During the recession, the top commodity of many companies was money. Now that the economy is normalizing, many businesses are switching their focus to another finite resource: time. Organizations want to ensure that key managers and executives can spend their time on tasks and processes that truly affect business. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case – sometimes they get stuck doing time-consuming and menial activities that are necessary to other operations.

This is precisely why many firms are turning to sales performance management (SPM) solutions – these tools automate several tasks, such as commission payments, and can reduce the time sales managers have to spend dealing with these activities. After integration, the right SPM solution can save sales managers hours per week.

As the Big Fat Finance Blog notes, the SPM market is currently heating up as well. More companies are offering these solutions to businesses, each with a unique set of features designed to serve the needs of different companies.

"The SPM area is quite competitive with products coming at it from different angles," the news source explains. "With a number (of) good SPM products out there organizations have no excuse not to find one that works for them and use it to drive sales. Increased sales should more than justify the investment."

A separate index from Ventana conveys the competitiveness of the SPM market. More than eight software vendors made the top of Ventana's value index, each one labeled as being "hot," or in the top 13 percent. Ventana assessed these companies by their robust feature lists and how they've improved product offerings over the past year.

This is all good news for sales organizations, which may have had fewer options in years past. However, this also raised the question of which vendors they should select. There are a number of SPM software producers, but each one has a different target audience and feature set. That means there is no easy way of determining which vendor is best suited to a business.

For that reason, many companies have turned to third-party consultants that are very familiar with the different vendors. By leveraging the services of a third party, businesses can ensure they are investing in the best solutions for their companies.