The world of media is major, multinational, and complex. With so much competition in the marketplace, media companies are always on the hunt for alternative sources of advertising revenue, striving to buy and sell assets and create new opportunities to get ahead. And, as most successful businesses learn, the secret to expansion isn’t always new and innovative ideas – at the end of the day, customer relationships are still number one.
Take, for example, Hearst Magazines: in 2017, the CEO of UK operations, James Wildman, was tasked with driving new digital streams to replace declines in both print circulation and advertising. Despite a creative take on how to repackage lifestyle and home brands into larger editorial organizations, this wasn’t enough; without building stronger relationships with agencies, all the innovation in the world couldn’t lead to desired levels of growth.
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The Value in Customer Relationship Management
Relationships within a media company are numerous and diverse, creating a complicated web through which sales teams must navigate to accomplish goals and drive ad revenue. Working out of an integrated Salesforce CRM as a hub can accomplish many tasks simultaneously, including:
- Connecting various data points, such as digital ad inventory and revenue information for relevant accounts
- Forwarding important information accurately to account managers and sales teams
- Providing on-demand access anywhere to critical business details
With these functions, the challenges of communication between varying business units are largely alleviated, providing a one-stop resource that offers a complete view of customers, from activity history to internal account specifics.
The upsides of Salesforce CRM aren’t limited to outside contacts, either; team members across the company can utilize a chatter feed on every account to share insights, documents, and anything important to maintaining customer relationships. It’s also possible to get a real-time view of an entire ad sales team forecast to keep data relevant and timely.
We have identified 5 benefits of using a Salesforce CRM in order for media companies to manage their advertising revenue.
1. Improved Workflow Tools
For media companies working to balance dozens of plates at one time, anything that can improve workflows and enhance organization can be a benefit. Salesforce makes this easy, providing functionality that manages proposals, projects, and processes throughout varying stages to keep deals visible while in motion.
With the increased use of programmatic and the heightened desire for a high ROI, integration is more important than ever. By weaving together sell-side platforms with other key tools and systems, businesses are better positioned to boost campaign performances and ad conversion rates. Buyers and sellers both have access to more data sources than ever but the right platform can aggregate these, providing insight into consumer preferences and best practices.
By eliminating the burden of fragmentation, ad sales teams can improve the efficacy of available data, improve pricing, and accurately communicate mass amounts of information in a time-efficient manner.
2. Manage Data for Cross-Media Accounts
Gathering one single snapshot of high-level data has been historically problematic, particularly due to the increasing complexity of cross-channel advertising. With so many sources, it’s not always easy to capture a view that compares apples to apples. The right CRM can make this easy, however, providing a simple media planning platform that breaks through organizational silos and improves the availability of data without relentless cross-checking.
The use of evolved management tools can heighten digital advertising effectiveness, forcing a switch from legacy systems in traditional media planning to an audience-focused strategy. By letting technology and automation take over, it’s possible to put the focus on human relationships rather than a frantic grab for relevant information.
3. Enhance Offers, Proposals, and Orders Across Accounts
Many media companies, like the New York Times, for example, are starting to switch up their media teams, shaking previously tried and true foundations in favor of something new.
Why? In part because advertisers and agencies continue to remain dedicated to building bonds with one representative, not dozens. Rather than do double the work by explaining the same information over and over, advertisers want a consistent relationship without the constant need for explanations and justifications.
A Salesforce CRM can bridge this gap, creating a conduit for an effective exchange of information that keeps everyone involved and up to speed, providing support for tasks including:
- Accessing past proposals, insertion orders, and RFPs
- Managing process control for document changes
- Revising pricing lists
- Following up on provisions for sales and agencies
- Aligning sales goals, inventory, and media packages from various units
When everyone is on the same page, it’s easier to maintain relationships that last, even when multiple players are involved.
4. Better Control of Lead to Advertising Revenue Management
Managing sales commissions doesn’t have to be a challenge, and with a Salesforce-powered CRM, it won’t be. By the time a deal closes, you can have access to a clear progression of any given process, no matter the twists and turns along the way. Even though the number of potential touch points for ad deals increases with each new source of advertising revenue, a powerful CRM makes it simple to follow a customer’s buying journey and provide credit to the right representatives.
5. Access to Quote-to-Cash Metrics
The ad sales process is quite complex, making it a challenge to interpret the true value of a particular order. However, a CRM with “Configure Price Quote” capabilities can help you simultaneously track figures while offering holistic analysis capabilities to provide a roadmap through the Quote to Cash (QTC) process. This allows metrics to be housed together so that comprehensive exposure is available to everyone involved, offering:
- Guidance on configuring items on quotes
- Prevention of errors or mismatches
- Easy organization of price lists and discounting
- Review management capabilities
- Support in transforming proposals to orders
- Management for invoicing and revenue recognition
With built-in QTC solutions, these processes can be streamlined and automated, keeping your thumb on the pulse and ensuring your team is always connected.
Despite the shift toward programmatic and automation, advertising sales is still very much an industry built on personal relationships. With Salesforce CRM, it’s possible to maintain these connections without losing out on opportunities to improve and manage your media ad sales operations thus increasing your advertising revenue.
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