Would you cross the Atlantic Ocean in a ship filled with holes? Of course not, that seems like an obvious answer. Well, if you're still relying on spreadsheets to manage your sponsorship operations, there's a good chance you're about to spring a leak or two. Let's take a metaphorical voyage together and you'll see what I mean!
In our story, you’re a savvy sea captain with years of sailing experience and a proven track record. You're in London and just heard of a massive haul headed to New York with a sizable commission. There is just one catch, the cargo is too big for your ship so you have to find a new one.
After searching far and wide, you find two options:
- The first is a top of the line vessel, guaranteed to get your crew and cargo to New York. This ship will last far beyond this job and give you the ability to capitalize on many future opportunities. The catch? That top of the line vessel comes with a top of the line price tag.
- The second ship is big enough, no question, but the hull is littered with small cracks. If you’re a skilled enough captain, this shouldn’t be a problem. You can easily patch most of the cracks and your crew should keep the water at bay. Best part? This ship is nearly free.
What do you do? Lured by visions of that big pay day, you choose the second ship and set sail. At first, everything is smooth sailing. As you thought, the patches are holding with the minor bit of water being bailed out by the crew while they tend to their other duties.
Late one evening, you’re thrown from your bunk by a massive wave. The crew gets to their stations and you think to yourself, “another storm, nothing we haven’t handled in the past,” but this time, your ship is bigger, and those tiny little cracks turn into a massive weakness. The crew frantically tends to the ship doing everything they can through the storm, but in all the chaos, some cracks are overlooked, the patches bust open and those small leaks become your downfall.
By the time you realize the problem, it’s too late - you and the crew need to abandon ship. You and the crew will survive, but that precious cargo (and those future opportunities) will not.
Yes, this may be an overly dramatized analogy but one that can hopefully resonate for any sponsorship executives out there.
As the "captain" of your department, it is likely you cut your teeth selling and managing sponsorships with spreadsheets. When the sales were simpler, less to execute, and easier to manage, these spreadsheets seemed like all you would need.
As you moved up in title or to a larger organization, you became responsible for bigger, more complex deals with a larger staff, and you were tasked with setting up your team for a bright future. Maybe you went back to what you knew best - using spreadsheets - which was quick, easy and inexpensive. That could be the decision that very well sinks your metaphorical ship.
At KORE, we've seen this decision made far too often. Someone patches a bunch of spreadsheets together to manage the sponsorship business. However, as the department grows and their responsibilities grow, this process breaks down and the business faces unexpected challenges.
Files can be erased or saved over, assets can be left unexecuted, and deals can be lost altogether. Inventory management can be nearly impossible as the data is far from reliable and the activation department does their best to piece it together looking through individual contracts, memos and emails with little to no visibility. At this point, you can see how these cracks would start to add up.
However in a closed loop sponsorship system, these potential cracks never happen so the department can keep pushing forward. As the system is 100% contained, all information is shared and fed up to one clean set of reports. With a few clicks, you can view activation progress, inventory availability, revenue forecasts, and much more, and all tied together through workflows, approvals and automation.
Most importantly, you can have faith in the data being presented to drive your decisions. As the captain, you now have complete confidence that your sponsor-"ship" team is operating at maximum efficiency. A system like this can put your mind at ease and you can rest knowing you and your staff won’t lose out on that next big opportunity.