Call Centers

CallidusCloud Steps Up Call Center SPM Game

CallidusCloud on Thursday launched ServiceMotivate, a call center sales performance management, or SPM, solution.

ServiceMotivate is tightly integrated with Salesforce to track and reward call center agents based on key performance indicators of their service center, such as quick issue resolution and case closure rates, data quality improvements and customer satisfaction.

Among ServiceMotivate’s key features:

  • Real-time agent performance metrics are based on common data objects in the Salesforce Service Cloud;
  • Real-time customer feedback is based on CallidusCloud CX Feedback surveys; and
  • A personal reputation center within the Salesforce Service Cloud guides agents along a path to improvement, and aggregates all agent achievements into a single dashboard.

“Early deployments of the new product have shown considerable increases in agent confidence and satisfaction; improvement in support case handling and closure rates; and overall [customer satisfaction] and Net Promoter Scores,” noted Jon Shalowitz, general manager at CallidusCloud CX.

“Call center agents want to perform well, but how they’re measured, and the feedback they receive, are almost always not visible to them unless they’re getting coached for a performance issue,” he told CRM Buyer.

Improvements on the Fly

“The lines between sales, service and marketing are blurring, and companies should focus on providing a unified and consistent customer experience,” remarked Cindy Zhou, a principal analyst at Constellation Research.

ServiceMotivate “enables better tracking of customer engagement in Salesforce, which provides insight to sales and marketing on the overall account’s health,” she told CRM Buyer.

That link with Salesforce is ServiceMotivate’s big advantage, Zhou observed, because it lets ServiceMotivate “use real-time data in the context of a particular situation.”

SPM’s future “is in providing the coaching and encouragement in real time, in context, rather than as a way to correct or improve behavior after the fact,” noted Rebecca Wettemann, VP of Research at Nucleus Research.

This approach “enables managers to focus on higher-level coaching in one-on-one and team meetings rather than tactical coaching,” she told CRM Buyer.

Helping Agents Work Better

ServiceMotivate promotes competition among call center agents through gamification, involving monthly contests and leaderboards.

Agents are recognized and rewarded for quickly resolving customer issues and closing cases, updating customer information on cases, and earning high satisfaction scores on CallidusCloud CX Feedback surveys, which are incorporated in SalesMotivate.

They can see where they stand at any time in meeting their company’s daily and weekly goals, and how their performance compares to that of their peers.

“The big challenge for contact centers continues to be agent performance — and sales management — in an often highly pressurized environment with high turnover,” Nucleus Research’s Wettemann observed.

“The goal of most SPM technologies is to drive better sales performance, but they depend on effective management at the top to define objectives and rewards in a way that the system can’t be gamed, while driving desired behaviors,” she explained.

Gamification “and other SPM technologies have long been used in contact centers to drive consistent and improved performance for agents,” Wettemann said. Gamification doesn’t necessarily drive long-term performance improvements, but is “very effective when onboarding, driving sales of new products, and for other tactical efforts.”

Sizing Up the Competition

CallidusCloud’s competition in the SPM field includes a number of much larger companies — Salesforce, SAP, IBM, Oracle and Microsoft.

CallidusCloud already partners with Salesforce, and earlier this year it entered a strategic partnership with SAP to deliver integrated sales performance and other applications to SAP customers.

CallidusCloud’s Commissions, CPQ (configure price quote) and Contract Lifecycle Management solutions will be integrated with SAP products.

SPM is growing in importance, said Constellation’s Zhou. “Traditionally, companies were tracking activity; now, it’s about sales enablement and how companies can help their sales teams be more efficient and successful.”

Although SPM is a component of the broader world of CRM, ServiceMotivate “is for contact centers,” Wettemann pointed out — “likely high volume, relative low-dollar transactions, not more strategic selling.”

The benefit of offering contact centers an SPM approach, she said, “is that there’s a high volume of consistent transactional data to model and benchmark against out of the gate.”

Richard Adhikari

Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology. Email Richard.

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