Ad Sales Management: Where Do You Find Your Best Sales Leaders?

Growth means you need more ad sales managers.

Sure it’s a good problem to have, but where do you find the good ones?

Have you considered that your own sales team’s top performers could be ideal candidates?

We checked in with VP of Business Development Christopher Ware on how to find your sales leaders,  what qualities to look for and how to prepare for your future dream team.

First, what are 3 big reasons why publishers should look in-house—within their own sales teams—for sales manager candidates? 

Christopher: “I’m a big baseball fan. In professional baseball you have the minor leagues. That allows teams to develop their own talent from the rookie level on up to the pros.

This has a lot of advantages. You train your future all-stars to play the game your way. They don’t learn bad habits. They know the leadership and the system.

So training a player, or salesperson, from their rookie level on up to sales all-star has a lot of the same advantages. They learn your system. And, most importantly, they already have relationships with the customers in your industry.”

Can you give us some good guidelines for assessing leadership qualities and skills?

 Christopher: “Initiative and persistence are two key traits to look for. I like someone who can look at the landscape and find ways to make improvements. Someone who isn’t just content with the status quo. And they have the persistence to work through the setbacks that will almost always get in the way.”

What should publishers be doing right now to cultivate their sales dream team of the future?

Christopher: “Send their teams to all Niche media conferences! Aside from that, we all know your teams of the future will have to know how to sell digital. They will have to know how to sell mobile media. That’s the technical stuff that you can teach anyone. 

The rock stars of the future are going to be the relationship builders. People who can use social media tools not just to prospect, but to develop quality relationships.

Until the robots take over people still buy from people. You want to thrive, learn how people cultivate relationships and pass that knowledge on to your teams.”


Editor’s note: Christopher will be leading the session, The Ad Executive of the Future at Super Niche in Charlotte, March 27-29.



More about Christopher: Christopher Ware is Vice President of Business Development for NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association. He’s an association event pro with expertise in making niche events profitable through creative corporate sponsorships that benefit both the association and the industry it serves. Inspired by Carl’s giving away cats, Christopher has a history of giving away free burritos to get his calls returned.


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