Media advertising today is radically different from marketing even a decade ago. Driven by media convergence, the expansion of online retail, and the social media penchant for automatic ads, advertising is more cooperative, personal, and diverse. For example, digital ads can now be personalized based on how a user navigates the web (also known as automatic ad buying). Amazon, or any online retailer, can show specific products based on previous views and searches.

Similarly, venues for seeing ads are changing. No longer do most customers see ads when they watch TV; online streaming sites such as Amazon and Hulu have forever changed how viewers see their favorite programs. Netflix—a site with no commercials—had the number one streaming show in 2016, as well as three out of four most streamed shows of that year. As consumers shift toward paid content sites, fewer viewers see any network or cable commercials.

Moreover, contemporary advertising requires more interaction among peers, advertisers, and potential customers. Customers’ ratings and opinions, as well as influencers’ endorsements, are crucial elements of contemporary advertising. Perhaps most significantly, big data is driving advertisement placements and locations. Indeed, industry experts have theorized that big data is “the major driver behind the onset of programmatic buying and selling, and it’s removing the need to speculate when making buying and selling decisions.”

As potential media audiences become smaller and more individuated, more localized and unique products could see more gains from advertising than large companies do. Meanwhile, the smaller expense of digital advertising (think Facebook ad versus Superbowl spot) allows for new, disruptive styles of media advertising. Given the radical shifts in how industries make and show advertising to potential clients and current customers, media sales professionals who markedly commit to new approaches will arguably be the more successful than those who don’t.

While new technologies obviously include streaming and other digital ads, they also include technological improvements in how media sales work. Ten years ago, media sales technologies consisted of phones, emails, and piles of spreadsheets, but today’s media sales require technologies that can manage data and let sales professionals collaborate on strategies. Customer relations management (CRM) software can help media sales teams to more effectively manage accounts and keep on top of significant, current trends in media advertisements. With greater efficiency and more targeting opportunity selection, media sales companies can increase revenue and focus on successful media sales/client collaborations.

Fundamentally, CRM software platforms help businesses manage their different teams, generate collaboration among employees, manage real-time changes, and analyze long-term data to create future goals. CRMs run the spectrum of prices and size potentials; both SMEs and large enterprises can benefit from the organizational and integrative abilities of CRMs. Sales CRMs specifically let companies manage client profiles, automate certain types of sales transactions, develop marketing, as well as create and analyze sales data across fields. Media sales, which sell advertising space across the media spectrum, can benefit from a CRM’s data aggregation strategies and multimedia possibilities. As the media sales environment changes to embrace today’s current trends, a media sales-specific CRM can keep businesses focused on their venues and clients, helping them increase sales across the board.

Ways industry-tailored CRMs create and enhance technologies that increase media sales

Embrace new technologies: With media sales CRMs, businesses can maximize the effectiveness of new technologies. CRMs let sales teams access client portfolios, data, and click-to-call apps from a host of devices. Sales teams are more mobile, check in with clients on- and off-site, and access new data in real-time. Cloud-based CRMs are also highly scalable; as the need for more personnel increases, CRMs can allow more and more agents to access and use the software without adding servers or equipment. In particular, cloud-based CRMs avoid larger, start-up infrastructural costs, letting businesses focus on personnel and service.

Refine sales opportunities and increase leads: Media-specific sales CRMs allow users to classify and maximize sales opportunities. CRMs can automate client-information acquisition through web sign-up forms, and the software can organize and store those details for collaborative access among users. Additionally, CRMs can disseminate actionable sales intelligence to the right salesperson or team. Teams can schedule client interaction based on risk, or prioritize contacts in areas with growth potential. Agents can organize clients and customers by the stage in the process. Through real-time organization, users can maximize efficiency and create more sales by clearly knowing which clients need information, services, or immediate callbacks.

Analyze data to determine larger trends and influence levels: With a CRM for media sales, businesses can analyze short- and long-term trends in the industry as well as monitor sales personnel and client portfolios. Sales CRMs give end-to-end visibility and total media management so that managers can better inform and delegate sales tasks. Agents can see a history of ad performance data and client information together. Furthermore, CRMs can use data to help predict future opportunities. Data analysis can highlight future sales prospects that may not be immediately visible. CRMs can provide analytics of current and past data to personalize pitches or create content for individual clients and perform client competition analysis to develop stronger strategies.

Enhance customer experience and build customer connections: Media sales CRMs let agents access a myriad of media forms from one simple dashboard, so that agents have access to customers through social media, text, voice, and video. Because users have full access to customer portfolios, they can create consistency with customer interactions throughout a client’s sales cycle, letting all users, managers, and account specialists see the same notes and information that give customers a personalized, coherent experience. By integrating sales, service, and management on one platform, ad designers can align rollouts with an advertiser’s overall strategies and provide detailed reports on ad performance.

Strengthen workforce management: Media CRMs can help managers more aptly follow their teams’ progress. CRMs can automate specific, key elements within the sales funnel, such as creating automatic callbacks and setting up reminders for renewals. CRMs also help upgrade sales skill sets by allowing managers to monitor agents’ day-to-day progress, isolate issues and discrepancies, and deploy training programs that upgrade users’ sales proficiencies.

Collaborate with other sales teams and media experts: Media CRM implementation and adoption help teams collaborate and emphasize client-centric results. CRMs let agents share information in real-time. Moreover, CRMs promote interdepartmental collaboration between sales, account management, and account planners. Sales reps can collaborate with accounts to get histories and other information, and then accounts can chart sales’ progress.

As advertising has radically changed over the past decade, the media sales industry has shifted right along with it—and with good reason. The industry’s major locations have shifted from print, radio, and television to online streaming and digital content. So it makes sense that the industry has also become more digitized, cloud-based and mobile.

For media sales businesses to function in the current rapidly evolving market, they need tools that can analyze changes and create efficient, satisfying customer experiences. While older sales companies could make do with spreadsheets and landlines, today’s successful media sales businesses need mobile, real-time access to data, client information, and advertising portfolios. Sales CRM platforms are a coherent way to create good matches between sales companies and clients.

Media sales-tailored CRMs combine the elements of sales CRMs with specific data analysis for advertising and the media industry. They can help agents organize and analysis pertinent data, create a more positive customer experience, and combine significant social media with digital technologies with content advertising. They can create a more seamless sales experience that dovetails with today’s modes of media advertising and digital trends. By creating a convergence of sales tech and media savvy, media sales companies can market themselves as being on the vanguard of digital media advertising.