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Choosing the Right CRM Software for Publishers: 7 Key Considerations 

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Written by Nick Pataro

Published: 12/01/2023

Navigating the vast landscape of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can be a daunting task for publishers.

Salesforce, HubSpot, and Zoho… are just a few of the biggest names in the CRM industry.

Unfortunately, the majority of these platforms are not specifically designed with publishers in mind, which further compounds this selection process, creating a need for critical analysis, careful vetting, and a bit of research.

With an overwhelming number of choices, each with its unique set of features and capabilities, the challenge lies not just in picking a CRM but in selecting the one that is the best fit for the unique needs of a publishing business.

In this guide, we’ll walk through seven key considerations to help publishers choose the right CRM software that can effectively boost their sales and marketing efforts. So you’ll know where to start your search and what to look for along the way.

Let’s get started!

Why You Need a CRM for Publishers

Before we dive into the key considerations, it’s important to understand why a CRM is essential for publishers. A CRM system serves as a central hub for managing and organizing customer data, interactions, and relationships. It helps publishers streamline their sales and marketing processes by providing a unified platform to store, track, and analyze all customer information.

Here are some key reasons why publishers need a CRM:

1. Better Audience Understanding

A CRM system allows publishers to collect and analyze data on customer behavior, interests, preferences, and engagement with their content. This information can help publishers understand their audience better and create targeted marketing campaigns that resonate with their readers.

2. Improved Lead Management

With a CRM, publishers can track leads throughout the entire sales funnel, from initial contact to conversion. This allows for a more organized and efficient lead management process, which can lead to higher sales and revenue.

3. Enhanced Customer Retention

By keeping track of customer interactions and preferences, publishers can use a CRM to personalize their communication with readers. This level of personalization can help strengthen relationships and increase customer loyalty.

Now that we’ve established the importance of a CRM for publishers let’s dive into the key considerations to keep in mind when choosing one.

What to Look for in a CRM for Publishers

Whether you’re starting your search for the first time or just looking to upgrade your current CRM, here are seven key considerations to keep in mind:

1. Industry Specificity

When searching for CRM software, it is important to look for options that are specifically designed for publishers.

These specialized solutions offer a comprehensive range of features that are designed to meet the unique needs of publishers. Managing advertising sales and production, creating ad ops workflows, as well as efficient billing management are all easier with the right CRM.

With advanced tools and functionalities, these solutions streamline the entire process, ensuring seamless collaboration, accurate reporting, and optimized revenue generation.

Whether it’s automating campaign management, optimizing ad delivery, or simplifying the invoicing process, these tailored solutions provide a robust framework to effectively handle the complexities of the advertising industry.

By choosing CRM software that is built with publishers in mind, you can streamline your operations and maximize efficiency in these key areas.

2. Integration Capabilities

One of the most crucial aspects of any modern tech stack is the flow of data between systems. Having full visibility, control, and automation over data is essential for success in today’s digital landscape.

For publishers, this means choosing a CRM that offers seamless integration with other tools and platforms used in the publishing industry. Whether it’s a legacy ad server, a niche tool, or an email marketing automation tool, your CRM should be able to connect and sync data with ease.

Start by making a list of the current technology your team uses on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Having this list handy while you search for your solution will help you weed out options that don’t integrate well with your existing tools.

3. User-Friendly Interface

A user-friendly CRM system is a must.

You didn’t hire your sales team for their admin skills, so don’t expect them to be able to navigate your year 2000 custom-built platform. Your team should be able to navigate the software with ease, reducing training time and boosting productivity.
Industry Specificity makes a big difference here because naming and taxonomy line up with your business. 

Look for a platform that allows for customization but balances those capabilities with out-of-the-box usability.

4. Customization

Speaking of which, customization is another key consideration when it comes to choosing the right CRM for publishers. Your publishing business is unique, and your CRM should be able to adapt to your specific needs.

Look for a platform that allows you to customize fields, workflows, and processes according to your business requirements. This will not only make your operations more efficient but also ensure that the CRM can grow with your business.

Flexibility in adapting the software to your specific needs can greatly improve efficiency. Instead of trying to match your processes to a rigid CRM, choose one that can be tailored to fit your unique business.

Remember, a CRM is a tool that should support your business, not the other way around. Don’t be afraid to ask for a product demo or trial to see how well the CRM can be customized to fit your publishing business.

5. Reporting and Analytics

Data is your ally.

When selecting a CRM, it is crucial to opt for one that offers robust reporting and analytics tools. These tools enable you to effectively track various key metrics such as sales, close ratios, yield, billing metrics, and more.

By having access to such comprehensive data, you gain invaluable insights into your business operations and performance, empowering you to make informed decisions and drive success.

Imagine having all your critical data in one place, easily accessible and with the ability to generate custom reports. This not only saves time but also provides a holistic view of your publishing business, highlighting areas that need improvement and opportunities for growth.

6. Mobile Access

In a digital age, mobility is crucial.

Your CRM should offer mobile access, allowing your team to stay connected and responsive on the move. 

Especially for businesses with outside sales teams and reps, having a mobile-friendly CRM is essential for staying organized and efficient. This on-the-go access could be a reliable mobile app or just a web version of the CRM that can be accessed from any device with an internet connection.

7. Scalability

The goal of every business is to grow and expand.

Your CRM should be able to keep up with your growth and provide the necessary features and support as your business evolves.

Be sure to choose a scalable solution that can accommodate the increasing demands of your publishing business. This includes being able to handle larger amounts of data, users, and processes without compromising on performance or functionality.

To ensure the software can scale seamlessly without major disruptions as your needs evolve, it is crucial to implement robust and flexible infrastructure that can accommodate increasing demands and adapt to future growth.

Additionally, finding a platform that is consistently updated is critical. Publishing continues to evolve, and you don’t want to be stuck with a rusty piece of software, unable to keep up with the rest of the industry.

Finding the Best CRM for Publishers

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when choosing the right CRM for your publishing business.

But by focusing on these seven key considerations, you can set yourself up for success with your decision.

Don’t be afraid to take your time to evaluate available options. Build out a comparison sheet matching your specific needs and long-term goals. Ask questions, attend demos and trials, and involve your team in the decision-making process.

The right CRM system can transform your publishing operations, streamline processes, and drive growth and success. The right CRM is more than just a software tool; it’s a strategic investment in the future of your publishing business. 

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