This post is the fourth in a series of questions you as a publisher should ask when interviewing software service providers. (View the third question here.) The questions will help you find out if a product is the right fit for you business and if it is really going to do what it claims: help you save time and sell more advertisements.

 

How will your system handle all the products and services we offer?

When you see a publishing software system for the first time, it’s likely the first thing you will see is how to sell a print ad.  A system can do a great job with selling print ads, but in today’s market, that isn’t always cutting it. You should provide a media kit to your prospective provider before a demonstration and be ready with sales scenarios, so you can see how well the system can handle your day-to-day operations. Whether you have 1 or 100 publications, you need confidence this new system can handle a diverse product line up. It is important to know how the system differentiates a digital vs. print ad and how services you offer (e.g., ad design, sponsorships, and email blast) are sold and the production progress is tracked.

 

Beyond selling the products, look for reporting about the inventories and statuses of your sales. A rep should be able to quickly see what is selling and what needs to be pushed, where there is open ad space, what stage of approval an order is in, and if artwork is missing. There is a lot of information that you need in running your business – make sure the software can provide it.

 

Next week:  How does your system handle rate cards and discounts?

 

POSTED BY Tom Bellen, to contact click here.

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