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    How to make Salesforce really work for magazine publishers

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    Publication Date 15/09/2016 16:23:00
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    No CRM is perfect, and in a rapidly changing world, if it were perfect today, it would not be perfect tomorrow! So every company faces challenges with CRM, how to drive and maintain adoption, how to raise efficiency, how to gain insight, but what are the special challenges facing magazine publishers, both print and online?

    Inventory & flatplan

    Unlike nuts & bolts, once you have sold an ad space, you cannot just order more from the manufacturer! So a robust system to clearly identify what space has been sold is really important to help your sales staff sell. Now this is often achieved using a spreadsheet, with many potential pitfalls: which is the up-to-date spreadsheet? can multiple users update it at the same time? is it available when your sales staff are at home, or on site with a client. But worst of all, the spreadsheet becomes the record of authority, not the CRM. So the CRM is updated later, if at all, as another annoying chore.

    Availability

    Linked to the flatplan is availability. Your sales staff need an easy, and intuitive way to check availability, as they enter the data: what is booked, what is free, what is on option, and what can be moved.

    Production & Accuracy

    It’s no good selling ad space if you don’t chase the copy and publish the advert. But for your production department to do that, the details must be accurate in whatever system you use. You do NOT want to double key – that introduces errors as well as wasting time, but you do need complete and accurate details of the booking. Unless your CRM enforces this, or if you are using a spreadsheet for your flatplan, you will not get the complete & correct information, resulting in wasted time or worse: publishing the wrong advert.

    Invoicing & Accuracy

    If your sales orders accurately defines the advert sold, if production use that data to chase and publisher the advert, then it’s easy to produce an accurate invoice. Having the invoice match the sales order reduces queries, saving time and improving your cash-flow.

    Renewals & Lapsed

    Some sales processes easily accommodate automatic renewals, but some, for example advertising relevant to editorial copy, needs to be much more flexible. If you have a simple & robust way of listing renewals and lapsed, you can create that flexibility, but still guarantee 100% follow up. Without a robust system, you are loosing sales.

    Alpha Publisher

    Alpha Publisher is a solution that solves all these difficulties and more. It uses the standard objects: Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities, Products, & Quotes; keeping the flexibility of Salesforce, but making it really work for magazine publishers: http://www.alpha-index.co.uk/alpha-publisher/

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