The Five Best Sales Activity Tracking Software Platforms
Technological innovations have ushered in a so-called “fourth industrial revolution.” These innovations have upended the sales field for more than a decade.
What are sales activities?
Sales activities are the discrete actions a sales rep performs during each step of the sales cycle.
Below is a list of ten common sales activities:
1. Selling: The salesperson prospects, prepares the sales presentation, identifies the person in authority, calls on the account, makes the presentation, overcomes objections, and closes the deal.
2. Working with orders: Involves activities related to the order, including writing up the order, working with lost orders, and handling backorders.
3. Servicing the product: Depending on the product in question, the salesperson might need to test it, deliver the product, and train customers to use the product and any accessories.
4. Information management: Receiving feedback from customers and then relaying information to management.
5. Servicing the account: Maintaining existing client relationships, addressing any new needs, assisting with promotion, ongoing order fulfillment, etc.
6. Conferences/meetings: Attending a conference, working a conference, setting up exhibitions and trade shows, attending sales meetings, attending training sessions, filling out questionnaires.
7. Training/recruiting: Looking for new salespeople, training new salespeople, sitting in on sales meetings with trainees.
8. Entertaining: Taking the client to dinner, taking the client out for drinks, hosting a party for the client, or taking the client golfing or to a ball game.
9. Out of town travel: For field sales reps, spending the night on the road and traveling out of town.
10. Working with distributors: Selling to or establishing relations with distributors, and collecting past due accounts.
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An updated list of sales activities for 2021 and beyond
Many of the above activities are still a part of the average sales rep’s job description. Yet, in recent years, reps are responsible for a new host of activities.
These new activities often pertain to research, collecting data, and implementing new tech.
Here are some twenty-first-century additions to the above list:
- Using data analysis to select the best prospects
- Generating and utilizing customer and value-network knowledge to understand potential value-creating solutions
- “Competitive intelligence collection.” This is the gathering of information on competitors and the competitive environment
Driving sales opportunities
- Utilizing social media to make contact, help conversations, and identify client needs
- Developing and sharing market knowledge with the client
- Presenting integrative solutions to customers, using internal and partner capabilities
- Reporting on sales performance
Interacting with departments across the company
- Contract management with legal departments
- Generating input to marketing departments
- Mobilizing and coordinating internal resources to secure correct delivery of given promises
- Recommending bigger-picture business operations based on unique insights gleaned from customer relationships
Why tracking sales activity is essential
Today’s sales rep must be a multi-faceted professional.
They must contend with a digitized workplace and more competition in a global market.
Also, they must discern how to sell to a new type of consumer: a marketing-savvy, skeptical, informed buyer. These new consumers resist traditional sales tactics and demand customized solutions.
The sales reps’ job is less about the bottom line and making the sale and more about creating a seamless customer experience. These are the key ingredients that foster buyer loyalty and advocacy.
Sales reps need more support than ever before to achieve this delicate balancing act.
Awareness in these activities helps leaders identify opportunities for coaching up weaknesses.
So, leaders can better provide support if they have a clear understanding of their reps’ activities.
But more efficient sales coaching isn’t the only goal of sales activity tracking.
The new AI-driven solutions to sales management can do unprecedented and powerful things.
Take predictive analytics, for example. We can examine massive amounts of data to predict trends and patterns, and in turn, generate laser-accurate forecasts.
These insights turn an overwhelming amount of information into valuable, actionable insights.
Taking action on data-backed conclusions means higher-quality leads and pruning inefficient sales actions. This leads to more sales wins and richer client relationships.
To generate those predictive analytics, though, data has to be gathered and sorted. Salespeople don’t have the time, resources, or patience to manually log the amount of time they spend on any given task every hour of the day.
Nor can they examine patterns activities against client behavior data and sales results. But those tasks are accomplished quickly, efficiently, and accurately with new software tools.
Because this is a new frontier, there aren’t yet many software developers offering these sales action tracking solutions.
Most sales platforms target adjacent problems like employee productivity or outside sales.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at factors to consider when evaluating software, as well as the top products currently on the market.
What to look for in sales activity tracking software
Implementing SFA tools like sales activity tracking software requires a real investment. Not only financially, but for onboarding and ongoing training. Researchers find that the most common reasons SFA software tools fail are due to:
- Lack of easy-to-use metrics
- Information overload/hard to access insights
- Poor systems design
To avoid wasting time and money on a product that’s not going to get you anywhere, consider the following as you survey the software landscape:
Does it need manual entry?
Automation is key. For instance, manual data entry not only provides opportunities for human error but demands more from the already busy sales rep.
Does it provide meaningful insights?
A sales activity tracking tool won’t do you much good if it collects all that data but then doesn’t organize and visualize it for you.
Look for tools that can break out individual sales rep performance, allow team views, and allow for instant report generation.
Does it compare sales rep activity to deal with performance and pipeline?
The software should compare levels of engagement from buyers against the level of activities from sellers.
The top five sales activity tracking apps
Accent’s AI-driven sales management platform detects and maps all seller-buyer activity to the sales rep. This includes emails, calls, meetings, and texts.
Also, the Sales AI maps and analyzes which accounts salespeople are engaging and how much time they’re putting into each.
Further, scorecards visualize deal health and how sales activities correlate to success.
Salesmate lets sales teams plan, track, and automate sales process activities.
Salesmate includes personalized to-do lists that sync with your calendar and activity assignments. Salesmate also visualizes past and future actions on each account.
Targeted at field sales teams, Skynamo’s app provides a historical view of all sales activity.
A GPS tracking feature gives managers real-time intel on where their sales reps are, how much time they’re spending per client, and so forth.
Finally, easy-to-generate sales reports let sales teams learn about performance.
Spotio’s app lets you track live sales activity across channels and archive that data. It also lets salespeople input data into the CRM from the field, granting managers more insights.
Though it’s not designed for sales situations, Prodoscore measures team members’ activities, calculates productivity, and generates performance insights.
Next steps in sales activity tracking
Accent Technologies is the obvious choice for increasing profitability through better activity tracking.
Why? We built it from the ground up with all the criteria above in mind. Our platform gives sales leaders clear visibility into team performance. Also, we equip reps with strategies and tools for success.
Accent Technologies is the first and only SaaS company to bring together Sales AI and Content Management in a true Revenue Enablement Platform. We provide both sales and marketing with better visibility into the performance of their teams.
This drives revenue through intelligent recommendations for complex sales scenarios and provides the data for rich analytics that power better coaching, forecasting, and long-term customer support. Learn more about our solutions or request a live demo to see it in action.