Today Detroit-based LevelEleven, which creates enterprise gamification and CRM solutions, announced its official launch with a $1 million seed round led by Detroit Venture Partners, and an equity stake from ePrize. The company’s first product is ContestBuilder, launched last year at Salesforce’s DreamForce conference, a sales contest gamification app. To date ContestBuilder has 30 paying clients including Comcast, InsideView, and the Detroit Pistons among others, and is the most popular gamification app in the Salesforce AppExchange. The company will use the funding to invest in product development and grow the team to keep up with the demand.
CEO Bob March, who had worked for ePrize for 13 years prior to launching LevelEleven, saw the opportunity when he led the adoption and implementation of the Salesforce software. “When we had implemented Salesforce into our sales organization, a couple of things jumped out at me, one is first how are we going to get people in here using it, we’re changing a habit and what they do day-to-day. The second thing is that the whole vision when a company buys a system like Salesforce is that you’re going to be able to measure and motivate all sorts of activities,” Marsh said in an interview. “With ePrize’s background in motivating behaviour using contests, promotions, and loyalty programs, the lightbulb started going off and I thought why don’t we build an application that builds competition around the different behaviors you need out a salesperson.”
Although sales contests have been around to motivate sales teams for as long as the profession itself, traditionally sales managers have had to use spreadsheets or whiteboards to keep track and update everything. With LevelEleven’s ContestBuilder, a company can have a contest up and running in 15-20 minutes, where a sales manager can put different weights on a number of behaviors, for example assigning one point for a call, two points for setting up a meeting, and five for closing a deal. They can then segment who they want in the contest, whereas before companies would have to no choice but to group every salesperson together, they can now use the tool to help a certain group increase or strengthen activity in one area.
Once the setup process is completed the app creates a leaderboard within the Salesforce platform, which is updated in real-time, and pushes out email notifications. It also a creates a separate group on Salesforce Chatter, the company’s enterprise social network solution, which then encourages everyone participating to get involved in a little ‘friendly competition.’ The company charges $5 per user per month.
Gamification in the enterprise space has taken off with a number of companies looking to motivate and encourage sale teams. Earlier in September, BetaKit covered Badgeville’s integration with Salesforce to help companies incentivize their sales teams through points and virtual rewards for custom behaviors, while other competitors like Hoopla also provide similar integration. There also companies like Influitive that also recently launched its own gamification platform for B2B referrals through its AdvocateHub, a place for customers and partners to get rewarded for activity that helps generate leads and close deals. However, Marsh believes that the key differentiator for ContestBuilder is that the app is easy to set up and rather than integrating with Salesforce, it was actually build specifically for the platform.
“We built the software on 100 percent of the Salesforce technology platform and that gives companies a lot of comfort. If you think about it, you’re a large enterprise, you just invested a ton of money in Salesforce.com so you’ve decided to trust in their software platform. Then you come to us and it’s the same platform,” Marsh said. “Because we’ve built it all on Salesforce.com, if you know how to use Salesforce, you know how to use us.”
Marsh was also clear to point out that the newly spun company, LevelEleven, is not solely a gamification solution provider, but rather the mission behind the company is to create products and services that help companies steer their employee behavior in ways that optimize their sales productivity. “My background is in sales and sales management, our business is how do we get sales team focused on the right things. It always drove me crazy that there’s all this software out there, but day-to-day does a salesperson know what they should be focused on right now?” Marsh added.