How to Sell Online Advertising More Effectively Blog Feature
Molly D Protosow

By: Molly D Protosow on September 7th, 2017

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How to Sell Online Advertising More Effectively

Sales Training | online advertising

For many websites – large and small – display advertising is one of the most meaningful sources of revenue. Unlike many products and services, there’s a constant need for online advertising (ever since marketers understood the incredible value of the internet as an advertising channel). 

There’s also an abundance of space for online ads. Demand may be high, but so too is the supply. It’s why it’s so important to have a sound selling strategy.

In this post, we’ll introduce several selling techniques you can adopt to more effectively sell your online advertising space.

When is the last time you diagnosed your sales team's pipeline? Our Pipeline Management guide will provide the steps to take to determine the health of your team's pipeline.

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Understand Your Current Site Audience

It’s important to identify your site visitors, but that alone is not enough. Most advertisers want to know three important metrics when they purchase ad space:

  1. How many unique visitors come to your site each month
  2. How many visitors come to your site in general
  3. How many page views per visit

There are other, less-important measurements you should know, too – data such as any seasonal traffic trends or the sources of your site traffic. Site traffic could come organically, from email, or from social media. And this knowledge could be a selling point for you, especially if your site has a large social reach. It’s also a great differentiator if you have a good amount of content on other reputable sites that are driving visitors to your website.

You should also know which site pages appeal to different audiences, and which attract the largest audience. All of this information will help you identify the best prospects to appeal to.

Lastly, you want to consider your traffic growth. If your site is experiencing consistent increases in monthly visitors, you have another good selling point to advertisers. You could show and compare your traffic growth versus your competitors.

Develop "Solution Sets" for Your Offering

Different clients have different needs. You can’t sell the same product to a diverse group of people and expect similar results. You need to cater your solutions to your different prospect personas. And thus, it’s essential that you offer more than one ad product.

If you develop three to five different advertising solution sets you’ll be able to more effectively sell to a larger set of prospects because your recommended solution set covers the buyer's journey, from awarness through purchase. Of course, you'll need to understand the client's goals first and then identify the best solution set for them. 

A good salesperson must be capable of selling a variety of ad solutions. They must be knowledgeable about each set – why the solution as a whole meets a given prospect’s needs, and how the individual products within the set address specific needs.  When you know this information, you'll have a more holistic marketing view and won't be caught off guard by a prospect’s question.

Research the Advertiser's Online Presence 

Selling to a spectrum of prospects requires more than selling different kinds of advertising solutions – It also requires that you develop your pitch according to their size. A large and established prospect likely requires a large and thorough pitch. Whereas a simple proposal that might not impress a larger account could do wonders for a smaller advertiser.

Do your research and prepare your pitch according to your findings. The more you know, and the more you personalize your presentation for the prospect, it's much more likely your pitch will truly resonate with them.

To take it a step further, when you're researching prospects, try to identify the top 3-5 questions that will help you dig deeper into their current situation. Asking great questions will allow you to gain the right information so you can offer more specific reommendations. Ultimately, leading to a higher chance of closing the sale.

Review Your Available Inventory

It’s hard to sell something you don’t have “in stock.” While this idea is easier to comprehend when you’re selling a physical product, the same consideration applies to ad sales. Don’t put yourself through a grueling pitch only to realize you don’t have the ad space or resources to provide. The worst result would be successfully closing a large account, only to have to refund them.

Communicate the ROI of Your Offering

Advertisers, large and small, must determine where to spend their media budget. Whether it's print, broadcast, digital, or a combination of all of the above, understanding how advertisers and marketers are spending and why will help you identify the right approach and communicate the ROI of your offer to prospective clients. 

It’s key that you stay up-to-date on current pricing in the market – and your company’s pricing, of course. 

You must know how your company's pricing compares to the rest of the market: Are your competitors offering much lower rates? Has the industry taken a dive over recent months? Are you constantly hearing complaints about your high rates?

It’s not necessarily a negative thing to have higher cost per impressions (CPM). It may be indicative of the quality and specificity of the visitors who come to your site. But it's your responsibility to explain that value to your prospect. You must demonstrate why placing ads on your site is worth the money, and why it will generate a greater ROI.

Start Selling Your Online Advertising More Effectively

Online ads provide virtually endless opportunities for sales. The key to success is understanding what your prospects want, what to sell to them and how to present your solutions.

If you follow the tips and techniques outlined above – especially doing your homework and communicating the ROI of your offer – you’ll be able to sell any solution your company has to offer and beyond!

Once your team is trained and selling better than ever before, you need to figure out how to keep your pipeline filled! Check out this ebook to find out how: Pipeline Management eBook

Pipeline Management System


About Molly D Protosow

Molly Protosow is the COO and Training Strategist for DMTraining. She manages the day-to-day business and training operations while helping research and develop new training programs as well as refreshing signature programs to reflect the newest sales trends, technology, and best practices. Molly utilizes her wide-range of skills to create sales and marketing assets focused on delivering value to DMT’s clients. Molly has a passion for learning and leveraging new knowledge and experiences. Outside of DMTraining, Molly is a hard core Pittsburgh sports fan, enjoys staying active by running and golfing, and unwinds by reading and playing the piano.

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