Sales is a cutthroat occupation driven by competition and the desire to keep improving. As a result, companies are always striving to identify possible ways of improving. The goal is to gain the highest possible revenue from the sales department.

As a result, much attention is paid to the performance of individual sales performers, with the cream of the crop being rewarded and more sluggish individuals dropped. Steps are taken to ensure representatives are performing at their peak, such as providing agents with sales coaching and training.

On the other hand, it's easy to forget there are multiple ways to drive revenue outside of encouraging sales agents to close more deals. There are additional activities, tasks and processes that may be holding a sales team back from driving further revenue growth.

For example, New Zealand-based Real People Group was recently able to improve the results of its sales department by implementing sales performance management. Prior to the integration of this software, the department was characterized by sluggish procedures – slow response times, difficulty in assessing individuals and trouble linking incentive schemes to overall performance.

By switching to an SPM, Real People was better able to measure the department and achieve objectives. Sales volumes increased by 15 percent, paperwork was completed twice as quickly, new client acquisition surged by 15 percent, staff churn declined to 20 percent and overall productivity rations jumped 15 percent.

"In the end, it is all about return on investment (ROI) and that is starting to reflect on some key financial ratios, such as the income-to-cost ratio, as well as on operational ratios, such as productivity, turnaround time and capacity utilization," IT Web adds. "Real People is building the performance management culture by focusing more on the second tier KPIs of the business, which are more aimed at the operational side of the business, to ensure continuous improvement is negotiated across the different areas of the business."

Most sales departments still use archaic and rudimentary tools, such as spreadsheets and general software. The switch to an SPM may initially cost some money, but over time, it will help companies run more cohesive and streamlined sales departments.