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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Sales Leadership Series: Mike Searson | Vice President, Local Revenue at Corus Entertainment

Mike Searson

Being a sales manager has always been a difficult job. But we can all agree that over the last couple of years, it’s gotten a lot harder.

In this episode of the Sales Leadership Series, Mike Searson, Vice President, Local Revenue at Corus Entertainment discusses sales and executive leadership tips. He also addresses some of the top KPIs he looks at and what sales managers should be focused on in the upcoming years.

Tune in now or keep reading for a brief overview.

About Mike Searson

Innovation and growth are hallmarks of Mike’s 20+ years at Corus Entertainment, Canada’s largest pure play media company. 

Mike steers 23 sales teams in offices across the country and champions a leading-edge Go to Market strategy centered on a customer centric multi-platform approach. A key account focus and new business development are important pillars of success and these concepts along with his deep understanding of the needs of both his clients and his sales staff has driven exponential growth over the years.

Mike knows that successful leadership depends on transparency, inclusion and celebrating people doing the right things. All of these points, and more, make Mike one of Canada’s premier media executives in the industry today. 

Top Key Performance Indicators for Sales  

4 Most Important Sales KPIsWhen it comes to key performance indicators (KPIs), there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for every organization. With hundreds of potential options, you don’t want to spend your time looking at every KPI.

Mike says there are a few KPIs they measure consistently, such as:

  • Tram and Tss – similar to the U.S. Miller Kaplan, this measures the total radio and television ecosystem
  • SMI – standard media index
  • Pipeline

He also explains how they’re spending more time looking at revenue versus category assumptions, net promoter scores, key account growth, and number of active accounts. Additionally, he explains how they survey the staff quarterly to ensure clear direction for strategy execution.

For more details on each of these KPIs, tune in now!

What Should Sales Managers Focus On? 

Sales managers have a tough job, so what are the big rocks that they need to make sure they are staying focused on? 

“Fundamentals still apply,” Mike explains. “The tools are more complex, but we need to focus more on supporting salespeople.”

He also says sales managers should focus on minimizing internal roadblocks and ensuring that sales meetings are effective. “After every sales meeting, we rank on the value of the meeting,” Mike explains. “That instant feedback is important because there’s a significant cost to taking an hour our of everyone’s day.”

Mike also discusses the three-box strategy, which he claims in fundamental in the go-to market strategy. “You have to stop doing things to do things. What can we stop doing?”

This poses the question – are you doing things just because you’ve always done it that way?

How to Sustain While Disrupting: Innovation and Agility in Sales

Changes to Sales Management Over the Years

The job of a sales manager has never been easy.

With the advancement of technology, like social media platforms and CRM software, the role of the sales manager has changed. “Compared to the last five years, sales managers have more nuances, such as being a leader in diversity and inclusion,” states Mike. “Additionally, clients needs are increasingly complex.”

Five years ago, sales managers could get away with not fully understanding the digital side of their role, but now it’s impossible. A successful sales manager is no longer just an expert in persuasion, who has mastered the art of the weekly sales meeting pep talks.

“Lastly, navigating and leveraging all the tools in the toolbox has changed,” explains Mike. “We have a plethora of solutions for clients and understanding where to go for what is more complex than ever before.”

Advice for Sales Managers

Host Matt Sunshine asks Mike, “If you were speaking to a group of seasoned sales managers, what advice would you give them on what they should be doing or learning right now to ensure success?

Mike gives three pieces of advice:

  • Clearly understand the needs and challenges that your team and clients are facing.

  • Constantly evaluate your team – what are their strengths and where do you need to invest more support. “As lead generation comes more important, you have to assign talent to task.”

  • Identify redundancies – what things can you stop doing so that you can reinvest time to something that adds strategic value.

Looking into the future of sales, Mike says the biggest changes will be:

Tune in now to hear details about each prediction, plus some predication's based on brand-new Media Sales Report data.

Don’t miss another episode of the Improving Sales Performance series where Managing Partner Matt Sunshine speaks with thought leaders, experts, and industry gurus, who share their insight, tips, and knowledge on various topics that help companies improve sales performance.  

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Topics: sales performance sales leadership