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A new CRM system can be a hard sell to your media organization’s sales team-”but it’s critical to get them on board if you want your CRM strategy to succeed. As a media executive, your best line of defense is to flip the conversation around CRM adoption from a focus on administration (which is usually well-received by management, but not by sales) to an emphasis on the benefits the system will offer your sales staff.

In this article, we’ll share 5 ways a CRM solution can benefit media sales teams to help you increase adoption at your publishing company.

The #1 threat to CRM success

The biggest challenge today’s media organizations face when implementing a new CRM system is getting their sales teams to use the solution. Lack of adoption can be the death of your CRM strategy, so it’s crucial that you address this issue.

Your sales team may be resistant to doing what they view as “more admin work”, or they may feel like they’re being micromanaged. They might also be protective of their contacts and concerned that another rep will “poach” their accounts if they enter their records into the CRM. Or, they may be hesitant to learn a new system and worried that the onboarding process will take up too much of their already-scarce time.

Poor quality data poses another challenge, because when it comes to CRM results, you only get what you put in. However, this issue is typically driven by a lack of sales adoption. Often, when media executives talk about why a CRM implementation “failed”, the central reason is because the organization couldn’t get sales on board. It’s essential to get buy-in from your sales team if you want to reap the benefits of your CRM solution and drive greater revenue.

How to change the adoption conversation

When you sought out the budget to purchase your new CRM, you likely had to make a case to management about the overall benefits it would bring to your publishing company-”for example, perks like better forecasting, lower churn, and better visibility into sales activities. Now that you have to sell the system to your sales team, the game has changed.

To win over your sales staff, who are indifferent at best and suspicious or vocally negative at worst, you need to change the conversation about CRM adoption and focus on the specific benefits to sales rather than the benefits to management. This will help educate your sales staff so that they actively want to use the CRM. 

Start by reframing the conversation to generate more buy-in from sales for your CRM solution. Find compelling reasons that illustrate all of the ways your sales team’s daily work will become easier thanks to the new system. This will help create internal motivation for your sales staff to begin leveraging the CRM.

Top 5 sales benefits of CRM adoption

Struggling with how to educate your media sales team on the advantages of using a CRM? Here are 5 conversation starters to help you get them on board.

  • “Using the CRM will make it easier to hit your targets and get your commissions.”

Sales staff often focus on the punitive measures they associate with CRM targets-”for example, “You must make X calls and book X meetings.” However, this technology can actively help teams hit revenue targets and increase sales. Here are a few potential CRM perks to share:

  • Bring attention to accounts that have dropped off the radar or that have had reductions in spend compared to previous years
  • Find opportunities to upsell into new revenue streams
  • Target accounts with an interest in a new event or special feature
  • Easily manage disputes and pay out commissions

Tools like Lineup System’s Adpoint media sales CRM allow you to leverage all of the data on an account to find opportunities to make a sale, and the system will put those opportunities right in front of your sales staff.

  • “The CRM will give you early warnings if any of your deals are at risk.”

It’s common for media sales teams to be busy working on future deals with an account while your finance department is getting ready to put the same account on the chopping block. This may be caused by a dispute on the account that the salesperson is unaware of.

Finding out about these issues too late can put an entire deal at risk, but a CRM solution can help. Increased collaboration and transparency around all interactions on every account means sales teams can see as soon as an account is at risk, and they can take action early to help ensure the deal remains safe.

  • “The CRM will help you build better relationships and have smarter conversations.”

Happy customers that feel valued are more likely to spend money. A CRM system can enable sales staff to get to know the history of each of their accounts so they’re better informed and can provide top notch customer service. Using a CRM, sales reps can easily collaborate with other teams across the company that service the same account.

A CRM with built-in sales guidance will suggest the best next steps and tactics for moving opportunities forward. This equals less wasted time on ineffective strategies, and allows your sales staff to benefit from best practices so they can close deals faster.

  • “You’ll spend less time chasing paper with the new CRM.”

Sales teams often object that using a CRM results in more administrative work, but this is not necessarily true. It’s always easy to see areas where a user’s work may look more complex, which is why it’s important to highlight all of the ways they’re saving time, for example: 

  • Increased ease of handing sales over to production or admin teams, rather than searching for emails and retyping information into a new system
  • Automatic creation of attractive, up-to-date proposals with one click (no more digging up old templates, running reports and updating statistics)
  • The ability for the CRM to manage repetitive tasks automatically, freeing up your time from making manual updates
  • Less typing, since you can speak your meeting notes into the CRM
  • “Using the CRM will help you spend less time updating managers.”

No matter how you use your CRM, managers will always want updates on pipeline and revenue forecasting. Your CRM solution can generate this information automatically, so there’s no need for sales staff to be running reports and answering questions. This will free up their time from mundane but necessary reporting tasks.

A modern media sales CRM

The right CRM technology can help ensure sales adoption. Look for a system that enables you to set up user-friendly workflows, and think about how you’ll phase new tools into your publishing company. Focus on implementing changes that benefit your sales team first, rather than those that only benefit management.

Looking for a cloud-based media sales solution built for today’s media industry landscape? Explore 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.