We have been dreaming of the industry-focused solutions built on Salesforce that are rolling out after the acquisition of Vlocity in 2020. After years of building custom solutions to meet ad sales challenges, we are thrilled to learn about Advertising Sales Management for Media Cloud.
This solution covers everything publishers need to navigate their ad sales processes. It offers a single platform that can meet challenges spanning print and digital publishing, out-of-home advertising, radio, television, OTT, retail media, and more. With Media Cloud for Ad Sales, Salesforce standardizes the types of custom solutions V2 has been building for clients to address industry-specific pain points. Whether you are looking to address a lack of visibility into advertiser and agency relationships, inaccuracies of manual forecasting, broken pipeline management, media planning processes, or disjointed contract lifecycle management, there is a solution for every pain point.
As publishers learn about this new Salesforce offering, you may wonder how you can take advantage of this solution. We’ll cover four ways ad sales organizations can get ready for Advertising Sales Management for Media Cloud.
#1 Lay the Groundwork for Agile & Iterative Implementations
When companies see Advertising Sales Management for Media Cloud, they may be spellbound by the power of the platform. There are two different paths to consider to get onto the platform. Either implementing in a big-bang fashion or rolling out iteratively. While a big bang approach can undoubtedly have its advantages, organizations should consider the alternative. They should assess their readiness to implement and consider rolling out Advertising Sales Management for Media Cloud in an iterative manner.
Ad Sales Management for Media Cloud was designed as a modular-based application. It can support an iterative approach to implementation. Salesforce allows customers the ability to start with Media Cloud Base and cherry-pick from a suite of modular solutions. These will deploy on top of that base, spanning digital commerce, order management, CLM, CPQ, and more.
Customers can determine which modules make sense to deploy first. Then can proceed to take an iterative approach further by identifying a pilot group to test and fine-tune before rolling out throughout the organization. An iterative approach ensures that each deployment can align with desired business and technology outcomes. This may continue to evolve throughout the overall transformation program. This approach will allow organizations to navigate their change management efforts with confidence, building momentum with each successful deployment, and instil faith in all departments.
Organizations should ensure the right people and processes are selected to implement agilely. This will help open new ways of working to accomplish quicker time-to-value.
#2 Gain Clarity Around Your Ad Sales Process Flows
Organizations can get ahead of beginning conversations by examining their end-to-end sales processes. This will help identify weak spots and areas ripe for change. It is important to acknowledge inefficient processes but not address them before the transformation. After all, new technology will play an integral role in helping automate and streamline such processes.
Ad Sales organizations can run workshops internally to fully expose the system and process pain points in more detail. This will build alignment and consensus between teams around priorities. These types of discussions can also drive a deeper understanding of some of the impacts and risks to consider in the future around team structures, roles, handoff processes, and general system considerations. A team should be assigned to help drive such workshops, document conversations, and workflows throughout. Documentation of the current state and the future state can be helpful to enable a quicker start to technology transformation efforts. Driving these types of discussions internally will start to build alignment and increase buy-in throughout the organization.
Here are some questions to get started:
- What processes are inherently broken or inefficient?
- What technology is outdated and no longer aligns with the current or desired sales process?
- How closely do sales stages mirror the actual or desired sales process?
- What inefficiencies exist in moving from Opportunity to Order to Delivery?
- What discrepancies exist in tracking forecast, booked, in-flight, and actual revenue between different media types like print, digital, linear, programmatic, subscriptions, and events?
- What are your agency partners and advertising customers asking of you? Where do you have difficulty in meeting partner and customer requests?
- Where can communication and collaboration between pre-sales and post-sales teams be optimized?
#3 Ensure Buy-In Throughout Company and Your Transformation Team
Transformation projects require a heavy investment of time and money. Investing the right way from day one will pay dividends. Many make the mistake of trying to unite stakeholders immediately before kicking off a technology program. Change management is often the “long pole in the tent” for any transformation project. It’s critical that a concerted effort is performed upfront to bring together stakeholders spanning executives, managers, and super users. Transformation leaders should generate discussion and debate across a range of perspectives early. It’s important to start getting buy-in around the ultimate vision, which will be the foundation for project success.
It’s our experience that organizations cobble together their transformation project teams too late in the game. Oftentimes they ask individuals to manage such projects in addition to their full-time roles. This is short-sighted and can contribute to project failures such as project inertia, additional project costs to perform rework, team member attrition, and knowledge loss. Organizations should think about the makeup of an ultimate transformation team. Finding a full-time leader to dedicate to the initiative will ensure the best end result.
#4 Hire an External Consultancy to Perform a Readiness Assessment
Your teams aligned to sales, operations, and IT are focused on the day-to-day as well as near-term project work. They may not have time to run a proper evaluation of Advertising Sales Management for Media Cloud to define your roadmap to launch. Hiring an external consultancy can accelerate the process. A consultant can help you navigate the decisions around which modules to implement first. They will help design a roadmap for implementation and cutover from your existing systems and processes. A consulting partner may be the best way to effectively determine how this solution can help achieve your technology vision and assess your readiness to begin the transformation.
Ad sales organizations need to educate themselves on this cutting-edge technology early, as with any Salesforce product. This will enable you to determine the best path forward to supercharge your prospect-to-order processes.
Get in Touch to discuss how V2 can help your media & entertainment organization with Salesforce’s Advertising Sales Management from Media Cloud.