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Trot Out Incremental Sales

Nothing beats a well-promoted sales contest for encouraging account executives to bring in dollars from specially targeted advertising categories. Especially when the contest involves support staff from the traffic, production and marketing departments.

That’s a lesson Adelphia Media Services of Los Angeles VP Mike Mejia learned after a three-phased sales contest helped generate $2.9 million incremental sales from furniture retailers, retail stores and medical practitioners within its 1 million-subscriber market.

Pitting teams in each of Adelphia Media’s 10 sales offices against each other, the April through October “Triple Crown” sales contest focused attention on categories Mejia said were under-represented‑ like the plastic-surgeon category that’s prolific in the Los Angeles market.

“We were lacking dollars in a lot of these categories,” says Mejia, who was named along with three colleagues as finalists for the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau’s 2006 sales excellence awards. Mejia says keys to making the contest work included awarding gift certificates and cash prizes not just to AEs who made the sale but the behind-the-scenes employees who supported them; and organizing contest events under a made-for-enjoyment theme (horse racing, in this case). One bonus: revenue from the targeted categories continued to build even after the competition ended.