This is the easy part, and most vendors lead with and focus on this – helping with forecasting, sales performance reports, or sales performance metrics.  But:


  • Does the dashboard allow for multiple levels of aggregation and distinction?  Remember, SPM should have Executive, Managerial, and Sales Representative levels, and within them variations on roles.  For example, does the Rep level dashboard allow for design and display of hunters separate from farmers – to see variations of Revenue Per Rep in each role?
  • Are channel managers afforded their own dashboard linked to the same data sources?


Copyright iStockPhoto/Rob Chatterson

There’s the back-end integration to the data sources:


  • How easily does the SPM product integrate with YOUR CRM or SFA tool?
  • Does it have out of the box integratoin with the big (Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERPs) or will you pay a fortune in professional services to customize?


Then there’s the front-end integration with the output methods:


  • Business Intelligence tools
  • Sales reporting tools
  • Microsoft Office tools like Excel, PowerPoint (does it build slides for you?)
  • Even publishing capabilities for fancier printouts.
  • Does it feed the compensation system automatically for regular, variable and SPIF sales compensation?
  • How about an automatic tie to talent management in the form of highlighting immediate sales rep performance coaching concerns AND longer-term sales rep strengths and weaknesses?


Process improvement

  • Does the SPM tool provide a venue for the Sales Operations and Sales Force Effectiveness people?
  • An ability for them to set up sales performance improvement targets and prove or disprove the attainment of them through the use of the aggregated data?



  • Does the SPM tool provide for what-if scenarios to see the potential effect of changing a sales performance metric?
  • Does it add or leverage something like Gapminder to provide time-based analysis using historical data?
  • Can it also take historical data and project a future trend?
  • Would analysis lend itself easily to producing evaluation reports for performance reviews?


Implementing an SPM tool can be costly, so ensure that you are getting all that you need.  While there probably isn’t a vendor out there that satisifies all of the above questions, these criteria should help you in your evaluation.