Choose the Right Sales Software for Your Business: What You Need to Know

Trying to decide which sales management software is right for your business? Learn how these solutions help businesses automate sales workflows, reduce human error, and improve team efficiency!

Sales software solutions are used in the field to automate certain processes, increase efficiency, and improve execution for sales representatives. While they can be standalone products, many will work alongside other programs or integrate with existing ones seamlessly for maximum effectiveness.

The formal definition, according to Gartner, describes “sales technologies” as “a set of tools and applications designed to support and augment the productivity of sales representatives ... [and] are largely focused on improving sales execution or automation and increasing sales effectiveness.”

If you run a sales department, you likely have a stack of wide-ranging tasks on your plate at any given moment. Over time, many of these responsibilities blend, making it challenging to identify just what tasks are better served by technology solutions.

However, there are likely inefficiencies in your current sales process — parts of the funnel (or even compensation system) that could benefit from sales software such as:

The list goes on.

Sales software solutions can turn passive tasks in the sales process into automated ones while reducing (human) errors. After all, the time spent on manual tasks could be much better utilized by focusing your efforts where they matter most: closing deals!

Sales software is sales software is sales software, right?

Wrong.

Not all sales software is created equal.  With such a wide range of sales software available across various categories, not all will apply to every business in every situation.

Sure, some sales software is inherently better than others. Still, like any technology, it has to be a good fit based on need/capabilities, cost, size of the organization or team, resource availability, and other factors.

Sales software can be a fantastic tool for businesses of all sizes, from the smallest startups to multinational corporations. You might think these solutions only serve the needs associated with growing your company's revenue, but they actually do so much more than just help you sell products or services — they can also help you get more organized and better manage customer relationships.

Let's dig into some of the key benefits that this type of software can provide.

Advantages of sales management software

There are so many different types of sales software out there (more on this later) it can be hard to decide which one will work best for your team and keep them happy. But don't worry! We've compiled this list with the key features and capabilities to keep in mind:

  • Automation: Sales software reduces the time spent on manual tasks, such as data entry and analysis, by automatically generating reports. In addition, it makes tracking customer information easier so companies can quickly identify opportunities for upselling or cross-selling products.

  • Advanced analytics and insights: Businesses can gain insights into customer buying patterns, trends in the market, competitive analysis, sales performance, and more.

  • Strategic account management: Businesses can understand how their sales teams approach accounts and tailor their strategy to maximize sales. They might also track and manage their interactions with important customers (think account-based marketing), providing insights into how teams can continue to best serve them.

  • Accurate forecasting: Sales software enables accurate forecasting by providing sales reps with real-time data on their individual sales pipelines, as well as forecasts for the entire company. Access to data allows reps to make more accurate projections of their sales, which might allow revenue leaders to better forecast the company's sales. Additionally, businesses can identify customer behavior and preferences trends to better anticipate customer demand and plan accordingly.

  • More focus on sales: By having more focus on selling rather than mundane administrative tasks, companies will benefit from improved productivity of their employees.

At a minimum.

Effective sales software is often expensive. You tend to get what you pay for. However, if the investment results in increased revenue (with more operational efficiency and satisfied employees), you win and stay competitive.

Now, let's cover some disadvantages when considering sales software.

Disadvantages of sales management software

While sales software can be a great asset to any business, it also has some drawbacks to watch out for:

  • High costs: Sales software can be expensive to buy and use (especially if you’re on a larger team). It’s important to ask questions about return on investment (ROI). For example, what features do I get, and which ones don't exist yet or need improvement to reach maximum potential in supporting broader objectives and goals?

  • Learning curves for beginners: Some sales software can be difficult to use if you’re a beginner. This difficulty often stems from its complexity and advanced features — meaning you'll need some time before being able to use them effectively without help! That said, there are plenty of ways around this by investing early into education and onboarding to learn what works best with different types of people and how different technologies work together.

  • More data = more management: Adding new solutions to your tech stack can lead to an increase in data, which can be difficult to manage. This is because every tool generates its own forms of data. As your company grows, having a system to manage this data becomes more important. This system should include a way to consolidate data from different sources, as well as a way to analyze and track it over time.

The natural next question: What are the various sales software platforms on the market, and which is the best for my needs?

Before choosing the “best-fit” sales software for your team, it’s critical to understand the common best practices.

What are some best practices in the sales management space?

While (non-sales) teams may disagree, one can argue that sales are every organization's lifeblood. Without sales, there are no customers, no revenue, and no company. Therefore a salesperson’s goal is to bring in new business — to generate long-term, sustainable (ideally, recurring) revenue. If you can maximize operational efficiency, you’ll likely see an increase in revenue.

But that’s not all. A more efficient process usually equates to happier, more engaged employees. After all, sales software is supposed to make their jobs easier.

Robust sales software is even more critical as sales roles expand and teams try to do more with what they have (or, more often, more with less).

For instance, the scope of responsibility for RevOps has dramatically increased over the past decade. Software for sales reps (automation, revenue intelligence, commission, etc.) can help to ease the burden associated with RevOps — and other sales-related functions.

Whatever the purpose of the sales software you seek, ensure it is a good fit for your team and your business. Here are some other best practices to follow when using sales software:

1

Make sure you use the software correctly (as intended). Learn all of the features and how to use them. Ask about case studies and use cases. Select a vendor that offers training courses, onboarding, and support services to help you get started using their product.

2

Like the above, be sure to use the software to its full potential. There is likely a lot of untapped potential in the software that you aren’t taking advantage of.

3

Keep your data up to date. It is important to keep sales data synced and up-to-date when introducing new software solutions. This ensures that no information is missed or overlooked and that your sales team has the most accurate data.

4

Use the software to generate reports. The software should be able to help you track your progress against key performance indicators (KPIs) and see where you need improvement.

5

Regularly update your data backups. Ensure your data is backed up regularly in case of a computer crash or other disaster.

What is the best sales software in their respective categories?

What’s the best sales software on the market?

Software packages have increasingly specialized in serving the needs of as many sales teams as possible. Need help with e-signatures? There are many options. Sales intelligence? Several choices. Sales gamification? Same.

While there are certainly all-in-one packages, many businesses will only need one or a handful of these software solutions for success.

To help guide this discussion, we will share examples of sales software across four key categories:

1
CRM Software
2
Auto Dialer Software
3
Al Sales Assistant Software
4
Sales Compensation Software

But note there are more categories.

CRM Software

CRM (customer relationship management) software tracks and manages customer interactions within a business. By collecting all of this data, insights can be generated to better serve customers and create more personalized experiences.

Some popular CRM software programs include:

Highest-Rated Features According to G2
Salesforce Sales Cloud
  • Breadth of partner applications
  • Contact and account management
  • Perfomance and reliability
HubSpot Sales Hub
  • Email marketing
  • Lead management
  • Contact and account management
ActiveCampaign
  • Automated email responses (marketing automation)
  • Sending outbound emails (marketing automation)
  • Lead nurturing
PipeDrive
  • Opportunity and pipeline management
  • Performance and reliability
  • Contact and account management

Auto Dialer Software

Auto dialer software accomplishes exactly what the name suggests — automatically dialing telephone numbers from a contact list.

This simple yet powerful tool automates an otherwise tedious and exhausting task for sales employees. This is one of the best examples of a software solution that is incredibly practical but could be easily overlooked.

A few examples of auto dialer software include:

Highest-Rated Features According to G2
TalkDesk
  • Interactive voice response (contact center as a service)
  • Voice (contact center as a service)
  • Administrator access (contact center infrastructure)
NICE CXone
  • Voice (contact center as a service)
  • Session recording (contact center operations)
  • Agent scheduling and assignment (contact center operations)
Genesys Cloud CX
  • Interactive voice response (contact center as a service)
  • Voice (contact center as a service)
  • Session recording (contact center operations)
PhoneBurner
  • Voice broadcast (auto dialer)
  • Call recording (auto dialer)
  • Voice activity detection (auto dialer)

AI Sales Assistant Software

AI sales assistant software uses artificial intelligence to automate many other tasks that sales representatives manage when completing their responsibilities. Think: lead qualification, pipeline management, forecasting, meeting scheduling, and data entry.

While many can integrate with other software platforms, they can also be used as standalone.

A few examples of AI sales assistant software include:

Highest-Rated Features According to G2
ZoomInfo SalesOS
  • Search (sales intelligence)
  • User, role, and access management (sales intelligence)
  • Integration to CRM/marketing automation (sales intelligence)
ScratchPad
  • Integration (sales performance management)
  • Dashboards (sales performance management)
  • Behavior monitoring (sales performance management)
Clari
  • Account engagement (revenue operations & intelligence)
  • Contact capture (revenue operations & intelligence)
  • Predictive forecasting (revenue operations & intelligence)
Dooly
  • Templates (sales enablement)
  • Content import (sales enablement)
  • Account-based engagement (sales enablement)

Sales Compensation Software

One of the biggest drivers of sales rep performance is how you can incentivize action.

Sales compensation software lets you automate the management of incentive compensation plans for your sales team. Performance-based teams can use this software to visualize their goals, offering consistent motivation for accomplishing sales goals. Businesses can customize employee rules based on their seniority, role, and more. You can avoid human error and save time processing payouts by using this category of software.

A few examples of sales compensation software include:

Highest-Rated Features According to G2
CaptivateIQ
  • Workflows and approvals
  • Compensation statements
  • Commission estimator
Varicent
  • Dashboards (sales performance management)
  • Custom reports (sales performance management)
  • Commission calculator (sales performance management)
Performio
  • Performance and reliability
  • Internationalization
  • Customization
Spiff
  • Performance and reliability
  • Commission estimator
  • Compensation statements

Choosing a sales software that’s best for your organization

As previously mentioned, there’s no shortage of sales software on the market. The key? Choosing the best for your team and organization (and budget).

Looking specifically for sales compensation software? Look no further: CaptivateIQ is the top-rated provider, according to G2.

Consider taking a product tour to learn how CaptivateIQ can boost your sales team performance. If the features of this platform sound like they could be a good fit, or you want more reassurance of how CaptivateIQ can serve your business needs, request a demo and see how we stack up against your current commission solution!

“CaptivateIQ is a dynamic tool that helps simplify the tracking of commissions earnings for all types of organizations; from traditional sales to medical practices.”

Marc S.
Senior Financial Analyst at Schweiger Dermatology Group

Notes:

This content is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, accounting, tax, legal, or compliance advice or guidance. Please consult a professional adviser for guidance on your specific situation.

CaptivateIQ, the CaptivateIQ logo, and all CaptivateIQ product and service names used herein are trademarks of CaptivateIQ, Inc. Other brand names referenced herein are solely for identification purposes and may be the trademarks of their respective owners.