As more companies grow frustrated with trying to carry out complex sales performance management (SPM) tasks with generic software and spreadsheets, many are turning to dedicated solution providers for reprieve. Companies such as CallidusCloud develop a wider range of software products that can be used to automate and expedite a variety of monotonous and time consuming tasks that sales managers would otherwise face.

In fact, CallidusCloud recently signed its 1,500th customer, highlighting that demand for SPM software is on the rise as more sales teams realize the benefits of these solutions. Performance Analytics, a provider of enterprise performance management solutions for financial and operational reporting, is the latest company to make use of CallidusCloud's software offerings.

"We are delighted to welcome Performance Analytics to our Marketing Cloud and are pleased to announce that we now have over 1,500 customers across our four clouds," said Leslie Stretch, president and CEO at CallidusCloud. "Commissions are growing like never before, whilst the newer products such as our marketing automation solution are delivering huge value to our customers, from small businesses to the largest global enterprises on the planet."

So what is driving the switch to SPM software offered by the likes of CallidusCloud, Varicent, Oracle and myriad other companies? The answer is largely twofold: ease of use and efficiency.

For a long time, technology was prohibitively expensive. Sales solutions were viable only for the largest of companies because they needed both the resources to make the initial investment and to train sales managers how to use the software. However, software vendors have made their products easier to use over the years, which also enhances their attractiveness to firms.

An index released by Ventana highlights the importance of usability, with the top vendors (Oracle, Xactly, Varicent, CallidusCloud and Synygy) all commended for the strides in making solutions more manageable.

Efficiency has become another core goal of many companies. The recession forced businesses to do more with the resources they have, and that means freeing sales managers from time-consuming tasks. SPM software enables them to spend less hours calculating commissions and paying their salespeople and more time managing their teams.