Global brands use customer relationship management (CRM) systems. So do small and midsize businesses. Do online publishers need CRM systems, too? Absolutely.
As the number of CRM systems on the market continues to grow, technology companies are developing more industry-specific solutions. It isn’t uncommon to see CRM systems designed specifically for restaurants or retailers. Now we’re seeing more CRM systems designed for online publishers and other media organizations, as well.
CRM systems designed especially for the media industry empower publishers’ sales teams with real-time information and data. Most of the best CRM systems are automated, which means publishers and their sales teams spend less time on manual tasks and more time developing relationships with potential clients.
The primary reason why online publishers use CRM systems is to streamline advertising sales. With CRM software, sales reps can track customer accounts, edit ads, update accounts, and accept payments. It’s easier to keep sales information up to date. The best CRM systems also give publishers a way to monitor the effectiveness of their sales teams and individual sales reps.
If you are considering using a CRM system, you’re probably wondering what to look for. The best CRM systems come at all different price points, and many have unique features to differentiate themselves from the pack.
Before selecting a CRM system, ask yourself these questions:
- Who will be using the CRM? If your sales team will be using the platform, then get their input on which features would be most beneficial.
- How many people are on your sales team? The larger your staff, the more coordination and collaboration features you should be looking for in a CRM.
- Do you rely on advertising reports? If you regularly provide advertisers with reports, then you’ll definitely want a CRM system that generates these reports automatically.
- Does your team rely on mobile? If so, you’ll want to find a CRM platform that works equally well on desktop and mobile devices.
- How important are features like calendars and appointment scheduling, pipeline management, and prospect research? Once again, you’ll want to find a CRM system that includes all the features that you anticipate needing now and in the future.
Once you’ve figured out exactly what you’re looking for in a CRM, it’s time to find the best solution for your online publication. There’s no doubt that price will play a role here, but the quality of the user interface (UI) and the specific features should be equally important as you make your decision.
Although many online publishers find that they enjoy using CRM systems built specifically for the media industry, you may find that a more broad-use platform is fine for your needs. Make sure to look ahead into the future as you make your selection, since the way you use a CRM platform may change as your publication grows.
CRM Systems for Online Publishers
Ad Sales Genius
Ad Sales Genius an intelligent CRM system built for publishers and media companies. The platform itself is powerful enough to handle the huge variety of ad products that online publishers sell, and flexible enough to grow with its users. Ad Sales Genius unifies the processes of the entire media organization, including marketing, sales, and editorial teams.
MagHub is a cloud-based software CRM solution for managing advertising sales. With MagHub, magazine publishers can manage subscriptions, billing, freelancers, projects, and marketing all from within one system. Publishers that want to sell subscriptions, services, or physical goods can manage those sales through MagHub’s ecommerce system. Plenty of financial and administrative tools are available through this CRM, all designed specifically for the needs of magazine publishers.
The Newspaper Manager
The Newspaper Manager CRM integrates sales, production, and billing data into a unified software platform. This system’s features include contact management, customer search, notifications, mailing lists, email marketing, reporting, and a calendar that syncs with web-based calendars. Online publishers can search, categorize, and organize their client data in a way that makes following up easy.
Workbooks is a CRM that is priced and designed for the mid-market. The company’s media and publishing software can be setup to solve some of the biggest pain points around advertising sales, sponsorships, subscription management, audience management, and event management. Collaboration features make it so Workbooks can be used by almost everyone at the publication, including marketing, sales, and editorial teams. In particular, sales teams can use the platform to reduce instances of human error and ensure advertisers get what they ordered.
Salesforce is the biggest CRM on the planet. Although it’s used by organizations in nearly every industry, its media-specific tools make it a good option for larger online publishers. Salesforce’s media CRM solution bridges the gap between advertising and editorial departments, with tools for maximizing sales revenue and a real-time visibility pipeline that connects the CRM system to analytics and marketing automation software.
Are you thinking about adding a CRM system to your technology stack? If you’re overwhelmed by the options, start by looking at the media-focused CRM systems mentioned in this article. CRM software that’s designed for online publishers tends to integrate more seamlessly with the billing and advertising platforms that most publishers already use, and they have industry-specific tools that more general-use CRMs may not offer.
If you would like more help finding a platform that will easily integrate with your website, reach out to our development team at Web Publisher PRO and we’d be happy to help.