Do you really need a CRM system or is it just an expensive piece of software that the sales reps hate to work in? Does it add any value at all to your business? We'll give you 5 reasons you should consider a CRM.
Technically, you don't really need a CRM software system to operate your magazine publishing business. Magazines were published and ads were sold just fine before the term CRM was invented some time in the '90s. Sales reps collected business cards in their "Book" and had a Rolodex on their desk. So if that worked last century, we'll dive into why that doesn't cut it this century.
A CRM is crucial to the delivery of an awesome customer experience
Customer can not not have an experience when you're selling to them. In some way or form, they will experience how well you know their business and their challenges. The'll feel how well you connect and understand their pain points. That's the customer experience.
Your sales reps must certainly be equipped with empathy and be interested in you customer's business in order to deliver an awesome customer experience. That's a given. Without a CRM they may be able to stay on top of things with 20 or so key accounts and maybe process 50 prospects a year, at the most.
With a CRM they can do at least five times as much and still come forth as very professional. Armed with insight on the customer's business and who the decision makers are, sales reps can deliver an awesome customer experience at large. With historical deals and sales calls saved in the CRM, they can be informed and make the customer feel they are the sales reps most important customer.
A great CRM make it easy get proposals out to customers and get closure
There's nothing as frustrating for sales reps as a painful proposal generation process. Sales reps want to get a professionally looking proposal in the hands of their customers as soon as possible so that they can follow up and ask for their business.
Having to type up a proposal in Microsoft Word and PDF:ing it manually is a major turnoff. It should be easy to create an offer based on up-to-date product pricing and available inventory in just a few clicks. It should also be easy to send a personalized email to the customer along with the offer and automatically have it saved in the CRM for future reference.
Finally, a great CRM has integrated eSignature capabilities, making it easy for customers to sign the contracts without having to print-sign-scan-email them.
With a CRM you will know where your business is heading
Forecasting advertising sales orders can be difficult. You can ask the sales reps whether they believe they'll close their deals or not, but even then you won't know for sure. Add to that the challenge of forecasting when the revenue and cash will arrive, based on delivery dates and payment terms.
Running a publishing business has many moving parts and a CRM optimized for magazines publishing will help you from going insane ... or out of business. Since the advertising inventory has both a monetary value and a set time for delivery, a good magazine publishing CRM will make it very clear how much sales you can expect to close in a given month and even more importantly, when it will turn into revenue and cash.
A great CRM will present opportunities for sales
In magazine publishing, advertising sales is a repeat business. But what if the CRM system can keep track of when customers are expiring, i.e. when the advertising contract is up for renewal? A great magazine publishing CRM will keep track of the delivery and fulfillment of booked advertising and then flag it for the sales reps that they need to contact the customer to renew the contract.
Renewed advertising contracts is a major source of revenue for success magazine publishers. It's much easier to close deals with customers who already understand the value you deliver, compared to selling to someone for the first time. At least if you remember to follow up at the right time.
With a CRM your next hire will hit the ground running
Sales reps don't stay in the same job forever. When they move on in their career they'll bring their "Book" with them if they can. This means that in case you don't make it perfectly clear that your expectation is that they enter their leads into the CRM, you won't be left with any leads and customer insights when a sales rep move on in their career.
A great magazine publishing CRM makes it easy for the sales reps to do their job ... within the CRM system. That way you'll have all the data and all the records intact when sales reps parts ways with you. A new hire can then be trained on how to use the CRM within an hour and then you transfer the account responsibility to the new hire in seconds.