Good sales operations tools save time and increase productivity so sellers and sales operations managers don’t have to spend excessive time figuring out where to find specific product documents; going over questions about the latest pricing; figuring out what this month’s sales target is; or looking over endless spreadsheets to calculate the compensation of every individual sales rep.
CRM systems are the most obvious tool, but most sales ops teams are already working with an existing system, so in this article, we won’t get into the discussion of which specific CRM you should use.
Rather, we’ll look at five categories of sales operations tools that complement your CRM and suggest some solutions that you may find useful, as well as pointing out where they fit in with your CRM:
The list will also include Bigtincan and what it can offer your sales operations team in terms of sales enablement by serving as the hub for all your sales documents and other assets.
to learn more about how Bigtincan can help your sales operations team work more efficiently.
Best Sales Enablement: How Bigtincan Provides an Easy Single Source of Truth for All Sales Assets
In our experience, a good sales enablement tool is an essential part of a sales operations stack because it organizes and manages all sales assets, e.g. pricing lists, playbooks, sales strategy documents, performance targets, and any other asset.
When you’re looking for a good sales enablement tool, the essential questions to ask are:
- Can all reps easily access assets located on any cloud storage location (SharePoint, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, etc.)?
- Can they access files offline?
- Are all documents updated across the system regardless of their original location?
- Can your sales ops team track and measure how all the assets are being used and who is using them?
This kind of tool is exactly what we’ve designed in Bigtincan Hub.
Bigtincan Hub (pictured above) acts as a single source of truth for all sales assets.
You can read more about what makes Bigtincan Hub a great sales enablement tool here:
But in short, we’ve focused on the following features to make it a best in class sales enablement tool for large sales teams:
- Search through all the documents in any of the repositories you have linked to Bigtincan (Google Sheets, Google Docs, Box, Dropbox and more…) using its powerful AI-driven full-text search feature. While many sales enablement tools act like yet another cloud repository to store files, Bigtincan lets entire companies and organizations store files anywhere they want.
It also makes all of those files searchable, editable, and shareable through Bigtincan. This makes Bigtincan the only place anybody needs to look for any assets and the only answer you’ll ever need to the“Where is…?” question.
You can read more about how to use Bigtincan with SharePoint in this article.
- Sync data across Salesforce, or another CRM, so that your reports are always accurate. For example, if a seller sends a document from Bigtincan, that activity is automatically tracked in the CRM on the relevant prospect’s record. Read more about this here.
- Get metrics on which files and presentations are performing best or being used the most. This gives you the information you need to make best use of your current resources.
- Track which team members use which files and how often. This gives you insights into who uses what and how effectively they are using each document.
Plus, the Bigtincan Hub integrates closely with Bigtincan Learning which enables quick onboarding and ongoing training for sellers using micro- and just-in-time learning, so sellers can get up to speed more quickly and operate more efficiently over time.
Bigtincan Learning works on desktop (pictured) or any mobile device.
Learn more about how the Bigtincan Learning LMS can improve the efficacy of your sales training here.
Overall, Bigtincan is all about using your existing sales resources more efficiently – from being able to find files faster and see which ones are working best, to optimizing training sessions for boosting performance.
Request a demo of Bigtincan and see how it can help your sellers improve efficiency and efficacy.
A good forecasting tool helps analyze sales performance over time, forecasts sales for individual sales reps (or whole teams), makes enterprise-wide forecasts, and more.
The best tools offer decision makers an understanding of the business’ most important sales metrics and a data analysis of trends or other criteria.
Sales Cloud is the sales module included in Salesforce and it claims to give a “real-time view of your entire team’s forecast, including in-line forecast adjustments, and override visibility up and down the management hierarchy”.
The Salesforce website lists many benefits including giving sales organizations an accurate view of their entire sales pipeline, tracking performance on a rep-by-rep basis, and dealing with forecasts for complex sales teams.
Its platform boasts “Connected Planning” which purportedly helps you pull in data from many departments and teams to create uniquely comprehensive reports. Plus, it appears to focus on making teams more agile, flexible and collaborative.
Anaplan offers flexibility and scale and serves enterprise businesses.
For Sales Planning, it claims to “quickly optimize sales resources, increase rep performance, and improve predictability,” and “improve sales productivity and predictability with real-time scenario planning.”
It also appears to be focused on businesses currently working with legacy systems that are looking to upgrade to become more agile.
Workday Adaptive Planning serves businesses of all sizes.
collective[i] is a cloud-based AI-driven sales forecasting tool that claims that its “proprietary network connects revenue-facing professionals who can help each other and studies buyer activity across every sales touchpoint to learn how each buyer buys.”
According to its website, it gives companies the opportunity to automatically log every client interaction in their CRM – making it a single source of truth – while using that information for forecasting across the business.
collective[i] is focused on serving B2B businesses.
Sales operations managers can plan sales and set targets for each salesperson, but if incentives are not clearly communicated and calculated, the drive to achieve them won’t be there.
A payout, or compensation tool, makes it easy to calculate base salaries, commission, bonuses, and other incentives for your sales reps.
It also makes compensation structures transparent and easily available to each employee.
Most CRMs, including Salesforce, don’t include this as a feature natively, so you’ll need a standalone tool to manage compensation models for your sellers.
CloudComp is a sales commissions app that can be integrated with Salesforce.
Its page on the Salesforce AppExchange claims it has, “the most flexible Commissions and Quota Management features available for Salesforce,” allowing users to “configure monthly, quarterly, and annual quotas and Compensation Plans for individuals and teams.”
It calculates commissions based on standard or customized rules in multiple currencies and for teams of any size across unlimited geographies.
CloudComp serves companies that are already using Salesforce for CRM.
CaptivateIQ is sales commission software that claims it “empowers customer-facing teams with clarity into their compensation plans so people can work smarter.”
It can connect with systems including Salesforce, Snowflake, NetSuite and others.
It automates commissions for sales teams without using codes and by pulling in commission data from any source you choose.
Its interface purportedly makes the pay structure clear to every member of the sales team.
CaptivateIQ appears to focus on serving tech companies.
Incentivate is sales incentive management software that claims to have, “an innovative design that enables easy integrations and end-to-end automation of commission calculations,” and that by using it, “all stakeholders have access to granular cross-functional reporting that is transparent and motivating.”
It automates sales commission calculations, communicates sales incentives clearly, and claims to allow rollout of its sales compensation management tool within just a few weeks.
Incentivate serves enterprise scale businesses.
Territory Design Tools
Sales territory design for sales teams in smaller businesses is often based on excel spreadsheets and manual sifting through customer variables to allocate sales territories based on set criteria such as size, geographical location, sector, etc.
This spreadsheet approach doesn’t work for enterprises with huge sales forces working in multiple locations and on a wide range of products.
Allocating sales territories with similar sales potential is important to keep competition among your sales reps fair.
It’s crucial to get it right; tools that use AI to automate this process save time and effort. Plus, they can quickly add or remove sales reps, and adjust territories accordingly as new customers come along.
Salesforce’s own territory mapping tool claims to, “empower your workforce on every journey, at every location, with add-ons for complex routes, territory optimization, and live updates from the field.”
It allocates territories based on standard or customized criteria as well as offering route optimization software for sales reps to manage their daily sales calls.
This territory mapping tool has an interactive map-based interface and purports to save 75% of the time spent on manual territory design and planning by implementing automated processes.
It includes the potential to upload third party data to uncover sales opportunities within given territories, and automatically creates balanced sales territories based on user-set parameters.
Badger Maps is software specifically designed as a route mapping software for field sales reps, but also includes a territory design and planning feature.
It claims to give sales reps the chance to “visualize customer information on a map to immediately know which areas have the most potential.”
It combines automated territory mapping with route optimization and the ability to log each customer interaction as well as integration with any CRM, giving sales reps access to information in the field.
Badger Maps serves companies of every size from small businesses up to enterprise scale.
eSpatial is a territory management software solution that claims to allow its customers to “create [their] own sales, service or franchise territories, up to 32x faster.”
It combines planning with route optimization for field reps to make best use of their time, along with access to data in the form of graphs, charts, maps and lists while reps are working out in the field.
eSpatial serves a variety of businesses, not just sales organizations, with territory planning and re-organization.
CPQ + Invoicing Tools
Automated pricing, quoting and invoicing tools speed up sales processes and reduce errors.
Using a specific tool for CPQ and invoicing means that sales teams always have access to the latest prices, and can be sure they are sending out correct and fully updated figures to customers.
According to Salesforce it “gives sales teams and channel partners the necessary tools to quickly configure, price and quote complex solutions.”
It simplifies and automates the process of configuring, pricing, quoting, discounts and approvals, as well as dealing with complex billing requirements.
It also offers order, production, and supply chain management tools.
It claims to “allow businesses to continue focusing on what they do best and to react to new market opportunities swiftly and confidently. From financials to supply chain management to billing and beyond.”
NetSuite serves enterprise scale businesses.
According to its website, it has over 27,000 customers and claims to “empower businesses and individuals to lead paperless, productive work lives.”
It stores all CPQ documents in one location where all stakeholders can review, approve, and sign them.
PandaDoc is suitable for individuals and small businesses, and serves a wide array of industries including construction, education, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, and more.
Before investigating these sales operations tools, it’s worth checking into which features your current CRM already includes.
to learn more about how Bigtincan can help your sales team work more efficiently.
From there, you can decide which are a useful addition or which standalone solutions may outperform what you are already using.
SVP of Marketing at Bigtincan