Zee Telefilms is seeing a good run and much is changing at the Zee house already. One of the significant changes to come about is the restructuring of the ad sales function. On the larger picture, the channel has moved from the Network selling approach to standalone channel selling. A matrix system has been induced that supports this in addition to allowing Network selling for select cases.
Joy Chakraborthy, EVP, Head Network Sales, Zee Telefilms, informed that the channel had been experimenting with the structure for the last six months and had now officially instated it. He added, “The system has worked brilliantly for us and hence, we will operate on this structure officially in the new fiscal year.”
As per the new structure, Zee Telefilms will have National Sales Heads for all the channels in the Network and Branch Heads and both sets of officials report to Chakraborthy. The role of National Sales Heads, as Chakraborthy put it, would be strategic, wherein aspects like pricing, programme coordination, inventory utilisation and rate cards would be taken care of by the sales officials and their team. As for the Branch Heads, the role would be more of a tactical one. “They would be more on the lines of implementing strategies and getting deals closed,” said Chakraborthy.
Speaking more on the reasons behind bringing such a structure, Chakraborthy explained, “There is a definite change in television selling today and the days of favours and arm-twisting are gone. Today, a channel is bought and sold only for mutual benefits and we are fast moving in the direction of mutually beneficial pricing too. Keeping that in mind, we wanted to be sure that we are giving our advertisers solutions across the Network and at the same time not compromising on a strong channel for a weaker channel.”
“In this structure, while it is the duty of the National Sales Heads to ensure that the targets of his or her channel are met, he will also work as a partner with the Branch Heads to crystallise solutions for advertisers across the Network. In addition to this, the National Sales Heads will have their own regional teams as well to assist them,” Chakraborthy further elaborated.
Speaking more on the expectations from Branch Heads, he said, “We have Branch Heads in Delhi, East and South. They are the representatives of the channel. Due to their location, they have the advantage of proximity with clients and they have the knowledge of how a market operates, what are the sale peaks in those markets, and accordingly, they, in partnership with the National Heads, can explore the various possibilities of that market.”
However, considering that the National Heads would be looking at certain branches and Branch Heads at certain channels, wouldn’t the structure lead to internal clashes? “As I said, they are partnersm so how can there be any clashes?” replied Chakraborthy, “Nonetheless, we have a system of complete transparency in place. Deals in talks, signed and even the ones not signed and why, are communicated internally in a flash system. The officials are aware of each other’s key decisions at the national level.”
Chakraborthy further said that the new structure allowed better sales planning and prepared the officials better for pitches as well and this was the reason that after experimenting with it for a while, the structure was officially instated.
“It allows focus without the formation of silos and that is a healthy way to function. Also, in the new structure we have moved people in between genre and this allows them to explore more of their own interests and abilities. All the clients we have been dealing with have also appreciated the structure,” said Chakraborthy.
The various Branch Heads of Zee Telefilms are Ashish Sehgal for Delhi, Sanjoy Chatterjee for the East and Pawan Jalkhalani for the South. The National Sales Heads for the individual channels are Simran Hoon for Zee TV, Jitesh Rajdeo for Zee Cinema, Sujoy Kutty for Zee Marathi, Anuradha Kini for Zee Café and Zee Trendz, Priyanka Dutta for Zee Studio and Anjana Shatriya for Zee Music and Zee Smile.