I had a briefing from a start-up vendor called ForceLogix that is bringing to market a Sales Performance Management solution called Sales Force Optimizer. It has partnered with salesforce.com and will introduce the solution as part of its AppExchange. Similarly to Performix Technologiesin the call center space, ForceLogix has created strong dashboard functionality married with performance review capability. In addition, like Performix, the main differentiators of the solution are the pre-delivered Sales Performance Indicators (SPIs) as well as the integration with salesforce.com (to automatically pull the data for the SPIs). ForceLogix plans to integrate to other solutions such as NetSuite, SugarCRM, etc. In addition, the integration tools could allow integration with any CRM solution.
The bottom line is that this solution continues the trend we have started to see towards industry/job category-specific talent management solutions. These vendors are not selling to the HR departments. They are selling to the operational executives who need more specific, better tailored talent management capabilities for their workforce. Many of the capabilities in ForceLogix and Performix are available in cross-industry Employee Performance Management solutions. However, the value from these niche vendors is in their domain expertise around the specific type of worker.