recording:
Collingwood Advisory’s Sales Strategy and Development programmes are helping media entrepreneurs and their teams to accelerate growth and improve quality of earnings. Book a cup of tea with one of our team to find out more.
Fergus Gregory, Director, Collingwood Advisory (Moderator)
Fergus is an experienced B2B media business leader who has spent over 15 years in the world of media, subscriptions, and events. He led two major profit centres at Informa, and was responsible for The Drum’s global expansion in his most recent role as Group Commercial Director.
Phil Jarvis, EMEAI General Manager, Citeline
Phil graduated from The University of Bath in 1997 and embarked on a brief career as a crop protection research scientist. In January 2000 Phil made a sideways jump into publishing, joining PJB Publications as a report writer with the crop protection business. Since then Phil has built his knowledge of the publishing business in a variety of content and commercial roles. In 2008 Phil moved to Informa’s Pharma business as publisher of Scrip.
Phil now leads as ‘Head of Insight’ for the Pharma intelligence vertical within Informa’s Business Intelligence division. He works with colleagues across the vertical to deliver an integrated, market-leading Pharma intelligence service encompassing insights, intelligence and consulting.
Maria Villablanca, Co-Founder and CEO of Future Insights Network
Maria is the Co-founder and CEO of The Future Insights Network, host of the supply chain transformation podcast, Transform Talks, and author of the newsletter, Transform Thoughts. She has interviewed hundreds of senior practitioners, thought-leaders, academics, and innovators from the world’s most admired organizations to cut through the hype and noise around supply chain transformation. Maria’s contributions to the supply chain profession have been honored with several awards and invitations to speak at world-renowned events, most recently, The Economist’s 2nd Annual Global Trade Week conference, which took place in June 2022.
Nick Fielden, Chief Commercial Officer, Omdia
As Chief Commercial Officer Nick is responsible for leading commercial strategy and performance for Omdia across horizontal and vertical technology markets.
Working with the leadership team Nick is focused on driving business development and growth across the portfolio that continues to offer our customers, and the market industries Omdia serves, leading research and insight into tech that inspires businesses to change the way we work.
Nick was previously Global Head of Sales for Omdia, having also lead the EMEA Sales organisation for Informa Financial Intelligence when he first joined the organisation back in April 2017. Nick has also spent time in senior commercial roles at Forrester, Ovum, and EY, working across a range of different markets and sectors to deliver sustained revenue growth and profitability.