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BIA/Kelsey Releases New Report on Transformation in Local Media Sales Organizations

Apr 17, 2013

Study of six companies shows traditional sales models strained by rapid change across the local media landscape

CHANTILLY, Va. (April 17, 2013) – BIA/Kelsey, advisor to companies in the local media industry, has released a new report titled, “Sales Transformation: Building a Sustainable Model,” offering a detailed look into six respected media companies whose sales operations have undergone some degree of change. Their experiences offer best practice examples for similar local media companies looking to advance their own sales organizations.

“The current local media sales environment bears little resemblance to what it was even a decade ago, straining traditional sales models and requiring change beyond simply adding new products, revamping training, or claiming to have been transformed,” said Charles Laughlin, report author, senior vice president and managing editor, BIA/Kelsey. “Our study illustrates there is no single magic template to transform sales within an organization. We’ve identified several common denominators-including emphasis on customer metrics rather than revenue-yet each of the common traits becomes unique to the culture of the company and demands organizational transformation from top to bottom.”

Among the report’s key takeaways are:

  • Sales transformation and organizational transformation are difficult, if not impossible, to separate.
  • Companies that are making progress selling digital to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) tend to share common traits, which include thoughtful segmentation of sales channels, innovation around training, and a focus on driving the business on customer-centric key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Execution is the often-overlooked component of transformation.

“BIA/Kelsey’s Sales Transformation white paper is a durable ‘working document’ that has given our management team specific concepts and case studies that bring structure and clear definitions to a topic that can easily become unwieldy and lack clarity,” said Tim Murphy, VP, digital strategy and enterprise platforms, Entercom. “It’s become an active reference document that we refer back to frequently.”

BIA/Kelsey analysts will present top-level findings from the report during a free webinar on Tuesday, April 23, (register now) at 2pm EDT.

About ‘Sales Transformation: Building a Sustainable Model’

The 40-page report analyzes the rapid changes that have taken place in the digital media sales environment and offers insights into how companies have taken on the sales transformation challenge.

It offers a series of best practices and a “Digital Sales Transformation Playbook” that details areas most important to evaluate (e.g., culture, compensation, transformation, focus, KPIs, sales force development, product portfolio, execution and more). The companies examined share a common focus on small and medium-size business advertisers. They include directory publishers, newspapers, verticals and local SEM/SEO pure plays, all of which provided exclusive access to BIA/Kelsey.

The report features numerous charts and figures, including data from BIA/Kelsey’s Local Commerce Monitor study. Among the trends highlighted is the finding that the number of media used by small-business advertisers to promote their businesses has nearly doubled since 2007, from 3.0 to 5.8.

The report, which is published for BIA/Kelsey’s advisory clients, is also available for purchase ($995 for the report only, or $1,495 for the report plus a one-hour custom analyst briefing). More information about the report and how to purchase it is available at

About BIA/Kelsey

BIA/Kelsey advises companies in the local media space through consulting and valuation services, research and forecasts, Custom Advisory Services and conferences. Since 1983 BIA/Kelsey has been a resource to the media, mobile advertising, telecommunications, Yellow Pages and electronic directory markets, as well as to government agencies, law firms and investment companies looking to understand trends and revenue drivers. BIA/Kelsey’s annual conferences draw executives from across industries seeking expert guidance on how companies are finding innovative ways to grow. Additional information is available at, on the company’s Local Media Watch blog, Twitter ( and Facebook ( Stay connected by subscribing to the firm’s bi-monthly newsletter.

For more information contact:

MacKenzie Lovings
(703) 818-2425

Eileen Pacheco
For BIA/Kelsey
(508) 888-7478

Robert Udowitz
For BIA/Kelsey
(703) 621-8060