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Sales Performance Management Software

Sales Performance Management Software Overview

What is Sales Performance Management (SPM) Software?

Sales performance management is the practice of applying corporate performance management tactics to sales teams, and determining how to best encourage the kinds of behavior that drive sales. SPM is concerned with sales knowledge (best practices), sales rep motivation (incentives, commissions, and gamification), and sales accountability (projected revenue, corporate goals, etc.). The goal of SPM is to educate and motivate salespeople to set goals and satisfy customers. Sales performance management software provides a mechanism for monitoring and guiding sales reps in ways that improve their ability to sell, by linking performance and revenue analytics. 

Sales Performance Management (SPM) tools allow sales managers to monitor, understand, and make changes to sales processes that affect the efficiency and effectiveness of sales reps, based on sales KPIs. They also provide sales reps with insights into their own performance and the performance of others. 

However, the SPM software space is (as of yet) ill-defined. Some vendors use the term sales performance management to refer to incentive compensation management software, perhaps because SPM suggests the high-level value proposition of ICM, or perhaps because SPM is a newer software category that originally grew out of ICM. Still, this is a rather narrow definition of SPM, since there are now SPM solutions that support additional and more comprehensive approaches to managing sales performance. Other vendors do take a broad view of sales performance management, but see SPM as a use case for their point solutions or software ecosystem. SAP is an example of a major vendor that advertises SPM “solutions,” but defines SPM as a strategic function that can be achieved by using a variety of SAP software pieces (from CRM to HR), rather than a dedicated SPM product exactly.

Measuring Sales Performance

Sales performance management tools use sales key performance indicators to track and report on (and eventually influence) how well salespeople and teams are performing. SPM platforms aim to understand sales success factors, and how these factors influence the bottom line.

The key questions asked by a sales performance manager, and addressed by SPM software, are:

1. What makes a sales rep successful? What does success look like at this organization?

2. What is the impact of sales performance on revenue?

3. How can I adjust sales performance—through coaching, opportunity and workflow management, territory and quota assignments, goal alignment, incentive plans, etc.—in order to optimize revenue?

SPM vs. Sales Enablement: Performance Management Tools & Techniques

SPM spans a major swath of the Sales Enablement umbrella category. (Sales Content is the big component that does not tend to be included in SPM platforms, but is highly relevant to Sales Enablement.) Depending on the approach a company takes to managing sales performance—namely, the relevant KPIs a sales manager is interested in tracking and optimizing—the most useful SPM software will offer a combination of features that enable a manager to view and fine-tune interrelated sales processes. We consider SPM software to be suites that include more than one of the following capabilities, many of which are alternatively available as point solutions:

  • Sales training & coaching, which includes things like sales playbooks, skill development, onboarding/new hire workflows, etc. In SPM software, these capabilities are designed around best practices for optimal performance, and may be triggered by or tailored to a particular rep’s performance. Sales training point solutions are usually HR or corporate learning management products, where “Sales” is a specific use case.
  • ICM (Incentive compensation management), which allows managers and reps to understand how earnings are related to performance and how changes in performance would affect earnings. It may also include functionality for commission/bonus accounting and fulfillment, and might support non-monetary incentives. Note that many ICM point solutions are branded as sales performance management, and although not every SPM tool has full ICM capabilities (for example, Dealmaker covers opportunity management, goal alignment, and best practices), it is generally considered a core component of SPM.
  • Sales gamification features can contribute to ICM and/or sales coaching and goal setting. Gamification, along with compensation, plays a large role in the “motivation” aspect of SPM.
  • Territory and quota management, which is often bundled with and related to ICM. From an SPM perspective, territory and quota assignments should be adjusted in order to yield the net most revenue. SPM platforms may allow managers to take into account sales cycle lengths and revenue yield by type of deal and by rep, revenue yield vs. incentive over a period of time, etc. Managers should balance territory and quota assignments to facilitate improvements in individual rep performance as well as overall sales team performance.
  • Sales planning and monitoring includes goal planning and goal alignment tools, as well as tools that help managers explore what-if scenarios and plan changes to optimize sales performance. This can also include mechanisms for managers and coaches to provide informal feedback to individual reps, or conduct performance reviews and job evaluations.
  • Sales pipeline management may also be called opportunity, lead or prospect management. These tools can help managers and reps visualize and plan how to approach the sales pipeline (manually or semi-automatically), or they may involve rules engines/built-in best practices that route certain opportunities to certain reps, automatically create alerts for warm opportunities, and make recommendations about how to reach out. SPM software that is not built around ICM often focuses on opportunity management. Note that while sales pipeline tools are point solutions that address this area, CRM systems with robust sales pipeline features don’t usually approach opportunity management from a performance management perspective. Predictive sales analytics software can also intelligently fuel opportunity/pipeline management.
  • Sales forecasting and sales performance analytics, which tie together sales KPIs to provide a comprehensive view on the relationship between revenue and sales behavior, compensation, and pipeline management, as well as change over time.  Many sales forecasting point solutions exist to help users generate expected deals and projected revenue reports; these tend to focus less on adjusting/optimizing sales behavior, and many are really BI tools with a sales use case. Predictive sales analytics is another type of advanced sales analytics tool that can generate highly specific, highly accurate sets of expectations; however, predictive analytics tools for sales and marketing tend to focus on models that use machine learning to dynamically update expectations, which is very different than the type of overview sales forecast reports that are traditionally used in quarterly planning, for example.

 


Sales Performance Management Products

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InsideSales.com Predictive Playbooks

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Top Rated
141 Ratings

InsideSales.com Predictive Playbooks aims to help SDRs and AEs quickly build closeable pipeline, by helping salespeople get a hold of more of the right people. InsideSales.com uses their A.I.-platform called Neuralytics to target likely buyers combined with their cadence engine to help sales reps...

Xactly Incent

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159 Ratings

Xactly Incent Pro is a cloud-based, secure sales incentive compensation solution for enterprise-class businesses. Incent Pro replaces tedious, spreadsheet-based manual processes, making any incentive compensation program easy to manage and error free.

212 Ratings

Anaplan aims to be the leader in Connected Planning. According to the vendor, the software—powered by their patented Hyperblock engine—enables dynamic, collaborative, and intelligent planning. Large and fast-growing companies worldwide use Anaplan to connect the people and data required for trust...

Oracle Engagement Cloud (formerly Oracle Sales Cloud)

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100 Ratings

Oracle Engagement Cloud (formerly Oracle Sales Cloud) is a sales automation software accessible through Microsoft Outlook, iOS, and Android, along with territory and quota management and social collaboration.

Gong.io

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36 Ratings

Gong.io is a sales enablement platform for B2B sales teams. The product records, transcribes, and analyzes every sales call in order to gauge the effectiveness of sales interactions.

Chorus.ai

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27 Ratings

AffectLayer in San Francisco offers Chorus.ai, a platform for generating actionable call notes and insights into sales conversation for optimization and sales enablement or training purposes harnessing AI.

36 Ratings

Demandbase offers a comprehensive set of marketing solutions purpose-built for the account-based needs of B2B. The Demandbase B2B Marketing Cloud includes Advertising, Marketing, Sales and Analytics solutions. According to the vendor, their solution provides B2B marketers with an unprecedented ab...

8 Ratings

People.ai calls itself a revenue intelligence platform for go-to-market teams. The platform promises to help sales, marketing and customer success teams uncover every revenue opportunity from every customer. Customers include: Lyft, Gainsight, Tanium and Palo Alto Networks. People.ai helps them...

3 Ratings

According to the vendor, MoData is an AI-powered sales intelligence software that delivers: Hundreds of out-of-the-box Sales KPI charts/reports. Sales Forecasting Deal Scoring Pipeline Prediction Rep Quota TrackingTrack pipeline changes & Funnel progression. Account Based Sales & ...

2 Ratings

TopOpps is a sales pipeline management and sales forcecasting solution. This solution provides pipeline visibility and a unified workflow for both inside and outside sales teams. The forecast tool is designed to give users an accurate representation of the sales pipeline in real time.

2 Ratings

Altify calls its platform a Customer Revenue Optimization solution, aka a sales platform for key account management. It includes account planning, opportunity planning, and portfolio analysis to help sales teams operationalize their sales methodology by visualizing the people, priorities, and pro...

Optymyze SPM Cloud supports a wide range of incentive compensation and sales performance needs with a comprehensve suite of fully-integrated applications that feature a common, touch-oriented UI, utilize a single, configurable data repository, and enable non-technical users to implement and mana...

2 Ratings

Synygy is a Sales Performance Management solution from the company of the same name, which advertises itself as SOaaS (Sales Operations as a Service). It includes software and best practices around sales compensation management, sales optimization, sales enablement, and sales analytics. Synygy is...

4 Ratings

Obero SPM is a sales performance management product that helps organizations streamline their sales planning, execution and optimization processes. The product supports the end-to-end sales performance life cycle, and automating processes for sales, HR and finance. Functionalities include:- Sale...

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Masskom is a sales gamification software solution offered by Masskom, Inc.