Managing a sales team effectively plays a critical role in continuous growth and the long term stability of a business. Before your team can meet targets and goals that are set, they need to be able to view their pipeline from the lead generation stages through to the forecasted close. This is where sales tracking software can help. And as a business owner or sales team leader, the investment you make into sales tracking software needs to generate the desired results.
While "best" is relative, the top choice for sales tracking software boils down to your unique business needs and goals. Ask yourself, what are your pain points and goals and which options best accommodate those?
Finding the right tool for your team is crucial for a clear-cut sales management process and this guide will help you make your decision.
According to a survey by Certify, almost 70% of small businesses use manual processes to plan budgets and track spending. If you’re still using lots of spreadsheets, clunky file cabinets, or handwritten ledgers, take it from us - there’s a safer and much easier way to track revenue and sales activity.
A sales tracking software solution does more than save hours of employee time and reduce your risk of data entry errors (although those things are important, too). Gaining insights into your sales processes helps you achieve goals like these:
- Improve pipeline processes.
- Identify top sales reps and products.
- Catch and correct performance issues earlier.
- Predict future sales figures.
- Use forecasts to develop more targeted sales and marketing strategies.
The exact features that make a particular sales tracking software the best for your business depend on how aligned they are with your needs. Looking for software that can give you insight into the following areas is a good place to start.
Who was the last rep to contact a particular lead in your pipeline? View where your sales employees are putting their efforts and how many sales tasks they’re completing. Reviewing sales activity against the actual sales coming in gives you the insight to improve coaching efforts and assign future pipeline loads.
If you have teams in different locations, this metric can show you how each one is performing. A friendly competition can boost productivity and morale. You can also decide if a particular team needs a modified system, perhaps to tailor their approach better to the local market.
Without time travel, there’s no way to know for sure what the future holds for your business. Some software algorithms can give you the next best thing by reviewing your pipeline data and generating a forecast to predict future revenue stats and opportunities.
Your wins teach you what you’re doing right. Your losses can be an even richer source of information. Understanding why an opportunity didn’t close can reveal blind spots, a leaking pipeline, and vital areas for improvement and growth. Two of the best loss sales factors to analyze are:
What stage in the pipeline: Lead qualification, lead nurturing, and proposal stages need to operate smoothly to close a deal. If you lose a higher percentage of leads at a particular point in the pipeline, focus extra attention there.
The reason you lost the sale: Sometimes, a simple question leads to answers that open a range of new possibilities. Learning more about which reasons pop up over and over again gives you the information you need to remove an obstacle for your next leads.
How much ROI you’ll get from sales tracking software depends partly on the features. The other half of the equation is how easy the software is to use in your actual, day-to-day operation. For many businesses, the goal of using sales tracking software is to gain sophisticated insights into various metrics, without bogging down the sales team with a lot of time-consuming tasks.
Sales reps already deal with a high volume of contacts and tasks in their daily rhythm of following up and nurturing leads. Cutting even a few minutes from routine tasks with automated processes adds up to many hours saved.
Regular “touches” are part of the process of guiding a lead from the first contact to a sale. Automating reminders prevents promising leads from falling through the cracks.
Siloed systems can easily lead to frustration and miscommunication. If a lead gets bombarded with the same messaging from multiple reps, you can lose out on what would have been a lucrative deal. Sales employees or even entire teams in different locations can miss important updates. Instead, look for cloud-based sales tracking software that lets all users access the same, up-to-date interface, wherever they happen to be. You’ll see more streamlined, consistent sales processes when everyone is on board with the same system.
A cookie-cutter fix doesn’t always have the features you need to take your systems to the next level. Look for software that lets you customize what you need and integrates with the tools you already use and love.
The real results from sales tracking come from the improvements you make in your systems, coaching, and lead management. If you’ve found a software solution that’s easy to implement and use, and that tracks the metrics that tie most closely to your goals, you’ll get information at your fingertips. From there, you can predict future opportunities and perfect your systems to win more sales.