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How Sales Management Software Can Help Your Company

Not every company deals directly with sales, but those that do usually depend on it for the lion’s share of their revenue. As such, no possible advantage is viewed too unlikely to be considered. Fortunately, one of the most reliable methods available won’t require much in terms of a leap of faith. With sales management software, managers no longer have to rely on guesswork or estimates to get a true grasp on what their resources—including salespeople—are accomplishing for them. Without sales management software, though, managers are often forced to fly blind and hope for the best.

What Is Sales Management Software?

That’s all well and good, but as a sales manager, your analytical side is probably hoping we get down to brass tacks. The truth is that sales management software covers a pretty large umbrella of services.
However, in reality, the software basically addresses needs managers have always had when it comes to the sales cycle. It helps them to objectively get a handle on which reps are on pace to hit their goals, what products are selling at what rate, how many phone calls reps are making each day, how long customers are on hold for and numerous other essential metrics. 
Best of all, this software can allow managers to see these reports as they develop in real time. So there’s no more reviewing end-of-week numbers only to find that some rep was under-producing the entire time and you weren’t able to do anything about it. 
As many sales managers know, a lot of their jobs rely on self-reporting. They need their reps to be honest about many of the metrics we covered above. Most sales managers also appreciate—sometimes thanks to firsthand experience—that reps aren’t always straightforward when they know their numbers aren’t ideal. In any case, sales management software makes this a nonissue.
Aside from getting a blow-by-blow of how well sales are going, this type of software also makes it possible to look at the big picture like never before. Thanks to reporting, you can analyze all kinds of trends and ensure that your sales efforts are taking them into consideration so valuable opportunities aren’t missed. 
Obviously, this type of feature is always advantageous, but it’s downright essential for larger businesses where sales reps may number in the hundreds. A VP of sales or other employee above a manager level will have their work cut out for them without software that helps the big picture become objective and manageable.

Five Characteristics to Look for in Sales Management Software

Sales are too important to not leverage software for better results. However, it’s also too important to not spend the necessary time finding the best possible option. Otherwise, your sales will suffer and you’ll have one fewer excuse why. For most companies, though, the following five characteristics are things you should look for in sales management software that will help you make the right choice.
First, give priority to any version that allows you to input your sales pipeline. Whether we’re talking about online efforts, those made over the phone, or in person sales, every company uses a different pipeline to some degree. You want software that will be able to take the data it gathers and report it back in a way that respects the pipeline your company utilizes. This will make it much easier for you to put this information to use. Plus, the alternative involves a lot of manual input.
Second, this software isn’t just about managing sales. It should also be about helping you land new leads. Look for options that help you make sense of data in a way that shows you where new business may be waiting.
Third, the software should also be about automation. Chances are, your pipeline involves some steps that don’t need to be managed by your reps. Perhaps the oversight you provide could also benefit from certain steps being automated and taken off your plate.
Fourth, usability is always important, especially if you have a sizable sales force. You won’t be doing them any favors by giving the entire team one more thing to challenge them throughout their day.
Lastly, the more reporting the better. Depending on your industry, some versions may carry greater importance. That will be up to you to decide. But so long as reporting doesn’t come at the cost of usability, look for as much as possible.
Controlling the sales cycle is essential if your company is to bring in greater revenues. One investment that makes a lot of sense where this goal is involved is sales management software.

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Detailed comparison of the 10 best Sales Management softwares