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Case study

Building a winning media salesforce

A national media company urgently needed to stem the loss of advertising sales to online competitors. Bain helped MediaCo* boost the performance of its salesforce by targeting prime market opportunities, developing consistent best practices and performance metrics, and better supporting top performers so they can focus on what they do best—generating advertising revenue.

  • min read

At a Glance

  • 10-20 point growth above market
  • 2-6 point top-sellers' increase share of total revenue

The Story

The Situation

MediaCo’s salesforce performance varied widely across markets, with half of the sales team generating 90 percent of all revenue, but only spending 40 percent of their time actually selling.

With ad revenue dropping sharply due to online competitors, MediaCo was under pressure to build a more effective salesforce, with a clear strategy for pursuing new accounts and strong centralized support. At stake: survival in key markets.

Our Approach

Working collaboratively, we helped the CEO develop several initiatives, including prioritizing ways to increase performance and identifying prime industries for targeted sales campaigns, with the goal of boosting market share and retaining business.

Our Recommendations

We helped MediaCo identify priority categories for its salesforce to target.

To better gauge success, we also developed a performance scoring tool and metrics. And to free up top sellers, we xdesigned an Assistant program to reduce administrative work.

The Results

  • Six priority categories have been launched in field, driving growth 10-20 pts above market.
  • Top sellers have gained 2.0 to 6.0 points share of total revenue in their markets due to Assistant support.
  • And all sellers are improving their sales skills through performance tool score metrics and increased coaching from sales managers.


* We take our clients' confidentiality seriously. While we've changed their names, the results are real.

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