Cablefax The Magazine - July 2011 - 8

MSO SALES TEAM OF THE YEAR
Cox Communications
In December 2010, Cox Business hit the $1 billion mark in
annual revenue. The next milestone, if the company's current
trajectory of growth continues, could be $2 billion in
six years. And they're not the only MSO out there. So how
does the sales team do it?
One of the key components to their successful approach-whether
selling ad, residential or commercial
services-is a focus on taking a consultative and advisory
role. Take the core market for Cox Business: small and medium-size
businesses. Says SVP Phil Meeks, as products
become more complex, smaller companies-many of whom
have limited or no IT departments-require more education
than in the past. And about 80 percent of these companies
have 20 or fewer employees. Like the rest of us, they're
doing more, with less. Which leaves sales teams with a lot
of consulting to do. " Our strategy is to equip ourselves to fi ll
the gap-to demystify technology, and make that complex
technology simple for the customer. "
But that takes keeping your sales team motivated and
armed with the right tools-and possibly a different skill set.
That's where the training comes in. And it's training employees,
but it's also training businesses, so sales people can
then transfer that training and education to customers. Curriculums
are implemented, the sales team's core competencies
are evaluated, and in the not-too-distant future, says
Meeks, the MSO will be certifying employees.
So how do they stay motivated? Their focused approach,
" on marketing skills, expertise and client relationships, "
says Billy Farina, SVP, Cox Media, " creates a collaborative
and confi dent environment. " And that makes for happy employees.
His team participates in the company's vision, he
explains, because they have the right tools. In ad sales, it's
no longer the world of 30-second spots-social media, mobile
applications and the move toward interactive everything
have certainly changed that. The reality is that opportunities
for advertising are more fragmented than ever, so sales
people have to customize-and embrace every opportunity
for ad dollars along the purchase process.
Fragmentation could be detrimental to your business-
unless you embrace it, as Cox has. Cox got onboard with
EBIF, for instance, in May of this year, with a platform
launch in Tulsa, OK. " Our vast array of multi-screen products
can be customized and combined, along all points of
the purchase funnel, " says Farina, which allows the sales
team to adapt and reach more audiences, " no matter the
business challenge. "
Next up on the sales front, says Meeks, is a continued move
away from a more traditional, replacement-selling scenario.
More specifi cally, that means managed services-commercial
email, security, online storage, etc. Over the next several years,
the company aims to be a player in managed applications,
cloud computing and infrastructure services. ■
-Kaylee Hultgren
FAST FACTS
■ Cox Media delivers customized local ad solutions reaching approximately
5.5 million households across 23 primary DMAs.
■ Cox Business provides voice, data and video services for more
than 260,000 small and regional businesses.
■ Cox is currently the seventh largest voice service provider in the
U.S. and supports more than 800,000 business phone lines.
Billy Farina
8
cablefaxmag.com
July 2011
Philip Meeks
CableFAX: The Magazine
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Cablefax The Magazine - July 2011

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