by Abhishek Singh and Karan Dhingra
Published on 7 September 2017
Are you still using CRM software or-worse-Excel to manage your sales data? Are your sales campaigns failing to meet monthly sales targets? Every business specialization deserves dedicated software, from customer relationship management to employee management and beyond. So if you are a sales manager and need to boost your sales margin why not use a sales management software?
Sales management software helps you automate sales procedures and redundant tasks such as attaining leads, quotes, conversions, and generating periodic sales reports. Collecting key sales information in an Excel sheet is tedious and time consuming. With sales management software you can seamlessly calculate key sales performance indicators (KPIs) that include lead time, conversion rates, and win-loss ratio. Sales management software can give you a detailed picture of your sales team's work on different products, services, locations, and customers.
This article provides a comprehensive list of functionalities that you should look for before purchasing a sales management solution. The features guide below lists the features of each functionality and the benefits they offer your sales team. The hyperlinks in the tables below allow you to filter software listed on GetApp's sales management software directory.
Let's start with analysis of the core functionalities present in sales management software.
|Lead management||Helps sales representatives assign, generate, capture, and nurture leads up to the point of conversion.|
|Contact management||Maintains a database of leads with contact details, call history, activity tracking, and contact history for future sales campaigns.|
|Opportunity management||Enables sales representatives to track potential sales opportunities through order management, pipeline management, and quote management.|
|Productivity||Helps sales representatives manage daily work schedule by organizing meetings with potential leads through calendar invites, task scheduling, and document management.|
|Analytics||Allows sales representatives to visualize sales campaigns in dashboards, graphs, and charts by filtering sales data such as lead generation and conversions.|
|Integrations||Helps connect with other software that has specialized functionality such as email, CRM, marketing, and more.|
|Security||Monitors file permission and sign-on of sales representatives to manage confidential sales data.|
|Additional features||Enables sales management software to have more features such as chat, gamification, email templates, and more.|
After you have generated your leads, it's important to maintain them through marketing campaigns and other means of communications. Sales marketing software helps you automate the process of sending notifications through emails to potential leads. Lead management functionality helps generate, capture, and assign leads to sales representatives.
Here are some of the features that you should keep in mind while evaluating the lead management module within sales management software:
|Lead assignment||Allocates leads to sales representatives so that no lead remains unattended from the contact list.|
|Lead capture||Collects leads data from different sources such as company websites, advertising campaigns, and social media pages.|
|Lead generation||Stimulates interests in potential leads for a particular product or service through marketing and advertising campaigns.|
|Lead nurturing||Helps representatives develop a relationship with potential buyers and engages them through email campaigns and telephone calls.|
Sales management software helps you access business leads data such as logs of communication, contacts lists, sales activities, and much more. The software gives you a broader picture of your leads through social media analytics, campaign history, and previous sales deals. You can also track lead sales activities through call recordings kept for future reference.
Here are a few contact management features that your sales management software should have in order to maintain lead data:
|Activity tracking||Helps with understanding the needs/preferences and likes/dislikes of prospective buyers so that the salesperson can make an appropriate pitch.|
|Call recording||Records all calls made by sales representatives to prospective customers for selling products or services.|
|Contact database||A database containing contact details of prospective and existing customers.|
|Contact history||Maintains old records of contact details and the conversations that sales representatives had with prospective buyers.|
Measuring the success of your sales goals is essential to maintaining higher revenue and profitability. Sales management software helps you set a sales target for a week or month so that you can set an effective goal. The software also helps with pipeline management by creating a sales road map that guides your sales activities. Sales management software allows you to visualize your sales pipeline in real time and inform you about potential sales opportunities to increase your sales target.
Some of the key features of opportunity management to consider while looking for a sales management solution are listed as follows:
|Goal setting/tracking||Generates sales targets for sales representatives during a customizable time span.|
|Order management||Assists in handling requests for number of orders received, allocating inventory, verifying credit limits, and scheduling delivery.|
|Pipeline management||Suggests the number of orders at different stages of the sales process and helps managers allocate resources.|
|Quote management||Digitizes and manages sales quotes and proposals.|
Keeping track of your documents and your schedule is essential to maintaining consistent sales goals. Sales management software offers calendar management to manage sales meetings, collaboration tools such as chat messages to communicate with peers, task management, and other productivity tools to stay up-to-date with the latest sales leads.
While purchasing a sales management solution, make sure that you have the following productivity features:
|Calendar management||Create, track, and manage sales events, calls, and appointments. Provides timely reminders through pop-ups to follow up on sales calls.|
|Collaboration tools||Helps in coordinating between sales representatives and managers, and provides a unified platform to communicate and work on sales leads.|
|Configurable workflow||Standardizes the processes and activities associated with sales management and makes it easy for managers to train new sales representatives.|
|Document storage||Helps in securely maintaining and sharing documents related to sales calls, price negotiations, client details, and upcoming sales events.|
|Task scheduling||Helps in arranging sales calls, appointments, and sets up timetables for the upcoming days or weeks.|
|Task tracking||Tracks prior days' completed work, task status, and future work requirements.|
Analytics helps you assess the effectiveness of sales campaigns by presenting data related to leads generation, sales calls, and conversions all in a single dashboard. You can also filter prospective leads in the database from converted leads by making use of filtering options for data segregation. The software also helps you represent sales figures and market spending in the form of charts, graphs, and diagrams. You can also utilize predictive analytics features in sales management software to forecast your sales by the month or year.
Keep a note of the following analytics features if you are planning to buy sales management software:
|Campaign analysis||Measures the success of sales campaigns by analyzing the number of leads generated, leads nurtured, and the number of calls converted into sales.|
|Data filtering||Segregates prospective buyers in the database from other leads so that sales representatives exert more effort on more promising leads.|
|Data visualization||Represents sales figures and market spending in the form of charts, graphs, diagrams, and figures.|
|Pipeline reports||Presents a list of prospective buyers, their current position in the sales process, and their point of contact in the sales team.|
|Real time reporting||Presents a sales report on the number of calls converted, the number of appointments made with clients, and the revenue generated through sales.|
|Sales forecasting||Predicts future sales based on leads captured, past sales data, market trends, and macroeconomic conditions.|
As your sales business expands you might find yourself needing to expand your sales campaigns with CRM, social media, and email features. These integrations increase the scope of your sales management software by offering more features to assess your customer service.
Here's a list of some of the integration features that you can choose for sales management software:
|Accounting integration||Helps in invoicing, payments, tracking customer orders, tax calculations, account history, budget analysis, and sales reports.|
|APIs||Provides a set of tools to build applications that can integrate with sales management software to improve the user experience.|
|CRM integration||Helps in understanding customer preferences, lead tracking, and prioritizing leads. Customer purchase history provides upsell opportunities for sales representative.|
|Email integration||Helps in reaching out to prospects and existing customers through email campaigns, informs them about the new product launches, and offers on existing products.|
|Mobile integration||Helps in mobile invoicing, tracking sales operations, creating sales estimates on the move and sending/receiving information in real-time.|
|Social media integration||Captures sales leads from social media accounts, addressing customer queries, and integrating data from conversational platforms on social media.|
Sales management software helps monitor access to files to maintain confidentiality of sales data. Through access control and role-based features, you can limit permissions to files and assign rights based on roles.
Check out some of the security features that you can chose for sales management software below:
|Access control||Provides limited viewing rights to sales representative to protect confidential information of customers.|
|Role-based permissions||Helps restrict privileges so that permissions are available to only selected employees.|
|Single Sign On||The feature allows sales representatives to access multiple applications with a single account login.|
Add-ons can help you get more sales leads and manage your sales campaigns through additional features such as email templates, chat, and gamification. These features may not be part of the base package but can be useful if you are seeking to use a sales management software for a longer period of time.
Here's a list of some of the additional features that you can look for in most sales management software.
|Chat||Functionality that allows sales representative to communicate with customers and prospects through text messages.|
|Gamification||Motivates and engages sales team by using leaderboards, challenges, points, and instant recognition to create a high performance culture.|
|Email templates||Documentation/note templates that make it easier and faster for sales representatives to send relevant information (e.g., sales quotes) from a product list via email.|
|Purchase orders||Tracks each product sale or order and automatically adjusts product quantities accordingly.|
This sales management software feature guide should provide the in-depth coverage of the essential features you need while purchasing the software. Here are some additional GetApp resources to help you select a sales management software: