Badgeville Debuts Salesforce Integration to Add Gamification to CRM

Today SaaS behavior and gamification platform Badgeville announced its integration for Salesforce at the company’s Dreamforce conference. Sales teams have long been rewarded with perks like trips and bonuses, and today’s integration is a way of bringing rewards inside Salesforce’s application, rather than providing real-life rewards.

Launched in 2010, Badgeville aims to help companies add gamification to their apps, and to help measure and influence user behavior. The company has raised $40 million to date, including $25 million in Series C funding in May 2012, and has over 180 customers including Samsung and Oracle. In addition to helping companies add points, leaderboards, and social incentives to their apps, it also gives them a way to reward employee behavior. Today’s Salesforce integration is just another way to do that, using a sales platform Badgeville’s mostly enterprise-level customers are likely already familiar with.

The new app is available on Salesforce AppExchange, and allows companies to incentivize their sales teams by rewarding them with points and other virtual rewards for custom behaviors, whether it’s creating or responding to a lead, closing an opportunity, or any other action within Salesforce. Admins can also set missions, which can be a combination of closing deals or other actions, and sales teams can see how far they’ve progressed on each mission.

“It provides a native natural application interface for you to start rewarding the right set of behaviors for your sales teams,” said Badgeville’s VP of Marketing Chandar Pattabhiram in an interview. “Gaming ideas like this have always been a part of well-run sales teams, except that it’s been outside your application. What we’re doing is taking those concepts…and making it naturally and intrinsically available within the application itself.”

Other companies like Seattle-based BigDoor are trying to help companies build game mechanics into their online tools, and there are existing solutions like Hoopla that help companies add gamification and incentives to their Salesforce accounts. “Creating a behavioral platform that utilizable across your internal and your customer-facing scenarios is the big differentiating factor for us,” Pattabhiram said about how Badgeville is different. “Larger companies don’t view this as an investment as a points solution, but as an investment as a platform across their different touchpoints.”

This summer Badgeville opened offices in London, and announced partnerships with PeopleBrowsr and Acquia. Pattabhiram said they’ll be looking to add additional partnerships over the next few months. And while the company has been focused on customer-facing communities to date, he said it will start to even out as they roll out more internal applications.

According to M2 Research, the gamification industry will grow to $2.8 billion in the U.S. by 2016. This new integration means sales teams now have another way of staying motivated, but for teams who are used to trips and other real-life rewards, points might not be as strong of a motivator. “It’s less about the badges and the rewards…and more about reinforcing the right behaviors are again and again,” Pattabhiram said.

Erin Bury

Erin Bury

Erin Bury is a Co-founder and CEO at Willful, an online estate planning platform. Also a former Managing Director at Eighty-Eight, a creative communications agency based in Toronto. She was formerly the Managing Editor at BetaKit. Follow her on Twitter at @erinbury.

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