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Sales team of the year

By The Drum | Administrator

May 6, 2004 | 7 min read

The team at Media-Link regain their Scottish Media Sales Team of the Year crown.

Scottish Sales Team of the Year

The field was wide open. The crown was there for the taking. But who would be up for the challenge this year?

Last year the Mail on Sunday upped the ante, while the market was suffering, with a strong showing in the Classified Press section, to scoop the Scottish Sales Team of the Year title. But now, with the market showing signs of recovery, who would have the all-round skills to capitalise this year?

It was Media-Link that picked up the gauntlet, to be crowned Scottish Sales Team of the Year, with a strong performance across all categories for the clients that the firm represents - the Daily Mail, the Scottish Daily Mail, the Mail on Sunday, the Independent, the London Evening Standard, Virgin Radio and Carlton Screen Advertising.

Ultimately, 13 per cent of all respondents during our research said that Media-Link was the Scottish sales team that deserved to be named as Overall Media Sales Team of the Year, just edging out Scottish & Universal Newspapers with 10 per cent and JCDecaux in third overall spot with 4 per cent.

Mirroring last year’s research, media agencies sent The Drum lists of their buyers, who were in turn contacted and questioned by George Street Research on the sales teams that they deal with on a regular basis. Over 60 Scottish media buyers were involved in the research.

The sales teams were judged across four key areas to assess their Innovation, Helpfulness & Speed of Response, Understanding and Negotiation skills. As expected, the competition was fierce and the results tight.

Outdoor Sales Team

Scores across the board in the Outdoor category were very tight. However, this year it was JCDecaux that commanded the best seat in the poll, fending off very close competition from JCDecaux Airport – last year’s winning Outdoor team – and Posterplus. The latter team scored particularly high across the Innovation and Helpfulness & Speed of Response categories; however, its score was curtailed by the perception of the team’s negotiation skills.

JCDecaux scored well across the table. However, its strongest category was its innovation as airport advertising successfully strives for standout in a strong out-of-home market utilising its unique territory.

National Press Display Sales Team

Last year’s winner in the National Press Display category, the Financial Times, again romped to victory, standing head and shoulders above its rivals, ranking highest in each of the four areas of scrutiny.

In second place was Media-Link’s sales team for the Independent and Independent on Sunday, who climbed the poll from fifth place last year with a strong showing, particularly in the Helpfulness & Speed of Response category. Making the final cut too was the Media-Link team that sells for the London Evening Standard, a newcomer to the rankings, with Media-Link for the Mail on Sunday and Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph also well represented.

National Press Classified Sales Team

The National Press Classified category was another extremely tight battle. This year, however, it was the Sunday Herald that headed the pile. A recently restructured sales team at Newsquest (the Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times) is already, it seems, showing the benefits. Having previously been unrepresented in the poll, the team at the Sunday Herald has stolen top spot from the Mail on Sunday’s Classified team, with the Herald moving in to third place.

Second place was scooped by the Classified team at the Aberdeen Press and Journal.

All teams involved scored exceptionally well across three of the categories – Innovation, Helpfulness & Speed of Response and Understanding. However, it was Negotiation Skills that appeared to be the one area that the teams needed to improve, with all of the top five ranked teams being labelled as relatively easy to manipulate. Perhaps, though, just a sign of the tough market conditions?

Regional & Local Press Sales Team

Last year we questioned what it would take to wrest the crown of Regional Press Sales Team away from Scottish and Universal Newspapers after six consecutive wins.

Well, again it seems that, for the seventh year on the trot, no-one in Scotland has found the answer, as S&UN again regained the crown as the one to beat in the Regional and Local Press poll. Although Archant has closed the gap this year in second place, it is still considerable, with S&UN topping each of the four criteria that the buyers were asked to judge. In third place came the Aberdeen Evening Express.

Magazine Sales Team

A dramatic rise in rankings last year saw Glasgow-based International Magazines leap into first place from the lower echelons of the table. The team has again fought off all competition to retain its crown for selling titles such as Homes & Interiors Scotland, Best Scottish Weddings, the London Wedding Magazine and The Guide 2004.

The List has moved up a place, into second position from last year’s third spot, while BA Magazine, sold by Mediaforce Magazines, finished in a commendable third place. With a glut of new and old magazines saturating the marketplace in Scotland, and a number of magazines recently being forced into closure, it is vital that sales teams are performing to the top of their ability to create standout and trust. International Magazines is clearly doing that.

Television Sales Team

ITV Sales Carlisle tops the TV table with a solid run of results. The outcome is a repeat of last year where the team, which was then known as Granada Enterprises (and Borders Television before that), scooped the top slot.

Grampian Television moved into second place with a strong response in favour of the team’s helpfulness especially, relegating last year’s runners-up, Television Sales Scotland, into third. Channel 4 comes in at fourth place with Sky Broadcasting bringing up the rear in fifth.

Radio Sales Team

Real Radio vowed to shake up the marketplace in Scotland on its arrival. It certainly did that on the way to scooping the Radio Sales Team prize last year. However, it has been demoted to runner-up behind the Capital Radio sales team this time around.

Capital, represented by Beat106 in Scotland, has proved its strength, returning to the top of the table after just one year spent in third place behind Real and Emap.

Real was judged to be in second slot, followed closely by Scottish Radio Network Sales. Emap – On-Air slipped a couple of slots to fourth and Chrysalis Radio props up the bottom of the top of the pops.

Cinema Sales Team

Media-Link, which sells for Carlton Screen Advertising in Scotland, has, after three years of dominance by Pearl & Dean, risen to the top of the Cinema sales poll.

In a closely contended battle between the two teams, Carlton fended off its rival – the first time since the awards inception three years ago. Media-Link scored higher in every area this year after having finally closed the gap.


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