Most organizations use financial incentives to drive performance among their sales staff. However, money alone is not enough to guarantee good performance (even among salespeople). Here's how one vendor can help.


“Gamification drives people to carry out objectives,” said Giles House, VP of Products for sales and marketing management solutions provider CallidusCloud. “There’s a lot of stuff salespeople need to do like training, reading up on regulations. Companies are struggling to get their salespeople to do these things.”

In a wide-ranging discussion with CMSWire, House described how CallidusCloud sees gamification and several other trends are affecting the sales and marketing management/optimization marketplace. Since studies indicate financial incentives only effectively motivate salespeople to perform two to three specific tasks (such as generating leads and converting sales), companies need to use gamification to encourage other behaviors.

“You can award points, allow salespeople to redeem goods, attend special events, etc.,” said House. You make a better salesperson.”

Discovering and Spreading Best Practices

In addition to providing users with gamification capabilities via its MySalesGame application, CallidusCloud also provides talent assessment tools to help managers figure out both who the top sales performers are and what best practices they are following. “What do they do differently from the rest of the team?” he asked. “What common traits do they exhibit -- how do they interact with CRM systems, generate quotes, make presentations, handle rejection. You can drill into the success factors of a special salesperson and create a targeted plan for other salespeople.”

Helping Salespeople Be Effective

CallidusCloud also offers technologies designed to boost the effectiveness of salespeople, and House says these solutions represent general trends in the marketplace. “We have a solution called CPQ that generates quotes and proposals,” he said. “It allows the salesperson to spend more time selling.” The solution also allows managers to push special promotions, up-sell and cross-sell offers to salespeople in the field via mobile device.

In addition, House said that moving forward sales and marketing must work in close alignment, although historically this has not been the case. “Sales needs a lot of leads but also needs to focus on good quality leads,” he said. “Tighter alignment with marketing is key to getting good leads.”

To this end, CallidusCloud purchased marketing automation vendor Leadformix in January 2012. House said sales/marketing alignment also allows organizations to use social media data to read the “digital body language” of prospects and customers to figure out where they are in the buyer’s journey and how ready and willing they are to be contacted. This data can then be linked with a sales enablement module to automatically provide certain documents geared for certain points in the sales cycle when prospects and customers visit an online customer portal.

Cloud Gains Momentum

CallidusCloud has been in existence since 1996, when it was known as Callidus Software, but started offering cloud-based solutions in 2004 and eventually changed its name. House concluded his remarks by saying he sees cloud technology as gaining more momentum this year than in 2012.

“As software becomes a commodity, people don’t want a lengthy IT-led discussion,” said House. “Business issues need to be solved and departments will run evaluations themselves. There’s less risk in making an IT selection now because you can just turn off the subscription. It’s good for the sales cycle.”