This post is the fifth in a series of questions you as a publisher should ask when interviewing software service providers. (View the fourth 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 does your system handle rate cards and discounts?

A media kit with accurate ad sizes and prices needs to be provided early in the process in order to configure an effective system. Find all the factors that determine your ad prices: color, size, category, position, publication, etc. You need the system to handle your pricing structure seamlessly in the order process. If you have ten publications, a sales rep should be able to select the publication, the rate card, adjust the color and position, and the accurate price will be accurately be inserted when building an order. Make sure you see how the system will be configured to handle multiple rate cards.


Once the correct price is selected, what flexibility will the sales rep have with price?  If a sales rep only sells off of the rate card price, then no need to worry about price flexibility. But if your reps have the authority to quote a higher or lower price, you need a system that allows elasticity when putting your order together. Maybe you give your reps the right to discount 20% on ads and anything else requires manager approval. You need a system that allows discounting by the reps while enforcing your restrictions. Besides discounting price by percent or gross amount, how will reps apply a frequency discount, upgraded pricing, agency discount, or any other discount that is important to your business operation? Have a few specific situations in mind so you can see the system perform properly for you.


Next Week: How does the system handle commissions?


POSTED BY Tom Bellen, to contact click here.

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