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Questions a publisher needs to ask when shopping for publishing software – Part 7

Written by Tom Bellen

Published: 06/02/2014

This post is the sixth in a series of questions you as a publisher should ask when interviewing software service providers. (View the sixth 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.


What reports does your system have to analyze sales and production?

Your publishing software should hold all your key data in one place. Once your data is there, you need effective reporting to make sense of your records. Know what reports are important to your business decisions and make sure the publishing software can provide them. Who is in our sales pipeline? Are the clients who purchased in last year’s issues still buying this year? How are this year’s issues doing compared to last year’s issues? How many ads have we sold to the restaurant/clothing/electronic industry? When is the last time we talked to Company X, Y, and Z? Having answers to these questions will help your team be more efficient in selling and building your publications.


Great reporting will help reps target client/prospects, but make sure they know what inventory they have to sell. You need the production and sales team to see what supply needs to be pushed and what is off the table. Both departments should have the ability to quickly view a report of the open ad space in each publication and what items are pending sale. Once items are sold, your production team should have the information of what ads are upload, what is missing, and what needs to be edited. However you tracked this information in the past, you need to know the way to find the data in the new system.


The software you look at is sure to have many canned reports. Make sure it includes the reporting that makes your job easier. If the system doesn’t have the exact report you need, determine if you can find the information elsewhere or check to see how much the customization may cost.


Next: How can I monitor my sales reps’ productivity?


POSTED BY Tom Bellen, to contact click here.

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