Rise Of The Rock Star Ticket Rep
Last night, during a Twitter chat for #social4tixsales, I started really giving some thought as to what a future ticket sales staff will look like. Especially after Ken Troupe’s Q5 question:
And I believe that I might have an answer. In the next few years, we will see the emergence of The Rock Star Ticket Rep. This will cause a dramatic shift in sports business, and potentially change how tickets are sold, as well as who gets paid the most within the franchise.
Consider what I am talking about with The Rock Star Ticket Rep: A seller who is about to build, continuously, their own tailored book of business, and can be movable from team to team. They will sell more on personality than title. And they will do it their own way. Expect this to great confuse, frustrate the sales managers/directors/vice presidents above them when it first happens. But, after a while, the market will end up adjusting as it often does. The Rock Star Ticket Rep will cause a huge market disruption, as they will up-end the entire system, and potentially wipe out the need for half of the staff members around them.
What Is The Makeup Of The Rock Star Ticket Rep
This is a person who needs to value creativity as a sales tool. Think about composition, painting a picture through prose. That will matter, along with video and audio contributions. Consider it compiled into a great format for individual consumption by the prospective customer. Each blog post written will consist of 500-600 words, along with video/audio/photo, and created on a format such as Facebook’s Instant Articles Fan Page or LinkedIn’s blog post system. Facebook will have the overall edge for the general consumer, whereas LinkedIn will focus on the B2B side of the industry more fully. Twitter will be the fast lane of newsfeed articles, to pull users back to the slow lane of Facebook and LinkedIn.
The definitive personality of Rock Star Ticket Rep will be part of the overall messaging. They will focus on customer service examples. Ways to push out information to segmented audiences. Not every piece will be homegrown, but that’s where Google Alerts will help them seek out articles relatable to the audience that they are communicating with. Think of a basketball’s B2B specialist: Along with tweeting out their own homegrown stories on Facebook Instant Articles, they will couple that with tweets from Harvard Business or The Wall Street Journal. They will live the brand to where their audience will interact, feeling that they are part of an overall network about things they care about.
Building A Community of Buyers
Every chamber of commerce meeting, every LinkedIn request, every business card received by The Rock Star Ticket Rep will now go into a CRM, but also for a weekly e-mail blast. Garnering those lists of e-mail contacts will be important, but so will the segmentation aspects of those lists, focusing on specific groups. Each e-mail sent out, on a weekly basis, will tie into the specifics of that industry’s contact (say the prospect works for insurance or legal). It will provide overall messaging to use the ticket rep as a resource, as well as include specifically tailored articles to continue that community feel. Some of the blog posts will be positioned generically on the overall painting of the picture, but others will be micro blog posts which will focus on the specific issues around using the ticket product for that particular industry. The general consumer will also have specifics fashioned to them, in a tailored way, to ensure that growth of the e-mail list does not preclude their involvement overall.
The Rock Star Ticket Rep will have likely 50,000 – 70,000 e-mail contacts in their weekly blast, build up from an initial 10,000 – 20,000 when they first started as an inside sales rep. The key will be that the more they build their audience, the less that they will have to scatter gun the approach with more random, inside sales calls. Part of Rock Star Ticket Rep’s job will be to enable the CRM specialist to segment out their prospective customer data, as well as work with various components to build up the rep’s writing/editing skills. Each e-mail blast will have testimonials from satisfied customers who have purchased through that Rock Star Ticket Rep.
Any prospective customer who visits the rep’s social media channels will have their data pulls, culled and processed to ensure that they are reached out to and communicated with. While this is possible currently, it rarely happens in the sports world. There will also be links, to reserve specific times for face-to-face or direct phone calls (beyond I.M. capabilities) between The Rock Star Ticket Rep and the prospective consumer. There will also be video of stadium seat locations, consumer evaluations of mini-packs, group plans, and an overall automation of the communication process between the rep and consumer digitally. All of this will present an overall picture of the ticket rep, with a qualified list off of a call refractor such as Dialsource which can qualify leads more effectively.
Phone Calls Will Be Selective, Not Go Away Entirely
Right now, there’s likely a sales manager or vice president of ticket sales going nuts reading this. They are instantly ready to fire off an e-mail, touting how wrong this system is. Because they value 100 reps making 150 phone calls per day, initiating 25 sales per day. Let’s do the math there. That’s 15,000 total calls in a day, 75,000 calls in 5 days, and only 150 sales overall, generating a 0.002% yield. In 40 weeks, they will have called everyone in a 3 million person metro area at least once.
While it sounds great to have tons of ticket reps on the phone, the R.O.I. is silly. So, what if ticket sales reps were instead utilizing analytics to showcase sales, connect with those who connect with their blog posts, video and audio in real time, and dissecting what it is that makes their customers’ tick? What if it allowed Google or Facebook search to data capture all of the S.E.O. possibilities of posts, and draw in new customers toward the ticket rep, and end up capturing new buyers as a result? All of this is achievable. This doesn’t mean that phone calls would be removed. There would be less of them.
A Market Disruption Like No Other
This is going to be a frightening shift for those at the top of the franchise, even if it generates more money for the franchise. Specifically because it transforms the assessment of who is important, and who isn’t important, in the overall equation. Ticket sales reps with the largest followings will be able to command not only higher pay, but be in demand for larger roles, possibility creating bidding wars by teams. Those who have gotten by on their insistence of making 100+ phone calls a day will find themselves phased out for inefficiency.
The Rock Star Ticket Rep is coming. I don’t know if its 2-5 years or 10 years away, but it will happen. They will be able to build their own audience, create their own community, and sell more efficiently. They will essentially control how the team’s brand is perceived by each community member, and be able to move tickets in a more efficient manner. Team execs will fight it, as they did analytics, the secondary market and anything else. At one point in the early 1990s, team executives fought Jon Spoelstra’s inside sales model utilizing telephone and appointment sales. Just because it is an idea fought against, does not mean that the idea does not have merit or is correct. It just means that the idea will have to push harder in order to stay, and will end up willing. This is what I came away with from the #social4tixsales discussion last night. All done digitally, without telephones, computer bulletin boards, talk radio, etc. Market disruption is a continual change, and this will happen, as it always does, whether those in power like or not.