Next up in our series with successful sales managers is Greg Davis Jr., VP/Atlanta MM for Davis Broadcasting. Based in Columbus, GA, this family-owned group, with more than 30 years in the industry, has six stations in Columbus and another six in Atlanta.
Radio Ink: What do you look for when hiring a high-performance sales professional?
Davis: I’m Looking for the desire to do sales, someone who is driven and has the ability to learn. Oftentimes, when you get into a role, if you don’t have the desire to learn new things, you become stagnant and that can carry over to a lack of performance. I look for a team player. With a smaller company like ours we need someone who can not only work with our clients but also able to work with each other.
Radio Ink: Can ego be a problem with high-performers?
Davis: It can be a factor in any role. Within sales you want someone that is internally driven and sometimes that comes off in different ways. It could come off as ego or it could come off as “hey I want to win.” With high-performers we manage it by giving them more responsibilities. I think high-performers feed off of being able to offer leadership in addition to driving sales.
Radio Ink: What type of extra responsibilities do you give your high-performers?
Davis: We have a number of account managers who have been here with us for years. They have a different perspective and we value that perspective. They know what it’s like to not have an account on the air and they know what it’s like to have many accounts on the air. They know that to have a big account is great for this month, but if it goes away, what does that mean? High-performers help us with recruiting, sometimes with interviews. You know, sometimes a title is not necessary, it’s about the responsibility. Also, we send them out with the new AEs. Teaching gives you the opportunity to do some self-reflection, we teach because then you have to say, “Am I doing this the way I was taught, is it effective and are there new ways that I can be teaching people more effectively than the way I was taught?”
Radio Ink: Are cash and other incentives part of your managers tool kit?
Davis: Cash incentives are great when you have it. Oftentimes when you can’t offer cash incentives, we’ve learned that a way we can incentivize is to provide AEs with certain accounts that maybe a manager has closed or maybe a house account. Often times these AEs will see the long-term revenue potential of these accounts that have been passed on to them.
Radio Ink: How do you keep high-performers from moving on to greener pastures?
Davis: As a small, family-owned business we pride ourselves on operating differently. Not everywhere do you have access to the President of the company; with us you do. We make sure we take advantage of how we can set ourselves apart from larger companies and what the benefits are to working with us. Sometimes it’s about the closeness of the company to enhance the culture.
Radio Ink: How do you determine when a salesperson just isn’t a good fit?
Davis: You have to look at their ability, their desire and willingness to learn. When we see you don’t have the desire or the ability and we’ve gone through all of the necessary steps — like a development plan on how we believe you can succeed in the business — then unfortunately it’s not a good match for us. In a commission-based role, like sales, individuals can’t survive if they can’t bring in the accounts. There is no set time. Everything is a case-by-case basis. We give them an ample amount of time to succeed before parting ways.
Contact Greg Davis Jr. 706.576.3565 or email: [email protected]