Tom Cintorino, CEO of The Next Chapter Consulting, guides a roundtable discussion with Farm Journal VP of Digital Operations Courtney Yuskis and Indigo Trigger CEO Chris Prinos about how lead-to-cash platforms can help media businesses streamline, save money, and drive revenue. The three technology strategists chat about best practices for implementation, as well as explore whether a consolidated lead-to-cash system can improve common pain points including reporting, proposal generation, and workflow between sales, operations, and finance.

Here are some soundbites from the conversation, lightly edited for clarity:

What Does Lead to Cash Mean?

“The lead-to-cash process is really just that – it’s taking an opportunity from start to finish through introduction and onto collecting money,” says Prinos, who works with media companies to integrate technology solutions. “This process happens every day in media companies around the world, so while it’s not a new process, I think there are a lot of new ways to look at lead to cash with respect to consolidated platforms. Historically, the lead-to-cash process is supported by 3, 4, or 5 different platforms and applications.” Those disparate platforms include everything from the customer relationship management (CRM) system, to the order management system (OMS), to the finance system.

Implementing One System vs. Connecting Separate Platforms

“There’s probably a path for either option, but if you’re going to try to connect platforms that aren’t inherently built to do that or to work with each other, it takes a lot of expertise; it takes a lot of human resources; it’s ongoing. You have to continually make sure that the APIs are working as expected and that everything is talking as it should in order to get you an end-to-end system, and I find that to be a pretty cumbersome process if you’re really not set up to manage that kind of integration,” says Yuskis, who is working with Indigo Trigger to implement a new system at Farm Journal, a business media company serving the agricultural market.

Goal Setting and Taking a Holistic Approach

“You always want to go into a project with goals that are beyond just re-platforming,” Prinos says. “At Farm Journal, we had some very specific goals. One of them was obviously around generating new revenue and reducing the cost of sale with more efficient solutions. Farm Journal had challenges with digital ad ops where that process was extremely manual and very error-prone, and supported by a large team, so finding a platform that was going to automate a lot of their current manual work is going to help drive digital ad ops, which means fewer errors, better results for the client, and better reporting – those are all key things.”

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