How to Choose the Best Sales Reporting Software- 10 Critical Questions

If you’re reading this article, you’re either aware of sales reporting software or planning to purchase one.

Let me start by gauging the reason you’re here. 

Ample data is lying around in your backend systems that can influence sales deals somehow. But currently, you lack knowledge of sales statistics, an analytics tool, KPIs to rely upon, and consequently generating poor sales decisions.

Apart from the strategic issues, you’re facing naive problems like missing customer sources, being unaware of engagement time, when to text, call, or email, and being unable to detect the leaks in your sales funnel. With this condition, achieving a sales quota can be a far-fetched dream. 

So, who gives you the information and daily sales report you need? – A Sales Reporting Software

Out of the many sales tools in the market, a sales reporting and analysis tool is in high demand because of its multi-domain nature and use. 

The tool helps sellers draw reports on their daily sales and areas that need attention. 

Moreover, with analytics and reporting, sellers can materialize their energy on optimizing efforts on the sources and channels where business is performing comparatively well. 

In the market today, sales reporting software offers the following capabilities:

  • Consistently reach sales goals
  • Visibility to sales data
  • Increase sales forecasting accuracy
  • Monitor key sales and performance metrics
  • Present relevant data to senior leaders and executives
  • Identify selling opportunities and risks
  • Analyze your sales team’s challenges
  • Accurate evaluation of sales reps performance
  • Optimize sales activities and teams

Learning the benefits is assuring that the sales reporting software is meant for your team. Wrong!

No team is the same, and no organization is. The requirements and challenges of each sales team are unique.

Why do we need to make an assessment list to choose the best sales reporting software?

Choosing the right platform for your company’s unique needs is paramount; otherwise, spending money on the wrong sales software can prove more expensive than you can imagine.

Hence, we’ll explore the ten key questions you need to ask to choose the right tool for your team.

The Top 10 Questions To Ask Before Choosing The Best Sales Reporting Software

  • What are you planning to achieve with the sales software?

Every team will purchase the sales reporting software for a different reason.

While some may invest in gathering market intelligence, there’ll be others who’ll invest in the reporting tool for winning more deals. 

First, go through a brainstorming session to understand the need behind investing in a sales reporting tool and then search the software.

  • What kind of sales data are you looking for?

The answer to the above question will trickle down the response to this question.

You have to understand the minor challenges the sales team faces. 

Is it low visibility to the rep’s performance or poor tracking of lead data?

Based on this, you’ll be able to conclude what you need the software to do;

  • Evaluate performance?
  • Examine call quality?
  • Lead qualification?
  • Team management?
  • Forecast opportunities?
  • Who will use the sales reporting software? Which teams need the tracking software- inside or outside sales team?

Team size, members, and type of teams influence the requirement of the sales software.

Smaller teams with lesser members will have a unique condition of customer intelligence, while bigger teams will need sales tracking software for team review and coaching.

Start with looking at the type of teams that need the software- Inside sales or outside. 

Move forward with understanding which team members are looking for it. Is the sales manager? Sales representative? Sales operations manager? AE manager? AE? BDR? 

There’ll be more than one type of user requirement and using case in a practical scenario. But the best sales reporting software should handle the complexity with grace.

  • Is it easy to build reports & dashboards?

The ease of using the software for reporting and dashboard creation must be your number one priority.

Sales teams need to be self-reliant and active. Relying on other members and teams for help shouldn’t be an option. There is a solution for employee like they use excel to pdf converter every time when they need but for that every time they need to download the report from dashboard first, so process becomes lengthy sometimes.  

Therefore, the sales software interface must be smooth and navigation effortless.

  • Are the free sales reporting software version available? 

Having discussed the ease of use in the earlier section, the assessment itself becomes a critical stage. 

For a thorough assessment of the product, the software must have a free version or sufficient free trial period

As a sales user or manager, your responsibility should be to find the free version to exploit and understand the ease of use and requirement fitment. 

NOTE: As much as possible, stay away from products that refrain from offering free trial versions.

  • Do the sales reporting software support AI capabilities?

The majority of the reporting tools are supported by machine learning capabilities.

However, for better and improved performance, you must rely on AI.

As senior analyst Victoria Blackwell writes, “AI is predicted to help incorporate more real-time insights for more on-demand sales opportunities.” 

Even if your demands are low, AI is a good-to-have capability for today’s competitive sales teams.

  • Does it integrate with other tools and sources?

Any sales reporting software procures its data either from its own software system or report on the data flowing from other software systems. 

Unless the reporting software and the data systems talk to each other, your sales teams will lack holistic view. 

Check for integrations between all the data systems and the sales reporting software.

  • Is data secure in the sales reporting software?

Several companies come crashing down because of data security negligence and customer data leakage. 

Reporting software handles ample data and any breaches caused to the data can cost the organization reputation as well as business. 

Strictly check for the data security policies of the vendor before making a purchase decision.

  • Is the sales software mobile-friendly? 

Transition to virtual sales may have temporarily put a hold on outside sales teams, but a hybrid selling culture would return soon.

Considering the fast-moving nature of sales cycles and requirement of your outside sales team, mobile-friendly reporting software may come in handy to the team, especially to track daily sales reports. 

A browser version or application both are commendable, as long as it works without lagging or going down.

  • What level of customer support will be needed?

A growing sales team may show tremendous results from a business standpoint, but may or may not get time to handle technical glitches. 

Because daily sales reports are available out of the box and technical issues are a pain which sellers don’t have time to repair. 

In such cases, the reporting tool may need an outsider’s intervention. And that’s when customer support comes into the picture. 

Check for the customer support teams in the vendor organization before making a decision.

Having said that, small businesses may not want to invest in it, provided they are confident to handle the errors and bugs themselves. 

Bonus & Default: 

Pricing is a game-changing variable yet it doesn’t get categorized in the list. Why?

Because it’s a default assessment parameter. 

Like it or not, one can’t skip pricing discussion. 

While small businesses may settle for cheaper sales reporting software options, don’t forget to consider scalability and growing needs. 

Unless the sales team expands exponentially, professional or business versions can be overlooked. 

Assess and compare pricing thoroughly before making a decision and don’t be ready to pay an exorbitant fee.

These 10 questions are the first stepping stones to purchasing the software. 

Based on your company’s requirements, they’ll be more factors. However, the majority of the 10 questions will remain the same. 

Do you feel more aware and ready for making the choice for the best sales reporting software for your business?

kz lashari

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