When talking about sports and entertainment events, nothing beats a full house. Fans and enthusiasts reserve all the seats hopefully long before the big day to build up a more significant following and gain demand momentum for more of the same. Professional entertainment and sports entities share the goal of creating memorable experiences for a substantial number of people.
There are some unique characteristics we should be aware of:
- Entertainment value is all about the fans' emotional and psychological takeaway.
- There are, of course, associated product sales linked to it, and these are growing in importance as a revenue stream for production studios, sports franchises, theme parks, and the like.
- Stadiums, radio, television, movies, and social media are all in the lineup to reach a receptive audience.
The dividing line between a blockbuster and a bomb
It’s very thin. Success relies on intense attention to detail as a way to empower modern entertainment and sports sellers. Engaging the fans in real-time requires promotional input and the combination of all available operational participants.
A few industry companies stood out for committing themselves to omnichannel engagement as a strategy for selling smarter, onboarding reps quicker, and supporting sales with smart resources. We surveyed their entertainment programs in motion and found that:
- The ones with the highest audience attraction involved the salesforce (both juniors, and veterans).
- These forward-thinking entities developed systems that separated the most promising leads from casual inquiries.
- They concentrated on pointing reps at the highly-rated leads, thus saving considerable time and effort by filling up the gaps where it counted most.
- All aspects considered, it gave the sales cycle a much-needed impetus.
Entertainment executives provide valuable feedback
When we spoke to entertainment managers across these select companies in the industry, they highlighted their priorities as follows:
- Getting the reps to sell the way event spectators want to buy.
- Turning new prospects into new customers.
- In trying for the right formula - discover, replicate, and automate - in that order.
- There's an urgency to deliver the right message for every conversation - especially when dealing with corporate prospects.
Optimizing the sales cycle, while uniting the marketing and sales inside a compelling entertainment theme, drives their ROI efficiency and effectiveness. They agreed, almost without exception, that these days:
- Entertainment ticket and cable subscribers buy smarter and faster
- Fans expect franchisors to meet spectator expectations
- Franchisors have to differentiate their buyers' journeys in meaningful ways.
- The buyer experience has to be a personalized one, or they'll go elsewhere.
Strategies developed around templates
The objectives under this heading were to:
- Carve out new channels through faster rep onboarding
- Drive the reps to achieve the quickest time to value by closing more deals in less time.
The exciting thing about the sports and entertainment industry is that streamlined templates go a long way toward hitting home essential features with fan appeal. Studies indicated reps proposals on average took fifteen minutes to devise, but the templates cut this down to a fraction of the time. Content developed with departmental input has the most effective results. The viewpoints of management, HR, video, and audio productions - aside from the expected resources like sales and marketing - provided valuable guidance.
The template structure is so exact in cases that small items such as customer names and seat numbers are the only required changes. When it comes to making live pitches, the time saving is almost mind boggling - measured in weeks.
Leaders in the entertainment field have made noticeable headway when it comes to Sales Enablement. Analytics and data capturing have contributed substantially to fine-tuning the processes. Many have succinct information relating to the number of live interfaces that were necessary to close a deal. Also, the revenue and ROI attached to each sub-project. For example, when boxes and party rooms sold to corporations, or season tickets sold in blocks (i.e., wholesale) are at stake, a sophisticated presentation is indispensable.
The rep has to be convincing from the word go. If he or she messes up, there's generally no second chance. Therefore, knowing what works and what doesn't is a significant advantage. A set of best practices geared to entertainment is evident as follows:
- Strive for Instantaneous meetings as much as possible to secure customer engagement.
- Make and deliver data-driven content recommendations
- Make sure that the content is high-performing and innovative
- Above all, it should build trust with customers
- Create a system of 24/7 alerts and ongoing performance diagnosis at it relates to content effectiveness
- Set benchmarks
- Integrate Report procedures and available resources to improve strategies and tactics
- Develop neural networks that are intuitive and easy to navigate
Results and Recognition
A groundbreaking development has been giving reps insight into how their efforts held back or boosted performance. Connecting customer engagement feedback to meetings on one side of the equation, and results on the other has made a difference. Factors such as response rates, meeting duration, prospect objections, to name a few, are put under a microscope. For example, one of the biggest challenges was getting prospects to set the time aside for a meeting. Analytics showed that by suggesting a Zoom conference call or WhatsApp interface dissolved resistance in many cases. Using social media apps to make the best of prospects’ time constraints resolved the hardest part of the engagement process.
The sophistication offered by online apps has amazed company participants up and down the hierarchy. One of the successful reps demonstrated how
He was able to patch into the three central decision makers in the customer's boardroom, although he was 800 miles apart from them.
From there, he walked them through a 12-slide PowerPoint pitch deck in ten minutes on the premium sports proposition
Sent over the agreement with all key clauses highlighted for discussion
And concluded the deal there and then.
When reps earned accolades and achieved results surpassing the expected standards, they were presented to the team as project examples and symbols of recognition at the same time.
New Digital Tools for selling in the entertainment arena leveled the playing field
Here's another thing that turned traditional thinking on its head. The array of new tools erased the experience difference between the old-hands and the newcomer reps. It means that the library, with all its resources, ongoing coaching, and using the templates and updated methodologies, moves the process along. It teaches new things at the same time.
Imagine a rep in the business for only one day, equipped to make professional proposals, and engage customers with a veteran's touch the next day. Well, in the sports and entertainment arena, it's a reality.
In the studies we followed, the results have been astounding. Entertainment companies implementing the innovative sales enablement programs have experienced closed deals jumping by up to three times. Moreover, these results emerged in 10% of the time it previously took through effective onboarding of reps, training programs that show immediate results, and lifted morale beyond expectations.
The Sacramento Kings
Entertainment and sports franchises have directly embraced all the technological advances available to be in sync with the promises they make to customers. And to align with the way they connect to them. A case in point is the Sacramento Kings, a team that's been around for 25 years. Having won an NBA title, three division titles, and witnessed 14 of their players in the basketball hall of fame, they have a significant fan-following. However, resting on one's laurels has never been in their mindset. They have taken steps to stand out by offering a carbon-neutral arena that, from every angle, provides a superior spectator experience.
Pitcher, at the cutting edge of the entertainment industry
Pitcher is a company that's viewed by many companies in diverse industries as an all-in-one solution for automated sales enablement. They are a global & proven best service and technology provider and able partner when it comes to strategic consulting solutions in the market place. So if you are in entertainment or sports looking to consolidate or expand your fan base, Pitcher is the go-to single enterprise-grade platform for 3D and augmented reality solutions.