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Assessing Local Digital Sales Forces - Jan '12

An estimated 52,000 sales reps are pitching local advertisers on digital product or services. That makes online advertising the most-pitched – by far – of all media products. But big questions plague the industry over how to organize and compensate sales reps in this new, multi-product environment. This 27-page report combines the research from Borrell’s database of online ad revenues for more than 5,000 local media companies, its 2011 survey of 7,805 local businesses, and an end-of-year poll of 230 sales managers taken November 2011 through January 2012.  The report examines the overall growth of local digital ad-sales forces and examines compensation, three prevalent forms of organizational structure, and the opinions of sales managers on their staffs’ effectiveness in understanding digital products, the advertisers’ needs and their company’s overall goals.  It includes three appendices displaying more than 300 responses from sales managers on the questions of 1) key differences on how traditional AEs are compensated versus digital-only AEs; 2) recommendations on how media companies structure compensation plans to drive digital sales; and 3) details on respondents’ current sales compensation plans. An Executive Summary and Table of Contents showing the titles of the report’s 14 charts can be downloaded for free.

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