Sales

10 Types of Software and Tools Used by Sales Operations

Sales operations teams make your sales run smoothly. Here are the game-changing tools that you probably should have in your arsenal.

Introduction

On the surface, you’re doing everything right. You‘ve got a great product, exceptionally talented sales reps, realistic and measurable goals… but somehow, your team is still underperforming.

If you’re wondering why, we have the answer: your team doesn’t have good sales operational tools to drive sales success.

Today, the average sales professional is busy performing repetitive and menial tasks like sending emails, scheduling meetings, collecting information, and analyzing elaborate spreadsheets. 

Don’t get us wrong—these are important sales activities. But they certainly aren’t as important for sales reps to spend over 65% of their time doing them.

The only way you’ll see results is when your sales reps spend their time selling. By equipping them with sales operations tools and technologies, you help them save time, increase productivity, and facilitate proper sales planning.

In this article, we’ll look at the main types of software and tools sales operations teams use to manage projects more effectively and improve efficiency.

10 Types of Software/Tools Used by Sales Operations

Sales operations have a diverse list of functions aimed at providing sales reps with strategic insight to achieve sustainable growth. Here are the best sales operations tool categories to support your organization’s sales process:

1. Sales Enablement Tool

A sales enablement tool is any platform that provides sales reps with useful tools and resources to help them close more deals and improve performance. 

How? Sales reps can use these tools to align sales, marketing, and customers and get greater visibility across the sales content lifecycle. This allows for smoother onboarding and educates salespeople in effective selling. 

More importantly, sales enablement tools and software create a single source of truth. Whether it’s a product page, video, or case study, reps can use relevant and high-performing resources and data to make a better impression on prospects.

Nowadays, marketing and sales teams are working together to maximize revenue generation. Research suggests aligning sales and marketing can increase revenue by over 200 percent from marketing. 

Implementing a sales enablement tool into your organization will make it easier for sales and marketing teams to collaborate together and create compelling, engaging content that helps convert more prospects.

Best Sales Enablement Tool Examples: Scribe, Brainshark, Marketo 

2. Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM)

A CRM has a simple job: to help your team manage all your company’s interactions with prospects and current customers. From building customer relationships to streamlining customer processes, a CRM is an all-in-one tool that boosts sales, increases profitability, and improves customer service.

Sales ops can use a CRM to create a standardized sales process, providing all the necessary data points for salespeople to identify activities that need to be improved. It also allows them to set up dashboards and create custom reports to identify new revenue opportunities.

Another significant advantage of a CRM for sales ops is ensuring the accuracy of customer records. Delete any outdated and duplicate records in your CRM to ensure all other processes in the software remain effective.

Best CRM Examples: Salesforce, HubSpot, Salesflare

3. Sales Forecasting Tool

Sales forecasting software uses quantitative methods to analyze business data and trends (think: close deals, win/loss records), followed by generating reports of estimated sales revenue. These reports also compare sales targets with achieved sales versus expected sales.

This helps sales teams analyze performances over time, set realistic quotas, and make enterprise-wide forecasts, among other advantages. Use a sales forecasting tool to get answers to critical questions like:

  • What does your expected revenue look like?
  • Do your actual sales match estimated sales? If not, why?
  • Which forecasting method gives you the most accurate results?

Sales forecasting software is of two types: sales pipeline and historical sales. While the former analyzes existing opportunities and calculates an accurate win rate, the latter analyzes previous company performance to calculate the average sales level you can expect for a specific time period (month, quarter, year).

Best Sales Forecasting Software Examples: Pipedrive, Spotio, Gong.io

4. Sales Training and Content Management Tool

The whole point of sales training and content management systems is to increase your sales team's productivity in a way that makes your organization’s sales cycle shorter and more effective.

It also lets you provide reps with a single place to see and access content when needed, making it easier for them to adjust strategies and make their selling more relevant to the prospects’ demands.

Use this category of sales operations tool to compile training modules that enable your salesforce to guide new prospects down the sales funnel and close more deals. 

Empower your reps with relevant videos, case studies, brochures, customer testimonials, visualization tools, and other documentation they can share with prospects to personalize their buyers' journey and help them visualize your offering as the best solution to their problem.

Best Sales Training and Content Management Tool Examples: Scribe, Seismic, Brainshark

5. Sales Payout or Commission Tool

Commissions are the perfect incentive for reps to get more revenue for the company—but when not properly calculated can result in frustration. It makes employees feel like they aren’t being valued for their efforts.

But this won’t be a problem if you invest in a commissions system for your organization.

Sales operations managers can use a sales payout or commissions tool to accurately (and easily) calculate their sales reps’ salaries, bonuses, commissions, and other incentives based on custom company rules. It makes the whole process less time-consuming and error-prone than calculating the compensation on a spreadsheet or by hand. 

Another advantage of this tool is it makes the compensation structure transparent and easily available to each employee to avoid misunderstandings. Sales reps can track commissions and plan for different compensation scenarios to understand their true earning potential.

Best Sales Payout or Compensation Software Examples: Incentivate, CaptivateIQ, Spiff

6. Sales Territory Design and Planning Tool

The better-designed sales territories you have, the higher your sales volume and market coverage. 

Why? Establishing a sales territory, which is the process of assigning an individual salesperson or a group of salespeople to a group of present and potential customers, helps in planning and controlling sales operations. 

Sales reps understand they are responsible for making things happen in a specific territory. So when you clearly define the geographic area and the number of customers, they are better equipped to provide better services to customers and, therefore, close more deals.

Small businesses typically rely on excel spreadsheets and manual sifting through customer variables to allocate sales territories based on criteria like location, size, and sector. Unfortunately, this approach isn't feasible for organizations with huge salesforces in multiple locations and dealing with a wide range of products.

That’s why sales operations teams need territory design software. Not only does it automate the entire process to save time and effort, but it can also add or remove sales reps and adjust territories as new customers come along.

Best Sales Territory Design and Planning Software Examples: Badger Maps, Salesforce Maps, Xactly Alignstar

7. Sales Engagement Tool

The whole point of sales engagement is to make each step of the buyer’s journey customer-centric to help your team win more deals.

92 percent of sales development organizations find sales engagement platforms critical to their team‘s success. Here are a few ways in which a sales engagement platform impacts revenue:

  • Automates menial tasks to elevate emergency
  • Improves opportunities and close rates by increasing the volume and quality of 1:1 interactions with prospects
  • Optimizes engagement, visibility, collaboration, and reporting across the organization through performance data

If your organization also values interactions with customers and prospects, consider integrating a sales engagement platform into your process.

Use it to automate tasks, emails, and workflows, as well as manage sales messaging and materials. Sales engagement software also enables sales teams to align their sales and marketing efforts and create personalized and automated sales journeys via several channels, like email, social media, and phone. 

What’s more, the tool can integrate with other sales operations tools, such as a CRM, sales intelligence software, and sales enablement software, among others, to further streamline sales operations processes. 

Best Sales Engagement Software Examples: Klenty, PipelineDeals, Clearbit

8. CPQ Tool

Configure price quote software (or CPQ software) is a sales operations tool designed to help organizations create personalized, accurate, and targeted sales quotes. 

It pulls all the available pricing and customer data together in the form of a centralized platform that's accessible in real-time. Sales reps can then use it to create and share sales quotes tailored to meet the client's needs—all at the click of a button.

Implementing an effective CPQ solution streamlines the contract process by ensuring all vital data is ready and up-to-date whenever your sales rep needs it. They never have to use “Let me get back to you“ line when discussing pricing with prospects, reducing sales cycles, and improving customer satisfaction.

Another significant benefit of a CPQ tool is the increased deal values. 

It helps sales reps with cross-selling and upselling suggestions during the quoting process, where they can recommend additional items as per the use case. CPQ software also has product configurators showing customers customization, accessories, and add-ons to choose from, helping increase deal values without being too ‘pushy.‘

Best CPQ Software Examples: Salesforce Revenue Cloud, Prosposify, Zoho

9. Sales Analytics Tool

Sales teams across the world are increasingly adopting sales analytics software, and it’s easy to see why.

Sales managers use sales analytics to predict sales trends and model sales processes. They collect and measure sales data, such as customer interactions, reach, and purchases, to define metrics for sales analytics at the beginning of each campaign to track their performance and progress. 

This helps optimize the sales funnel and identify your organization’s strengths and weaknesses to improve processes. You can also use analytics to automate workflows, helping the members collaborate more effectively and reduce time spent on tasks. 

For example, you can use the sales effectiveness analytic to recognize what type of content consumers are most likely to interact with and create similar content to generate leads quicker. 

Best Sales Analytics Software Examples: Power BI, HubSpot Sales Hub, Zoho Analytics

10. Social Selling Tool

If you want to drive your organization’s sales efficiency, investing in social selling tools is a natural next step.

According to a study from the Aberdeen group, 73% of salespeople who used social selling as part of their sales process outperformed their peers and exceeded quota 23% more often. This makes sense considering these tools include contact intelligence, social networking sites, and sales AI that helps reps find, engage, and connect with target prospects faster and more effectively.

Furthermore, with the right combination of social selling tools, you can enable your sales team to perform essential activities at scale. This is in addition to the streamlined team collaboration, where reps can use the tools to share tips on which techniques perform best for specific via personas, stages of the sales funnel, and industries.

Think of it as equipping your teams with tools that help them improve sales efforts and enhance social selling strategy.

Best Social Selling Software Examples: Outreach, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Hootsuite

Fill Your Sales Process Gaps With Sales Operations Tools/Software

Sales operations can free up sales reps and provide them with the best resources to sell better, thereby improving the overall sales success. When deployed with supporting tools for activities like sales enablement, training, and engagement, you give the sales team the necessary boost they need to stay ahead of the competition and engage buyers.

Dive deeper into winning sales methods and how-to’s and empower sales teams to do their jobs more effectively. Create detailed step-by-step selling guides with Scribe and ensure your salespeople have the right resources to succeed. Sign up for free today to learn more on how you can empower your sales teams to facilitate peer-to-peer learning, create business-critical documentation, and enhance customer experience.