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What is Sales Performance Management (SPM)?

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Sales Performance Management (SPM) is a method for planning, managing, and analyzing sales performance that is based on data. Find out why it’s an important tool for businesses today to help them make better decisions and be more flexible in their sales.

Using sales performance management (SPM) could be the difference between being a master of the modern, agile economy and falling behind. Now that digital transformation is happening, it’s obvious that sales strategy and measuring success should be based on data. And growth management is easier than ever because sales leaders can make decisions based on real-time, hard data.

What does SPM, which stands for Sales Performance Management, mean?

SPM is a way to plan, manage, and analyze sales performance at a large scale based on data. It can help bring in more money and keep your company at the top of its field. Since markets are changing at a record rate, it’s quickly becoming an essential tool for companies to build an agile sales ecosystem that’s fully in line with their business goals.

The Digital Transformation Index from Dell Technologies says that in 2022, 8 out of 10 organizations sped up part of their digital transformation programs to keep up with fast-paced environments. Dell Technologies also said that nearly 80% of organizations are changing their business models by adding more ways to work remotely, making their cybersecurity defenses stronger, and giving customers and team members new digital experiences.

How to Measure Sales Performance for Sales Leaders

SPM is a term that every business executive and leader who is trying to sell a product or service would do well to understand. Gartner, a world leader in studying SPM and how it helps businesses, says it best:

Sales Performance Management (SPM) software is made up of tools and process functions that automate and connect sales processes in the back office. It is put in place to improve how sales are done and how well operations run.

How sales performance management software has changed over time

Effective SPM software gives business leaders the ability to speed up digital transformation so they can respond quickly to changes in the market and economy. It makes it easier for departments and teams to work together, automates and integrates processes, and improves sales by giving feedback and course corrections in real time.

The SPM software from Xactly is unique in that it includes operational sales management (OSM). This means that leaders should be able to set up and manage quotas, territories, and incentives efficiently from one place.

This big-picture view of processes and performance is the gas that an agile sales ecosystem needs to run. Our cutting-edge Sales Performance Management software makes sure that:

All of your systems are automated and work well together.
Team that works together and is in sync with all stakeholders
With data and insights for making strategic decisions
Continuous and able to make course adjustments in real time
Why is it important to manage how well sales are doing?

SPM’s goal is to make operations run more smoothly by bringing together your sales ecosystem across all of your operational strategies. By automating simple tasks and making sure processes work well together, senior decision-makers have more time to plan and top salespeople have more time to sell.

With fewer problems and smoother processes, you’ll make it easier for your best team members to stay and grow with your company. Also, making decisions based on data leads to better results, which makes it easier for a business to reach its goals.
What Does SPM Consist Of?

Sales Performance Management can get rid of inefficiencies and help salespeople do their jobs better. It can also improve sales ROI by cutting down on the time it takes to close a deal.

Let’s take a look at:

Planning: Advanced modeling helps each account reach its full potential. Using data and automation to divide your market, assign territories, set quotas, and plan capacity can help you close more deals and keep more people from leaving.
Managing: Get real-time information about how well salespeople are doing at meeting their goals. SPM lets employees and managers model different possible outcomes so that they can make better day-to-day decisions and close more deals.
Leaders can set up commission structures that encourage employees to sell certain products to certain clients. SPM helps departments work together so that payouts can be made quickly and correctly.
Analyzing: Machine learning and AI give eye-opening insights into how accurate sales forecasting and operational procedures are compared to industry benchmarks.
Forecasting: With SPM software, you can only make decisions about the future based on accurate data intelligence insights.

Why sales performance management software is good for business

Every boss knows that a company’s success depends on its people, especially its salespeople. By connecting every department to sales, both people who work directly with customers and people who work in the back office can benefit. When everyone on the team works toward the same business goals, customers are happier and sales go up. Different teams in an organization can get different benefits from sales performance management software.


With more openness and accurate, real-time data, you can keep salespeople on track with your business goals. Reducing payout errors will help you keep your best employees, while better quotas, allocation, and planning will boost morale and make it less likely that employees will leave.


It changes the game to be able to compare salespeople’s abilities and goal-attainment in real time with operational procedures and management input. Automated, integrated tools and standard, trackable processes make things less complicated, which makes it easier to plan and close deals.

You’ll also have fewer payout problems, get rid of shadow accounting, and spend less time dealing with and fixing mistakes made by hand.


When sales managers can see more, they can quickly and accurately address performance needs and praise good work. The best way to increase engagement in a meaningful way is to use data to learn more about your employees. And what are the benefits of having engaged employees? Increased retention, a better return on investment (ROI) for recruiting, and a workforce that really cares about how the business does.


The finance team makes fewer mistakes and spends less time by automating data changes that come up because of changes to contracts and employees. Accurate data and automated processes also help with compliance, reduce risk, and make it much easier to make predictions. Some solutions also give you a full picture of the full lifecycle of commission costs, which helps you predict revenue more accurately.

Sales Performance Management vs. Incentive Compensation Management (ICM)

In the past, Sales Performance Management meant different things, and it was often used the same way as Incentive Compensation Management (ICM). But it’s important to remember that these two things are different.

Leaders can automate and improve processes with the help of Incentive Compensation Management. It’s a key part of the broader idea of Sales Performance Management, which uses data to improve planning, streamline processes, and make sure everyone in your sales functions is on the same page.

The time for digital transformation has come.

It was said that empowered human teams working with high-level digital tools would be the future of sales, and that day has come. If you’re looking for sales performance management solutions, make sure you choose an SPM platform you can trust.