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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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Playbooks, from XANT (formerly InsideSales.com)

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Top Rated
142 Ratings

InsideSales.com offers the industry's leading sales acceleration platform built on Neuralytics, a predictive and prescriptive self-learning engine that drives revenue growth by delivering an optimized experience for both salesperson and buyer. The platform fuels sales rep performance and provides...

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.

213 Ratings

Anaplan is driving a new age of connected planning. Large and fast-growing organizations use Anaplan’s cloud platform in every business function to make better-informed plans and decisions and drive faster, more effective planning processes. Anaplan also provides support, training, and planning t...

Chorus.ai

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Top Rated
55 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.

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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42 Ratings

Gong.io is a revenue intelligence platform for B2B sales teams. The product captures every sales conversation, understands the content of those conversations, and deliver insights to help your business win its unfair share of the market.

36 Ratings

The biggest and fastest growing companies in the world rely on Demandbase to drive their Account-Based Marketing strategies and maximize B2B marketing performance. We pioneered the ABM category nearly a decade ago, and today we lead the industry as an indispensable part of the B2B tech stack. Dem...

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...

SalesDirector.ai is a AI based Sales Forecasting and Sales Coaching tool. The Most Advanced AI Platform for Sales. Machine Learning and Cognitive Analysis For Your Sales Pipeline. By connecting CRM, Email, Calendaring and call log data, SalesDirector.ai can tell you which deals are REAL and which...

3 Ratings

MoData's AI-powered sales intelligence software delivers: (a) 100s of out-of-the-box Sales KPI charts/reports. (b) Forecasting &amp; Quota Tracking (c) Track pipeline changes &amp; Funnel progression. (d) Account Based Sales &amp; Target Account Engagement Tracking. (d) Pipeline Predi...

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 is the Customer Revenue Optimization company helping revenue teams win the deals that matter and drive increased customer value with best in class technology, strategy, and methodology built natively on the Salesforce platform.

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 global provider of sales performance management as a service - SPMaaS, which makes managing change a simple and routine part of sales and sales operations. Recognized globally for sales strategy enablement, sales force motivation, sales channel effectiveness, and sales performance in...

1 Ratings

Insights is a professional development and coaching company that provides Discovery solutions designed to help improve teamwork, employee engagement, leadership development, sales and service performance, and change management. The company's philosophy is that when people working at organizations...