Sales Management: Market share and forecasting for the win!

Your sales team is making their goals each month. But how well are they actually selling? Do your sales reps really understand your brand’s audience data and market share? And wait….are they really making their goals?

We checked in with Associate Publisher Nancy O’Brien about ways to help your sales team understand and communicate to clients the power of your brand’s market share. We also talked how to use revenue projections to stay on top of your sales goals.

It’s the challenge of sales managers everywhere: What are some good guidelines on how to best report accurate revenue projections?

Nancy: “Predicting revenue is one of the most important tasks of the sales manager. It is the difference between achieving goals, meeting revenue budgets, and sometimes even profit and loss. Revenue projections should begin with the sales rep who reports anticipated sales by account for the year, during the final months of the previous year.

The sales rep also should provide sales projections by month and quarter, by account, using a 90% – 50% – 10% rule (90 means waiting for paperwork, 50 means they haven’t said no and 10 is pie in the sky). Sales reps proficient in this type of projection model predict revenues with a high degree of reliability. “

What are the top ways to understand brand market share? What’s important about that to drive home to the sales team?

Nancy: “Market share is simply a report on the percentage of advertising space/revenue my media gets compared to my competitors. There are several third party companies that provide this type of reporting for publishers.

It is also fairly simple to create your own report using Excel and logging in each advertiser by size and rep from each competing magazine. Knowing your market share provides publishers a tool to measure if you are keeping up with overall industry sales, which reps are missing important business, plus market share data is a great lead generating report.”

What are the 3 keys to managing proactively?

Nancy: “Managing proactively means that the sales manager is gathering and distributing all of the needed data to assist sales reps in their endeavors. The first key is to understand the market and trends each year. The second key is to work individually with each sales rep to help them develop specific plans and proposals to meet the needs of the advertisers and capitalize on market share information to identify new advertisers. Finally, the third key to proactive management is to keep an eye on annual and quarterly sales projections. If the team is projecting sales on a 90 day (quarterly) basis then managers can see and anticipate unexpected revenue downturns. Knowing this three months out allows time to self-correct through special promotions, new product offerings or simply additional sales coaching and training.”


Editor’s note: Nancy will be leading the session, “Organize Your Team to Make the Numbers!at the Super Niche Sales Management Masterclass in Charlotte, March 27-29.



Nancy O'Brien market shareMore about Nancy: Nancy works for Aviation International News as Associate Publisher and Ad Sales Guru. She also co-teaches Camp Niche Ad Sales Training. She’s a B-to-B publishing vet and previously worked at Petroleum Engineer, Oil & Gas Journal, and Electric Light & Power and been involved with aviation publications for the past 20 years.



Diana LandauAbout this blogger: Diana Landau is the Content Wrangler for Niche Media. A former sales director and corporate marketing hack, she has now found nirvana in writing and wrangling quality content. Diana is a food, wine, art and SF Giants enthusiast…who sometimes gets carried away.


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