Newspapers’ iPad Project Streamlines Sales Effort

May 21, 2012

Greater Media Newspapers, a division of Greater Media, Inc., Braintree, Mass., is getting some exciting buzz about a cloud-based, iPad sales app it developed in-house to streamline the ad sales process.

The project, which was launched in October 2011, has been featured in publications of several industry associations, including Editor & Publisher, NetNewsCheck, Local Media Association (formerly Suburban Newspapers of America), and the New Jersey Press Association.

Phone calls seeking more information are also coming in from around the world, including London, Nice and Kuala Lumpur, said Ben S. Cannizzaro, General Manager and Publisher of Greater Media Newspapers, Manalapan, N.J.

Developed by Gene Lennon, Director of Information Technology, Production and Interactive for Greater Media Newspapers, and Jeff Messeroll, Systems Manager, the Sales Toolkit app has revolutionized the way the company’s sales representatives conduct their business.

Now with a virtual office in hand, sales representatives can use their iPad at home, in the car, and at the client’s front counter to write up an ad order and perform all their other numerous duties.

What they don’t need to do anymore is waste time going back and forth to their own office to submit ad tickets, modify layouts, oversee proof changes, track their budgets, search for new customers, and more.

Full Google Maps integration means they can find current and prospective customers in relation to their current location. Also integrated is a to-do list, Microsoft Exchange-like calendar and contact linking, one-button reports, electronic tear sheets, and a full suite of managerial tools — all presented in a graphics-based, user-friendly portable package, Lennon said.

The app’s cumulative effect has been significant for Greater Media, Cannizzaro said. Salespeople have more time to devote to their current customers and to develop new business. The main upshot is, while many other newspapers suffer from higher and higher losses, this project has helped the company remain profitable.

Cannizzaro said that there are no immediate plans to develop a white label service/product, but that it is not out of the question.