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Defining Success in Sports Radio

An old newspaper reporter and I used to have arguments about what success was defined as when it comes to radio. He believed success in radio had multiple factors while I believed it had one – profitability.

I said to him and have said many times that the programming can be the best programming ever heard, but if you can’t sell it, it doesn’t matter. Undoubtedly, the better the programming, the more beneficial it is to sales, however, everything will ultimately come down to the dollars and cents. So, a well programmed station that isn’t making money versus an OK programmed station that makes money, which one is more successful? Which one is “winning?”

The fact is, success means different things to different people in most instances. In media sales, the success has everything to do with the numbers – the revenue brought in and the profit after expenses. This makes success in our business easy to define, and sellers should know that hitting and exceeding budgets is the one and only true measure of success.

If you’re in sales and don’t know what success looks like, chances are you aren’t being given, or setting for yourself, quantifiable goals. Everything we do comes down to math and the equation should start from the end by answering the simple question, “How much money do you want to make this year?”

Let’s say that number is $100,000. Let’s also make the assumption that when it’s all said and done, you will make 10% of what you sell, therefore you need to sell $1,000,000 in advertising or a rough average of $84,000 per month, to hit your stated financial goal.

If you track everything, and you should, you should be able to use your closing ratio to go further with the math. For the sake of this exercise, I’m going to assume you’re a solid seller and you can close 4 out of every 10 deals you legitimately pitch to a decision maker after a strong CNA, so a 40% closing ratio. This means you need to pitch about $50,000 each week or $2,600,000 per year. Now you have a measurable figure to point at each week and you can grade yourself against that number.

To take it to another level, if you know what your average ask is, now you can bring the number down to exactly how many face to face appointments you need to average on a weekly basis to ask for that amount or money. Now you have a second number that you can use to track progress on a weekly basis.

If you’re really looking to track progress, work on calculating how many dials it takes you to get that number of appointments you need on a weekly basis (always accounting for the inevitable no-shows and reschedules!). You have now taken it down to the bare bones and have a measurable number for just about every step to track your progress towards your financial goal.

With this information, on a weekly basis, you can determine if the week was a success. Did I make the right number of dials to get the right number of appointments to pitch the right number of asks at the right dollar amount to achieve my goals? If not, which part of the plan got in the way?

The black and white of our business makes a hard job easy to measure for achievement. Know your numbers and your goals so that success is always easy for you to define.

About Dave Greene (29 Articles)
Dave Greene is the General Sales Manager for 610 Sports in Kansas City. He has previously served as Vice President and Market Manager for Cumulus Media, Townsquare Media, Flinn Broadcasting, Simmons Media Group, Grand Slam Sports and 590 The Fan KFNS. Follow him on Twitter @DaveGreene34.

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