10 point crm audit for Magazine Publishers

Salesforce audit for Magazine Publishers

When you invest in a CRM such as Salesforce, you are expecting a return on that investment, but buying a crm is like joining a gym – you have to keep at it. Here are 10 things you should be doing with your crm to save time, help adoption, focus your staff and in the end, increase sales. Give it a go, and mark yourself out-of-ten.

1.     Integration with LinkedIn

Saves time keying in data.

2.     Integration with Email & Calendar

Sales reps live in their email. Integrating Salesforce with email means sales staff don’t waste time adding history to Salesforce, and you are much more likely to capture that contact history.

Sales reps have complicated diaries. They need ONE calendar, and they need it to be on their mobile. But if your crm is not capturing meetings, what is it for?

3.     Simple, well defined, Sales Process

The best feature of the new Salesforce Lightning interface is the ‘Kanban’ list views and the ‘Sales Path’. But to make this work you need a simple Sales Process. And the process for selling new business is different from renewals, so you need multiple Sales Processes.

4.     A simple, consistent and robust way to manage sales ‘Actions’

All sales rely on the actions of your sales staff. Sales staff should have ONE reliable way to manage their calls, emails, meetings, pitches etc. If they handle Leads as well as Opportunities, they need ONE place to see all the outstanding meetings & tasks. And the crm should make sure Opportunities NEVER fall through the gaps.

5.     Inventory availability

When sales staff are negotiating with clients, they need real-time information on what spaces are available, what are booked (by whom) and what are on option. This means they can close the sale faster, and avoid disappointing your client if their preferred space is double booked.

6.     Flat plan in your CRM

The flat plan is the bible when it comes to “who has booked what”, where. If your flat plan is on a spread sheet outside your crm, your crm will be updated as an extra, annoying task. If at all…

7.     Accurate Sales orders

Your crm should ensure ALL sales orders are accurate: the ad location exists in the magazine; it is available; all details such as size & location are entered.

If the details are accurate, you can use the sales orders to drive copy chasing. You can use them to drive invoicing, and the invoice will have the same, accurate information as the sales order.

This saves time by avoiding double keying, and toing-and-froing to get things right.

8.     Renewals

With subscription type sales, the renewals process can be relatively easily automated. But with ad sales, where clients are contacted dependant on editorial content for example, it can get messy. What you need is a robust way to display ALL clients who last booked in a given time period. This way you can reliably handle complex renewals, remember ALL your past buyers and reduce churn.

9.    Invoicing Integration

Your crm should have ALL the information needed to invoice, so why double key? And your invoice data is THE most reliable buying history, so should be in your crm.

10.    Dashboards driving actions

If your dashboards do not drive actions, you are wasting your time looking at them. You need to be clear what actions you are trying to drive, and then how to measure them.

And you need your dashboards to keep up-to-date, especially during the transitions to a new month or financial year.

About Alpha Index

Alpha Index can help you with all 10 of these.

For you free audit, and help turning your Salesforce into a useful tool, click here.

We help our clients transform their business through Salesforce CRM. We have the tenacity to make your crm a ‘useful tool’ rather than an ‘annoying chore’. And the vision to help you plan and implement your full Salesforce solution.

Find out more

Click here




We help publishers transform their business through Salesforce CRM.



Your Brighton based Salesforce Consultants.

Sage Live

Sage Live

Leading Sage Live Consulting Partner

our team


Philip Meldrum

After working in the Print industry, developing computer systems and integrating word processors with computer typesetting, Philip setup Alpha Index to help companies exploit the Desk Top Publishing revolution. Philip is a keen windsurfer, and organised a windsurfing event at the DPA Conference for a number of years when it was in his home town of Brighton. Philip qualified as a Geologist, with an MSc from Imperial College.

Rhydian Coombs

After finishing a Chemistry and Computing degree at Brighton University I ended up (as all Brighton graduates do at some point!) working for AMEX using some of my computing skills. I then had the chance to join Alpha Index where I have been ever since. I am a keen mountain biker and an occasional runner. I love to play poker and am an avid rugby fan.

Astrid van Dorst

Cloud Analysts Consultant Digital Marketing

Team of associates

We work with a highly dedicated team of associates to deliver our ideas and ethos.

Latest Articles

Does Salesforce work for publishers? Where is the RoI?

Salesforce is probably the most expensive CRM system on the market, but it’s also the most successful.

Salesforce saves Sage from inevitable decline?

Sage, long time giant of accounting software, was stuck in its 20th century architecture.

Can Salesforce CRM increase your sales 10%? 20%? 30%?

A CRM is not going to increase your sales any more than a cement mixer will build a house – but don’t try to build your business without one!

Fraser Murdoch

Fraser Murdoch

Managing Director / ALF and BRAD

‘Having recently joined the business and being new to Salesforce, Philip helped me enormously by writing a few key reports and enabled me to get to grips with our sales performance. I’m very grateful.’

Jason Stark

Jason Stark

Finance Director / MBI

The project to upgrade our Financial Force and simultaneously migrate our CRM to a new Salesforce instance has been complex and challenging. Philip's knowledge of the market, Salesforce, and support at multiple levels has been an essential contribution to the success of the project. Simply put, Alpha Index get things done.

Polly Avgherinos

Polly Avgherinos

Managing Director  / Wilmington Business Intelligence 

I’m very happy to recommend Philip and his team at Alpha Index who have been working with Wilmington for many years on a wide range of database and technology projects within our publishing businesses. From the outset, I have always found Alpha Index to be honest, thorough and dedicated to delivering solutions that work. Of course they have a broad understanding and experience of the publishing industry, but more importantly they take the time to understand our business needs, to challenge our thinking where appropriate and ultimately to ensure that the end result delivered works for us. This “partnership” mentality has proved invaluable over the years and helped us to deliver our commercial objectives.