Every Staff Needs A Reality Check

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Jan 10, 2024 by Sean Luce

Most managers will agree that the most important factor separating the mediocre sales rep from the superstar rep is the efficient (and effective) management of time.

The second most important factor: the average sale - or the number of our stations or products/services that we get the client to purchase based on the client's unique need. In most cases,we have much more to offer than what the customer purchases, and our frequency is well short of the 3.29 (or the 30-40 commercials) required in small and mid-size market to garner an effective frequency schedule based on the demo/daypart.

Now it's time to give your reps a reality check. This reality check not only slaps the reps upside the head, but it also gives you a wake-up call when you see the bottom 20 percent of your sales reps lists - and the average sales for that bottom 20 percent.

Here's a real-world example of a RCW (reality check worksheet) for a sales rep in a medium
market (though the example could be from stations in small, large or major markets, as well). All figures are rounded.

1.What was your total billing for the month? $42,000
2. How many clients did you have on the air last month? 26
3. Divide the total billing by the total number of clients you had on the air for your "total average dollar per client?: $1,615 (Divide $42,000 by 26.)
4.What dollar figure does 80 percent of your billing represent? $33,600 ($42,000 X .80)
5. How many customers did it take to make up that 80 percent? 13 (Beginning with your highest-dollar client, in descending order, add dollars from each client until you hit the $33,600 figure.)
6. How many clients make up the last 20 percent of your billing? 13 (These clients did not make the top 80 percent.)
7.What is the average dollar/sale per client on the first 80 percent of your billing? $2,585 ($33,600 - 13)
8.What is the average dollar/sale per client on the bottom 20 percent? $646 ($42,000 - $33,600 = $8,400 - 13 clients that made up the bottom 20 percent)

What glaring statistic is staring you in the face? Without question, it's the fact that the rep has an even split of 13 accounts that make up 80 percent of her billing and 13 accounts that make up 20 percent of her billing. Look at the average sales: The top 80 percent is $2,585, compared with the bottom 20 percent that has an average of just $646 - almost a 4-to-1 spread on average sale.

Realistically, it takes the same amount of time to work that $646 average sale as it does to work the $2,585 average sale. In fact, sometimes the smaller average-sale client takes more service time and has only a small chance for up-selling.


The sales rep is probably spending 50 percent of her time working the 13 accounts that represent the 80 percent of billing. Most likely, 50 percent of her time is spent with the 13 clients that represent the bottom 20 percent. What's the time inefficiency ratio? Probably 30 percent, because that's how much of this sales rep's time is being wasted.

The lack of time-management training by sales management led to this in the first place. What would happen if this rep garnered 30 percent more time per week with proper sales training? Most likely, she'd have a focused, laser-beam approach to that 80 percent of accounts that are bringing in the bread and butter on her list!

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