Sales: Say No tOOH Spreadsheets
Most outdoor advertising media companies would admit they often depend on spreadsheets to know the site availability, track the campaign progress and report on various metrics, processes, etc. Spreadsheets have a place and are sometimes valuable, but if you’re using them to manage your media site locations, leads, landlord license fees, campaign expenses, budgets, and metrics, you’re likely ready to pull out your hair.
It’s time to stop the madness and say, “We’re not going to take it anymore!”
The Problems with Spreadsheets
Spreadsheets are static. Spreadsheets are complicated. Spreadsheets are manual. With thousands of cells, pages, and macros subject to human error, they offer little in the way of providing trustworthy data that can be used with confidence and you never know if you’re working from the same version as the other guy.
How much time do you or those on your team spend knowing the current availability of media locations, verifying the data is accurate and the right version, and trying to share it with others? How well do they enable your team to collaborate and share quick media plans? How effective are they in helping you manage your outdoor media locations, measure the impact of a campaign and predict your revenue?
Sales + Spreadsheets = Hell
Outdoor media advertising sales are inherently complex because there are usually many campaigns running at the same time, each with their own budgets, number of locations, schedules, markets and production (printing and installation). Using a spreadsheet to manage all of these moving parts not only adds countless hours but puts the organization at risk for using bad or old data and wasting a lot of time.
The truth is, spreadsheets were not designed for collaboration. Since your sales department likely consists of more people than just you, using a spreadsheet just isn’t practical in light of all of the automated sales tools available. Spreadsheets are limited in their functionality when it comes to OOH advertising media sales; they don’t allow multiple users to input or access data on demand and they don’t provide real-time visibility into what’s really happening. To make things worse, oftentimes, there are multiple spreadsheets being used by various people, leading to frustration and data inconsistency.
If your outdoor media plans are based on the actually available locations, you have to trust the data you have. A single error in a single cell of a massive spreadsheet renders that spreadsheet completely useless. Are you willing to risk your sales efforts on the accuracy of those spreadsheets over which you have so little control?
Stepping Out of Spreadsheet Hell
Sales departments must step out of their comfort zone of spreadsheets and embrace sales performance management solutions that automate processes and integrate with other business systems, like CRMs and sales automation platforms. You need modern technology to do things spreadsheets don’t allow, like comparing media plans. You need to have a standardized methodology for evaluating and media locations’ performance. You need a single source of truth from which your team can work.
Spreadsheets will never be able to give you these features, flexibility or visibility.
Knowing this, why do salespeople still sometimes cling to spreadsheets? Likely because they’ve always used them and don’t want to learn or invest in something different. I get it. Change is scary and there is often a learning curve. But spreadsheets will perpetually demand vigilance and consistently fall short of what you really need to run an effective and successful marketing organization.
Once you learn how well Edge1 outdoor advertising sales performance management software can improve productivity and performance, you’ll wonder how you ever managed with spreadsheets.
Welcome to nirvana.
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