Forums » The Round Table: Brainstorming & Problem-solving

Account List Management questions

    • 37 posts
    November 3, 2014 1:19 PM PST

    Humbly ask for your input...

    The most productive account list management process that I have worked with generated year after year after year of double digit revenue increases without corresponding increases in ratings in a ratings-sensitive market, with a lower ranked station - and did the same in non-ratings sensitive market with a dominant local station.  

    I would appreciate knowing what works best for you - here's what I worked with:

    Account gets protected for three business days when the first seller registers it in an all-sales staff accessed repository (one of an "all sellers" group email, password protected web page, binder - take your pick).

    Seller has three business days to have contact info established and show proof of contact and follow-up plan re potential decision-maker.

    Seller has the latter of 6 months from registration to get an order from a newly listed prospect or 3 months from opening if it is a new business.

    If newly listed account has not been sold as per above, or a previously sold client has not been sold in 13 months, it goes on an unprotected "Draft List".

    Prior to the quarterly Draft, sellers can protect the greater of 60-80 accounts (we experimented for a variety of reasons - number usually including seasonals) or accounts representing 90% of the previous 12 months' billings.

    The non-protected accounts go to the Draft List.

    Sales manager reviews the Draft List and makes any special account assignments as necessary.  In the vast majority of cases, the full list goes to Draft, with the seller of the smallest list picking first, continuing in reverse order.

    Sellers are encouraged to make Sales Manager approved trades of one or more accounts at any time.

    • 34 posts
    November 7, 2014 10:54 AM PST

    influence.FM account list manger (or CRM) automates a lot this process for radio station managers. It makes it very easy for the manager to transfer and reassign accounts to other reps and see instantly where the rep is in the sales process of said client. The video below shows just a bit of what it can do. The reporting however is not included in the video.

    • 37 posts
    November 7, 2014 11:31 AM PST

    DJ, you are 100% correct and neither would I work with those parameters - if that's all there was to the story.  

    When it comes to business relationships, quantitative parameters need to be accompanied by qualitative judgement calls.

    I failed to identify the qualitative considerations that go into the approach I described in my posting.  Fairness that recognizes developments for a prospective account generates exceptions beyond the protected list when the seller reviews his/her protected/unprotected accounts with the sales manager prior to Draft Day.

    Three of owner-managed retail advertisers' biggest frustrations with advertising sellers are not being able to measure results, a non-stop churn of reps and an absence of compelling strategies to grow their business.

    That's why the rep churn is also taken into account in pre-Draft list approval and the 6 month protection window can be extended where the case is justified.  

    One of the biggest problems with list management is that too many reps sit on too many accounts.  The built-in accountability of the process, with its qualitative parameters, did not bear unfavourably when we hired one of our nation's largest auditing/business practice firms to survey clients about our approach with them.

    With as direct a response coming from someone who is as valued a player at an organization as very well managed as yours, DJ, I am humbled.  

    • 456 posts
    November 10, 2014 10:03 AM PST

    Our goal is to have all reps working a max of 75 accounts. Accounts are always under review if there is no progress or activity. If these accounts are moved, they typically go to newer members of the sales team or higher billers that consistently hit budget in all product categories.

    • 34 posts
    August 19, 2016 2:06 PM PDT