Media sales provides a great career ladder to climb, which very few other sales roles can offer, and it is therefore a brilliant role for someone seeking to make a career for themselves in sales. Media sales can also provide a valuable learning experience on which to base future sales, advertising or marketing careers. Here are the stages you will move through to get to the top in publishing – both traditional and digital.
1: People usually start by selling classified or recruitment adverts, the smaller adverts in the back pages of newspapers and magazines. This is normally a telesales role while you build your knowledge with the newspaper / magazine, the client base and the market place as a whole. It is at this stage that individuals receive their sales and negotiation training and build their confidence before moving to the next stage. This training will comprise of introducing yourself to clients, questioning, listening, matching, negotiation and closely techniques along with presentation skills and general company training.
2.From classified sales, individuals move to selling display advertising. A display advert is a larger advertisement or one that appears within the body of the text. These adverts are usually more expensive, more difficult to negotiate and dealing with a higher calibre of client, hence why they train people in classified sales and move them to display. Due to the nature of display sales the role requires a lot more face to face selling and provides greater responsibility and autonomy.
3: With six to eighteen months experience and the graduate training under your belt this is the point where you are most valuable to your company. At this stage you are free to move onto any other media platform or medium. You will normally be promoted to a Senior Sales Executive position, where you take on more responsibility, get a chance to train in other areas and offer support to those below you. This is also where basic salaries and commission structure start to become very appetizing.
4: From a Senior Sales Executive position you will also be given the chance to move into more of an Account Manager or New Business Development role, where you will be managing large client accounts instead of people. This route tends to suit those not so interested in managing a team and who would rather earn larger amounts of commission for themselves.
5: Following a management route from display sales individuals become ‘Ad. Managers’ (Advertising Sales Managers), where they are responsible for a particular section of the magazine and its sales staff. Advertising Managers usually hold responsibility for recruitment, training, motivating and developing their team, greater input into editorial content, layout of publications, generating new product revenue streams as well as ensuring that all targets are reached.
6: Promotion from Advertising Sales Manager normally takes the route of moving into a Group Sales Manager role whereby you’ll be in direct charge of several Advertising Sales Managers and indirectly managing their teams. When we reach this stage it’s rare to be directly involved with active selling and the role tends to change more into a strategic and product development role, generating ideas for product extensions and mapping out the route the titles should take over the long term.
7: From Group Sales Manager level the next big step up the career ladder is to become a Publisher/ Sales Director / Director of a magazine, website, etc. Publishers are the commercial & editorial head of the title / set of titles and it is their responsibility to ensure that the magazine hits all of its targets. From here progression is to Board Director level. .