Finding the next great account executive requires that managers be on the lookout almost constantly for fresh talent. Here are three great ideas gathered from the recent Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau (CAB) sales management conference to help identify promising performers:
- Ask around. One sales manager from a cable ad sales organization in Florida said she makes a point of asking her top clients to name some of the best sales reps in the market – especially those who work for the competition. At industry functions where media reps mingle, the manager makes sure to compliment top performers, mentioning she’s heard great things about them. The comments from a rival leave a favorable impression with seasoned sellers who may be ready for a move.
- Get educated. In Tucson, representatives of Cox Media regularly schedule mock interviews with students from the University of Tucson’s Media and Arts department. Students get to practice their interviewing skills, and Cox Media gets an early look at candidates who may have promise.
- Look within. Don’t always assume you need to hire a new AE when an incumbent’s departure leaves an open client list. Some veteran AEs may be itching to grow their own business, and a fresh set of clients may be just the incentive they need. “Instead of hiring a new AE, ask your veterans if they can bill another $200,000 next year,” advised an industry manager.