Expert Advice: Old School DRTV vs. New School DRTV: Understand Your Sales Model

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In my first article in DRTV Newsweekly, I suggested that the direct response television industry has dramatically changed. I outlined six critical factors that you must plan for if you're going to crack the code and be successful in this new DRTV Internet continuum.

I'm now going to start drilling down on each of these six key factors starting with understanding the sales model. Basically, your sales model is the process from which your organization sells its goods or services.  Of course, every business has its own style of selling that defines its sales culture, and there are many ways to sell effectively. The goal is to balance resources while deploying the most effective sales model.

In the DRTV model there are lots of moving pieces and numerous buyer touch points, and you can't, nor should you, try do everything yourself.  So the issue is constructing a model that provides the seamless integration of your internal capabilities with outsourced services to create the most effective go-to-market strategy. To move forward, here is a simple process to follow:

· Identify & document your current "go-to-market" sales model

· Compare your sales model with external best-practices in similar markets

· Identify gaps compared to the ideal best-practices

· Develop action plan to fill in the gaps with internal and external services

· Develop a new sales cycle in alignment with your enhanced sales model. Begin forming sales processes in support of the new sales model

In context of this process, let's take a look at some high scope DRTV sales model options that you can use in building yours.  Again, keep in mind, with the integration of the phone, retail, and the Web, DRTV today is far more complicated than ever before. Plus, it's further compounded with search engine marketing and a real TV-like rich media online experience that is right around the corner.

For chart, click below:

http://dmnews.netconcepts.com/cms/lib/6103.pdf

In simple terms, you have to first deeply understand the economic value of your customer, how to structure a compelling offer, and then decide on which sales model leverages the greatest return on advertising spend. I personally feel that a multi-step sales model is easier, more flexible and provides greater opportunity to ensure success.

One last point you must not minimize. In the old school sales model, consumers called and operators sold. In the new school sales model, 30 percent to maybe 100 percent of responses go to the Web, bypassing the sales person. Close rates are obviously lower, but operating costs are lower, too. Media is a constant. The other issue is that consumers can use search to research, compare and shop to get the best buy from your company or a competitor. This shift has changed sales models for ever and you must plan for this accordingly.

In the next issue I will address understanding lifetime value in terms of building an ad-allowable financial model based on one-time revenue or recurring revenue stream incorporating purchases over the customer's lifetime.

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