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How to make your advertising sales team more effective

And why integration is key

The last ten years has been the era of diversification in the publishing industry, as the way audiences consume content has evolved and companies’ advertising requirements have changed. Initially, many publishers started to ‘bleed ink’ and they lost significant revenue, as traditional advertising budgets were spent on Google ad words and Facebook.

The publishers that have been successful are the ones that have innovated to meet market demand. They have recognised that content alone is not enough, that it has become too commoditised. As well as quality content, most successful publishers now offer a combination of ‘live’ events, awards, research, as well as social and digital offerings and even software.

In turn, this has made the environment a challenging one for the advertising sales team. They are not just selling half pages to clients any more – they are selling product bundles that might incorporate a wrap, a roundtable, a stand at an event and a digital campaign. The advertising sales team not only has to sell the bundle, they then have to ensure that it is delivered on time and in a professional manner. And the only way they can do this effectively is to integrate the sales function with all the other areas of the publishing business.

Take a CRM system – it creates one platform that ties together all the different areas of a publishing business, from advertising sales and marketing, to events, digital and finance. It is only by creating this integrated environment that publishers can create an efficient advertising sales process. So how does this integrated CRM solution arm the salesforce and enable them to sell effectively? What benefits does it bring?

Power and negotiation: the visibility that this integrated approach gives, means sales teams have a lot more power which they can leverage with clients – for example, it gives them the control to set pricing and grant discounts. If a magazine’s advertising deadline is approaching, or if an event is coming up and the publisher needs to sell a stand, the sales team has the power to reduce prices accordingly, which enables the team to sell the space. Not only that, the fact that the sales system is integrated with finance means that the discount can be apportioned to different areas of the business, which is important for publishers when it comes to managing their revenue streams.

Oversight and meeting deadlines: it’s not only about selling an advertising package, it’s about delivering it professionally, so clients will come back and buy more. The oversight this integrated approach gives enables the sales team to manage the delivery of the different items within the product bundle. It also sets timelines, so the teams know what they need to execute by when

– it ensures the production team receives the right information to get on with the job. Technology is vital in letting everyone involved know the status, so account teams can keep clients informed and everyone involved knows what’s going on.

The purse strings: this integrated approach also has significant financial benefits. The client will see the bundled price, but the finance team needs to unpick it so they can assign the income to the relevant revenue stream. CRM can automate that process, making invoicing, commission calculation and revenue recognition a much easier process.

In advertising sales, manual processes often equate to mistakes being made, usually around specifications, invoicing and delivery. In the increasing complexity of the publishing world and the advertising sales environment, in order to maximise the efficiency of your sales team, improve revenue management and provide your clients with the best service, an automated end to end CRM system will stand you in good stead.

To learn more about a cross business advertising sales solution, read our white paper How to build successful advertising sales with CRM or contact one of our team on: 0118 3030 100