Sales tracking software fits into the larger family of sales force enablement and sales force automation software and has many applications in common with traditional sales software and general purpose customer relationship management (CRM) software.
On the whole, the sales force enablement and automation software market is expanding quickly—it grew 12.8 percent to $5.6 billion in 2016. Today, most of the new growth is coming from the successes of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) vendors entering the market with specialized, focused tools like lead management and, the topic of this guide, sales tracking software. Companies are flocking to these SaaS solutions for three main reasons: To provide better customer experiences and improve customer relationships To streamline sales staff workflows and improve process efficiencies To improve outcomes, close more deals and sell more per deal Sales tracking software can help your company work towards all three of these goals, but it must be chosen correctly and aligned well with your business goals. Those caveats can be especially challenging, especially given the the vast number of solutions available in this quickly growing, rapidly changing software market. This Buyer's Guide will help you make the right choice. In it we explain:
Believe it or not, a large percentage of companies still track their sales processes manually: in spreadsheets, on whiteboards and even on paper. Manual tracking can work in small offices with very low sales volume, but it's never ideal. It leads to poor performance on the three points listed above: poorer customer experiences, inefficient use of sales staff time and fewer closed deals and lower per-deal revenue.
Sales tracking software helps manage, track and guide all aspects of the sales process. It usually provides set process workflows so salespeople know where each prospect stands at any given point in time and which steps need to be taken next. These days, with better machine learning integrations, some sales tracking software platforms are even able to recommend the single best out of a set number of possible follow-up actions.
Salespeople make the most direct use of sales tracking software, but it's also used by team and department managers and executives. For the latter group, it provides insight into the health and status of the sales department's overall operations. It can help also help with sales forecasting, help optimize workforce scheduling and even help determine the best pricing plans and strategies.
Clearly, sales tracking software can accomplish a lot. But how well it helps you achieve your specific goals comes down to the specific applications and features and how well they're aligned with your organization's workflows and goals. Here's a list of common features to look out for in the sales tracking solution you select:
|Pipeline management||Manage individual sales prospects from fresh lead and first contact through to deal closure, which lets staff and management parse and prioritize different groups by a variety of internal or external variables.|
|Pipeline editor||Define and deploy individual pipelines specific to segmented lead groups, specific products or product lines or different sales teams, providing each with step-by-step workflows.|
|Cycle management||Customer-focused process management tool that helps manage sales and buying cycles, which is especially useful for organizations that sell subscription-based products or benefit from post-sales follow ups.|
|Next best actions||Helps identify the next best actions to take during multiple stages of the sales processes, increasing buyer engagement and improving sales outcomes. Some platforms make use of predictive analytics to improve suggestions over time.|
|Dashboard||Metric tracking visual interfaces for sales staff, management and executives, showing key performance numbers including open and closed deals, volume at various pipeline stages and custom KPIs and values.|
|Web-to-lead||Integrates with company's website (or social media channels) to help automatically convert online prospects into trackable leads and prospects, usually with basic segmentation tools.|
|Social media integrations||Tools that integrate a company or individual salesperson's social media accounts with backend sales tracking software, saving time, reducing errors, missed opportunities and improving response times.|
|Collaboration||Collaboration tools help organize responsibilities in sales environments that have multiple team members working together on the same deals, helping with hand-offs and preventing redundant steps.|
|Content management||Provides basic content management functions, either directly or through integrations with a content management system (CMS) to save time looking for sales materials.|
Since sales force automation and enablement tools play such critical roles in the business world's profitability, they receive tons of attention from software developers. They're some of the first applications to receive updates and integrations of newer technologies like predictive analytics and machine learning.
Current and up-and-coming trends in the sales tracking software industry include:
Our service is simple and 100% free to customers like you because software vendors pay us when we connect them with quality leads. You save time and get great advice. Vendors get great referrals. It's a win for everyone!