Digital Media Sales –Providing Leadership By Re-positioning People

  • Posted by Steve Goldberg
  • |
  • October 8, 2011

Innovation abounds in digital media, including the ways in which advertising is sold.  Are you a brand that wants to advertise using video across a broad spectrum of websites?  SAY Media can show you how.  Want to reach Facebook gamers watering their vegetables in Farmville?  Companies like Selectable Media can offer you solutions.  Looking to turn a digital photograph into an ad unit?  Luminate can provide this technology.  And there are mobile applications for all of the above, and a multitude of other innovations.

Market leaders like Google, Facebook and Apple are a given.  They pride themselves on being leaders in innovation as well.  But who are the leaders of tomorrow, and will their technological leadership translate into a culture of leadership within their sales organization and organization at large?

Certainly in a digital ad sales organization, leadership is shown through hiring sellers, retaining your talent, and managing results to expectations.

“At most companies, people spend 2 percent of their time recruiting and 75 percent managing their recruiting mistakes.” — Richard Fairbank, CEO, Capital One

Media Recruiting Group is a leader in digital media sales recruitment, and we pride ourselves in the quality of our placements.  Placing talent within digital media companies is our business.  But the responsibility of providing leadership for your team and organization is yours.

Leaders are people with the responsibility of taking business to a new level. A leader is innovative, astute and an out-of-the-box thinker.  Digital Media Sales leadership certainly is revealed in the quality of the hires, in the training provided, and the sales results of the team.  Thomas Edison said that “genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”.  Well, sales leadership is 100% inspiration and 100% perspiration.

So, how can you empower yourself as a leader when your team is in place?  One important facet of sales management and leadership is in the positioning of your staff.  A leader has to stay alert to the changes taking place with their staff, and the effect the dynamic environment has on their staff.

I offer this article by author Dr. John C. Maxwell, where he reviews the repositioning of people for success within an organization:


One of the traits of outstanding leaders is that they properly place people within a team. Good leaders have the ability to see their people, sense where they are and put them in the right place. So why do so many leaders place so many people in so many wrong places? I’ve identified five reasons.

1. Failure to know the requirements needed to make a job successful.

I’m not talking about the job description, and I’m not talking about how you do a job. I’m talking about what a particular person has to do to be successful. Make a list those qualities. It could be two or three things; it could be 10. Whatever those things are, you have to go out and find people who have a giftedness to match those qualities so that you put the right people in the right place.

2. Failure to know the skills and the giftedness of the person.

Sometimes we know what gifts and skills are required for success in a particular job, but we do a poor job evaluating the giftedness of the person we place in that position. Maybe we know a particular job needs someone who is detail-oriented, but we fail to recognize that the person we’re putting in that position breaks out in hives when overwhelmed with details.

3. Failure to move people when either the job or the person is changing.

While it’s common for people to get promoted out of a job that really fits their skills, it’s also possible for them to stay in a position so long that they no longer do it well.

As a leader, you might place someone in a position that is a great match with that person’s uniqueness and giftedness, only to look up later and realize that the person’s productivity has fallen sharply.

What happened?

Something changed. Maybe the job changed. Maybe the organization changed. Maybe the person changed. Maybe you changed. Maybe everything changed.

I have found many people end up in the wrong place only because they stayed in the right place too long. They were in the right place in the beginning, but the right place becomes the wrong place if the job changes or if the person changes. So the right place can become the wrong place over a matter of time.

4. Failure to be patient.

Sometimes the person is in the right place, but they have to grow into it. And not only do they have to grow into it, but they also have to be trained and developed into it. You know they have the giftedness, they have the ability, they have the passion; but they need time and someone to help them. Smaller organizations often can’t afford to hire the best, so they have to hire young people with great potential and then train them.

In “The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork” I write about the ‘Law of Dividends’, which is, “Investing in the team compounds overtime.” As you invest in your team, especially if you have them in the right place, the team is going to compound in a very positive way for you. Of course, if you don’t have the right players in the right place, time isn’t going to do it.

5. Failure to prepare.

Many times we haven’t done enough front-end homework as leaders, so we aren’t prepared to place people where they can grow and can blossom.

When we consistently fail to place people in the right place within the team, several things inevitably infect our team like an angry parasite. Morale suffers, people lose their willingness to play as a team and confidence erodes. As a result, potential goes unrealized, progress is hindered and our competitors benefit.

On the other hand, organizations do best when the people within them are carefully put in the right places. People are encouraged and fulfilled, growth is ensured, teamwork is increased and victories are secured. And, for leaders, there is a huge reward in seeing your players in the right place, doing the right thing for the right reasons.