Ben Hedges sets up training company for web sales staff

Former Mirror Media head of sales Ben Hedges has founded an online training company called It Counts.

Former Mirror Media head of sales Ben Hedges has founded an online

training company called It Counts.



Hedges said the move was driven by his frustration at the lack of

training in the industry, and his experience at Mirror Media, where he

rarely had time to train his staff.



It Counts aims to improve the skills of existing new-media sales people,

help traditional sales staff make the switch to online and advise agency

staff on how best to incorporate the web into their campaigns.



Hedges said he wanted to use training to force down inflated

salaries.



’You need people who can hit the ground running, but they cost a

fortune. You can’t keep hiring people who don’t know what they’re doing.

That way, you guarantee a poor service. If you take somebody from

traditional media and train them for two weeks, you’ll get a good sales

person.’



Hedges entered the online sector in 1995 when he moved to VNU New Media

after a stint as sales manager on Internet Advisor. He joined net sales

house Softbank Interactive and later helped form InterAd, the company

that became 24/7 Europe.



He joined Mirror Media, the new-media arm of Trinity Mirror, in January

1999 and oversaw the growth of the department from three to 13.



’When I was at Mirror Media things moved so rapidly that although I had

knowledge to impart, there was never any time,’ said Hedges.



He is recruiting support staff and believes demand for his services will

be high. Outrider UK, the new-media arm of CIA Medianetwork, has already

hired the company.



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