A Guide to Sales Performance Management [Pro Tips Included]

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

First, we want you to imagine you own a small family business.

You have two people on sales tasks like calling customers and closing deals. Managing how these two people spend their time isn't really difficult, right?

You can quickly spot their differences, see to it that they both improve in critical areas, and all go have a “business dinner” together by 7 P.M.

Business dinner


Easy breezy.

Second, now imagine your business employs 25 salespeople.

It's not so easy to see what everyone's doing now, is it? Which can be frustrating.

Important details are slipping through the cracks. You know there are areas that need to be improved, and it's not like you have the entire day (or superpower) to hawk over each individual sales rep at the same time.

We'll bet your situation looks closer to our second example.

But don't fret. It's nothing that a decent sales performance management system can't fix for you.

So let's talk about how you can:

  • Track and improve your sales reps' performance
  • Keep optimizing your pipeline for better results without extra driveling work
  • Take advantage of all the available tools to drive more sales

Introduction to Sales Performance Management

Sales Performance Management

Here's the deal with sales performance.

When you envision a salesperson in their groove, the image places them in a meeting or on an important call 10/10 times.

They're selling, right? Or at least trying to.

In reality, less than one-third of a sales reps' day goes to talking with clients.

The rest of their schedule looks like this:

  • 21% writing emails
  • 17% entering data
  • 17% prospecting and researching leads
  • 12% in internal meetings
  • 12% scheduling calls

And that's forgetting their basic human needs like taking breaks and being a person. But that legwork behind the scenes ensures that a call, when it happens, goes perfectly.

It's very tedious and time-consuming.

Ideally, you would cut some corners here. But, at the very least, you don't want to waste even more time because you don't have a system.

So tracking sales performance and adjusting your efforts should obviously be a high priority if you want to sell more.

And that's exactly what sales performance management does.

A decent sales performance management system takes care of tracking, analyzing, and optimizing sales-related activities by:

  • Predicting future trends and patterns
  • Helping sales reps build skills
  • Optimizing the sales pipeline
  • Organizing (and often decreasing) the workload
  • Tracking performance-based compensation
  • Removing extra steps like manual dialing, organization, etc.
  • Eliminating time-devouring tasks so your teams can focus on selling

Sales performance management components

Sales performance management is an extensive, ongoing project. These are the main segments:

  1. Sales planning
  2. Sales incentives
  3. Sales insights

Got that down? Okay, let's move on.

Just kidding. Here's a more coherent component overview:


What it includes

What it means

1. Sales planning

  • Market and client research
  • Team organization
  • Territory allocation
  • Quota planning
  • Goal setting

In this stage, companies take a good look at their competitors, clients (to be), and teams, and plan the most efficient way to reach their goals.

2. Sales incentives

  • Commission structuring
  • Team motivation
  • Target and account planning
  • Reward system
  • Contests
  • Ongoing updates

Incentives are all about giving sales teams the tools and drive to get stuff done by aligning the company's goals with their personal motivators. Let's be real: participation is nice, but rewards are nicer.

3. Sales insights

  • Pipeline management
  • KPI tracking
  • Data analysis
  • Tactic optimization
  • Sales forecasting

This is where companies see how their current efforts are performing, and what needs to be improved.

Thankfully, a lot of these tasks are handled by software like CRMs these days to help you keep your sanity and some semblance of control.

But in all seriousness, there's a bunch you can do to improve your sales performance management.

Let's take a look.

3 Ways to Improve Your Sales Performance Management

Improve Sales Performance Management

Before you get into the list, just a word: you don't have to do it immediately, or all at once, or totally on your own.

In fact, we suggest you consult an expert before you take action. (Doesn't even have to be us!)

But consider the steps you can take because each one of them can make a huge difference for your company.

Sales Performance Management Software

Sales performance software is a unified solution that automates a lot of the repetitive labor that takes up most of your day.

So you have more time and better tools for client work.

And looking at the list of tasks that fall under sales performance management, you'll agree it's smart to use all the help you can get.

But even if for whatever reason you don't agree, the statistics do. 😬

  1. Sales management software provides a better overview of customer data in real-time.

74% of sales reps confirm they have better access to important information with a CRM system which allows them to personalize their services while spending less time on each task.

  1. CRMs make life easier for salespeople.

64% of companies find this type of software to be impactful, and sales teams that had access to it showed 17% higher satisfaction with their jobs.

Want to motivate your team? Show them you give a damn about them by not making them do grueling work we all know a machine can do instead.

  1. CRMs increase customer satisfaction and retention by 47%, and sales revenue by 45%.

Makes sense, right? Efficient sales funnel + motivated sales reps = happy customers.

We could go on. Point is, getting sales performance management software is hands down one of the most significant changes you can make for your company.

Sales Tracking System

Sales tracking software lets you keep records of all processes related to sales including:

  • Reps' activities
  • Prospect details
  • Transactions
  • Orders
  • Contracts

It's an essential tool for tracking KPIs like conversion rates, sales quotas, productivity rates, etc.

These metrics basically tell you all you need to know about your overall sales process and client satisfaction.

No sales rep stalking involved.

And sure, you can kind of do this with a spreadsheet... but not if you're planning to scale.

For best results, get a CRM with a good sales tracking system that does the work for you.

Custom Reporting Tool

CRM analytics is probably your biggest concern from the leadership perspective.

And there's nothing more vexing than having to sweat for hours looking for the right data and pondering how it plays into your overarching strategy.

After all, you don't need to know all the answers to all the irrelevant questions.

That's why custom reporting is a must for sales performance management: you get to set up your own goals and processes and then review how each action lives up to it or falls short.

But speaking of your actions… tools can only get you so far. So let's talk about your general approach to sales performance management for a minute.

8 Sales Performance Management Pro Tips

Sales Performance Tips

There is some ground you need to cover to make sure you get results from any tool you may implement.

So, regardless of your software, this should be your checklist of sales performance management good practices (okay, bare necessities). We'll explain what each item entails:

Sales Performance Management Tips

Detailed Breakdown

1. Keep your strategy transparent

  • Make sure everyone knows your overall company goals
  • Explain to your teams how they are expected to contribute
  • Set precise targets

2. Give salespeople access to analytics

  • Don't gatekeep important data

3. Get input from all directions

  • Check in with your reps
  • Communicate with clients
  • Track client satisfaction and other metrics (see #5)

4. Keep reviewing and adapting

  • Take feedback seriously
  • After making changes, keep checking the progress
  • Reward good work

5. Know which metrics to track

  • Sales cycle duration
  • Daily sales activity
  • Conversion rates
  • Time spent prospecting
  • Time to lead
  • Individual quota, etc.

6. Coach reps to build and develop skills

  • Leave room for mistakes
  • Make them comfortable enough to be honest
  • Identify gaps
  • Offer training
  • Keep them accountable

7. Territory management

  • Set up territory assignments and appropriate crediting
  • Make sure everyone knows the rules and exceptions

8. Consistently provide feedback

  • Make sure your reps know you're paying attention and let them know how they're doing
  • Give improvement suggestions
  • Ask them how they think they're doing and how satisfied they are with their jobs
  • Encourage questions

This list isn't extensive. It's pretty much leadership 101, but it's crucial you take notes because this can determine how well your sales teams do.

After all, if they have no structure, support, or motivation, why would they try hard at their jobs? Or at all?

You need to steer the wheel. But thankfully, you don't have to do it by yourself.

So let's look at how you'll pick the best robot assistant who will make sure you only go through the ordeal once and have half of your to-do list complete itself.

5 Key Considerations When Choosing a Sales Performance Management System

Because, obviously, you shouldn't just close your eyes and choose whatever option you pointed at first.

Your poor cat simply can't do that type of work for you.

I surrender


Before you make a choice, pay attention to these details:

  • Contact and lead management
  • Client interaction tracking
  • Mobile support
  • Sales automation
  • Customer support

Now let's talk about why.

1. Contact and lead management

How many leads is each rep responsible for? And how much work do they need to put in just to enter all the info in the right slots to refer to later?

The job is never done.

New prospects keep coming in (which is good!), so logging the data and having a clear overview of who's who should be automatic.

Smart software can pull this from your contacts or email and categorize your leads so you can focus on communication.

2. Client interaction tracking

This is such a huge deal for sales performance, let alone sales performance management.

Your reps go through hundreds of calls in a short time span. And no matter how hard they try, it's impossible for them to remember every tiny detail about every client they talk to.

So what happens? Too often, it's one of these scenarios:

  1. They can't find important client data to save their life
  2. They aren't sure how the previous call ended
  3. They tried to curb 1 and 2 by taking notes, but who knows where they ended up

This is why client interaction tracking done in a CRM is better: reps can take smarter notes while on the call knowing they'll easily find them right where they left them.

Paired with call recording, this is a big must for sales performance management. You get to objectively see how each convo goes down and learn what needs to improve.

3. Mobile support

Mobile support

When we said real-time, we weren't kidding.

You need to be able to access your analytics at all times, from anywhere, and mobile is the only way to ensure that.

What good is a sophisticated reporting tool if you can't see the report because you're stuck in traffic? Or working from home?

Or worse: what if your clients call and your reps aren't available?

Well, statistically, they will move on to your competitor who is ready for them.

Mobile CRM access allows you to stay in control and helps your teams avoid missed opportunities no matter where they work from.

4. Sales and marketing automation

Hold up. You're here to improve your performance, not just learn how to see it better, right?

Good. Automation is a sure way to save some time and eliminate the possibility of human error on repetitive admin tasks.

Every CRM will have some level of sales automation to reflect that.

However, the best software will combine that with marketing automation via SMS and email drip campaigns to give you maximum return on investment.

Just imagine: you're prospecting and closing deals, and your robot friend is nurturing lukewarm leads in the middle until they're ready to say yes.

But that sounds risky… how does it even work?

Two words: drip CRM.

Basically, with a CRM like Ringy, you get to schedule personalized messages ahead of time based on previous client interactions and literally forget about it until you're needed to close the deal.

Sweet feature, we know. 😉

5. Customer support

We'll forever keep talking about the significance of customer support. Because it's tech we're dealing with here and of course something will eventually go wrong.

What then?

Think about your needs here. Are you cool with having to wait a couple of days to get an answer from your provider? Or is 24/7 support the only way to go?

Decide before you subscribe to anything. It could save you a mental breakdown or two down the road.

Top 3 Sales Performance Management System in the Market

*Information as of December 2021.




Copper is a CRM for small to medium-sized businesses who like their G-suite and prioritize the ability to keep using all their regular tools seamlessly.

Integrations are strong with this software.

What's the big deal, you ask? Well, having your Gmail integrated means no more manual data entry. Google Calendar? This meansMeans you can schedule meetings without ever leaving the app.

This seems arbitrary, but consider the number of clients you have (and wish to have), and how much time you'd spend tending to each one without this kind of help.

As you know, a minute here and there adds up rapidly in sales.

Copper has an intuitive dashboard and it's fairly simple to use, so you can easily track what's going on with your reps and clients alike. It's great for:

  • Easy client data access
  • Contact filtering
  • Straightforward onboarding
  • Task management
  • Effortlessly switching between devices
  • Logging emails

Plus they send little reminders to check in with prospects so they don't get cold.

Build better relationships


However, while they integrate with Gmail and Mailchimp, Copper doesn't have email drip automation. So you'll still have to nurture your prospects yourself.


This is a solid sales performance management software option if you're looking to simplify your life, have eyes on all processes, and get some burden off your shoulders.

Pricing: $25-119 per month, per user

Sales tracking: Yes

Reporting: Yes

Support: Yes




Okay, okay. You got us, this is our software. But we can assure you that it belongs on this list.

Remember how we talked about salespeople spending most of their day not selling? Because they had all that extra draining work to do around client calls like emailing and manual data entry?

Fine, we can't do your prospecting for you. Or participate in company meetings (well, we could ask our support team…).

But Ringy takes the rest of what makes that overwhelming 79% of your average sales day and automates it. And just like that, your client time goes from measly 21% to 71%.

That's over 3x more time every day to pitch-perfect your sales skills!

And yes, with Ringy, that includes personalized SMS and email drip campaigns that nurture your prospects for you.

As you can gather from that supertiny sub-subtitle on the screenshot (or our site), that's because we specialize in automating the crap out of your systems.

And it works like a charm.

Ringy drives results


But we didn't forget the management part. You need your analytics, real-time reporting, and performance tracking features just as much as automation.

Well, we got ‘em for you.



Pricing: $99 per month

Sales tracking: Yes

Reporting: Yes

Support: Yes




Let's just say that, if for some reason you didn't choose our CRM for your company, we wouldn't be too upset if you got this one.

Pipedrive is really focused on sales. It's got beautiful reporting and sales pipeline visibility that shows you exactly what you need to optimize going forward.



And we love how you can see these guys are constantly trying to improve their service as they have frequent rounds of updates happening.

It can get a little glitchy sometimes because of it, sure.

But their continuous efforts show that they're a future-focused company that you can expect to grow alongside your business, and that kind of long-term thinking is definitely a good sign.

Their customer training and support are amazing, too.

The app is complex but there is help to be had to get you up and running in a matter of days.

Just one thing to keep in mind with Pipedrive: while the emphasis on sales is great, marketing doesn't go hand-in-hand so you'd have to rely on another tool for that.

Pricing: $12.50-$99 per month, per user

Sales tracking: Yes

Reporting: Yes

Support: Yes

Sales Performance FAQ

Which factors affect sales?

If there's any doubt about it, we'll get it out of the way now: sales don't plummet because of individual reps.

These factors have a more tangible effect on your sales success:

  • Company's product (do your sales reps know what exactly they're selling?)
  • Marketing strategy (does it make sense?)
  • Technology (outdated systems slow everyone down)
  • Poor communication
  • Sales motivation
  • Unclear objectives and quota
  • Lack of real-time reporting and data analysis

Sales reps' lack of motivation is a symptom, not a root problem. And it should tell you something.

For example, if your teams aren't convinced in your product or sure what it even does, how will they sell it to clients?

If they think you're making them do redundant work or being cheap on tech, why would they give you back more than that?

It's all about your organization and communication. Beyond that basic framework, using some sales incentives and proper training to get your salespeople going will get you on the right track.

What are the biggest SPM mistakes?

These are hands down the four biggest fire-starters:

  1. Not tracking performance
  2. Having unclear performance standards
  3. Poor communication
  4. Not investing in the right tools

As long as you're oriented towards growth and not pointing fingers, these problems shouldn't come up.

How do you measure sales performance?

Typically, using a sales CRM would do this for you, but you still need to know what you're looking at to optimize your performance.

Otherwise, your team might miss big red flags and continue business as usual.

Can't read


We've already mentioned some important metrics, but let's briefly cover how you calculate the most important ones:

  1. Conversion rate = total number of sales/number of leads * 100
  2. Sales cycle duration = total time from contacting the prospect to closing the deal
  3. Win rate = won deals/total opportunity
  4. Quota attainment = quota revenue/target revenue
  5. Rep quotas = total contract value/contract duration



Sales performance management is one of those things you wanna get on while it seems simple. And it can go from simple to a nightmare before you finish that family dinner.

Trust us.

As your business grows, you'll need your systems to run smoothly so they don't end up holding you back. Not to mention propelling you further.

But solid sales performance management software will do both.

Now that you know which options are out there and how to figure out which one fits, there's nothing left but to get one.

Book a demo to take Ringy for a spin.

Skyrocket your sales with the CRM that does it all

Skyrocket your sales with the CRM that does it all.

Calling? Check. SMS? Check. Automation and AI? Check. Effortlessly keep in touch with your customers and boost your revenue without limits.

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