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The 2022 Best Practices in Ad Sales Forecasting

By Boostr on August, 30 2022

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Boostr is the only platform that seamlessly integrates CRM and OMS capabilities to address the unique challenges of media advertising. With boostr, companies gain the unified visibility necessary to effectively manage, maximize and scale omnichannel ad revenue profitability with user-friendly workflows, actionable insights, and accurate forecasting. For more information about boostr, visit www.boostr.com.

The savviest Revenue Management organizations have revenue visibility across all channels and all products every day. They’re able to answer a simple, important but increasingly complex question, "How are we tracking to our goal for the time period?

These are best practices helping them do this:

1. Split Adjusting The Pipeline

In many media sales organizations, there is a split on deals between an agency and advertiser seller. Typically, these are pre-set per advertiser in advance but it’s important to have the flexibility for “one-off” deals requiring a team approach. By split adjusting each deal and providing a roll-up split-adjusted view, companies will avoid errors and double counting of the pipeline.

2. Split Adjusting All Revenue Channels

Splits are also important once a deal is sold. Every revenue stream can and should be split adjusted whether it’s an IO, PG, PMP, Billboard, Print, Radio or Audio buy. Split masters will also solve for situations where people leave getting backfilled, or they’re on maternity leave and provide partial split crediting on long-running campaigns.

3. Automating Delivery Data

In a multi-channel world, the typical media buy spans multiple channels and media types. These are handled by disparate traffic, delivery and adtech systems. Unfortunately, they all have different data structures, formats and reporting frequencies. Advanced organizations can normalize, ingest and publish this in a self service format format every day to reflect the latest in actual delivery and pacing accounting for the various changes in delivery. Forecast masters even have fingertip access to what changed in the forecast week over week to quickly understand why and where changes occurred.

4. Automating The Forecast

Due to the complexities and inconsistencies across pipeline and delivery systems, most media companies are forced to combine their weighted pipeline and delivery data in spreadsheets manually. Not only is this error prone, it’s at best assembled once a week and more often portions of the revenue can only be obtained monthly due to delays in reporting. The best companies have this automated and presented in a visually intuitive format combining the weighted pipeline and revenue for each seller current as of yesterday’s actuals across all channels and products. The key is automation and daily updates.

5. Automating Bottoms Up

A best practice for account planning and understanding how sellers will get to their number is by doing a bottoms up by account. Automating the creation, distribution, collection and analysis saves time and provides a baseline for understanding variance from plan. Having the bottoms up connected to the forecast enables rapid triage of when a seller is falling behind enabling a quick comparison on plan, assumptions and actuals at the advertiser level.

6. Product Visibility

Due to challenges in CRM adoption and features to capture pipelines by product and limitations on delivery data granularity, most organizations struggle to understand the forecast by product. This means it’s difficult to see how new products are performing, where business shifts are happening, who’s selling or not selling specific solutions, etc. The most progressive organizations have line of sight to how each product is performing in the pipeline and how much revenue it’s actually generating.

7. Automating Pacing

Since advertising is a seasonal business, most companies are constantly evaluating how they’re doing versus this time last year. This requires significant manual resources to track let alone answer follow on questions like how much did we have at 50% in the pipeline at this time last year. Automating this tracking is imperative to gleaning the insights to grow revenue.

8. Specialist Forecast

As media companies add more products they’re increasing pre-sales headcount for specialists to build momentum or handle complex products. Often these teams have their own goals and may operate as an overlay to account executive, sell directly or sometimes a hybrid. Tracking and automating their forecast across the pipeline and revenue is vital to driving results.

MEET BOOSTR

It’s tempting to think everyone is struggling with accurate forecasting in ad sales. Sophisticated organizations have found ways to get highly accurate forecasts daily - they know how much revenue is expected for the quarter as of yesterday. To schedule a free consulting call to discuss ad sales forecast-ing challenges or see the only software that solves all these problems now, contact us for a demo today.

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