In a high pressure environment, ad sales professionals must execute orders with speed and efficiency, or otherwise risk losing a client to another publisher. What’s more, ad salespeople must offer multichannel packages, prioritizing one channel over another in regard to ad spend. One small mistake could lose a client. This is the nature of the market, a place where if one firm doesn’t offer a perfect solution, another will gladly step in.
Ad operations stuck in the past
The problem is that traditional publishers are burdened by old-fashioned ideologies and practices. Fourth Source asserted that ad sales departments are not ready for digital because ad operations solutions for sales, booking, delivery, billing and ad inventory are isolated. These outdated IT systems cause frustrations internally, and those attitudes will likely show outward to clients when ad sales professionals struggle to effectively collect data from disparate sources.
Furthermore, Fourth Source posited that publishers are burdened by rigid processes, leading to unnecessary spend and wasted revenue. These firms try to squeeze old functions and practices into new technologies, as well as attempt to roll out cutting-edge IT systems on legacy hardware. The result is that over 35 percent of publishers ranked their digital ad business as average for their sector, according to report from Operative. How can companies be happy with that metric?
Digging the way out of old ad operations with technology
The good news is that there is a solution and it lies in technology. In fact, the most tech-savvy publishers have no problem keeping up with consumer and advertiser demand. Those using a cloud-based CRM have seen how common problems associated with legacy hardware, old processes and siloed systems are dissolved upon moving to the cloud. In fact, a customized ad operations Salesforce solution can do more than just solve those problems, it can support other ventures that can propel a publisher past competitors, digital or otherwise
Reinventing ad operations processes
With digital advertising taking off as the main form of revenue for many newer publishers, traditional ad sales teams should use Salesforce solutions customized exactly for their business. This will force a fundamental change in operations, and if ad sales professionals refuse to adapt their processes to the digital realm, they will fail.
To start, publishers need complete visibility of leads as they flow through the sales funnel. Historically this was difficult, but with a customized process flow management for Salesforce CRM, a business can collect all relevant data in a single location, providing ad sales departments, accounting and many other departments with insight into their clients’ past and present relationships.
Offer more content
Digital ad space is unique in that advertisers and publishers must work together to determine the best possible digital medium. While banner ads are still popular – with around 79 percent of businesses using that format, according to Forbes Insights – digital video, mobile in-app ads and “rich media,” such as in-banner videos, are in high demand.
Native advertising is another interesting avenue for both digital and print. Skyword reported that The New York Times has been very successful with native ads, generating 361 percent more unique page views and 526 percent more time spent on the page than other content. The point is that by offering additional channels and ad formats, a publisher can prove their worth to clients.
However, with new ad media and more offerings, ad sales and ad operations professionals need a CRM system to track success and ensure these campaigns are functioning properly. And, of course, management teams will want reports on how clients are reacting to the content. With customized Salesforce solutions, ad sales and operations professionals can always be held accountable.
As new formats pop up in digital and print ad space, sales teams are going to have to work more closely than ever. Operative indicated that the best publishers have complex ad operations and leverage consultative selling to provide custom ad solutions. Simply put, by having ad sales professionals work together across their disciplines and expertise, they will have better sales outcomes.
Ad operations teams need to collaborate, and what better way to work in harmony than with technology. Customized Salesforce solutions will break down data silos, ensuring that everyone can access the information they need to pitch the best campaign and close deals.
Navigating the waters of ad sales is simplified when publishers use technology to their advantage. However, a CRM system isn’t all it takes. These firms need to leverage their customized Salesforce solutions to reinvent their ad sales and ad operations processes and practices.