The best way to inoculate your business from ups and downs is to plan ahead using media sales CRM and analytics software.

The best way to inoculate your business from ups and downs is to plan ahead using media sales CRM and analytics software.
Dr. Schreiber of San Augustine giving a typhoid inoculation at a rural school, San Augustine County, Texas, 1943. John Vachon, photographer. Library of Congress.

It’s warming up and the sun is coming out from behind the dreary winter clouds more often. It’s spring! For a second, anyway, because here comes the rain, a freeze and yes, even more snow in some areas. The freeze warning/watch stretched from Chicago to Missouri to Arkansas to Alabama. In May. In spring. But don’t worry, a few days after the frost and snow it will be 80 degrees and the trees and flowers will try again.

Hot to cold to warm to freezing to hot to warm. Up to down to ok to way down to way up to ok. Over goal to not at goal to at goal to behind last year to over goal to at goal. Sound like you, or, if you are a manager, like a salesperson or two on your media sales team?

If so, you know how hard it is to gauge your paycheck when your sales are erratic, just like it is hard in the spring to know if you should wear wool or cotton. Instead of planning after the fact – on payday, trying to figure out how you are going to afford gas – try planning ahead.

In our spring analogy, you might layer your clothing and grab an umbrella because “you never know…” That is planning ahead. In media sales, we should be doing the same, knowing that what we do now impacts three months from now (or longer).

  • Use your calendar. Put reminders in future weeks to call someone who initially put you off or to follow up. Your memory may be cloudy, as it is filled with a lot of things to do. Your calendar is a tool that can give you a clear direction.
  • Analyze the average number of asks and activities it takes to make your sales happen and level it out. If you have a CRM system, you probably have a way to keep track of this. If not, start by counting at the end of each week and keeping a record of it. Don’t have such a busy week doing other hot things that your asks get the cold shoulder.
  • Pull reports that will help you get a grip on your media sales analytics, such as who was on next quarter last year, and see if they are spending at the same level or if they’re on at all! These are warm prospects for your calls right now, because, if they had money last year, they probably do this year.
  • Reach beyond your goals. Assume there will be rainy days and be prepared for them. Mentally, round up your budget, or try to hit a figure that is a bit of a reach for you.
  • Make an annual forecast, account by account, and revisit it quarterly or monthly. Look ahead three months and if an advertiser has gone south, know that you have to replace those dollars. Make a plan for how you are going to do that – more prospecting, asking for bigger dollars or share, or upselling your top customers with a new idea to make them money.

Spring weather, like media sales, can be volatile. Use your CRM and media sales analysis tools to forecast accurately and keep the sales growing!

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A media sales CRM and analytics program would make crunching your sales numbers, managing accounts and keeping track of your contacts a piece of cake. If you’re thinking about taking the plunge and procuring one for your media sales organization, read Five Steps to Perfect CRM Implementation.