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As a forward thinking publisher, you know your sales team needs top notch tech to compete with ease and speed in today’s media landscape. Whether you’re on the hunt for your first customer relationship management (CRM) platform or you’re looking to replace a legacy system, it’s crucial to know which features to seek out in a new solution. 

At their core, most CRMs function similarly. In this article, we’ll offer 4 tips to help you see past the standard components and understand how one solution may meet your needs better than another. We’ll also provide a 4-step roadmap to successful CRM implementation.

Choose wisely to save time and money

Have you ever heard the saying, “All that glitters is not gold”? William Shakespeare hit the nail on the head with this literary gem. In a modern context, publishers must look beyond the bells and whistles that nearly all CRM products boast to find the right solution for their business.

Most CRM software contains the fundamentals: the ability to create a customer, and manage contact information, activities, and pipeline. Various tools may offer other features or deliver these fundamentals slightly differently, which may or may not be useful to your media organization. The key is to determine which features will be necessary, or at least helpful to your company, so you can get the most bang for your buck.

Learning how to see past the glitter will enable you as a publisher to identify the CRM features that will bring value to your organization, execute on your CRM strategy, and achieve your business goals. This will also help you avoid wasting time and money installing a system that ultimately won’t support your needs.

4 tips to help you select your next CRM

The ability to differentiate various CRM solutions in a meaningful way—including their intangible benefits—is essential to your vendor assessment process. Here are a few CRM features to keep an eye out for as part of your evaluation:

  • Tailored to your industry

An industry-specific CRM can help you solve problems you haven’t even thought of yet, or enable you to achieve your goals in an easier or more efficient way than you could with a “generic” product. 

For example, because Lineup Systems’ Adpoint CRM is a media-specific and end-to-end CRM solution, the product catalogue is managed in a way that specifically addresses the complexity of media packages, which a traditional box-product CRM cannot do. This allows users to:

  • reduce admin overhead
  • enjoy a more intuitive and user-friendly catalogue
  • improve speed to market of new offerings
  • gain better visibility into inventory
  • provide a better customer and user experience thanks to increased flexibility

These benefits extend from your CRM experience all the way to the delivery of your advertising orders.

  • Robust customer support

Your next step is to find out whether the CRM vendors you’re considering provide customer support in your time zone. You don’t want to be left high and dry in the middle of a crisis.

A solid CRM support team should also be dedicated to finding solutions specifically for your industry within the full scope of their product, as well as understanding the unique challenges you face within your sector.

  • Native solution

Always opt for an end-to-end CRM (one that has been built from the ground up), rather than a system that has been cobbled together in the image of Frankenstein. The former will be less likely to experience failures. It will also offer a simplified interface, which reduces technical debt, delays, and manual workarounds. In addition, with a native solution, you’ll have one point of contact for customer support, which will streamline issue reporting.

Beyond the benefit to your team, an end-to-end CRM solution will enable you to deliver consistent customer interactions across all points of contact in your business, which supports customer retention and revenue generation.

  • Ability to configure

You’ll save both time and money if you choose a configurable out-of-the-box CRM solution, rather than one that requires technical resources such as a team of developers for build and ongoing maintenance. That bill adds up quickly!

Your roadmap to CRM success

In addition to evaluating specific CRM features, there are a few other aspects of CRM capability to consider to inform your must-have list:

  • Start with strategy: Define your CRM strategy and all relevant business goals. Consider adoption, and how you will get from point A to B when it comes to successfully onboarding your team to use your new CRM.
  • Prioritize your objectives: Articulate several SMART goals that you want your CRM to help you achieve and group them into short term vs. long term buckets. Be as specific as possible. Keep in mind, these goals don’t need to be limited to your sales team.
  • Scan for problems: Identify potential challenges that could impact achieving your objectives and begin brainstorming ways to address these issues.

Drive sales 24/7

You now have the key information you need to cut through the noise and identify intangible CRM benefits that have a tangible impact. These insights will help you advocate for your system of choice within your media organization.

With Lineup’s Adpoint CRM, you can grow your bottom line while reducing the cost of sales. Adpoint offers functionality tailored to the media industry to enable you to generate leads 24/7 and take advantage of sales opportunities by showing you which of your prospects need attention and which of your premium positions are unsold. The solution also offers advanced reporting capabilities so you can evaluate and improve your sales performance regularly. Discover Adpoint CRM.

Nita Watkins

Nita has been with Lineup since 2012, and in the media industry for 14 years total. Her career in media began at News UK, where she worked closely with teams across the advertising business. Outside of work, Nita can be found drawing, painting, and experimenting in the kitchen.