Companies partner on automation and compensation

Online customer relationship management and sales force automation vendor Salesforce.com and Callidus Software on Monday plan to detail an arrangement to link sales data to the Callidus enterprise information management system, with a goal of enabling enterprises to meet sales objectives.

Salesforce.com's online service will be linked to the Callidus TrueComp package via data integration; customers still would need to purchase both products separately. The partnership will enable companies to align business goals, sales priorities and customer relationships, according to the two companies.

Through TrueComp, companies, for example, can provide incentives for sales persons to sell particular products based on profitability rather than focusing on high-volume products that do not offer the best profit margins, said Geoff Roach, vice president of marketing at Callidus, in San Jose, Calif.

"What we do is we help people manage variable compensation," in terms of direct payments or payments to channel partners or for other related services such as advertising, Roach said.

By linking sales data to compensation plans, sales representatives have an incentive to utilize the SFA application that they might not otherwise have had, said Cary Fulbright, senior vice president of marketing at Salesforce.com, in San Francisco.

"What we think customers will find exciting about this is sales force automation is designed for managers of the organization, for the CEO and CFO and it depends on sales representatives putting in up-to-date information," Fulbright said.

"Traditionally, sales representatives haven't seen much value in the SFA application because it's sort of a Big-Brother application; they put in their data for other people's benefits."

Salesforce.com costs US$65 per license per month for the Pro Edition and $125 per license per month for the Enterprise Edition, built for large companies. TrueComp 2.5.2 costs about $300,000 for a configuration for approximately 400 sales persons.

Business intelligence software vendor Microstrategy Inc. has been named as a joint customer of Callidus and Salesforce.com. Fulbright said he was not prepared at this juncture to say whether there would be a linking between Salesforce.com and Microstrategy offerings similar to the arrangement with Callidus.

In an interview with Infoworld in November, Fulbright had mentioned Microstrategy as a vendor whose products would be linked to Salesforce.com via a data connector, but the company at this point is only noting Microstrategy as a user of the joint Salesforce.com-Callidus solution.

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