Case Studies

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How News Limited improved economic performance despite a contracting market

The Challenge

The enormous changes occurring in today’s global marketing environment increase the pressures for greater management and sales effectiveness. Those that do not possess the perspicacity, courage or capabilities to re-align the strategies and systems to the current and future environment will inevitably see their business suffer dramatically as the environment undergoes fundamental changes.

The International Monetary Fund has stated the world economy, suffering from the effects of the financial crisis, is on track to shrink for the first time in 60 years in 2009, by as much as 1%. In an economy where there is no growth, increased performance can only be achieved through gaining market share at the expense of competitors. Organisations need to acknowledge that strategies and skills need to be changed in order to survive and outperform the competition.

A recent and powerful example of a company that has managed to sustain successful performance despite a contracting market is News Limited. Technological changes meant the classified sections of their publications were faced with falling revenues due to an increase in online classifieds advertising. With the classifieds market having declined by 13%, News Limited realized that they had to realign their strategies to focus on market share rather than growth.

The Program

Prosell was brought in to put in place practices that would help achieve these goals and consistently improve performance. The market-share strategy of News Limited and the task put forward to Prosell was to:

  • create sales execution models for inbound classified and outbound features and campaigns;
  • develop training course that would help Advertising Sales Consultants improve skills;
  • give managers and supervisors the skills to coach and develop their staff;
  • implement a rigour in the management team that would report, measure and consistently improve results; and
  • embed this into the business so it became part of the company culture.

In order for News Limited to place itself ahead of its competition, they needed to become more proactive and diligent in the way they approached the market. Skills and attitudes first needed to be changed. Prosell took managers and supervisors through a customised Licence to Coach™ program. This was a combination of workshops, tools and templates, which was then followed by 4 months of support. This gave them the capability to coach well and genuinely change the behaviours of their people. Changes in both behaviour and results were monitored and people were accredited with reaching the correct levels of skill and results in the workplace.

To ensure that this superior performance was embedded within News Limited, the skills and standards implemented became part of:

  • Induction programs
  • Targets and quality measures
  • Performance Reviews
  • Management Reporting

The Results

Through a realignment of strategy and a focus on management and sales effectiveness, News Limited successfully achieved a:

  • 12% increase in overall revenue (against a backdrop of negative 13% for competition over the same 12 month period);
  • 16.5% increase in dollars per ad; and
  • 21% increase in measured conversion rates (enquires to bookings)

News Limited was able to achieve successful economic performance within a contracting market because of their willingness to realign strategic objectives and implement competitive tactics that won market share.
Prosell expects to work on a clear return on investment proposition. News Limited was able to achieve a return on their investment within four months of the twelve month program.



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