You’ve got a good product and a good salesperson.
That should be enough to close the sale.
Unfortunately, it’s often not. It’s tough to keep track of prospects. It’s hard to manage time when you’re juggling multiple priorities. A good approach can be ruined with a botched close – or a forgotten follow-up.
But don’t sweat it too much. These are the types of problems that plague most sales teams. They’re common.
…which is why there are sales management software tools.
So, what are sales management tools and how can they help? Let’s jump right in.
Table of Contents
- What is Sales Management Software?
- What Does Sales Management Software Do?
- The Best Sales Management Software Tools
- Sales Management Software Grading Criteria
What is Sales Management Software?
Sales management software is software that helps a sales team achieve its goals. Goals range from storing and updating customer information, to ensuring follow-ups are being made, to eventually closing the sale.
What Does Sales Management Software Do?
Functionality varies depending on the sales management tool you’re using, but you can usually count on one or more of the following features:
A sale ends with a signed contract. But where can your salespeople find those contracts? Where and how do they edit them?
Is there a way to conveniently share those documents with your customers, so they can sign them easily? With better contract management functionality, all of this will become a breeze.
It’s not just about contracts. What about all the documents you’re going to share with your prospects? The whitepapers, spec sheets, and other informative materials?
A good sales management platform will help you manage all these documents, including their creation, editing, and sharing.
Prospect and lead tracking.
Who are your leads? And prospects? And opportunities?
It all gets pretty confusing, especially if you’ve got a big sales team juggling dozens of different priorities.
With the right sales management software, you’ll be able to easily identify your most important targets, distinguish them, and keep their information in one place.
One of the easiest and most straightforward ways to save time is with sales automation – the process of eliminating manual tasks (and letting a machine or algorithm do them instead).
With a good sales management software tool, you can design your own automated functions, saving your salespeople tons of time while simultaneously increasing the consistency of your efforts.
Administrative tasks can bog down even the most focused salespeople. That’s why most of these sales management platforms are designed to keep admin functions streamlined, simple, and unobtrusive.
You should be able to conveniently schedule meetings, organize timetables, and keep all your team members busy – but not overwhelmed.
If you’re like most companies, you’re constantly switching between different platforms for different needs (and throughout the day). You have a dozen or more different sources of information to consult and no single source of “truth.”
But a strong candidate for sales management software will offer some degree of centralization, giving you a place to store all your information that’s relevant for sales – and possibly allow you to integrate to all the other platforms you’re currently using.
It can sometimes be tough to keep all your salespeople on point, on task, and productive. How can you be sure that every member of your team has the right workload balance? How can you encourage collaboration and teamwork?
Good sales team management software will make everything simpler.
Forecasting, analytics, and reporting.
As a sales team leader, it’s your job to make sure your salespeople are collaborating to help you reach your collective end goals.
How much revenue are you going to generate by the end of the quarter? What are the main issues preventing you from getting there? What are the strengths and weaknesses most significantly affecting your course of sales vs business development?
With the right forecasting, analytics, and reporting tools, you’ll find out for sure – and be able to present to other leaders in your organization as well.
The Best Sales Management Software Tools
Here are the best sales management software tools:
It’s probably the most widely recognized name on this list because of its versatility and sheer scale: Salesforce. It’s a highly customizable CRM platform that’s designed to make your sales process easier and more productive, from start to finish.
You’ll be able to track prospects and leads, manage contracts, secure deals, automate certain aspects of the sales process, and more.
Plus, you can tinker with it to build a fully custom version of the product for your needs (though it is a bit costly).
Nutshell is designed to be a collaborative, easy-to-use CRM for your entire sales team.
You can sequence emails and improve email sales, you can design and implement your own brand of sales automation, and you can integrate with just about any major platform currently on the market.
Improve your team's email response time by 42.5% With EmailAnalytics
- 35-50% of sales go to the first-responding vendor.
- Following up within an hour increases your chances of success by 7x.
- The average professional spends 50% of their workday on email.
You also get unlimited contract and data storage.
Pipefy is a sales management tool that leans heavily on automation to save your sales team time, improve consistency, and ultimately land more sales.
In just a few minutes, you can design and implement the most important workflows for your team to follow, improve automation, and simultaneously keep your entire operation secure.
Primarily functioning as a CRM, Pipedrive is super easy to learn, set up, and start using – making it a great choice if you don’t have much experience with sales management software tools.
With it, you can view your entire team’s sales statistics at a high level and still manage the individual tasks necessary to meet your long-term sales goals.
Monday is sales management and CRM software – and its primary goal is helping customers close sales faster.
You can use it to organize and manage your incoming leads, build better customer relationships, communicate with customers (and with other sales team members), and establish automated workflows and strong sales pipelines.
There’s also Freshsales, a CRM that prides itself on simplicity. Concisely assembled into a single page, you can get a quick view of all your leads and upcoming deals.
You can also automate certain tasks, generate reports, and accomplish just about anything you’d need from a sales management platform.
With Zoho, you can coordinate resources between salespeople, track prospects and leads, create and manage your sales workflows, and get a high-level view of your progress toward your sales goals.
It also has a great customer service team, so you’ll get support if you run into any issues along the way.
Nimble is designed to be a sales management software tool that keeps your entire sales team organized and on the same page.
You’ll be able to integrate all your calendars, distribute tasks, manage leads and prospects, and rely on intelligent forecasting to set better goals and achieve more.
With Teamgate, you can create new sales workflows and enjoy the benefits of a simple, intuitive CRM – which means you shouldn’t have to spend hours training your salespeople how to use it correctly.
It also offers a ton of reports and data visuals to help you analyze your progress toward your goals.
Formerly known as Infusionsoft, Keap is a viable solution for a host of sales needs. With it, you can manage your incoming prospects and leads, track your progress on deals, and get real-time reporting so you always know how you’re performing overall.
It’s also one of the best-rated products on the market in terms of marketing automation.
Capsule is another simple tool, attempting to take all the functionality of a traditional sales management platform and bundle it into an approachable, convenient package.
It shouldn’t take long to figure out how it works and how to make the most of it – but it’s not as comprehensive as some of its rivals.
Sales Management Software Grading Criteria
So which of these tools is going to be the best fit for you and your sales team?
I’d pick a number for you. But the truth is every business is different.
Your “best” choice is going to depend entirely on your priorities, which can probably be pulled from the following, which I considered as grading criteria for these rankings:
- Features and functionality. Which features or core functionalities are most important to you and your sales team? Do you want something truly comprehensive, incorporating elements of marketing and customer service software as well? Or are you okay with what is essentially a minimalistic CRM platform? There are no right or wrong answers here – but you should know which pieces are most important to you.
- Integrations and fit with current setup. What kind of integrations are currently supported by this platform? Are you capable of combining this software with other apps that your team is currently using? How much of a transition will you need to undertake to get your team used to this new platform?
- Design and usability. Design isn’t just about your app “looking pretty.” It’s about making sure its functionality is obvious and easy to learn. A well-designed app should be easy for even a total novice to pick up – meaning less wasted time in your sales team and more streamlined execution.
- Customization and flexibility. Is there a possibility you could tweak or even overhaul the default app? That is to say, do you have room to custom design or develop new features in this app? For some organizations, it’s vital to have this flexibility. For others, a simple default app is better.
- Scalability. How big is your sales team now and how big is it going to be in the near future? What about the long-term future? If you plan on undergoing a period of intensive growth, you’ll need a tool that can scale with your organization.
- Future improvements. What are the goals of the development team responsible for this app? What is their timeline for future updates? Are there plans to add more features in the future? Or at least push consistent security updates on a predictable timetable?
- Support. What happens if something goes wrong with this app? Are you able to reach out to an account representative and get assistance? Or is there a customer communication channel you can go through to get answers to your questions? How much support are you going to have?
- Pricing. There are some robust, impressive tools on this list that could work for almost any organization – but the “best” all-around tools also tend to be some of the most expensive. It may not be worth the extra money, depending on your needs.
Managing sales is tough – but it’s a lot easier with the right tools on your side.
With EmailAnalytics, you’ll be able to keep an eye on the email account activity from your entire team.
You can balance workloads by monitoring incoming and outgoing messages. You can view average response time and make tweaks. You can even scope out the busiest times and days of the week and plan your meetings around them.
But words don’t really do it justice. If you want to see firsthand how this tool works (and learn what it can do for your organization), sign up for a free trial today!
Jayson is a long-time columnist for Forbes, Entrepreneur, BusinessInsider, Inc.com, and various other major media publications, where he has authored over 1,000 articles since 2012, covering technology, marketing, and entrepreneurship. He keynoted the 2013 MarketingProfs University, and won the “Entrepreneur Blogger of the Year” award in 2015 from the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs. In 2010, he founded a marketing agency that appeared on the Inc. 5000 before selling it in January of 2019, and he is now the CEO of EmailAnalytics.