CNBAM: Best Training Program 2014 On the quest for success, your goal can never be to achieve mediocrity. In order to success, you must choose to strive for excellence.
From the very first day that we step into our training week, we hear success stories about Michael Jordan and how he truly started from the bottom and worked his way to being the best the game of basketball has ever seen. We hear about how Michael Jordan didn’t make his high school basketball team. He faced adversity from the start of his career, but it didn’t stop him from achieving greatness. Like Jordan, as a staff we would face adversity, but that is only an obstacle on our way to being the best there is. This is something we live and breathe throughout the entire training week. From the moment they enter the doors, we hand then the tools from product knowledge, sales training, client scenarios and first hand examples to help each staffer transition into their new position at the University Daily Kansan.
No matter what department your position is in, the first days of training stress the importance of legacy and tradition. We introduce and welcome each and every staffer to the “Famsan,” our Kansan family. Since its establishment in 1904, the Kansan has upheld a tremendous and strong presence throughout KU history. We start training by stressing the fact that the Kansan is a tradition that has lived on our campus for over one hundred years and it is our turn to make sure that tradition continues for another one hundred years. By stressing these concepts to the staff from day one, we set an expectation of greatness and it shows the staff to make the most of their training week and to learn every in and out of the Kansan. We start each day with an icebreaker and team-‐building exercises to better acquaint the staff. The main focus to product knowledge and the sales process, but we make sure to tie in other lighthearted activities through the week to help relieve any stress or overwhelming feelings.
The day before all-‐staff training, we hold manager’s training. The student business manager and the sales and marketing advisor plan a day mapping out expectations and management techniques.
Kansan Advertising Departments
Each department of the Kansan has specialized training during this week that caters specifically to their position and the upcoming semester.
The Sales Team The first and foremost important piece of knowledge our sales representatives learn during training week is that we do not sell ads, we solve client’s problems and cater to their needs. By framing their position as problem solvers and consultants, we convey the importance of making sure to cater to client’s needs, not just their quotas. We preach that in order to adequately create solutions for our advertisers, we must know four things: product knowledge, the client, our audience, and the sales process as a whole. We start with product knowledge, both print and digital. As a whole it is important to know what the Kansan offers across both platforms in order to develop and implement multimedia campaigns. For print product knowledge we review the daily paper, special sections, special products (i.e. Coupons and stickers), and our weekend edition. We discuss key selling points for each print product and examples of how certain products work better for different clients. In digital product knowledge we review Kansan.com, UDK mobile app, social media services, and RockchalkLiving.com. We go through each digital product explaining exactly what is sold on each and key selling points for each.
After the Account Executives understand the Kansan’s products, we begin sales training. We breakdown sales through a step-‐by-‐step process. Using power points, we go through effective ways to research your clients, how to get past gatekeepers, the needs analysis meeting, objection handling, prospecting new business and closing the sale. We act out mock client calls to show an example of the right questions to ask, correct terminology and holding conversations with clients. We go over building rapport with clients in order to build their trust and to act as a consultant. Randomly, we will test their newly acquired knowledge in a game called “trial by fire.” This game is where a manager will act as a client and a staff is then picked at random to perform a sales call at the front of the room in front of the staff. After each call, we give feedback on what could have done better, but also what they did well. We surprise the staff throughout the week with an impromptu ‘Trial by Fire.” Though it can be seen as intimidating, once the reps are actually in the field, this will come easier after practicing in front of a room full of people.
Creative Team: The Kansan believes that the root of good advertising comes from effective design. Our staff has its own team of creatives that are responsible for client artwork. Each sales zone includes its own designer. By assigning designers to specific sales teams for the whole semester, the designer is able to better know their clients and AE’s to develop the most strategic and effective artwork. During training week, the Creative Director presents the basics of designing advertisements for newspaper, for both the print products and digital products. We cover the deadlines and formatting. We cover the creative and AE relationship and the importance of communication between the positions in order to best serve the client. Also, we train the creatives in the programs used for print and digital platforms. During training week, the creative team is challenged to create a spec ad for a client that they will be working with for the upcoming semester.
Marketing Team: The Kansan has its own, fully staffed marketing department. We preach about the importance of making sure the Kansan products are effectively reaching students. We stress that the marketing team is responsible for maintaining and increasing the Kansan’s 81 percent readership. The marketing specialists are the Kansan’s own “brand ambassadors.” They are responsible for distribution and circulation, increasing readership, developing promotions and events. During training, we cover the different events and promotions lined up for the semester like Apartment Fest and our Back-‐to-‐ School party. The team is responsible for developing plans to market the Kansan’s special sections to provide our clients the widest reach possible with KU students. During training, we paired up a marketer to a specific AE to work together for the whole semester. By pairing each AE with a marketer, they are able to collaborate and brainstorm on creative solutions for their clients. The Marketing Manager uses training week to assess the strengths of each team member and delegate positions for the semester (i.e. event planners, readership rewards).
Certification As the training week wraps up, we require each account executive to be certified before they start selling the Kansan and “graduate” from our training week. During certification, the sellers are required to perform mock client calls to demonstrate what they have learned throughout the week. We gave the account executives the client Merchants, a newly opened restaurant in downtown Lawrence for their certification process. The certification process is as follows:
Step 1: The seller must get the meeting and demonstrate how to get past the ‘gatekeeper.’ Once past the gatekeeper, the seller was then able to talk to the client. Step 2: The seller executes a needs analysis where they are expected to ask open-‐ended questions in order to best find out the needs of the client. They must effectively handle objections during this step. They must ask for a budget and set up a meeting to come back with a proposal. Step 3: With the information from the needs analysis, the sellers are all expected to develop a proposal by the next training day when they will pitch their plans to the client. Step 4: The next day at training, the sellers perform a mock meeting to close the sale. The must pitch their proposals and handle realistic objections during this meeting in order to be certified.
This certification process is very important in telling where the seller stands after the week of training. It lets management understand skills that’s are still needing improvement to better prepare each and every seller. If management feels that a seller is not ready based on their performance during certification, the business and sales manager will continue to work with them in order to develop a stronger skill set.
Guest Speakers & Continued Training Throughout the week of training, we bring in guest speakers to talk to staff. We bring in old Kansan ad staff alums to talk about their experience on staff, give their advice and talk about how their experience at the Kansan has best prepared them for the real world. We have alums speak that graduated one year ago to alums that graduated thirty years ago.
The five-‐day training week is just the beginning for our staff. Based on performance and the needs of the staff, every Friday at the all-‐staff meeting, we would address challenges and walk through mini training sessions in order to best overcome these obstacles. Continued training throughout the whole semester keeps the staff on track by coaching sales techniques or ways to prospect and develop new business.
FALL 2013 TRAINING SCHEDULE Monday, August 12th 9:00 – 9:45 Donuts, coffee & icebreakers 9:45 – 10:45 Welcome Addies! Introductions, job descriptions and expectations 10:45 – 11:15 Day in the Life: Office tour and daily rituals (stations) 11:15 – 11:45 Competitor Products with Brittany (zone manager) 11:45 – 1:00 Lunch with zones 1:00 – 2:00 Print Product Training with Sean (sales manager) 2:00 – 3:00 Digital Product Training & Google Analytics with Mollie (business manager) & Jon (adviser) 3:00 – 4:00 Sales Training: Research & Getting the Meeting with Mollie 4:00 – 4:15 Zone wars! Tuesday, August 13th 9:00 – 9:45 Welcome Back & Icebreaker 9:45 – 10:20 Office Etiquette, Professionalism and Ethics with Jon (adviser) 10:20 – 11:00 Sales Training: Needs Analysis with Mollie (business manager) 11:00 – 11:45 Features & Benefits // MMCFACTS with Mollie (business manager) 11:45 – 1:00 Lunch with staff 1:00 – 1:30 Trial by fires 1:30 – 2:00 New Business/ Prospecting with Sean (Sales manager) 2:00 – 3:00 Rate card Training: Complete worksheet Break off with zones 3:00 – 3:30 Presenting & Proposing: What to bring on a call with Lydia (zone manager) 3:30 -‐ 4:00 Zone Wars Wednesday, August 14th 9:00 – 9:30 Ice Breaker 9:30 – 10:30 Aggregate Audience Selling with Jon 10:30 – 11:00 Marketing with Erin (marketing manager) 11:00 – 11:20 Creative with Sarah (creative director) 11:20 – 11:45 Time Management and Organization with Lydia 11:45 – 1:00 Lunch 1:00 – 2:00 Objections & Closing with Mollie and Sean 2:00 – 3:00 Certification Pt. 1 Needs Analysis 3:15 – 3:35 Zone Wars Thursday, August 15th 9:00 – 10:30 Certification pt. 2 Closing 10:30 – 11:00 Trial by Fires 11:00 Guest Speaker with Vince Coultis (KC Star) 12:00 – 1:00 Lunch 1:00 – 2:00 CHALLENGE! 2:00 – 3:00 Map-‐questing your way to success with Jon 3:00 – 3:30 Zone Wars 3:30 – 4:00 Certificates/Lists & Questions Friday, August 16th 9:00 – 9:30 Round-‐up meeting: Hit the ground running! 9:30 – 3:00 SELL! SELL! SELL! 3:00 All-‐staff meeting & Zone wars
TRAINING VISUAL AIDS We train the entire staff on how to use the Kansan’s Google Analytics to better familiarize themselves with the digital products. After reviewing all the key elements of Google Analytics, the staff completes a worksheet that forces each staffer to navigate and understand how the program works.
During Aggregate Audience selling, we show the staff how over the last few years, audiences have become fragmented through all of the various media products available. To combat this, we discuss our audiences that each of our products reaches (ROP, digital, special sections, etc). Though our training, we coach the reps on how to do thorough needs assessment s in order to best serve the targeted audience. During this presentation, reps are challenged to get into the minds of their clients and targeted audience to better understand their needs.
These diagrams are used year after year during Kansan training to show how clients buy advertising and how different needs of clients coincide with an effective sales process. By understanding both the consumer and the client, reps are better able to understand the best form of advertising.
This visual helps break down the sales training in an easy to follow diagram. At first, learning how to sell can be overwhelming, so by breaking down the process in a clearly defined graphic.
On the last day of training, we have a presentation entitled, Mapquesting your way to success. During this presentation we put up a list that an AE will be working with all semester and talk about ways to overcome any and all obstacles like churn, or less ad dollars to spend. We have the whole staff discuss possible clients that have room for growth, or ways to prospect and build new business. This exercise gets the reps thinking of solutions to overcome any adversity they may face.
Published on Apr 17, 2014