In an industry as dynamic as publishing, sales teams should never be in the dark about how they’re performing against key metrics.
Sales reps who can easily see how their performance compares to the sales targets can make smarter decisions. They have a better idea of where to focus their attention day to day. Managers, meanwhile, get a more complete picture of operations if they receive frequent and detailed updates.
For many in sales at media companies, however, the performance-tracking process is a hassle. It often involves digging around for multiple spreadsheets on the cloud — that’s if the numbers are accessible in the first place — or contacting the finance department.
Fortunately, for publishers using Adpoint, Lineup’s all-in-one media sales management system, it doesn’t have to be this way. Adpoint’s flexible budget functionality gives users access to the essential sales info they need to know so they can see how their performance stacks up (in Adpoint, targets are referred to as budgets).
How Adpoint’s budget functionality improves performance tracking
Often sales teams and finance teams will have different views of revenue performance, because they’re each using different criteria. Sales might think that they’ve hit a target, but finance don’t agree. With Adpoint’s budget functionality, it’s easy to ensure that everyone is looking at the same set of numbers and that there is “one version of the truth.” Here are three Adpoint features that support this:
1. Budget setting: With Adpoint’s Finance module, budgets can be set for an individual, a team, or a specific product. Once an initial budget is set, creating new ones for subsequent time periods can be as simple as a few clicks.
Under Budget Items, managers (or anyone else granted admin approval) can simply take a past budget, apply a percentage increase, and instantly create a new budget that’s displayed to all relevant users. For example, they’re easily able to set October’s budget as 5% greater than last May’s, or any other month they’ve already established a previous budget for. Of course, you can also import excel spreadsheets for different calculations to set new budgets.
2. Homepage widgets: Users can choose from 30 different widgets to display on their homepage, which is the gateway to all of Adpoint’s different modules, including CRM, OMS, Finance, and Analytics. The widgets, which are little boxes that can be dragged and dropped into position, show all kinds of information at a glance — from booking and invoicing to customer birthdays and anniversaries.
For budgeting, Adpoint has four customizable widgets, each related to a different budget period: current month and next month, as well as current week and next week. These widgets are helpful at all levels of budgeting and can be tailored to display the most relevant information for each user.
In a flash, a salesperson can see what percentage of their target they’ve reached and how their team is doing, too. Meanwhile, sales managers may want to observe how each salesperson is performing at any given time, and a C-suite executive could take stock of how the overall company is holding up, for example.
3. Reports: For deeper insights, Adpoint Analytics comes ready out of the box with built-in reports spanning all of Adpoint’s modules. Reports are easy to customize and can be scheduled to run automatically at regular intervals and emailed to a list of recipients.
The many reports available include a selection relating to budgets, so if a user wants more detail on what the homepage widget is displaying, they can click through to a report showing the ad-level breakdown of their revenue figure.
Users can automate reports at regular intervals, and the analytics suite is also capable of generating customized reports as needed.
Added benefits of Adpoint’s budget functionality
Manual practices — like tracking budget performance in spreadsheets, for example — are ineffective at best. Using automation, Adpoint’s budget functionality makes tracking budgets “by hand” a thing of the past.
Here are two main reasons why automation is important:
1. You’ll save time. Handling data manually costs organizations countless hours, and not just in the publishing world. In fact, 54% of U.S. office professionals say they spend more time looking for documents and files than answering emails and messages, according to a 2021 report from Wakefield Research and data analysts Elastic.
2. Human error is expensive. A simple clerical mistake can be a billion-dollar mistake, as financial services provider Citigroup learned. Although that’s an extreme example, it illustrates the risk of poor data quality, which organizations estimate results in $15 million in losses per year, according to Gartner research.
If publishers don’t have an accurate picture of where sales stand at any given time, they could find themselves saddled with unexpected — and potentially staggering — shortfalls.
Adpoint’s budget functionality is a better way to track performance
I’ve seen first-hand how helpful Adpoint’s budget functionality can be. I used this Adpoint functionality in my prior role as CFO of a multimedia company. It really focussed the sales teams on where they should direct their effort for the remainder of the month in order to hit their numbers.
If you’re a current Adpoint user and are not already using this functionality, contact your client success manager at Lineup for more information. Otherwise, book a call with Lineup to learn more about how Adpoint can help your media organization in every aspect of ad sales.