There’s an overlap between Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and sales tracking software and you may see the terms used interchangeably.

However, while CRM is an all-encompassing solution bringing sales, marketing, customer service and support together, sales tracking systems can be limited to the sales function.

Do you need sales tracking software?

Well, that depends how large and complex your organisation is. If your sales staff are juggling lists, databases and other contact systems it could be that a single system to rationalise the prospect-lead-contact-follow up process would be useful for you. Ask the people who know and involve them in the decision and the choice of system.

As with any type of software, there’s a huge variety of sales tracking systems available. Budget will almost certainly come into your choice, but also consider what you’re paying for and whether you’ll get full use out of all those smart new features. Sales doesn’t need to be over complicated – it’s about people and relationships at its heart – so don’t over complicate the system that monitors and facilitates it.

The most basic requirements can probably be reduced to just four areas: contacts, tracking, history and diary.

They’re all pretty self-explanatory. Making sure that the system you choose has strong contact management, can easily track leads, allows your staff to keep a record of how they interact with clients and prospects and will help organise their time efficiently should reap practical benefits. It should also provide decent feedback on how your sales team are doing.

See for yourself!

But don’t take our word for it, design your own ‘must do’ list in consultation with your sales specialists and compare it with the systems you look at. Integration with other systems – like your email software – and web access on the road are also likely to be on your mind. Support and security should be the first things you check whenever you consider buying new software for your organisation.

Whether you want something simple and good value or can try something more sophisticated, you will need to do your research. Many systems offer free trials and with some forethought these can be useful. Use review sites as well, but be aware that much of the material online is linked to people who are trying to flog you the systems. This site offers reviews and an overview of the sector and appears to be independent.