When a poor sales strategy leads to missed opportunities
A digital content publisher was facing a troubling decline in ad revenue that jeopardized its growth plans. The slump had multiple causes. Although the company owned a diverse, complex array of digital properties, only a handful made a significant contribution to the top line. Because of flawed yield-management practices, the company wasn’t able to maximize prices realized from ad sales. Exacerbating the problem, sales practices were inconsistent across regions, causing the company to miss out on potentially lucrative opportunities. Since management lacked the sophisticated analytical tools required to reverse this decline, they turned to AlixPartners to help put the company on a path to growing annual revenue by $20 million to $40 million.
Smarter tools and processes add up to stronger sales
Multiple problems required multiple solutions, and our team set to work designing and implementing them. We created a blueprint for pruning the portfolio of digital properties and redesigning the remaining properties. And we developed advanced yield modeling tools to help management more effectively analyze yields and segment customers and properties by their profitability. We fine-tuned procedures for reserving and delivering advertising space, which would help the company wring maximum value from its advertising inventory. In addition, we revised the company’s pricing methodology to preserve profit margins and redesigned sales functions and processes to make them more efficient and consistent.
To help promote the right level of sales discipline, we applied data-driven approaches, behavioral science insights, and our proprietary sales toolkit to identify and encourage the seemingly small actions necessary to drive significant revenue gains. We also worked with the company and its cornerstone clients to burnish its value proposition and designed advanced training programs aimed at boosting sales force effectiveness. The customized tools we developed enabled management to better monitor sales performance so they could intervene before small problems could become big ones.
When it really matters
The program produced results almost immediately. Better yield management and price realization created an opportunity to increase margins by more than $50 million. More rigorous sales and pricing practices and enhanced sales training helped to shore up margins and significantly improve sales force effectiveness. Once management had a clearer view of the company’s sales performance, they could make better strategic decisions. The growth that once seemed out of reach was achievable.