Sales media companies need a system that’s going to serve their diverse requirements–from managing customer orders to billing and collection to delivery. Ideally, all aspects of order management, CRM, finance, and data tracking should be joined into one cohesive system. There are three approaches for achieving this:
- Integrating media sales tools with your existing software and applications.
- Configuring an out-of-the-box media sales software to meet your specific requirements.
- Building a new software solution from the ground up, with custom functionality.
Often, achieving the ideal tech stack for your organization will involve some combination of these three approaches. However, when starting from “scratch,” one method will likely dominate your main project. We’ll take a look at the pros and cons of each of these approaches so you can determine the best option for your organization.
Integrate: Quickly Enjoy Mature Functionality
Integration can bring together software and applications into one effective and efficient system. For companies with large tech stacks, integration is especially critical to help applications and software effectively communicate with each other.
Often, integration can be achieved relatively quickly. It doesn’t take as long to integrate systems as it does to build a software system from scratch, for example. And, by keeping existing software and apps, users can avoid learning a new system.
Another advantage of integration is that it provides you with mature functionality. When your applications and software are disjointed, your employees cannot work as quickly and efficiently. But integration helps create a connected system that is ultimately more functional and conducive to smooth workflows.
Adpoint is a multi-media sales solution that integrates easily with other systems and applications. The result is that you can continue using preferred systems while still taking advantage of Adpoint’s full-scale media sales capabilities, such as efficient, cross-channel order management and detailed financial insights.
Integration may be a quicker solution than some, but it can also be quite expensive. In fact, companies worldwide spend $373 billion every year on integrating software. To give perspective on this amount, using full-scale, off-the-shelf applications instead of integration cost companies a full 100 billion dollars less.
Integration can be achieved quickly with an API (Application Programming Interface), which allows various systems to “communicate” without external interference. But without an API, integration can be time-consuming, complicated, and expensive. You may have to rely on potentially complex coding to make all systems work together smoothly. Plus, coding is typically performed by highly-paid developers, who must “drill in” to your system and use several programming languages–resulting in a significant expense for your company.
And even then, it’s not a completely safe bet that integration will be successful. One challenge of integration is that it creates dependencies. If one system goes offline or is affected by a bug or upgrade, other systems may also be impacted. The result is a break in workflow and potential loss of valuable time and information.
Configure: Find the Right System and Customize Via Settings
A second option for gaining needed functionality within a multi-media sales company is to buy an out-of-the-box software and configure it to meet your needs.
Configuration adapts the functionalities and features of one out-of-the-box software solution. For example, Adpoint is a multimedia sales solution that can easily be configured to include custom fields and data sets without having to integrate multiple software systems and applications. The result of configuration is a one-stop solution that meets your specific requirements.
Configuring software may also be the most cost-effective and time-efficient solution. It’s certainly less tedious than building a solution from the ground up. And, it can be a smoother and less complex process than integration.
One downside to relying upon configuration is that it limits you to the existing functionalities of a given system. If your software solution doesn’t include a CRM, for example, you can’t re-configure it to include one.
Another downside of configuration is that it requires careful expertise. Even with an experienced developer on your side, the process can quickly become long and messy, incurring unexpected expenses and delays.
The configuration approach is best performed on a system, like Adpoint, that’s receptive to being reconfigured and already offers a wide range of capabilities.
Build: Create Custom Software from the Ground Up
Building custom software allows you to determine the exact capabilities and functionalities you want in your system.
The obvious advantage of building your own software system is that you get a solution that’s completely customized to the needs of your business. It will have a custom appearance, with custom functionalities.
More than any other option, building a custom software solution will take time. If you choose this route, expect it to take months or years.
As you might have guessed, building a custom software solution is also the most expensive option. Customized software can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, not including the cost of maintenance.
Finally, building a custom multimedia sales solution can be quite risky. Custom-built code may break during an upgrade and it requires heavy internal maintenance to make sure it’s continually functional.
Ultimately, each approach for gaining needed functionality within your media sales business has advantages and disadvantages. While integration can be achieved seamlessly, it doesn’t come without its limitations and inconvenience. Configuration allows you to use a single system to meet your needs, but it requires specific functionalities and expertise to undertake it. And customizing a software solution gives you the functionality you’re looking for, but will cost you time and money.
Perhaps the most efficient, effective solution for your business is to combine aspects of all three approaches to create a system that best works for you. For example, you may want to choose an easily-configured sales solution, while planning to integrate with a content management system and build a custom subscription management tool.