Sales performance management software is a tool to measure and track sales efforts, helping individuals and teams meet revenue goals. It includes CRMs, business intelligence, and sales activity tools. These tools allow sales managers to spot trends and course-correct while giving individuals insights about their performance. Costs are free to several hundred dollars.
While a business can track sales performance using spreadsheets, it can be a labor-intensive and time-consuming process. Pipedrive CRM incorporates robust sales performance management features that help business owners and sales managers simplify the process with graphic dashboards and reports displaying key metrics. Visit Pipedrive for more information.
How Sales Performance Management Works
Sales performance management is the process of monitoring and tracking how your sales team is performing against predetermined metrics driven by your sales strategy. For instance, if you want your sales team to increase calling output, tracking a metric like the number of calls per day can determine if your business is positioned to meet its goals or if additional action is needed.
Sales performance management software helps automate this process by capturing and storing key data deemed critical for most businesses. As your sales team is performing sales activities like making calls or closing deals, the software captures data for these activities. It also tracks revenue and commissions associated with sales activities. You can easily pull and display reports, dashboards, and alerts that highlight trends so you can adjust sales tactics if needed.
The biggest advantage of using this type of software over spreadsheets is that sales teams and managers have very little, if any, work to do to track and maintain sales performance data. Because there is no manual work involved, sales forecasts and other reports like revenue and commission reports are more accurate. This helps sales managers and business owners plan activities like training to support their sales performance goals.
Who Sales Performance Management Software Is Right For
Sales performance management software is ideal for business owners and sales professionals, especially those in leadership positions, who rely on sales metrics to make important decisions related to their overall on-going strategy. This is because the software makes it easy for them to monitor performance and quickly spot trends, allowing them to focus on ways to improve the performance of their sales team.
Below are more details around who sales performance management software is right for:
- Sales leaders: Sales leaders include sales managers, executives, directors, and anyone else in a sales leadership position who relies on sales performance metrics to adjust sales strategies, tactics, and to assist sales reps in achieving their sales goals.
- Business owners: Business owners include founders and co-founders who directly manage their sales teams and rely on sales performance metrics to adjust sales strategy.
- Sales reps: Sales reps encompass account executives, inside sales reps, and other customer-facing sales employees responsible for selling products and services who rely on this type of software to let them know where they stand against their goals.
- Sales coaches and trainers: Sales coaches and trainers are those focused on training, helping sales reps gain greater product knowledge and selling skills. Metrics show them where to focus and also provide a baseline to measure training effectiveness.
This type of software helps sales leaders and business owners keep track of how their sales teams are performing against their goals and gives them insights to make decisions. While you can monitor performance without using specialized tools, dedicated sales performance management software is designed to focus on the most important aspects of managing sales performance, like coaching or training, out of the box, saving you time.
Sales Performance Management Software Costs
The cost of sales performance management software ranges from free to several hundred dollars per month depending on the features you need. For example, some have customizable dashboards or offer integrated calling options, which affect the cost. Most of these products also have subscription-based pricing, meaning costs depend on the number of users.
Below are sales performance management software types and their price ranges:
Sales Performance Management Software Categories & Costs
Sales Performance Management Software
Average Price Range
Customer relationship management software that focuses on building relationships with customers
Free to $199 per month, per user
Business insights or analytics software that focuses on reporting and dashboards
$12 per month, per user to $200+/mo/user
This software lets you conduct sales activities and/or track them; these activities include calls, emails, and social media activities
Free to $100+ per month, per user
Sales Metrics Display
Sales metrics display software takes data from your CRM and allows you to format and display it on a monitor or video in a way that motivates your sales team; some software in this category allows you to create leaderboards and contests
$150+ per month
Sales Performance Management Software Features
Because there are so many types of sales performance management software on the market, there are many different ways to use the software. However, the core features found in these tools are tracking, automated data capture, and visual display of sales insights. This functionality is essential for providing and showcasing data needed to help business owners and sales leaders manage sales performance.
Below are more details on each of these core features:
Automated Data Tracking
Most sales performance management software tools have a way to track sales data using automation. As your sales team is performing sales functions such as making calls, features in this type of software allow you to capture important details like the number of calls made and the length of the phone call. With this type of data, you can easily create reports giving you insights on your sales activity.
Automated Data Capture
Automated data capture is another feature most sales performance management software has. It allows you to capture data related to your team’s selling activities without you or them having to worry about entering data manually. This means there are no worries about the data being incorrect or out of date. The only thing your team will have to focus on is selling.
Visual Display of Data
A prominent feature in most sales performance management software is the ability to create visuals of your data. With drag-and-drop report builders or insights with a few clicks, most of this type of software allows you to display your data using graphs, charts, and even maps in some cases. Instead of trying to decide how to create the visualization, your software will usually provide options for you to select from, and your data is displayed automatically.
Sales Performance Management Software Providers
There are hundreds of sales performance management software, including CRMs, analytics and business intelligence software, and sales activity software. Within these categories, there are many different providers to choose from. There are providers whose offerings benefit a wide range of businesses, from small to enterprise organizations. Others specialize in certain areas of sales performance or focus on small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) or enterprise organizations only.
Below is a list of providers in the sales performance management software space:
Pipedrive is a CRM with sales performance management features that include robust visual reporting. It’s great for sales managers and sales reps in small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) wanting a CRM that allows you to create sales performance reports and dashboards with the click of a few buttons. It’s also great for those wanting activity reminders as a way to stay on top of sales activities throughout long and complex sales cycles. Pricing is affordable, starting at $12.50 per user, per month.
Freshsales is a full-featured CRM with an integrated phone and robust analytics. It’s great for businesses doing a lot of phone outreach and wanting to capture phone analytics and recordings to use for training purposes. It’s also great for businesses wanting access to comprehensive reporting and dashboards that can be created with a click of a button. Freshsales offers a free plan that includes the phone. Starting prices for the paid plan begin at $12 per user, per month.
Zoho offers Zoho Analytics, which is a product that strictly focuses on business intelligence and reporting. It lets you pull data from various sources including CRMs, customer support tools, and accounting software. You can create dynamic visualizations with drag-and-drop features and by asking questions. It’s great for business owners wanting to explore data and its impact on sales performance. Prices start at $22.50 per month for two users. There’s also a free plan.
This software approaches sales performance management in the form of letting you create leaderboards and other tools to facilitate team competition. It allows you to integrate with CRMs to pull sales data. It’s also capable of pulling data from other sources like spreadsheets. Hurrah! is great for enterprise-level companies wanting a way to use sales performance data to maximize performance. This is more of an enterprise-level software that offers pricing via quote.
Showpad Coach focuses on training and coaching. It allows you to scale training and coaching programs throughout your organization by using video. It also lets you do things like giving your sales team the ability to record sales presentations so they can get feedback on them. This software is great for enterprise companies wanting to scale training and onboarding. Pricing is provided via quote.
Benefits of Sales Performance Management Software
The main benefit of sales performance management software is the ability to quickly access data that allows you to spot trends in performance. This allows you to course-correct if necessary or see if your business is on the right track. Other benefits of this type of software include automation, efficiency, and access to visual insights.
Below are additional details on the benefits of sales performance management software:
- Spot sales performance trends quickly: This type of software allows you to spot trends quickly because you can easily pull reports and create robust dashboards without having to spend hours doing tedious or manual work, allowing you to spot trends at the click of a button.
- Course correct based on data: Being able to change course based on sales data allows you to make targeted changes in your sales approach rather than making changes based on hunches.
- Accuracy: The automation that sales performance management software offers not only brings efficiencies, but also accuracy. The software performs tracking and calculation functions so you won’t have to, which frees up your time to create better relationships and prevents mistakes due to user error.
- Visibility: This type of software allows you to easily create visual insights at the click of a button. This allows you to see, understand, and communicate what’s going on with your performance so that you can take action right away.
- More motivated teams: Teams are more motivated to achieve their goals when these goals are tracked and they are held accountable. It’s also helpful in designing sales contests and having metrics from the software show how they’re tracking compared to teammates.
These benefits allow you to use sales performance data to take quick and targeted actions to improve your sales performance. Because most of the work is done by the software, you can spend your time focusing on training your sales team or fine-tuning your sales strategy so that it yields the results you are looking for.
Tips for Optimizing Sales Performance Management Software
There are three things you should keep in mind to optimize your sales performance management software. These things include becoming familiar with all major data points your software tracks, learning the data visualizations and dashboard options available to you within the software, and becoming familiar with all automation features related to tracking performance.
The three things you can do to create the most useful performance insights are:
Familiarize Yourself With Data Points
One of the first things you should do when you first get your sales performance management software (and if you can, before you make your purchase) is to learn what data points your tool tracks. Knowing what it tracks can help you identify the types of reports you want and it ensures you’ll be able to track the metrics most important to you.
Explore Data Visualization Options
Different sales performance management software have different data visualization options. Some software has basic bar charts and graphs, while others offer a variety of charts and will even let you display data on maps. Exploring all of your options will help you select the best formats for you so that you can quickly access the information and insights you’ll be looking for daily.
Learn to Maximize Automation Features
Learning to use automation features will save you a lot of time. Anything you can automate, for instance, like logging calls, will save your sales team some extra steps and perhaps enable them to make a few extra calls with the time they’ve saved. Automating as many repetitive features as possible related to tracking sales performance will give you and your team more time to sell more.
“I use a CRM to track sales performance and I’ve spent hardly any time at all developing dashboards or metrics. Our CRM had all the right tools and features out of the box to help me track metrics important to our business.”
– David Altemir, President, Altemir Consulting
Maximizing the features in your sales performance management software will set you up for getting the most out of it. Getting familiar with the data points, exploring the visualization options, and maximizing the automation features will make it easier for you to get the insights you need to make the best decisions for your sales team.
Pros & Cons of Sales Performance Management Software
There are pros and cons to using sales performance management software, with the pros outweighing the cons. The pros include having easier access to data, the ability to save time, and being able to more easily make decisions based on data. Cons include costs involved in procuring the software and the learning curve for using it effectively.
Pros of Sales Performance Management Software
- Easier access to data: Easily access the data you need to make sales performance decisions.
- Save time: Save time from having to extract and compile data into report or dashboard format.
- Data-based decisions: The software allows you to make decisions based on data and not on hunches or guesses.
Cons of Sales Performance Management Software
- Costs: One disadvantage of sales performance management software is that there is a cost involved in most of the robust, comprehensive, and specialized solutions.
- Learning curve: Even though most software in this category is easy to use, there’s still a learning curve. It can take time to get up to speed and learn all of the tools and features.
Alternatives to Sales Performance Management Software
Sales performance management software may seem like yet another tool you have to learn and maintain when you would rather be out selling, and free or low-cost entry-level plans do not always support customization. Therefore, some businesses may want to look for alternative methods for managing sales performance.
These businesses might consider the following:
Using Spreadsheets to Track Sales Performance
Using spreadsheets to measure performance can be a low-cost alternative to investing in dedicated software, but what savings you capture in upfront cost will likely cost you more over time. This solution requires extensive manual entry, and you and your team will spend a lot more time creating reports than you would if you had a CRM or other sales performance management tools.
Management by Instinct
Another alternative to having a sales performance management software is not having it at all. This means there is no software or any other mechanism to track sales goals or activities. However, this tactic puts you in a position of limited information regarding your sales and how you’re performing, and it is therefore not a viable alternative for professionals who are serious about managing their performance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I implement a sales performance management strategy?
Sales performance management strategies are implemented by creating tactics that support your sales performance management strategy and building mechanisms to carry out and track it.
Is sales performance management software worth the investment?
The value this type of software brings in terms of time saved and accuracy of decisions made because they’re based on actual data makes it well worth the investment.
Is it helpful to sales reps?
Sales reps can use sales performance management data to help them focus on the most important goals and metrics, and to keep them top of mind while working.
Can this software help me make better decisions for my team?
Because this type of software is based on company and individual data, it can help guide you to the right decisions based on what the data shows.
Sales performance management software helps you efficiently gain insights from your sales process and make decisions that are best for your business and your sales team. Rather than tracking important sales metrics manually, this software allows sales leaders and business owners to get what they need in a fraction of the time it would take to gather the same data manually. The information offers insights as to what it is and how it can best serve you.
This type of software comes in a variety of formats or software types, including CRMs and business intelligence tools. CRMs like Pipedrive offer the opportunity to pull, display, and use data, such as value of opportunity by sales rep or number of deals closed by sales rep, without manually tracking or figuring out how to use spreadsheets. If you’re looking for a robust CRM with sales performance tools, sign up for a 14-day free trial with Pipedrive.