The rules of engagement in an Enterprise Sales Scenario for Advertising

Types of Accounts /Clients/Brands:

  1. Know your KEY Accounts-Guard them with your Life…these are the ones who are on your competitor radar and these account for your top line/bottom line and within the 80:20 principle constitute being among the best of the breed clients that you manage and serve.
  2. Know your competitor’s KEY accounts- Give everything that you have to break into them and win them on to your side, these accounts determine the acceleration that your business will get as each account won. This is where you need a dynamic sales force and sales acumen to come to the fore front.
  3. Regular Retainers: These are the accounts which will be there year on year but how will not show appreciable value in terms of the returns that they give back in sense  of  the effort table and the amount of work that has gone into these accounts. These are however important from the context of ensuring that operation al break-even is leveraged for the entire firms working through the collective revenues realized through these accounts.
  4. Dormant Accounts: These are the ones who have little or no impact at all whether it is the top line or the bottom line of the firm and also the nature of work that one needs to engage with them is one off projects which requires little or limited expertise and resources.

The Approach:

  1. Respect 80:20 principle and arrive at a practical model for the agency-this will mean making the entire machinery lean and mean in terms of delivery/revenue realization and operational excellence and profitability in terms of per employee per brand team kind of a perspective.
  2. New Business Development needs to be sharp and ruthless especially while snatching away competitor key accounts with regular intervals and ferocity. In case where in conflicting brands from same sector happen to be the brands in question, the best possible win- win solution will be to develop a separate entity to handle it all by itself which can wither be a dedicated unit operating at the clients place or could be a subsidiary operating on that brands along with a couple of more other brands so that the resources allocation is trimmed and further streamlined.
  3. Service Excellence – These attributes are needed to ensure that a great amount of value foes into the Regular Retainers so that they feel valued and are there to stay for long time ahead and this in a way is done not by having multitudes of people on a single brand but rather creating a model wherein efficiency and flow chart basis work environments are based to address queries and brand concerns in a timely and systematically proven scientific manners. This could be as simple as an email based ticket system wherein the client‘s every interaction with the brand team is channeled into a specific set of pre-determined communication messages (kind of regular communication/ job to be done/ need changes/ urgent/request for in person meeting) etc.

This way of managing it in an effective way ensures that the operational costs are trimmed at a base level and are ultra-responsive to the revenue realized from these accounts.

  1. Internalization of a brand is the secret of success in the agency world, does not matter what function you choose or what task you perform, but knowing the answers to the Why? What? , Where? Who? How? Will eventually differentiate between Good Work and Great Work.
  2. More importantly also the DNA of the agency in the sense of what it proposes and to what extent it wants to be a brand champion will definitely effect the approach and also eventually determine the outcome of the approach that is eventually take.

The Enterprise sales approach discussed here was just a brief overview, there are of course many details that go in to this further to make it a refined concept that can fit into an agency specific environment and need to be tweaked around to align more aptly to the sensitivities and sensibilities of the agency world.


Disclaimer: The article is purely based on my experiences and bring forth my personal views on the topic. It by no means indicates/suggests/advocates anything apart from what has been mentioned in the article. These views are not binding and do not intend to impact/influence decision making process or question any processes or systems which are in practice. This is purely an observational essay for intellectual pursuits.