There is a variety of vendors offering sales performance management software and solutions, providing companies with a number of options. Regardless of industry, size or budget, there is a sales performance management tool specifically suited to the needs of any given company – it may not be obvious at first, but it likely exists.

However, that doesn't mean some solutions aren't better than others. Recent findings released by Ventana Research suggest that a number of vendors are more innovative with their products than others, adapting to changing marketing conditions and the needs of their customers while innovatively leveraging new technology and platforms.

Three vendors noted in particular were Oracle, CallidusCloud and Varicent, which were all rated above 87.8 percent and deemed "hot" on the overall scale. For example, Oracle has issued a number of releases of its Fusion CRM for sales, each sporting several features that other popular applications lack. Varicent and CallidusCloud were also commended for the maturity of their robust offerings.

"While many vendors use the sales performance management moniker to describe their application suites or capabilities, some are just beginning to address the broad scope of needs across all sales processes," Information-Management notes.

"[Ventana Research does not] assess in the SPM context vendors that provide only sales force automation applications, which really just track accounts, contacts and opportunities; that is only one portion of what sales organizations need to be efficient and effective," the source adds.

The index was created by assessing the role-based requirements for a sales organization, such as management, as well as other categories – usability, reliability, manageability, adaptability, capability and validation.

As technology continues to improve, so too will the capabilities of these solutions. More applications will be developed with specific conditions and niches in mind, while other platforms will allow sales managers to better accomplish tasks in quicker time frames.

For companies that aren't already using technology to aid incentive compensation and sales management, or are using limited solutions such as spreadsheets, now is the time to consider these programs. The offerings can greatly expedite the sales management process and help reduce costs overall.