by Chase Jolesch – August 2014
In the last five years, colleges have started outbound ticket sales centers modeled after professional sports. After spending nearly three and a half years working with the San Francisco 49ers and Legends Premium Sales, I received the opportunity to go back to my alma mater and start an outbound ticket sales center at Baylor University.
I’ve been working the past eight months to develop Baylor’s program. The three important things I have learned so far are (1) create a positive relationship with the ticket office, athletics foundation and marketing department, (2) implement a CRM system to help manage fans more efficiently and (3) hire and lead the right employees.
Create Positive Relationships with Other Departments
The ticket office, athletics foundation and marketing department all work with tickets in a variety of supporting roles. I connected with each department to learn how they work and be able to implement productive changes.
Creating these positive relationships between departments is built on communication. As Matt Rousso, Director of Ticket Sales & Service at the University of Southern California, shares,
“At USC we work closely with our ticket office on all ticketed athletic events leaning on their expertise to help improve overall processes as well as the fan experience. There is no doubt that we will continue to improve our synergies in this respect as our tenure together increases.”
Each department has a variety of objectives, but the overlapping goal is to provide a great customer experience to each fan.
Implement an Effective CRM System
We recently implemented a CRM system that our ticket sales center, ticket office and athletics foundation all access. This helps internal communication so we know what is going on with our fans as we document calls, sync e-mail lists and make notes in the system. The ticket sales center uses CRM to prospect leads and turn them into specific sales opportunities.
Rich Wang, Associate Director of Analytics & Fan Engagement at the Minnesota Vikings, has over eight years of experience in the database world, believes
“having the right information is key in today’s world. CRM provides the level of detail and insights a sales center can act on in real time. Further, CRM can provide data that allows an sales organization to form tangible relationships between existing clients and prospective targets.”
For a CRM system to be a productive tool, every department needs to be involved, and for that to happen you need the right employees.
Build the Right Team
We have taken a methodical approach to building the Baylor ticket sales center. The culture we want to create is one that cultivates talent, but also challenges and pushes. Finding the right candidate can be difficult, so we look for candidates eager to learn, work well in teams and want to be challenged.
Jared Kozinn, Director of Business Development-Premium Seating at the Detroit Lions, has experience building sales teams in the NHL, MLB, & NFL. Jared says he likes to, “look to hire passionate candidates with positive attitudes that want to learn and are open to constructive criticism.”
While finding talent through a variety of sports networks, including the Baylor S3 program and referrals, our sales center is beginning to take shape.
It has and will continue to take some patience to get things where they need to be to make it an overall success. Through positive internal relationships, CRM collaborations with fan experiences, and training the right employees the Baylor Ticket Sales Center is well on its way.