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The Right Way to Onboard Digital Ad Sales Reps is Different Than You Think

Train an SMB sales rep the right way

This is part two of my interview with our Digital Ad Sales leadership team -- SVP - Dan Peterson, VP - Shea Stringert, and a director - Nickolas Eddy -- about our digital advertising sales business. The best way to learn about how to train and onboard digital advertising sales representatives (reps) for the small-medium sized business (SMB) space and what it takes, watch the video above. We cover defining the correct type of salesperson you need, the systems that need to be in place to ensure success, and an engine to train quickly and effectively. In this blog post, I will go over three highlights I learned from the discussion.

Check out part one of the interview

Hire "Untraditional" Sales People

The digital advertising sales world is full of different types of people. Finding people with the right skills, knowledge, and attributes is crucial to success in their position and the success of the business. But traditional sales experience doesn't always translate to immediate success. For example, a lot of the people we hire for clients are people outside of the typical "sales" space. We look for great communicators, hard workers, fearless and determined go-getters. Look at fundamentals first, because if you're careless by overlooking core desired attributes over fundamentals, you can end up with a team that cannot produce on its own.

So, we start by understanding our clients' needs, what type of salespeople they have seen success with (or the salespeople we are successful with), and a clear understanding of the market. Then we take a look at hunters, farmers, and/or account managers that could fit these needs. Now we just need the processes to train them.

No "One Size Fits All" Training

The first thing that you need to understand is - when it comes to sales reps in the SMB space, the people you hire typically won't know salesforce, may NOT have any experience in traditional sales, and it may be their first time ever thinking about digital advertising. Your main goal and the difference between SMB and mid-market/ enterprise is that digital ad sales for SMBs are based on the volume of accounts. The volume of accounts alone means your need to hire and train a lot of people in order to close business.

This part is difficult to give a one size fits all approach to training. We work with each client to ensure the best results when we train their dedicated reps. But, it is essential that you create a training engine for reps to learn correct practices, processes, etc. quickly or like many companies - work with us to get results faster and more adequate results.

Create Systems that Enable Success

A digital advertising sales rep's success is based on four key pillars: relationships, activity (both digital and "in the field"), digital product knowledge, and an understanding of the client's business. We need to make sure that our sales reps are set up for success in each of these areas. This simply cannot be done on employee power alone. They need technology, process, and systems to help.

Luckily, with 35+ years of experience, we know how to provide technology for our clients or we know how to implement your technology within the teams. For example, we have systems in place to give the proper touch points to our client's customers. This could be on digital product knowledge, clarification of best practices while advertising on the platform, or it could be setting up a 1:1 meeting. We have a combination of digital and human touchpoints that help our sales reps succeed. Not only that but, we've built out systems like for account management, which ensure that your advertisers are getting the best possible care and accurate reports for leadership.

When it comes to choosing a partner like MarketStar, you can feel confident that we know how to hire the right people, train effectively, and have systems in place to ensure quality. We can handle everything from lead qualification to account management and customer success to ad operations!

To learn more about what we do check out our solutions page here: Digital Ad Sales Solutions

Part three of this interview will be coming out shorty. To be the first to know be sure to subscribe to our blog!


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