At present, there are more than a hundred sales software systems currently on the market. A quick online comparison of the types of sales software products show that these systems do come in various flavors: simple solutions for small business companies, good solutions for top companies or large enterprises, tools for specific sectors, solutions for those that sell with the help of channel partners, among others. A sales software tool usually offers demo or free versions for individuals or organizations to use before buying the full version.
This essential guide will explain sales software systems, the benefits of using the best systems, current trends in the market, and the types of sales software buyers out there.
A sales software system extremely helps your business operations more streamlined.
What is a sales software system?
A sales software system helps business owners like you to close your business deals better. Such a system can also help companies and businesses to manage their operations, activities, and their sales agents. Based on a review of types of sales software programs out there, sales software systems help business owners and sales agents manage accounts, track leads, look for sales opportunities, and interact with customers better. At the same time, such a solution can help the management get more detailed and accurate forecasts as well as have better insight when it comes to opportunities.
What are some of the core functionalities of sales software programs? They include, but not limited to, the following:
- Sales management
- Contact management
- Pipeline management
- Lead management
- Territory management
- Opportunity management
- Order management
- Marketing automation
- Modules for proposal as well as quote generation
- Collateral management
- Computer telephony integration
- Social media integration
Types of sales software buyers
When selecting a sales software solution for your business, you must first evaluate the kind of sales software buyer you are. Most buyers fall into the following categories:
- Direct sell buyer. Some buyers are working for organizations or companies that sell through telesales, sales teams, direct field reps, or a combination of these. This type of buyers usually has the straightforward requirements for purchasing a sales software solution. Many software providers cater to the direct sell buyers.
- Channel selling buyer. Some buyers are working for organizations or companies that sell using a wide network of various channel partners. These people or organizations usually need a software sales program that has a specialized functionality when it comes to registering leads, passing leads, as well as monitoring partner performance.
- Enterprise buyer. They are the ones that usually work for very big organizations or enterprises, which more often than not have a relatively wider range of selling models. Some of their goals include unifying or combining activity across different channels and integrating their sales software solution with the other enterprise systems they are using.
- Small company CRM buyer. These are the ones that work for small startups or companies that want to beyond contact tracking capacities of commercial products such as Microsoft Outlook, and are looking for additional capabilities for sales leads, opportunities, as well as deal tracking and reporting.
An example of a sales software solution.
Top marketing trends you should know about
When doing a comparison of sales software programs and looking at the products offered by various sales software providers, you should consider some of the top marketing trends in the sales software industry.
- Software as a Service (SaaS). Many of today’s sales software programs offer SaaS solutions, which have become prominent over the recent years and account for more than 50 percent of new purchases. A lot of business owners are picking a sales software solution that is SaaS-based because there are little (if at all) hardware requirements and the upfront costs are very low. Another advantage with a SaaS solution is that it provides greater accessibility. In short, whether you are using a PC or a MaC, you can still quickly access the sales software solution.
- Mobile applications. Another popular sales software solution these days are the mobile sales software applications. The entire mobile sales software sector is also changing rapidly. The mobile devices your sales software system supports, as well as the attractiveness and accessibility of the system’s mobile app may be a big influence on the attitude of your sales team toward understanding and adopting the system. Today, many sales software systems provide smoot integration with many of the current major mobile platforms. Some solutions, for instance, are even Mac-based, but come with native integration with the iPhone/iPad.
- Social media. A lot of sales software providers have discovered the meaning and importance of social media in today’s businesses and in fact are capitalizing on the rapid developments in this area, Buyers should therefore consider using their social media strategy when they evaluate their sales software solutions.
Benefits as well potential issues involving sales software solutions
Both you as a business owner and your sales representatives should benefit from using a sales software solution. Below are some of the benefits your business would get when they use a sales software system—provided of course that the system and adoption process on the part of the personnel are successfully implemented.
- Reduce cost per sale. For any system, the critical return is that increase of business deals closed increase and reduction of cost per sale. Among the traditional measures include a reduction time-wise from contact to sale, as well as the increase in terms of the ratio of business closures to contacts, or an upward move when it comes to contacts with the corresponding ratio of business closures to contacts.
- Increase rep accountability. A sales software system can help sales representatives see more exactly what data or information they are reporting to you. In addition, sales representatives can document your company’s lead generation and productivity.
- Forecast sales better and more accurately. Sales software systems can track forecast metrics such as conversion rates, allowing your business to have better and more accurate forecasts.
- Improve your organization’s client retention rates. With the help of a sales software system, clients can be contacted well ahead of their contract expiration dates or if they have issues with their accounts.
- Gain analytical insight. Such software systems consolidate as well as reports on your business activities, freeing your sales representatives from the repetitive periodic reporting and thus allowing them to become more focused on selling, closing deals, and improving customer relations.