Sales

Our Research Expertise

The continuous pressure on sales to outperform cannot be addressed successfully without strategic investments into the people and processes that drive sales forward. What’s required are effective methods to manage sales performance ranging from coaching and compensation management to the optimization of quotas and pipelines. In today’s competitive environment attempting to execute sales force automation using spreadsheets and email rather than dedicated, purpose-built applications is a doomed undertaking. The path to maximization of your organization’s revenue potential starts with a close evaluation of dedicated applications that help with continuous improvement in areas like product information management, planning and analytics, direct digital commerce, recurring revenue, indirect selling and the use of channel data.

Ventana Research offers knowledgeable, research-based guidance on sales to help you build core competencies that will increase your organization’s potential for revenue. To attain excellence in sales it is critical to evaluate investments based on their potential to augment rather than detract from sales processes and to deliver excellence in sales. We can help.

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By 2020, only 1/4 of sales organizations will have invested in intelligent sales applications that execute sales processes to deliver needed levels of sales performance.

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Mark Smith

CEO & Chief Research Officer

Our Latest News & Research

Research

Business Planning Value Index - In Collection

Digital Commerce Benchmark - In Design

Intelligent Sales Dynamic Insights - In Design

Next Generation Product Information Management Benchmark - Recently Published

Next-Generation Sales Analytics Benchmark - Recently Published

Product Experience Dynamic Insights - In Design

Product Information Management Value Index - In Analysis

Sales and Operations Planning Dynamic Insights - In Collection - Click to Participate

Sales Performance Management Benchmark - In Design

Sales Performance Management Value Index - In Analysis

Subscription Management Benchmark - In Design

Press Releases

Analyst Perspectives

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Ventana On-Demand (VOD) is an advisory service that provides access to exclusive research and monthly dialogue with our analysts.Visit the services page to learn more.
Webinar
Best Practices for Building a Business Case for Product Information Management 2015

Recent research shows that over half of organizations (57%) are re-assessing how to manage information associated with products. With 48 percent of organizations utilizing line of business IT budgets to fund PIM projects;

Value Index
Business Planning 2015

Planning is a key component to all businesses, but often, the reality does not go according to plans. In businesses, this discrepancy can increase costs and waste time. But with the right tools, organizations can more closely align their plans to th

Infographic
Connecting Product Information Management

Effective product information management is a high priority for most organizations today. And most lack a dedicated approach to PIM. Those that do not invest and improve will fall behind. It�s no wonder why. Research shows that PIM can improve effic

Research Perspective
Developing Best Practices in Sales Forecasting

"The purpose of sales forecasting is to anticipate and facilitate sales activities and help representatives identify opportunities, reach quotas and achieve the maximum potential of their accounts and territories. We find that sales forecasting is o

White Paper
Enhancing Global Channel Visibility

"Over the past decade, markets have grown increasingly global, especially for technology companies. Rising incomes in underdeveloped countries have led to increased demand for a wide range of products. However, this opportunity also brings with it a

Research Perspective
Five Best Practices for Optimizing Sales Analytics and Forecasting

"Benchmark research that Ventana Research conducted on sales performance management reveals that the top two priorities of sales management are to increase revenue (cited by 72% of participants) and to improve the efficiency of sales processes (57%)

Research Perspective
Five Best Practices for Sales Planning

"Launching and running a sales program without careful planning is a recipe for failure. Effectiveness in sales starts with planning. To be successful, planning must involve a range of stakeholders from various roles, use a systematic process, incor

Webinar
Five Best Practices in Territory Management

Fully realizing the revenue potential of a sales organization requires effective territory management. Ideally, territories should be optimized to create the right combinations of customers, products and salespeople to maximize sales results, and co

White Paper
Five Risks of Ignoring Sales Performance Management

"Optimizing the potential of a sales organization requires being able to motivate representatives with appealing incentives and a clear compensation structure. Determining these can no longer be a once-a-year effort because today�s dynamic business

eBook
Mastering Product Information is Everyone's Business

Product Information Management (PIM) is essential to business processes, the customer experience, and ultimately financial performance. It is shared among business units, customers, partners and distributors and may take many forms, including text,

Webinar
Mastering Product Information is Everyone's Business

Effective product information management is a high priority for most organizations today. And most lack a dedicated approach to PIM. Those that do not invest and improve will fall behind. It�s no wonder why. Research shows that PIM can improve effic

Executive Summary
Next-Generation Business Planning 2015

Today, budgeting and operational planning effrots are typically only loosely connected. In contrast, Next-Generation Business Planning closely integrates unit-level operational plans with financial planning. Relying on information technology, it ena

Best Practices
Next-Generation Business Planning 2015

Next-generation business planning closely integrates individual operational plans with financial plans. Supported by dedicated software, it enables companies to plan faster with less effort to achieve greater accuracy and agility.,,,,,,,

Webinar
Next-Generation Business Planning 2015

Business planning encompasses all of the forward-looking activities in which companies routinely engage, such as sales, production and head-count planning as well as budgeting. Among the several benefits it conveys, planning helps to get everyone on

White Paper - VOD
Next Generation Business Planning 2015

Ventana Research undertook this Benchmark Research into the Next Generation of Business Planning to examine systems and tools that operate across business processes, influencing the optimal use of information and technology to manage performance. Th

White Paper - VOD
Next-Generation Sales Analytics 2015

Effective analytics enables businesses to understand the data they�re collecting in greater volumes and more forms than ever before. The situation has special importance for sales organizations. Applied to data created and needed by sales organizati

White Paper - VOD
Planning and Budgeting 2008

Budgeting and planning is an area of finance that is long-established yet ripe for change. There is widespread dissatisfaction with the budgeting process. Nearly all business people regard it as a waste of time and resources. Typically, it eats up 1

Executive Summary
Product and Service Analytics 2011

Nearly two-thirds said it is very important to make it simpler to provide analytics and metrics, and half said they can significantly improve their use of them. In addition, half are not satisfied with the process currently used to create analytics,

Executive Summary
Product Information Management 2015

Organizations need to address limitations in the ways they manage product information, including related attributes and content that describes the products. New types and sources of data often introduce new and inconsistent ways in which products, m

Value Index
Product Information Management 2015

In the information age, access is key for organizations. This is especially true for product information, where multiple areas in a business need to be able to access the same information, and have it always be up-to-date. And as the number of ways

Research Perspective
Product Information Management in an Master Data Management World

"Consistent, accurate product information is essential to meet the expectations of today�s customers. These demanding consumers want detailed information presented to them through whichever of the various channels, including websites and commerce sy

Executive Summary
Recurring Revenue 2015

The term "recurring revenue" refers to models for selling and billing typically based on a combination of initial fees and periodic charges. In recent years, it has gained popularity in a variety of industries.,,,,,,,

Best Practices
Recurring Revenue 2015

The term "recurring revenue" refers to models for selling and billing typically based on a combination of initial fees and periodic charges. In recent years, it has gained popularity in a variety of industries.,,,,,,,

Webinar
Recurring Revenue 2015

The term "recurring revenue" refers to models for selling and billing typically based on a combination of initial fees and periodic charges. In recent years, it has gained popularity in a variety of industries.,,,,,,,

White Paper - VOD
Recurring Revenue 2015

Ventana Research undertook this first independent, rigorous primary research in Recurring Revenue makes clear that organizations increasingly are choosing to adopt this model to increase revenue and improve their customers� experience. Pioneered by

Executive Summary
Sales Analytics 2011

There isn't an aspect of business today in which people don't claim they use analytics to generate information, typically in the form of metrics and key indicators. But there is much confusion about their usefulness and value to the business and sal

White Paper - VOD
Sales Analytics 2012

There isn't an aspect of business today in which people don't claim they use analytics to generate information, typically in the form of metrics and key indicators. But there is much confusion about their usefulness and value to the business and sal

White Paper - VOD
Sales Compensation Management

To maximize their effectiveness across the enterprise, from top management through finance and operations to the sales representatives on the front line, sales organizations must integrate their people and processes tightly with all available inform

Executive Summary
Sales Compensation Management 2014

To maximize their effectiveness across the enterprise, from top management through finance and operations to the sales representatives on the front line, sales organizations must integrate their people and processes tightly with all available inform

eBook
Sales Performance Management: A Buyer's Guide

The success of sales efforts depends on the performance of the sales team as a whole and each of its members. But sales performance cannot be a matter of guesswork or ad hoc projections; it must be measured.,,,,,,,,

Company Profile
Sales Planning Improves Sales Performance Management

"Success in business is measured by what�s accomplished, and effective planning improves an organization�s ability to consistently achieve its objectives. When it comes to Sales, many organizations are slow to recognize how ineffectual their sales p

Viewpoint
Streamlining Finance Processes for Subscription Billing

The subscription business model has grown in popularity with providers of services or products because it establishes a regular, predictable income stream. This is particularly true for technology companies. However, the subscription model poses cha

eBook
Successful Enterprises Use Performance Management

Product Information Management (PIM) is essential to business processes, the customer experience, and ultimately financial performance. It is shared among business units, customers, partners and distributors and may take many forms, including text,

eBook
Supercharging Sales Performance

Product Information Management (PIM) is essential to business processes, the customer experience, and ultimately financial performance. It is shared among business units, customers, partners and distributors and may take many forms, including text,

eBook
The Business of Sales Forecasting

Sales forecasting has been an inexact science, often depending as much on gut instinct as on data. Two reasons for this imprecision are a lack of pipeline information and a reliance on spreadsheets to create and track forecasts. The alternatives, sa

Research Perspective
The Digital Transformation of Planning and Budgeting

�'Digital transformation' is a popular term that encompasses a range of fundamental changes caused or catalyzed by modern information technology. The internet and intelligent mobile devices have changed how people live, work, shop and communicate. W

Presentation - VOD
Trends in Product Information Management 2012

Organizations need to address limitations in the ways they manage product information, including related attributes and content that describes the products. New types and sources of data often introduce new and inconsistent ways in which products, m

Company Profile
Using Playbooks to Maximize Sales Performance

"To improve their sales effectiveness, many representatives need guidance in how to shorten the sales cycle, close deals and better execute all aspects of the process. Working independently and often without central mandates or guidance, reps may de

Research Perspective
Managing Sales Performance in Smaller Organizations

Sales organizations, especially in small businesses, are under pressure to take advantage of every revenue-generating opportunity. Feeling they have to move fast, sales management personnel sometimes don’t conduct regular

Self-Assessment
Sales Analytics

Sales analytics is essential to managing and planning for better sales performance. In fact, our research into sales organizations finds that sales analytics effectiveness is a key indicator to plan for optimal sales performance and maximize the pote

Webinar
The Future of AI and Predictive Sales: New technology can digitally transform sales and boost your revenue potential

Pity the poor sales organization! – always being called on to generate revenue but rarely receiving the level of investment it needs to be able to work smarter and more effectively. Sales force automation and the more recent promise of CRM have falle

Research Perspective
PIM Trump MDM

Ventana Research defines product information management (PIM) as the practice of using information, applications and technology to effectively support product-related processes across an organization. When PIM is deployed, it employs a wide range of

White Paper
Building High-Quality and Complete Product Information

Product information management (PIM) landscape has changed drastically over the last few years, and many businesses are still trying to grapple with it.

Research Perspective
Marketing Effectively with PIM

Marketing organizations have yet to grasp fully the value of managing product information efficiently across marketing for all business channels. Education on effective product information is critical; organizations must be able to use information to

Webinar
Ensuring Effective Product Experiences with PIM

We are observing a radical change in consumer expectations about purchase-related product information. In this age of instant online response, consumer patience is in precipitous decline. This is forcing organizations to modernize their use of produc

Webinar
Subscription Management in the Digital Economy

We are observing a radical change in expectations about subscriber relationships. Consumers today want simpler, more immediate and more effective interactions with the organizations that provide them with services. But delivering this by improving th

Research Perspective
Embracing PIM as a Service

The software industry’s evolution toward cloud computing and software as a service (SaaS) has changed how and where organizations operate not just their software but their business. Almost every business application – across customer-facing functions

White Paper
Structured CRM for Business Success

Today more than ever, organizations must prioritize customers and focus on both existing and new relationships in order to increase the value of the interactions with them. A spreading awareness of the importance of customer experiences and interacti

Webinar
Digital Commerce: Innovating with AI and Robotics

The effectiveness of digital commerce is at risk today, with antiquated technology platforms eroding usability and making it difficult to focus on the customer and product experience. Advances in AI and machine learning have begun to deliver new meth

Webinar
Meet the Robotic Generation of Sales Performance Management

Disparate applications and data sets create barriers with antiquated SFA make it difficult for Sales to know how it is performing and what it should be doing to improve performance. Now, though, a new generation of robotics- and AI-enabled sales perf

Presentation - VOD
Forecast Accuracy

Sales forecast accuracy is especially challenging in business-to-business organizations, and is frequently cited as sales operations’ most important improvement priority. Even though many businesses know the importance of sales planning, often they s

Research Perspective
Evaluation Criteria for Enterprise Geocoding

The process of geocoding increases the quality of business information by augmenting geographic references to fully support operations and decision-making. Without the dimension added by geocoding, operational risk increases, business cycles are wast

White Paper
Calculating the Return on Better Planning

Realizing an appropriate return on capital spending is critical. Poor allocation of investment funds can impair the competitiveness and profitability of a corporation, which is why well-run organizations have a disciplined methodology for making thes

White Paper
Five Ingredients for Next-Generation Business Planning

Companies do a lot of planning: They plan sales, determine what products and services they will offer, decide what they will charge and what these will cost. They plan the headcount they’ll need to run the business and how to organize distribution an

eBook
Five Things Every CEO and CFO Must Know About Pricing

More effective management of pricing usually is the biggest profitability lever available to corporations. Yet, senior executives often cannot manage pricing effectively because they encounter five common obstacles. First, they lack visibility into a

eBook
Building a Business Case for PIM

Providing the level of success your organization deserves across business requires accurate product information that is used consistently across all channels. Organizations must work to overcome common challenges to realize the benefits of investment

Dynamic Insights
Sales and Operations Planning

Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP, sometimes called Integrated Business Planning) is a management discipline that enables executives to assess trade-offs between multiple interdependent business components: demand and supply market opportunities, c

Self-Assessment
Guiding the Future of Product Information Management

PIM (Product Information Management) is a focus on managing product information so that it meets the overall needs of the organization and the extended enterprise, from the supply chain to commerce and customers. PIM is also a category of dedicated a

Exclusive Q&A
The Imperative for Sales Planning

Effective sales performance management requires the right planning environment, one that brings together organizational leadership and operations with sales managers and sales professionals so they can work together efficiently.

Exclusive Q&A
Accounting for Selling Costs Gets Complicated

The new revenue recognition standards (ASC 606 and IFRS 15) not only affect how recurring revenue is reported, but also how companies account for commissions and other selling costs for transactions covered by contracts that are in force for a year o

Dynamic Insights
Sales Planning

Sales planning is essential to managing and improving sales performance. Without a planning process, sales metrics and key indicators will provide only historical context and not forward-looking visibility into your sales activities, impacting your a

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Research Agenda & Calendar

Ventana Research maintains a rigorous approach to its areas of research expertise through a methodology of processes and activities to ensure we provide the best possible insights on technology across business and IT. This is represented in our Research Agenda, which is a foundation for providing actionable information and guidance to help you identify opportunities for improved competitiveness and effectiveness. Other industry analyst firms lack methodology and a publicly available research agenda and are easily biased by clients and the industry. We take pride in our reputation for independence and provide our research calendar and agenda for visibility into the upcoming months of activity.

June

  • Analyst Perspective
    Predictive Sales;
    Product Experience and New Age of PIM
  • Benchmark Research
    Customer Analytics in analysis;
    Subscription Management in design;
    Digital Commerce in design
  • Dynamic Insights
    Product Experience in design;
    Sales Analytics in collection
  • Value Index
    Sales Performance Management in analysis and published;
    Product Information Management in analysis and published;
    Digital Commerce in design

July

  • Analyst Perspective
    Sales Enablement
  • Benchmark Research
    Customer Analytics published;
    Digital Commerce in collection
    Subscription Management in collection
  • Dynamic Insights
    Product Experience in collection;
    Sales Analytics in collection
  • Value Index
    Digital Commerce in collection

August

  • Analyst Perspective
    Sales Performance Management
  • Benchmark Research
    Digital Commerce in collection;
    Subscription Management in collection
  • Dynamic Insights
    Product Experience in collection;
    Sales Analytics in collection;
    Intelligent Sales in design
  • Value Index
    Digital Commerce in collection;
    Subscription Management in design

What to see our research plans for the year?
Download the full research agenda

Vendors Not Covered or Recommended

  • 1WorldSync
  • Arkieva
  • Attensity
  • Aviso
  • Big Commerce
  • Brainshark
  • Channelitivity
  • Clearslide
  • Cognitive Scale
  • Comosoft
  • Computer Market Research
  • CRMNEXT
  • Demand Solutions
  • E2Open
  • Entomo
  • HighSpot
  • Iconixx Software
  • InsideSales
  • Knowledge Tree
  • Magento
  • Mediafly
  • Microsoft
  • Model N
  • Oracle NetSuite
  • Outreach
  • Perfion
  • PIMCore
  • PROS
  • Quintig
  • Qvidian
  • River Logic
  • Salesfusion
  • Seismic
  • Skura
  • SpringCM
  • Stripe
  • Tacton CPQ
  • TopOpps
  • Vistex
  • Zementis
For more information on Vendor coverage, or to become a covered vendor, click here.