How to Succeed in Media Sales. A View from the Top…. 

At Nua Training we are constantly inspired by the women we work alongside, train, coach and mentor.  There are so many outstanding, strong and unstoppable women doing amazing things as they pave the way and advance their careers in the advertising and media industry.  This month’s bite-size article features an interview with Katie Grosvenor, Head of Sales Northern Europe for @Integral Ad Science and Head of Mentoring 2020 for Bloom UK where she shares tips from the top on how to succeed in media sales.

What has been your career path? 

In 2004 my love of advertising led me to MediaCom. Between joining and 2010, I was lucky enough to work in a number of marketing and business development roles in both local and global positions, and in 2011 was promoted to UK Marketing and New Business Director. My role was to set the business development and marketing strategy as well as bring brilliant talent together from across the agency to win new clients, such as Coca-Cola, eBay, Sony, and Tesco.

Wanting to experience working closer to brands day-to-day challenges, in 2016 I joined the Mars team as global operations director which is where my interest in data was peaked. Then, with an ambition to further deepen my digital and data knowledge I joined Integral Ad Science in 2017.

What’s been your biggest setback? 

I try to see any perceived setback as a positive. I switched to Ad Tech Sales a bit later in my career, and although it’s been positive, I did mean that I’ve had a steep learning curve and honestly in the beginning felt out of my depth on a daily basis. However, as well as getting on top of the technical aspect, it also meant I quickly had to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable which in turn has led me to take other opportunities that I previously would have turned down.

What has been the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Given we spend so much time at work, it’s important to be in a company that feeds your culture, somewhere that has values aligned with your own. That’s so important in sales because if you don’t love the company or what you’re selling, it will be apparent to your prospect and clients.

Beyond that, distilling all the advice I’ve been given by the wealth of talented people I’ve worked with – Be curious, be authentic, and be patient, including with yourself.

What do you think it takes to be a successful media sales leader? 

The very best leaders I’ve ever met are the ones that surround themselves by talented people – people who they learn from, trust and empower – unlocking their teams potential.

Sales leaders, in fact any leaders of teams, need to understand the importance of putting people first in order to achieve better results.

What top tips would you give budding media sales stars?

Find a business with a product you love – the authenticity and energy that comes with that will shine through and people will want to work with you

  • Tailor your pitch and understand the real value you can bring to a clients’ specific challenge – demonstrate that you’ve listened to the client, rather than just telling them what you’re selling
  • Never underestimate the importance of story-telling in creating engaging presentations and remove any jargon – if your offered training in it, take it.
  • Focus on what will make the difference for both parties – how can you partner with your client to create a point of difference as well generate additional revenue
  • Thoroughly prepare and follow up quickly. It’s OK not to always know the answers but finding them out quickly shows that you care.

What impact do you think the COVID crisis will have on media sales careers going forward?

Sales teams get so much from spending time with their clients, being at home can both drain your energy and knock your confidence. Understandably however, many of our clients are also busy juggling the impact of COVID, even meeting virtually, can be difficult. I think the best approach to adopt is first to serve, then sell. Whilst the pipeline still remains a focus, empathy now will serve you better in the future.

In terms of careers, despite the level of uncertainty that prevails, if you search LinkedIn, many businesses are still hiring. I’d encourage anyone who finds themselves looking for their next role not to jump into a business they’re not excited about. That’s easier said than done when there’s bills to pay, but after such an unsettling time finding something that rebuilds your confidence and enthuses you will be important to staying in love with the industry.

Finally, now more than ever, remember to celebrate the wins, big and small.

For more information on the Bloom UK, the professional network for women in the communications industry check out


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