What Are Sellers And Sales Managers Thinking?


    The Center for Sales Strategy has released its annual Media Sales Report, a compilation of two surveys conducted in the 4th quarter of 2020. CSS surveyed the expectations veteran Sales Managers and Salespeople in Radio, TV, Digital, Newspapers and Cable.

    The five topics covered in the survey were:
    Sales Department Structure
    Training and Development
    Setting Appointments and Sales Process
    Sales Enablement, Culture and Industry Outlook
    The effects of COVID-19 on the Media Sales landscape.

    Here are the highlights from the report, which you can download HERE.

    What Managers Said
    81% of sales managers feel optimistic about the future of their industries.
    61% of sales managers said they do not have the right number of sellers.
    64% feel they should increase the number of salespeople on staff.
    3 out of 4 sales managers think 40% of their salespeople are underperforming.
    32% of sales managers consider only 1 in 5 salespeople to be superstars.
    More than two-thirds of sales managers think that less than 40% are superstars.
    11% believe 6 out of 10 salespeople are superstars.

    44% of sales managers believe their markets will be down this year by 10% or more. Sales managers cite their concerns for 2021 as slower than expected economic recovery, a new wave of COVID lockdowns, and lost revenue from 2020 not returning.

    What Sellers Said
    92% of salespeople say that it’s important or very important that they learn and develop in their roles, and 3 out of 4 sales managers conduct weekly sales training.

    51% of salespeople say their manager talks with them often about their talents.
    60% of salespeople feel valued by their managers all the time.
    34% sometimes feel valued.
    39% percent of salespeople do not feel supported all the time by their manager.

    When it comes to compensation, salespeople don’t want 100% salary. Only 27% wanted straight commission. The majority of salespeople (70%) want some version of salary plus commission.

    91% of salespeople do not want to go back into the office full time due to COVID
    22% of salespeople remain uncertain about what the future holds.

    How CSS conducted this survey
    Two sample groups were surveyed representing sales managers and salespeople in Radio, TV, Digital, Newspaper, and Cable. The first sample included 190 sales managers with job titles such as VP of sales, director of sales, and general sales managers. The second group was a sample of 337 salespeople, primarily account executives. The majority of all respondents were industry veterans with 11+ years of media sales experience representing a balanced cross-section of market sizes.


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