Many licensing professionals believe that CRM system as a tool is only useful for salespeople. These days, however, CRM systems present themselves as environments focused on enhancing customer relationships across various business segments and functions. Brand licensing CRM software are particularly built around technologies that help brands to build, manage, and run licensing programs from A to Z. The systems can help to organize day-to-day work, increase transparency in communication between the internal and the external teams, as well as track and analyze the licensing performance.
So, if your brand isn't using a CRM to run its licensing activities, it definitely should. And in case your brand assurance team is still perplexed with 'why use it,' here’s a quick list of the main advantages of a good brand licensing CRM:
As we have explained before, brand licensing involves one of the longest and most intricate value chains across all industries. For this very reason, licensing workflow is rather difficult to manage. This is especially true as to pushing the development of licensing program to the next level. Difficulties arise from numerous licensing formalities, such as management of account relationships, agreements pipelines, IPR (including assets and style guides), design approval pipeline and accounting procedures.
In a nutshell, brand licensing software solutions aim to solve the fuss and ease hurdles within the listed formalities. For example, it can accelerate the design approval process, which is among the major bottlenecks due to their large volumes. Moreover, a licensing software automates sales reports and validation, thus minimizing the need for licensors to continuously rely on multiple excel sheets, which can be error-prone and complex to keep up to date. This management power makes utilizing such software intuitive for every user, whether external or internal. Consequently, it allows for a smooth creation process and delivery of worthy results.
In the brand licensing processes, losses are most frequently due to miscommunication and performance inefficiency. Mistakes can be costly, time-consuming, and difficult to fix. While licensing teams are usually small and efficient, the number of external users (licensees and agents) can reach thousands. Thus, it may be difficult for a brand’s team to steer complex licensing programs and serve all partners promptly.
What could change the game are software that focus on automating the collaboration in licensing partnerships. Able to speed up information exchange, such solutions save licensors time, assists in managing high-pressure tasks and organizing the routine.
Smooth data transfer, which is one of the key features of brand licensing CRM software, significantly shortens the approval waiting times. It enables the licensors to optimize their licensing time frames. Such optimization results in increased sales, more coherent brand image, and smoother business operations.
Another kind of magic that brand licensing solution is capable of is providing actionable analytics based on volumes and turnaround times of the workflow. This feature automatically collects and updates bits of information throughout the whole period of a licensing program from each segment. It empowers licensors to formulate relevant questions when assessing licensing performance and grants answers that help them steer their programs. The greatest value comes from visualization of the collected data that saves licensors a great deal of their time. Previously, licensors wasted precious time on seeking and collecting the information, which gets outdated fast.
The analytics feature grants transparency and visibility across different licensing segments and answers critical questions that would otherwise be ignored. Multi-platform access, which is inherent to modern brand licensing solutions, makes retrieving licensing data and assessing the current situation a breeze. A possibility to store data in a cohesive format and secure server also contributes to the holistic experience. Furthermore, the opportunity to connect a brand’s licensing business to its overall cross-department operations significantly eases the licensor’s life.
Usability and workflow are what constitutes the core of a brand licensing software. In advanced brand licensing CRM solutions, design perfectly aligns with practicality and vice versa. Integrating the two allows focusing on time-saving and performance optimization features while remaining easy to use. Strong User Experience in a licensing workflow implies utilizing the today’s standards of universal design to help users understand how to navigate and perform the needed actions.
As for us at Flowhaven, impeccable UX has always been among our top values. Why? Because brand licensing is a fun and creative industry, and we believe that the tools to run the licensing operations should be, too. From day one, we’ve been continuously collecting feedback from our customers and developing unique UI features that would increase the responsiveness of our solution to their needs. That’s why we dare to say that we are the most intuitive software solution in the brand licensing market.
All things considered, brand licensing software will soon become indispensable in use for licensors, regardless of their brand's industry, type of licensed products or services, or scope of their licensing activities. Knowing what your brand's expectations and hopes for licensing will help you make the right software choice.