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Media companies – is your CRM on life support?

Does this sound familiar?  Your ad sales team runs the weekly forecast call off the “shadow pipeline” spreadsheets, your CRM has at least fifteen variations of Procter & Gamble, your Account Managers toggle between systems all day to manage IOs, and no one can remember which report of the 1000 to choose from is the correct one?  It’s that time of year many organizations will embark on the annual project to “improve CRM adoption”.  But what if there was an alternative? CIO Magazine’s 6 CRM Predictions for 2016 predicts it’s the breakout year for Industry CRM’s that solve specific problems.  Additionally, industry solutions increase sales productivity, reduce time & cost to implement and reduce total cost of ownership.  How did the patient get on life support?  There’s many reasons why media companies struggle to get the results they expected with their CRM.  In this post we’ll look at common issues across the media industry:

  • Forecasting Headaches – what’s the #1 goal of the sales team? Make the number.  How does the sales team know how they’re tracking to the quarterly #? Spreadsheets.  Because that’s been the only way to combine the pipeline and revenue.  And there’s probably really smart people turned excel jockeys building reports each week.  But this leads to new problems, such as having multiple versions of the spreadsheet, it’s lost in email, you’ve heard all the excuses on the forecast call.  This banter wastes valuable time that could be spent strategizing about how to win deals and make the #.  The best practice is to plan the call with insights from your CRM then run the call with everyone looking at the same thing in the CRM, saving everyone time and improving the conversation.
  • Dirty Data Rich, Intelligence Poor – remember that painful QBR and the agonizing prep work to answer basic questions like, “how much revenue, by product did we do with P&G, or WPP last year, how did their campaigns perform?” Does getting those answers waste hours of the organization’s time to only find out your clients have different numbers undermining credibility?  Odds are there’s 15+ P&G records and no hierarchy for the WPP agencies in your CRM, so your data is wrong.  And this is just the tip of the iceberg why your CRM is unreliable for data driven decisions.  How do you solve the data headaches?  Empower users with self-service, actionable business intelligence, powered by best practice media specific KPI’s and data solutions.
  • Lost Users – we hear it all the time, “my team doesn’t use it”, “I dread opening my CRM”, “its cluttered with too many fields”. Why, there’s no WIFM – “what’s in it for me,” as historically CRM tools are one way data collection for management.  So how do you solve this?  Turn this problem on its head, example – help your sellers know what they need to do – what if your CRM told you about IO’s running hot that are an easy budget upsell or IO’s running slow that need optimizing, or recommend cross-sell opportunities based on client’s media spend.  And what if your CRM workflows were designed for mobile devices ending the need to leave that client dinner early to rush back to the laptop for an approval.
  • Expensive Operations – behind the scenes at most media organizations is something reminiscent of a Rube Goldberg machine. Whether it’s sellers hunting for prospects then re-entering data, AM’s trying to keep track of endless media plan revisions, tap dancing around inventory that’s no longer available, finding missing creative, knowing which IO’s might miss their start date, etc.  Account Management and AdOps teams are under the gun to reduce costs, do more with less while programmatic has actually increased the complexity in a hybrid world.  The solution is end-to-end workflows with a single front end interface hiding the complexity across multiple systems.  Organizations innovating this way are realizing lower cost to serve and higher client satisfaction.

Solving these problems is hard work, especially if you don’t have the best practices and your tools can’t support them.  If you’re ready to tackle these or other similar challenges, let’s talk.  You can reach us here.