Sales Performance Management

How to Choose Performance Management Software by Gen Wright

Performance management software is a software application that you use to keep track of how your organization is doing. This type of software replaces relying on printed or static reports or even trying to use a do-it-yourself performance management system using spreadsheets. The software automatically takes in new actuals and results from your enterprise databases and compares them to budgets, targets, goals and/or forecasts. So charts, diagrams and graphs are displayed automatically and and are free from mistakes, guaranteeing the highest accuracy. Also, since the process is completely automated, your daily, weekly, or monthly analysis of your enterprise performance becomes much more streamlined and the time savings leads to more productivity.

Performance management solutions are mainly aimed at medium to large businesses that have to measure the performance of various lines of business and departmental functions. This might include, but is not limited to inventory tracking, sales performance, geographical tracking of performance and a lot of other KPIs that keep the business running smoothly. The main aim is to provide a fast way for business managers and executives to keep track of how the department is faring at any given time. So there are various features to be looked into while you go about selecting performance management software.

The first thing to do is not to get confused by the lingo. You will come across abbreviations like Corporate Performance Management (CMP), Business Performance Management (BPM) or Strategic Performance Management (SPM). In actuality, they are one and the same, and at the most they are only slightly varied. All of them aim to give you the necessary tools to track your organization. So when you are looking for a performance management solution, look for the functions that you would want the software to have. These can include everything that you have been doing manually so far and a lot of it depends on the kind of organization that you run.

For businesses selling products, you are keeping track of how much of each item is stored in inventory and how in-stock and turnover rates of specific items are performing in comparison to each other. Any organization also needs to keep analyze sales performance on many different levels, daily, weekly, monthly, or annually. For multi-national corporations, every aspect of business comes in to play, including manufacturing efficiency, market mechanics, individual performance tracking and other areas. The application that you select should allow you to track any type of data, such as these, rather than being dedicated only to one functional area. This also means the application needs to access many disparate data sources in one interface. The application should be flexible enough to allow comparisons of any historical and current metrics, to slice and dice by various factors, and include visualization features to permit the identification of patterns or trends in the data.

Flexibility for date selection and date grouping are other features that should be supported in the system that you are looking at. This means that the application should have to ability to easily expand and contract the timeline of any displayed data that is date based. For example, take daily and monthly sales figures. By looking at a larger time frame you will be easily able to locate patterns, such as seasonal ones, if any exist. There should also geo-tagging features, whereby large enterprises with a national and/or global presence can keep track of their performances by country.

Mark Flaherty
InetSoft Technology
performance management software

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