What is a CRM?
CRM is an acronym meaning Customer Relationship Management. In essence, it is a mix of address book, order generator, sales, and marketing tool. A CRM is comprised of multiple features that enable salespeople and their managers the ability to keep track of contacts and activities associated with them.
A CRM Helps Organization
Chances are if you’re in the magazine business there are countless contacts you need to keep track of which can be confusing and frustrating. Keeping track of what company someone works for, where their office is, what their position is, and most of all their contact information can be a real pain. The old days of cumbersome Rolodex have now been replaced with CRMs that allow for instant updates across teams. They relieve the stress of losing contact information. They make it a joy to know that all of your contacts are appropriately logged according to company, market, region, or whatever factor you want.
A CRM Helps Grow and Maintain Relationships
Consistency is the key to virtually any endeavor. Relationships, new or old, are no different. Many of us stink at keeping in contact, especially if there is that horrifying chance of rejection. However, if we follow through things go much more easily. For old relationships, making sure your clients are happy is critical to long-lasting business. For new relationships, keeping in touch with prospects makes sure that a priority is given to meeting their needs. It also allows you to quickly disqualify and reduce sales limbos. Using a CRM gives your team confidence by enabling them to know when a prospect was contacted and how. MagHub provides automatic notifications after a determined period of time that an account needs to be tended to. This reminder can be enough to supply the courage to do what needs to be done.
A CRM Helps Coordination
When you have multiple salespeople without a CRM it is very possible that many of them will unwittingly contact the same prospect. This is awkward for everyone involved. If a prospect has already been disqualified this especially embarrassing. With a CRM, reps are assigned to companies and contacts within those companies. Sales teams can see who is in contact with who and how. This keeps the salespeople on top of their game.
A CRM Keeps the Sales Pipeline Moving
There are a number of ways in which a CRM can keep the sales pipeline moving along. The first is ensuring that actions are being taken towards prospects and clients. CRMs assign salespeople to prospects and clients. Activities taken are then integrated with a calendar ensuring a contact is always being tended to. The other area that a CRM keeps things moving is when a prospect is ready to buy. The sales team needs to be able to immediately turn that lead into an order. A CRM will enable your sales team to create proposals, orders, and invoices within the system. With templates set up by management, these proposals can then be filled out without any discrepancies in formatting or branding. This also makes sure there’s no delay in trying to coordinate different software. Additionally, a good CRM allows prospects to approve orders online with digital signatures all within the CRM.
A CRM is More Secure
Many legacy publishers have a long history that may have involved customer management from an era in which pen and paper were the only available tools. As spreadsheets became more common with desktop computers that were moved to a slightly more secure system, less vulnerable to coffee spills and absent-mindedness. A SaaS-based CRM, on the other hand, is in the cloud. This makes it out of reach of the vast majority of everyday disasters that inevitably happen in an office environment. All of the data is stored on servers spread across the world so customer data and the tools to interact with them is accessible from any device with a decent internet connection.
Magazines, like any business, have customers that they need to sell goods and services to. Magazines sell advertisements to businesses. Occasionally they will sell content production services in the form of editorial or artwork as well. They then sell the magazine publication, print or digital, to a specific audience. It is especially critical that a sales team (even if it’s just one person) maintain relationships with advertisers by staying organized, coordinated, and fluid in the sales process. Publishing a magazine requires a plethora of software, a good CRM should help reduce the intersection of them. A good CRM should ultimately save magazines from keeping track of spreadsheets or if the magazine is particularly archaic paper files.
How is a Magazine CRM Different?
With an overwhelming number of different CRM systems available there are a few key features that a magazine CRM needs to cover in order to really be valuable. Otherwise, thousands of dollars and agonizing hours will be spent trying to hack a CRM to do what is needed There are a number of ways a CRM should be optimized by magazines, but we will focus on three. First is rate cards. A magazine CRM must have a rate card that is configurable by the publisher and integrated into order and proposal creation. This is so when their sales reps are creating orders and proposals it will be automatically calculated. Having an integrated rate card avoids errors, confusion, over-discounting, and a whole host of other issues. Second, a magazine CRM needs to be able to manage subscriptions. Without subscription management, it will be next to impossible to make sure the magazines get delivered to the right people. Third, a magazine CRM should be integrated with a production workflow especially flatplanning for advertising management. Advertising is often bought by agencies who represent brands. The artwork will often come from the brand. This artwork then needs to be configured with the editorial content. A magazine CRM should seamlessly facilitate this process.
MagHub: Magazine CRM and more
MagHub is an end-to-end solution. That’s more or less clever-speak for being a publishing software solution that helps the process from beginning to end. MagHub has an astounding number of features. Including project management, production workflow management, flatplanning tools, customer and vendor portals, online signature approval, and more. MagHub can help you take care of your sales team, creatives, vendors, customers, and your audience.