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The rise of the Dragon – how a Chinese TV channel built a worldclass sales team

The Impact of Change For Chinese TV Media

Following the launch of satellite and in the run up to the millennia Chinese TV media changed significantly. The provincial television channels in China were able to develop their media to begin to provide coverage nationwide.

At the same time, media management systems also underwent important reforms – for the first time, new business units were formed and started running as private corporations. On entering the new century, with the development of cutting-edge technology and changes to the audience’s media consumption habits, many of the large TV and broadcast media enterprises were born – competition between them was fierce.

Despite all these challanges, in October 2003, Dragon TV was officially launched.

The rise of Dragon TV Dragon TV is a great example of its industry. It is the premier channel of the Shanghai Media Group and over the last 10 years it has taken part in both vertical and horizontal integrations.

It presents a fresh, new and metropolitan image, showcasing Shanghai throughout the nation and to the rest of the world. Through its programme innovation and reforms to management systems, the channel has quickly moved to one of the top stations in China.

Facing strong competition from other top channels and new media, Dragon TV looked to strengthen its position in the market.

In May 2010, Dragon TV Advertising Center was established. Mr. Yuan was appointed to the role of Sales Director and his challenge was to build a professional team that could differentiate itself from the competition.

Traditionally, TV sales representatives are very good at customer relationship building and maintaining what the Chinese call guanxi*, which is highly linked with business success. At that time, the members of Mr. Yuan’s sales team were mostly very young, came from various professions and many of them were new to sales.

Mr. Yuan has always put talent development and good team morale at the top of his priorities. At the time, the questions he kept pondering were:

  • What needs to be done for the team to help them stand out among all the TV media relationship-building experts and in doing so achieve their overall sales goals?
  • In addition to better relationships with Clients, what are the capabilities and skills that can make the team more competitive?
  • More importantly, what kind of sales team will best represent Dragon TV’s image?
  • And, how can they build such a team?

In 2012, Mr. Yuan chose ActionAd Communication Learning Center to be the sales consultancy to help him fulfil his goals. They conducted a comprehensive diagnosis of the team and recommended a highly effective sales methodology from world-renowned Huthwaite International.

The goals of this large-scale talent development project were very clear:

  • To build a team that could represent Dragon TV’s positioning and image, that is equipped with a world class standard of selling skills
  • For the sales team to have a common language
  • To change the mindset of the sales team, repositioning them from the traditional relationship-building experts to professional sales consultants who could uncover, develop and satisfy customer needs.

With these clear goals in mind, over the next three years the following Huthwaite programmes were introduced:

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Further reading

Cutting through the noise – five steps to develop a win-win sales deal
By David Freedman | September 4, 2017

Being a people person – common sense or learnable skill?
By Steve Thurlow | February 25, 2015

Are salespeople generally missing the mark with clients?
By Huthwaite International | February 11, 2016