Sales and marketing software generally falls into three categories: sales software that helps drive sales by identifying leads and opportunities and tracking the sales process, marketing software that helps manage campaigns to generate leads and analytical software that analyzes the data gathered by the other programs in order to identify trends and track results. These types of software have become vital business tools for most organizations. The different types of sales and marketing software are often lumped together, but there are distinctly different purposes for sales software and marketing software. Sales and marketing software programs have evolved rapidly as developers try to keep up with rapidly changing technology and buying habits and trends.
Software designed for sales purposes helps the salesforce work through the sales process from beginning to end. It is contact management software that aids in organizing and tracking prospects and clients. It stores all relevant information about prospects and clients, including where they are in the process of making a buying decision.
Most sales software will automatically schedule regular contact with prospects. It usually will offer options to call, visit, mail or email prospects at specific intervals. This software also sends out reminders to follow up on or complete items that are a part of the sales process.
Sales software also identifies opportunities for the salesforce. It can pinpoint clients who have purchased a product and are good candidates to whom salespeople can cross-sell other products. Most sales software can identify opportunities based on several other options, such as company size, location, industry type or even the gender or buying preferences of the decision maker. In addition, sales software is used to generate reports that detail the activity level and success rate of the salesforce. It will forecast future sales based on past sales during a similar timeframe or based on the historical activity-to-success ratio of the salesforce.
Marketing software is used to identify prospects and generate leads for the salesforce. It manages marketing tools such as direct mail campaigns by tracking response rates and times. Many companies choose to utilize several marketing tools at once, and marketing software is vital to managing and tracking multiple campaigns. Most marketing software is able to coordinate and track several marketing tools, such as automatic dialers, email and direct mail campaigns. Many programs have begun to include the ability to manage a company’s social media presence as part of its marketing strategy.
The third component of sales and marketing software is usually an analytical program. This type of software measures the effectiveness of the utilizations of the sales and marketing software. It typically is part of a broader sales management software package that is intended to help the management more successfully deploy sales and marketing tools for the salesforce.