Remember the days of dieting and counting calories, recording how long you’d walked or run (in minutes, since it was often difficult to know distance), or how long your workout class was –– pilates, yoga, cycling?
It was similar to how people used to keep track of finances. Every day, week, or month –– depending on what worked best for your own routine –– you’d pull out that checkbook, which was also where you stored your receipts, and account for every single penny spent.
Both of these tasks were important. They kept us on track. They showed us progress. They made sure we weren’t getting too ahead of ourselves in the case we started to slack.
But most people don’t do either of these things anymore. They required hours of manual data entry, which is easy to mess up. These days, people just use automated technology to do this work.
For losing weight, you can use your iPhone and Apple Watch, a FitBit, and multiple apps that connect with your scale, your workout classes (through MindBody or ClassPass), and a flurry of other “smart” devices.
The same is true for finances. A simple login to your bank will show you exactly what hours of manual calculation used to take. Better yet, you can use tools like Mint, Personal Capital, or YNAB to show you your full financial picture –– any time you want.
Sales management software features work exactly like how we track our weight, exercise, and finances today.
In 2018, 27% of salespeople were spending an hour or more on data entry each day. Years before that, manual data entry was simply accepted as part of a salesperson’s regular job –– accounting for at least 50% of the role.
But as consumers demand more personalization in every single touch point, providing companies and salespeople with evermore data than before on who their customers are, it would be impossible for a sales person to both sell and keep track of all customer data points.
And they don’t have to anymore.
Sales management software definition
Sales management software is a system that automates much of the data collection process for sales teams –– recording their day-to-day activities and keeping track of their pipelines, prospects, and customers.
It’s also used by sales managers and leaders to identify trends, opportunities for improvement, and team wins.
Sales management software features
There are about eight different sales management software features to look for as you search for the right tool for your needs.
Among those eight features, there are sub-features relevant to each. You’ll want to build out an RFP and reach out to various sales management software companies to understand which tool will best fit your company’s needs.
Let’s look at sales management software features and sub-features:
1. Lead management: This feature helps sales reps assign, generate, capture, and nurture leads up to the point of conversion (the sale).
Sub-features for lead management include:
- Lead assignment
- Lead capture
- Lead generation
- Lead nurturing
2. Contact management: This features works to maintain a database of leads with contact details, call history, activity tracking, and contact history for future sales campaigns.
Sub features for contact management include:
- Activity tracking
- Call recording
- Contact database
- Contact history
3. Opportunity management: This feature helps sales reps track potential sales opportunities through order management, pipeline management, and quote management.
Sub-features for contact management include:
- Goal setting/tracking
- Order management
- Pipeline management
- Quote management
4. Productivity and time management: This feature helps sales reps manage their daily work schedule by organizing meetings with potential leads through calendar invites, task scheduling, and document management.
Sub-features for productivity and time management include:
- Calendar management
- Collaboration tools
- Confirmable workflow
- Document storage
- Task scheduling
- Task tracking
5. Analytics: This features allows sales rep to visualize sales campaigns in dashboards, graphs, and charts by filtering sales data such as lead generation, pipeline, and conversions.
Sub-features for analytics include:
- Campaign analysis
- Data filtering
- Data visualization
- Pipeline reports
- Real time reporting
- Sales forecasting
6. Integrations: This feature helps connect with other software that has specialized functionality such as email, CRM, marketing, and more. This feature in particular will help you narrow down which sales management software to use. If you need an integration to a particular other tool, and the sales management software doesn’t have it, you can move on to the next.
Sub-features for integration include:
- Accounting integration
- CRM integration
- Email integration
- Mobile integration
- Social media integration
7. Security: This feature monitors file permission and sign-on of sales representatives to manage confidential sales data.
Sub-features for security include:
- Access control
- Role-based permission
- Single Sign On
8. Additional features: These features enables sales management software to have more features such as chat, gamification, email templates, and more. This is another spot where your can narrow down your sales management software options. If you want a chat feature, but the tool you are working with doesn’t offer it, you can cross them off the list.
Businesses of all sizes use sales management software to remove large portions of manual data entry from their sales team’s workload. This helps to increase sales as each member of the team can focus on more opportunities.
It also helps increase efficiency and transparency within an organization, as executives pull data from the sales management software system to better forecast wins, understand the customer journey, and figure out which levers to pull to increase revenue.
If you’re looking for a sales management software tool, your first step is to take the list above of features and sub features, create an RFP document, and begin reaching out to the companies that provide this software.
Your goal is to better enable your sales team to focus on what they do best –– sell –– so you can take your company to the next level of growth.
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