Channel 4 overhauls sales team for greater focus

Channel 4 is restructuring and organising its sales force into multi-disciplinary agency teams to offer deeper knowledge of the broadcaster’s product portfolio.

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The restructure follows a comprehensive review of Channel 4 Sales undertaken by Boston Consulting Group. Changes see former media agency chief Mick Perry named as head of airtime sales with responsibility for generating ad revenue across the Channel 4 portfolio of channels and Box TV.

Under Andy Barnes, Channel 4’s director of sales, the sales force will form a number of teams to work with an individual agency or group of agencies.

Each agency team will incorporate staff from the trading, future media, strategic sales and sponsorship teams to offer a seamless cross-product sales effort. Each team will have a single contact point for each agency.

Barnes says: “After talking to clients it became clear that there were some areas where we could improve the way we worked. We believe that by creating dedicated agency teams with knowledge of all aspects of our products we could create a seamless cross-platform approach that would make life simpler for our clients.”

“I believe the new structure will result in a more integrated cross-product sales effort with better and clearer communication to our customers. The new structure will allow us to sell a comprehensive product in a way that is efficient and flexible as well as providing greater opportunities for our staff to develop skills in all aspects of sales.”

The agency teams will be incentivised to work together and will contain at least one person from each of the broadcaster’s existing sales disciplines.

The restructure also sees the creation of a portfolio and airtime management team that will incorporate some of the existing agency sales team with the current airtime management team.

This is designed to help reduce duplication and providing a single group to balance client relations and airtime optimisation. Portfolio teams will be created who will have responsibility for a single agency or agencies and will work closely with their counterparts in the new agency teams.

Channel 4 recently announced it is to take on ad sales for UKTV.

The changes come following David Abraham taking up the post of chief executive at the broadcaster. He recently invited clients to contact him to discuss how the broadcaster could work more closely to develop creative and trading solutions for advertisers.

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