Sales performance management (SPM) tools are no longer solutions that only the largest of companies with the biggest budgets can afford. SPM vendors, such as Xactly and CallidusCloud, have continued to develop their products over the years, making them easier to use, simpler to integrate and less costly, all while maintaining that high level of utility that benefited the major companies that first adopted them.

As a result, more companies are investing in these solutions to reap the rewards. A new report from research and analytics firm Gartner suggests the worldwide SPM market is surging, with organizations expected to spend between $1.5 billion and $2 billion on integrating these tools in 2012 and 2013. The fact that businesses are devoting this much time and resources on implementation highlights the value that SPM can bring to sales teams worldwide.

"The effective use of incentives – be they monetary, social or non-cash rewards – are one of the most proven levers a company can use to accelerate boardroom decisions into front line results," said Christopher Cabrera, president and CEO of Xactly Corporation. "However, to execute an effective incentive strategy, companies need a comprehensive, flexible SPM architecture and best-practice know-how that can move with the dynamics of their business."

Meanwhile, vendors themselves continue to improve and expand upon their solutions. They are making their software platforms more intuitive and adding more functionality. Gartner recently awarded Xactly, CallidusCloud and other SPM vendors high ratings on its MarketScope for Sales Performance Management Index. Xactly was rated as being "positive" and CallidusCloud was noted as being "strong positive."

Of the 10 vendors evaluated, only CallidusCloud was rated "strong positive." A "positive" rating is bestowed to businesses based on the viability of their solutions, products and services, customer experience, marketing execution and product strategy.

"Tapping into the latest mobile, social and gamification technology, our Clouds provide companies with the most comprehensive set of solutions that transform sales channels and teams into productive, effective, high-performance operations," said Giles House, vice president of marketing communications and products at CallidusCloud.

While SPM software in general is improving, it's important that sales organizations still pick the solution that fits best with the needs of their companies. Each vendor offers a different solution, and some may be a better pick in specific instances.