Agencies and clients consider sales teams’ product knowledge to be
more important than their ability to be innovative or to offer a broad
range of services, according to a survey conducted for Carlton
Carlton commissioned research company HPI to question 150 agency
planners and buyers and 50 clients on the quality of ad sales teams at
ten major media owners: Granada, Channel 5, IPC, Sky, Capital, TSMS,
News International, Flextech, Carlton and Channel 4.
The buyers and clients, who were chosen at random from ALF, signalled
clearly that what they wanted from media sales teams was ’good knowledge
of their own products and services’, with 79 per cent saying they
considered this very important.
They said a good knowledge of the markets was almost equally important
(77 per cent rated this very important), while ’ability to deliver
agreements effectively’ (74 per cent) and responsiveness (68 per cent)
also figured highly. Innovation (17 per cent) and ’breadth of media
activities’ (6 per cent) were not considered crucial by many of the
When the planner/buyers and clients were asked which companies had the
best product knowledge, 67 per cent mentioned Channel 4, placing it top
in this category. The broadcaster’s sales team, headed by commercial
director Andy Barnes, was just ahead of Carlton, Capital Radio and
The same companies came out on top in terms of ’knowing their market’,
but Carlton took the top spot (63 per cent), with Channel 4 just pipping
Capital to second place.
In terms of responsiveness and helpfulness, Channel 4 again received the
most mentions from the agencies and clients, with Capital Radio second
and Carlton third.
Steve Platt, managing director of Carlton Media Sales, said: ’The fact
we did well on delivering deals, reliability and on our strong
relationships with agencies endorses our professional reputation in the
Fran Cassidy, marketing director, sales, at Carlton Media Sales, said:
’It’s encouraging to see how the market feels. Carlton Screen
Advertising also scored well considering the size of its team. The only
score that surprised me was our low responsiveness compared with Channel