Media Case Study

Refreshing Legacy Roles Aligns Expectations and Results


Global Entertainment Leader Seeks Team Alignment

A global producer of premium linear and digital content with an extensive portfolio of brands that garner a wide variety of key audiences required assistance with the long-term transformation of their global enterprise. However, the company had undergone multiple M&A events, which left them with an inconsistent HR structure for their 1,300 Ad Sales team members.

The company required a new Holding Company (HoldCo) oriented, portfolio-wide go-to-market strategy to position their ad sales roles and teams to better serve their customers and garner stronger results. They chose Alexander Group because of our expertise in the media sector, proprietary benchmarks and experience aligning our clients’ sales team’s roles and compensation to strategic business goals.

Project Approach

Assess and Uncover the Inconsistencies

Alexander Group’s industry experience shows that sales teams are most effective when job roles are clearly defined with appropriate rules of engagement, performance expectations, skills and competencies, career pathways and transparent pay expectations.

Sales compensation is of primary significance and should clearly state incentive eligibility, pay mix and pay levels. Since the client had undergone multiple M&A events, the Ad Sales teams had an inconsistent array of roles, expectations and incentive plans.

Key Findings

Streamlining Incumbent Roles

From the assessment, Alexander Group worked closely with HR leaders to develop:

Plan eligibility and exemption analysis

Alexander Group collaboratively created a framework that determined if an incumbent was eligible to receive and participate in the client’s incentive program, providing best practice recommendations to HR.

Pay mix and pay bands

Using industry best practices, the Alexander Group team worked with HR to evaluate the current state, develop scenarios and estimate the cost impact of eligible roles and incentive programs. Proprietary benchmarks, current state analysis and HR feedback were used to create pay bands for all sales and marketing roles by level. The client reviewed the pay band recommendations and costing to ensure they fit within pay bands within the existing job architecture.

Career paths and job leveling

Five unique career paths were created to offer more levels between entry-level and VP positions, providing promotional opportunities that offered pay increases while standardizing all ad sales roles.

Job profiles and competency program

A new competency program and job profiles were developed to align with newly created career paths.

Incumbent slotting

In collaboration with HR, individuals were slotted into newly developed roles and levels. Developing this list was the largest and most visible effort. It required rigorous review by HR and sales leaders and was later uploaded into the client’s new HR system.
By clearly defining job roles, career paths and transparent pay mix and bands, incumbents now had increased clarity and expectations. Additionally, HR and Sales now had a standardized set of roles they could use across the enterprise. As a result, both the process and the resulting outcomes supported streamlining their sales efforts.

Recommendations & Outcomes

A Framework for Today and Tomorrow

Project outcomes were both revealing and provided momentum for further HR improvements. The client recognized approximately $9MM in cost savings because of Alexander Group’s work. The scope covered 1,300+ incumbent roles in the ad sales organization. Cost savings were identified as a result of standardization efforts, including reduction of duplicate roles/headcount which ultimately presented the client with a 4x ROI on the engagement.

While the standardization project was not cost neutral, it created an infrastructure for our client to:

The client is building upon the momentum gained during this project by continuing to use the roster of incumbents while using this project as a starting point to assess their go-to-market strategy and structure. Additionally, they are using the new HR infrastructure to improve compensation alignment in related roles.

Elevating Your Sales Investment

Legacy constraints can result in misaligned roles and expectations that affect your go-to-market strategy, with inherently conflicting roles and incentives that can impact your sales investment. Alexander Group has the media industry expertise to evaluate your sales efforts to ensure alignment between customers, products and sales efforts.

About Alexander Group

Alexander Group understands your revenue growth challenges. Since 1985, we’ve served more than 3,000 companies across the globe. This experience gives us not only a highly sophisticated set of best practices to grow revenue—we also have a rich repository of unique industry data that informs all our recommendations. Aligning product, marketing, operations and finance efforts behind a successful sales organization takes insight and hard work. We help the world’s leading organizations build the right revenue vision, transform their organizations and deliver results.

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