Why You Should Invest in a Sales Performance Platform in 2017

The Problem: Lots of Data, No Intepretation

It’s a maxim that seems to describe the pain point in most sales organizations today. It was first coined by Gary Cokins and it goes “organizations are drowning in data, but starving for information.” You know that you fit into this unhappy scenario if your organization has a CRM (or any other tool for that matter) that is collecting data but you are not seeing any positive improvement to your bottom line. You were promised that data would give you insight into how to improve your sales and thus earn its ROI, but your data is not following through on that promise.

Regarding this now famous saying, Cokins states “Yes, I’m concerned about the slow adoption rate of enterprise performance management’s (EPM) various methods, like strategy maps, the balanced scorecard and activity-based costing. It’s taking organizations way too long, even though the methods are proven and the software technology is certainly not an impediment.” In this quote Cokins has essentially given anyone who feels that they are drowning in data but starving for information a way out. You need a performance management method. He even states that performance management is a proven method for actually using your data to improve your bottom line and the sales software is out there.

We are going to help you today by gathering some of the best Sales Performance Platforms that combine sales tracking, metrics, and KPI’s and demonstrate how investing in a sales performance platform in 2017 is one of the most actionable ways you can improve your bottom line fast.

Salesforce’s work.com

Our first sales performance platform actually focuses on the human resources side, and for a very specific reason. For this first platform we turn to the king of CRM’s, the world’s largest, Salesforce. They did not get to be the biggest CRM in the world by accident- they know how to sell, and they know how to collect the data you need to improve. According to Salesforce,  highly effective sales managers don’t rely on theoretical or arbitrary programs to drive sales team performance… it works best to align those organizational goals to a social network.  Leveraging social goals gives sales individuals targets that are practical, comfortable, and therefore more natural.”

What does this mean? Focus on your culture! Salesforce states that “culture eats strategy for breakfast” and, as such, they have come out with a neat tool that does exactly that. It’s called work.com and it allows leadership to “manage in real-time, drive alignment with social goals, and solicit and receive ongoing feedback and coaching.” Essentially this is a software platform that uses the data your CRM is collecting and spreads that information across social channels within your organization. This is the missing piece to effectively creating an efficient, aligned culture within your sales organization.


We were impressed by this organization’s entire suite of CRM interpretation and sales software, though we were especially taken with their sales automation features. What this software does is it takes all of the data your CRM is collecting and brings out, through automated analytics, the most meaningful actions you can take. According to Oncontact, their sales automation “guides you efficiently through day-to-day actions like scheduling appointments, writing proposals, sending emails and generating quotes.”

This step-by-step guide is a great way to make the data your CRM is collecting actionable. By collecting all of the data from every part of your CRM and gathering it into one software platform Oncontact gives you the insight you need to capitalize on that culture you created with work.com.


According to Salesforce, “A sales team thrives when all the components of the sales and management process follow regular standards and schedules. If sales managers have the tools, real-time tracking and instantaneous feedback are by far the best methods.” That is precisely the kind of features that VisualCue excels at: real-time tracking and instantaneous feedback. Like Oncontact, VisualCue’s sales performance platform gathers data from your CRM and interprets it in real time. However, where VisualCue differs itself is in the instantaneous feedback. The visual, iconic presentation layer makes insighftful feedback apparent with no prior training.

What VisualCue offers as a sales performance platform is a centralized place to track the metrics and KPIs that are important to growing your business. While your CRM is gathering the data VisualCue is a tool that can take the raw data and analyze it in real-time, providing the feedback your managers need to make smarter decisions.


So why should you invest in a sales performance platform in 2017? Because it has never been more necessary or easier. Hopefully the software platforms we have mentioned have given you inspiration and an actionable place to start your journey from data drowning to information feast.

But, if that were not enough incentive for you, think on this. According to Bob Marsh, “High-performing companies are 3.5x more likely to use sales analytics than underperforming companies, and 75 percent of companies are either using or planning to use activity management sales technology in the next 12 to 18-months.” Furthermore, LevelEleven noted that after implementing sales performance management software “Clients are seeing 15-35 percent increases in their key sales KPIs simply by identifying what’s most important and keeping it front and center.”

Scalable Growth Through Sales Operations

img0Trends in modern sales techniques and best practices have never moved faster. The advent of digital technologies in the online marketplace demands that today’s top business leaders move even faster to keep up.

As digital, connected technologies continue to change the way the world does business many leaders are looking for a way to efficiently handle their sales operations, and it makes perfect sense when one considers the myriad ways in which digital technologies have changed the traditional world of sales. For example, research shows that more and more B2B buyers are seeking the same sort of convenience and immediacy that they experience in their B2C experiences. Online markets encourage competition not only in price but in customer experience: if a consumer does not appreciate the way a certain organization conducts their affairs then they can easily, with a few clicks, find one who will for a negligible increase in cost. In this new climate a traditional sales and support model has become increasingly unsustainable. The online marketplace has forever changed the way the world does business and, even though this has been in place for well over a decade, business leaders are still struggling to keep up with the fast pace of the modern sales world.

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A Better Way for Sales Managers to Communicate

The one on one meeting between a sales rep and manager is arguably one of the most dreaded interactions that both parties will endure during their week. Whatever the cadence is, weekly, monthly, quarterly, it can never come and go fast enough. The biggest reason that this is such a frowned upon meeting is due to the fact that there is almost always a disconnect or miscommunication between manager and direct report, on the data they are reviewing. These meetings many times can be counter productive, and quite frankly, demoralizing.

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