First-of-its-kind CRM Solution Targets Unique World of Broadcasting

Specialty Data Systems (SDS) Inc., a leading North American provider of broadcast management software and creator of SDS Symphony, has launched a first-of-its-kind customer relationship management (CRM) solution for broadcasters. Called SDS CRM, the product differs from other commercially-available CRM products by zeroing in on the unique challenges of broadcasters and arming them with real-time access to the critical information they need to make better decisions, increase sales, manage inventory and maximize revenue.

“SDS CRM resulted directly from client feedback,” said Dave Cole, President of Toronto-based SDS, noting that the decision to develop a custom vertical solution was achieved following an extensive market review of other CRM offerings on the market  combined with a comprehensive survey of customer needs.

“We’re delivering an end-to-end software solution that puts real-time customer information into the hands of broadcasters – literally via email, PC or mobile device – helping them to manage the everyday business of broadcasting, from generating sales leads to managing active accounts,” he said.

Unlike standalone CRM systems that are often fragmented, SDS CRM provides a comprehensive and unified view of customer information that is accurate and up-to-date. It takes account management to the next level by supplying continuously updated alerts and reports on everything from revenue, accounts receivable, inventory and pacing, to budget, key performance indicators  and sales projections.

Whereas other CRM products rely on third-party reporting software or manual consolidation of data from disparate markets and silos of information, SDS CRM delivers a consolidated view of critical reports, alerts, and performance indicators from across an entire organization. This is particularly important for broadcasters as they continue to move towards more centralized operations as a way to do more with less, Cole explained.

“SDS CRM keeps me on track,” said Mike Cheney, Local Sales Manager at Bend, Oregon-based Horizon Broadcasting. “It brings all of my account information right to my phone so that it’s available whenever I need it.”

Trila Bumstead, CEO at Seattle, Washington-based Ohana Media, added that: “Using the built-in performance alert feature, I get real-time notification of potential problems so that I can ‘course correct’ while I still have time to do something about it.”

SDS CRM is a fully unified component of SDS Symphony, the company’s flagship product for automating routine broadcast-related tasks such as airtime programming, sales and traffic workflow, order booking, promo scheduling and credit rule enforcement.  Among the new component’s functionality and features are: CRM dashboard, an overview of operational information including access to drill-down reports; CRM Alerts, a feature that sends automatic notification whenever pre-determined conditions are met, such as missing copy, expiring contracts or past-due receivables; CRM Account Brief, a summary of client information to support sales calls; and CRM Push Reports, an automatic way to receive custom reports. All features are customizable.

Operating on Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Microsoft SQL Server, SDS CRM is included as part of the unified SDS Symphony suite at no cost.