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SALESFUEL’S 12TH annual State of Media Sales™ survey reveals strong, renewed industry optimism in 2023

Mar 22, 2023

SOMS2023Nearly 25% of media sales managers expect a revenue increase

WESTERVILLE, Ohio/CHANTILLY, Virginia (March 21, 2023 ) — SalesFuel, a leading provider of sales intelligence, announced the results of its 12th annual State of Media Sales™ survey in conjunction with BIA Advisory Services. The survey reveals nearly 25% of responding media sales managers expect to see a revenue increase of more than 10% in 2023, reflecting optimism for the future of the industry.

And there’s even more positivity among sales professionals. The survey shows a decline in sales managers and representatives (reps) who say it’s getting harder to sell against Google/Facebook: 30% of managers say it’s getting harder to sell against Google/Facebook while 20% of reps say the same – down 13% and 9% respectively from 2021.

Regarding the question of whether it’s getting “harder to generate new business,” media sales reps say they are having an easier time. In 2021, 57% of reps said it was harder to generate new business; whereas in 2023, 44.5% of reps say so.

“We’re encouraged by the optimism among media sales managers and reps early on in 2023,” says C. Lee Smith, CEO of SalesFuel. “Considering the expectations for revenue growth and the fact that the industry is finding ways to compete with the major digital players, we look forward to supporting the rebounding growth and success of the industry this year.”

The survey in February 2023 included 496 media sales reps and managers from broadcast TV, cable TV, radio, newspapers/magazines, direct response, and those who have more than 50% of their revenue from digital sources.

One key finding across all the different types of sales managers includes high expectations for the health care vertical. Commenting on this, Nicole Ovadia, VP Forecasting & Analysis from BIA Advisory Services, says, “Our local advertising forecast tracks with what local sellers believe will be a strong year for health care. Our forecast has this vertical growing over 7% this year to top $13 billion. We are also tracking tremendous growth in digital advertising so local sellers are smart to be on top of this shifting ad spend to best position their offers.”

Key highlights of findings by media type:

Broadcast TV
58% of Broadcast TV media sales managers believe the health care vertical will deliver one of the highest growth rates this year.

Over 56% of Broadcast TV media sales managers say the automotive vertical will deliver a very high sales growth rate in 2023.

Cable TV
39% of Cable TV sellers expect urgent care centers to deliver significantly more revenue than last year.

Nearly 48% of Cable TV media sales managers expect a revenue increase of more than 10% in 2023.

22% of radio media sales managers expect nondealer auto service businesses to deliver significantly higher revenue growth; compared to 13% of all media sales managers.

43% of radio media sales managers believe sales to local-direct/franchises and small businesses will increase significantly this year.

71% of digital media sales managers believe recruiting/employment revenue will increase significantly in 2023 versus 38% of all sellers.

43% of digital media sales managers expect physicians to spend significantly more on advertising with them this year, a number that is notably higher than what sales managers in other media formats listed.

43% of print media sellers are having a harder time selling against the likes of Google/Facebook

33% of print media sales managers expect revenue from event sponsorship advertising to increase significantly in 2023.

Other key findings by business type:

  • 36% believe local franchises and small businesses will be significant sources of revenue increases in 2023.
  • Whereas just 8% see significantly more ad revenue from major retail accounts and chains perhaps as a result of larger companies centralizing their media buying.
  • And by industry vertical, 40% of media sellers point to home improvement as a top source of revenue increase for 2023, possibly indicating fewer people plan to sell their homes this year.

SalesFuel’s AdMall is catering to these trends and now contains more weekly leads for franchises who plan to advertise more, expand or roll out new products.

SalesFuel conducted our twelfth annual State of Media Sales™ survey in February 2023. The 496 respondents to this survey were media sales reps and media sales managers including broadcast TV, cable TV, radio, newspapers/magazines, direct response and those who have more than 50% of their revenue from digital sources. All were actively employed by media sales companies in the United States. Note that some respondents sell multiple media formats.


Audrey Strong
Director of Communications, SalesFuel
Office 614-794-0500 ext.131
Mobile 614-318-3771

MacKenzie Lovings
VP of Marketing, BIA Advisory Services
Office: 703 802 2991

About SalesFuel®:  
SalesFuel’s SaaS-based portfolio of sales tools, training and intelligence provide thousands of sales and media sales teams nationwide with the power to Sell Smarter®. Our platforms leverage data and critical insights that empower executives, sales managers, recruiters, and their teams to attract a higher level of talent and clientele.

We believe that business today must be data-driven, adaptive, caring, and consultative. It is all about intelligence – the vital information you cannot find in a Google or LinkedIn search. But it is also about knowing how to leverage that intelligence into productivity – and our team of sales, marketing and management strategists is here to guide you every step of the way.

Our portfolio of sales solutions includes:

AdMall® – Providing tactical business intelligence for local marketing and media sales, AdMall makes selling easier, improves marketing results and quickly generates return-on-investment.

SalesCred App – The SalesCred mobile app helps sales professionals earn trust with buyers by improving their credibility, mindset, sales skills, and pre-call research. The app is free for download from the Apple App Store and Google Play store.

TeamTrait™ – Uses psychometric assessments to analyze the behavioral traits business acumen of candidates, current team members and sales teams. TeamTrait equips managers with the data to: identify high-potential candidates; evaluate a team’s strengths, weaknesses and job fit; build high-performing teams, pinpoint professional development needs and retain talent.

Sales Manager Training – The online sales manager training course every sales manager needs to immediately increase effectiveness and drive sales growth.

Named as one of the Top 10 Sales Enablement Vendors for 2022 by Selling Power Magazine, SalesFuel was founded by C. Lee Smith in Columbus, Ohio in 1989 with a simple objective: Sales are the revenue engine of your company; we provide the fuel. C. Lee Smith is also named for 2023 by Selling Power as a Leading Sales Consultant. Lee is also the author of the Amazon International bestsellers “Hire Smarter, Sell More!” and “SalesCred: How Buyers Qualify Sellers.”


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About BIA Advisory Services
BIA Advisory Services is the leading authority for data-centered insights, analysis, strategic consulting, and valuation services for the local media industry. Since 1983, BIA has been a valuable resource for traditional and digital media companies, brands and agencies, the financial and legal community serving media and telecom, as well as the FCC and other government agencies. Today, we offer comprehensive local market advertising intelligence in our BIA ADVantageTM service to help clients discover the path to their best opportunities. Learn more about our offerings at