How to choose the best sales management software for your team
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You know that age-old saying, “time is money?” The same applies to a sales team working its grit off squeezing prospecting, CRM management, and closing deals all in one day.
41% of the sales workday is not selling — instead, attending internal calls or meetings, scheduling these calls, and responding to internal inquiries via Slack and email are the biggest enemies of a sales team’s time.
Enter sales management software. Sales management tools facilitate collaboration and task management to give your sales reps more time to do what they’re meant to — move the bottom line. It provides a unified view of the pipeline and helps reps track, qualify, and convert leads and drive strategy and decision-making.
As a B2B lead gen agency since 2017, we’ve tested and used countless tools for our 1,000+ B2B clients. We’ll describe what makes a good sales management software, explain what to look for when selecting one, and give you some headway in choosing the best software for your team.
A robust sales process management software transforms a sales organization, simplifying processes, automating tasks, and providing insightful data. But what makes a piece of sales management software hard to beat? Here are five criteria that distinguish the best in the business:
A top-tier sales management software has an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. It doesn’t matter how many features a software has if your sales reps find it hard to navigate or use. Software that’s difficult to use can eat up precious time that could be better spent on selling.
An intuitive design with a clear layout, easily navigable menus, and accessible help or guidance can help sales reps find the necessary information. Also, useful search functions, tooltips, and in-built tutorials can help new users adopt the software quickly.
Powerful analytics and reporting
A summarized view that separates relevant data from noise can help sales managers understand where to focus their team’s efforts. Powerful analytics and reporting give you actionable insights that you can use to optimize sales processes, identify leads that need more attention, and track performance.
Your sales management system should help you identify KPIs and trends and track metrics such as revenue per customer, average sales cycle length, and total sales closed. Visual representation of data can help you quickly grasp complex data sets — look for software with useful charts and graphs that help you make sense of raw data.
The average sales team uses ten tools to close deals, and when information doesn’t flow freely between tools, you don’t get a single source of truth. This gap results in decision-making based on outdated or incorrect data. Look for a tool that integrates with your existing tech stack and minimizes tool juggling. Manual data entry from CRMs, email marketing tools, and invoicing software increases the chances of error and, again, takes away valuable time from your sales reps.
Features such as API access for custom integrations and pre-built connectors for popular platforms like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Gmail, and Quickbooks can ensure a smooth data flow and better communication across different systems. Zapier automation can also help take tedious manual work out of the equation.
The best sales project management software adapts unique sales workflows and ensures it supports rather than disrupts established processes. It helps address the issue of process standardization, which is the establishment of repeatable workflows to ensure consistent outcomes.
Look for customizable dashboards that allow you to rearrange panels to prioritize the information most relevant to them. You should also be able to add or modify data fields in customer profiles, adapting to the specific data needs of your business. The capacity to define unique sales stages and processes allows your team to maintain consistency and coherence with your organizational strategies.
You need a tool that grows with your team and eliminates the need to switch platforms as your business scales. Every tool has a learning curve, and when your team repeatedly spends time learning new tech instead of putting it into action, you’re missing out on valuable time that could be spent on selling.
Consider a tool that supports scalability and can accommodate future changes in your business, such as new features, integrations, and user needs. Flexible pricing plans, additional storage, and priority support are also features that can help you scale your setup.
Boost your sales and ROI with Belkins experts
Best for a complete sales solution: HubSpot Sales Hub
HubSpot Sales Hub is our pick at Belkins — both for our internal usage and within the CRM consulting service we offer. We use it as a complex sales management tool that helps us score leads and deals, set tasks, store leads’ contacts, and monitor our salespeople’s productivity. These features allow us to manage over 20 clients simultaneously. Our team can also focus on higher-value activities, such as developing better customer relationships, rather than mundane manual data entry.
HubSpot Sales Hub’s sales pipeline dashboard
Sales automation: We can set up automated email sequences and follow-up tasks that feel personalized but are pre-programmed. Our sales team can also monitor the performance of each step in their pipeline and fine-tune their processes as needed.
Sales management playbooks: These resources include competitive battle cards, call scripts, and positioning guides that help our sales teams catch up to speed.
Integrations: HubSpot syncs with a whopping 1,400+ tools via HubSpot’s App Marketplace. Our favorite apps and services can dovetail with HubSpot, reducing workflow friction.
Advanced reporting dashboard: The dashboard provides crystal-clear visibility into our sales process and helps us predict future trends with robust forecasting tools. We can also create customized visual reports that provide deep sales analytics on any aspect of our sales pipeline, like deal status changes and team performance.
HubSpot Sales Hub’s talent acquisition dashboard
HubSpot provides an arsenal of features that make the sales process smoother and more efficient. At its core, it’s a fully-featured CRM, adeptly managing contact information, interactions, and sales processes — a perfect fit for businesses of all sizes.
Scalable pricing plans to suit any budget
Polished, branded quotes that you can send to prospects in seconds
Mobile CRM app that’s perfect for remote sales teams
Call history can be hard to read
No auto-save feature, which can be difficult for users who enter lots of data
HubSpot Sales Hub offers a range of pricing tiers to suit various needs and budgets:
Planhat is our favorite all-in-one platform to track our clients’ projects, onboarding tasks, payments, churns, and more. It’s a customer success platform to streamline customer relationships and facilitate business growth. The tool focuses on helping teams create lasting relationships with their customers and guide them through the customer experience journey.
Planhat’s customer dashboard with health scores
Health Laboratory: With this feature, you can define health scores based on various parameters relevant to your business, such as product usage, customer engagement, and feedback. The Health Lab helps you proactively manage customer relationships, identify at-risk accounts, and take data-driven actions to improve customer satisfaction and retention.
No-code automation: You can set up custom bots that interface with all your apps and perform tasks like data cleaning. These bots detect and clean out duplicates or outdated information, saving you time.
Data-driven reporting: You can create visual storyboards and presentations that tell a clear story about your customer success efforts. These formats help you convey the value of your customer service to stakeholders and provide a clear view of your progress.
Customer journeys: With playbooks, shared inboxes, feature requests, and usage analytics at our disposal, you can design and run highly tailored journeys for each segment. These journeys give you tremendous visibility into customer habits and needs.
We use this tool to measure Belkins’ health and account manager’s performance. The granular insights we get on how each customer is doing provide us with actionable data that we can use to manage our clients’ success progress.
NPS surveys that integrate the results within each customer’s profile
Build rules for scoring customer health based on customer data and actions like lead scoring for marketing
Segment customers by particular attributes, e.g., onboarding customers vs. legacy customers.
Data can only be as clean as its original source, so you need to clean up the data first
More templates for dashboards would help to build reports quickly
Planhat offers three pricing plans for unlimited users:
Get in touch with the sales team for custom pricing plans and packages.
Best for sales pipeline management: Pipedrive
Pipedrive, a sales management software of choice for 100,000+ users, shines with its easy setup and user-friendly interface. It targets small businesses with limited time and resources to manage their sales process.
Pipedrive’s dashboard with activities to complete
Customization: The software flexes to fit your sales process, not the other way around. This adaptability extends to its reporting as well. You get detailed, customizable sales CRM reports ranging from revenue forecasting and performance evaluations to conversion analytics.
Detailed sales dashboards and forecasting: You get a granular view of your sales pipeline and potential revenue, which makes it easy to spot problems and trends. These insights let you make decisions quickly and nimbly.
Email and communication tracking: Get live notifications when customers click or open your emails. Other features include two-way email sync, extensive email templates, and group emails
Mobile app: Access sales data anywhere, ensuring you don’t miss important updates from your customers.
Pipedrive’s unique value lies in its intuitive sales pipeline management designed for maximum efficiency and visibility. With its easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface, Pipedrive simplifies the sales process, providing sales reps with a clear view of their deals and activities at each stage. Coupled with its robust automation capabilities, it minimizes manual tasks, allowing sales teams to focus on what they do best — closing deals.
Complete visibility into trends that impact customer success
API connects third-party systems to the software for data creation, access, updating, and/or deletion
Log and track all customer interactions through any channel, including social, email, phone, and in-person
Customer support can be slow
Customizable reports are limited
Pipedrive offers five plans that provide increasing levels of access and features:
Essential: $21.90 per user/mo
Advanced: $37.90 per user/mo
Professional: $59.90 per user/mo
Power: $74.90 per user/mo
Enterprise: $119.00 per user/mo
Best for streamlined communication: Close
Close is a sales management software that empowers sales teams to streamline processes, drive higher engagement, and close more deals. Its user-centric design prioritizes ease of use without compromising on power or functionality, making it an ideal tool for sales teams of any size.
An overview of a customer in Close’s dashboard
Two-way data sync: Maintain data consistency across your sales tools by integrating with platforms like Fivetran, Hightouch, and Census, leading to smoother workflows and more accurate tracking.
Built-in call coaching: Get real-time advice during calls to improve communication and secure more successful outcomes. This advice is based on the team’s previous activities, making it highly tailored and relevant.
Email sequences: Automate your follow-up emails to consistently engage leads, increasing the chances of conversion without eating into your time.
Sales funnel report: Keep a finger on the pulse of your sales funnel with clear, visual reports that help guide strategy.
An overview of leads with their contact info in Close’s dashboard
Close’s unique value lies in directly integrating communication tools into its platform. VoIP calling system, email, and SMS are built-in, allowing sales reps to connect with leads without leaving the application and thus save time.
Power dialer and automated message delivery
Highly personalized interface for reps
Robust reporting features to track performance
Difficult to understand and build search queries
No free plan
Close gives you three pricing plans that can meet the needs of small to mid-sized businesses. All include a 14-day free trial.
Best for complete customer context: Freshsales by Freshworks
Freshsales is a comprehensive sales management software that brings together robust features in a modern, user-friendly interface. As part of the Freshworks suite, Freshsales is designed to streamline your sales process, manage leads efficiently, and drive conversions.
Freshsales sales dashboard overview
Freddie — the AI sales assistant: Freshsales includes an AI sales assistant, Freddie, who assists with lead scoring, predictive insights, and automated tasks. This intelligent helper takes on routine work, enabling sales reps to focus more on selling and less on manual tasks.
Modern UI with bulk actions: Freshsales’ sleek and modern interface simplifies your sales tasks. The platform enables bulk actions for streamlined operations and provides instant access to crucial functions like import, automation, and integration. This feature helps to manage high volumes of data effortlessly and efficiently.
360° customer view: Freshsales provides a 360° view of each customer, gathering their social media interactions, past purchases, behaviors on your website, and much more in one place. This in-depth insight can significantly enhance customer interactions and conversions.
Behavior-based sales sequences: Freshsales allows you to create sequences based on customer behaviors. This feature lets you send the right message at the right time, increasing the chances of conversion and fostering more meaningful customer relationships.
As a product in the Freshworks suite, Freshsales can seamlessly integrate with other Freshworks products. This holistic approach allows for a unified customer experience, enabling teams to sync across customer support, marketing, and sales.
Track users’ interaction with your product or website
Territory management, which helps assign and manage sales territories based on geography, deal size, or industry vertical
Intelligent workflow automation feature, which automates routine tasks based on specified triggers
Integration with non-Freshworks software can be complicated
UI can be complex for non-tech users
Freshsales offers four pricing plans for businesses of all sizes. All come with a 21-day free trial.
Growth: £12 per user/mo
Pro: £29 per user/mo
Enterprise: £55 per user/mo
Best for sales team cohesion: Ambition
Ambition is a sales team management software that transforms sales teams into driven, collaborative, high-performing units. With a clear focus on motivation and performance, Ambition offers tools designed to enhance productivity, drive sales, and foster a positive sales culture.
An overview of a sales team performance in Ambition
Sales gamification: Ambition is known for its gamification feature, which brings a competitive edge to sales activities. It converts key performance metrics into a game format to drive motivation and engagement.
Customizable coaching plans: Ambition allows managers to create personalized coaching plans based on individual rep’s performance data, enhancing their skills and closing gaps in their capabilities. These plans can be monitored in real-time and adjusted as needed.
Employee recognition: The platform has a unique feature of recognizing and rewarding employee performance. This public recognition fosters a positive sales culture, promotes collaboration, and drives sales reps to exceed their targets.
Performance insights: Ambition offers real-time performance insights, allowing you to analyze team and individual performance on a granular level and make timely adjustments.
An overview of account exeuctives’ lead conversions in Ambition
Ambition stands out in the sales management software landscape through its gamification approach, turning KPIs into engaging competitions that boost motivation and performance. Its focus on real-time insights and goal tracking allows for quick, informed adjustments to sales strategies. Ambition goes beyond traditional CRMs with its personalized coaching plans, nurturing individual skills based on their performance data.
Goal setting and tracking help reps visualize their targets and progress
Customizable dashboards provide a personalized snapshot of sales metrics
More pricey than other sales management software
Limited integration options with third-party tools
Ambition offers four pricing plans with no free trial available.
Laying the groundwork for optimal sales management
Years ago, salespeople used to go door-to-door to make sales. Today, software can streamline the entire sales process, boosting productivity, efficiency, and ultimately, revenue. Sales management software has revolutionized how sales teams function. From the first conversation to post-sale follow-up, you have complete control over how your team interacts with leads and customers.
With many options available, you can consider your unique business needs, sales goals, budget, and team size. Also, check websites like TrustRadius and G2 to compare user reviews, implementation complexity, features, and pricing plans.
And if you need guidance on lead generation that brongs qualified appointments, Belkins can help. Get in touch for guidance on how you can streamline your sales process, save resources, and create an optimal customer experience.
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Sales Team Lead at Belkins
Richard is a sales professional with a strong track record and experience in driving enterprise-level customer relationships and leading cross-functional teams. Since 2015, he consistently maximizes sales opportunities across SaaS, Software Development, Ads and Marketing, Engineering, and other sectors.
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