Organizations have been slow to deploy applications that improve sales operations and manage performance in the sales force according to Ventana Research’s 2009 Value Index for Performance Management.  A complete program of sales performance management involves a discrete set of applications Ventana says are widely unexploited. For example, more than one-third of those participating in the research have no plan to adopt sales asset management software, more than one-quarter (27 percent) do not plan to automate commission management, and the same number (27 percent) have no agenda to deploy applications that address sales coaching and competency or acquiring market intelligence.  Each of these applications plays a key role in the improvement of sales processes and  results. The sales-specific applications least important to participants were quota and territory management (33 percent) and compensation management modeling (31 percent); however, Ventana Research regards these as important tools for maximizing sales performance through calibrating opportunities and incentives.  On the plus side, in the next 12 months organizations plan to deploy applications to address workflow (27 percent), commission management (23 percent) for sales operations, analytics (27 percent) and forecasting leads (25 percent) for sales performance. Effectively managing sales performance requires a comprehensive framework that includes most or all of these applications. The 2009 Value Index for Performance Management indicates that the company delivering the highest value on an overall weighted evaluation basis is Information Builders, followed by Infor, IBM Cognos Software, Softscape and arcplan. The first of the Ventana Research Indexes will help organizations assess the value of existing and future technologies, systems and tools for business and IT. "This new research-based Value Index on Performance Management is the result of significant analysis and review of vendors and products," said Mark Smith, CEO and executive vice president of Ventana Research in a statement. This new research-based undertaking is neither sponsored nor influenced by technology vendors. To learn more about the Value Index for Performance Management, please visit http://www.ventanaresearch.com/valueindex.  Read Mark Smith’s Information Management blog here.

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