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Killing Email in the Name of Sales Performance? It’s Possible.

Cabrera_newToday's blog post is by Christopher Cabrera, CEO of Xactly Corporation, the industry leader in sales compensation automation.


The French information-technology company Atos recently announced that it will give up email over the next 18 months. Instead, all 74,000 employees will use instant messaging and a Facebook-like interface for internal communication. Atos CEO Thierry Breton said 90 percent of the emails employees receive are not useful, and 18 percent is spam. Breton has not sent an email in three years. (Source: WSJ)

Here's how I think Atos stands to benefit from its email ban:

  • Easy sharing of content across the company
  • Elimination of spam and unwanted email from outside the organization
  • Instant collaboration, which will lead to more collaborative solutions
  • Higher-quality company communication because dedicated internal channels won't co-mingle with external platforms

Is Email Dead, As Some Pundits Have Predicted?

This remarkable departure from email reflects a radical shift in the corporate culture and illustrates how social technology transforms workplace communication. Point-to-point email communication seems to get displaced by social information streams that everybody in the company can join to collaborate, comment, challenge, and vote on. I am reminded of the free flow of information in an ancient Greek forum, where every citizen contributed to the ongoing dialogue aimed at improving the state.

Today, autocratic leadership is taking a backseat to community ownership. Our Chatter and Jive culture allows employees to contribute to the corporate information streams in real time. These live conversations instantly reflect and shape what's taking place in a company. They empower every employee to feel he or she has a meaningful stake in the company. Everyone contributes to the welfare of customers and the company.

Technology motivates people to truly participate in the progression of their culture and company. It's also important to note that the boundaries of the workplace have shifted. Work is no longer a place we go to. Work is what happens in the Cloud. We need only a browser to connect to people around the globe 24/7.

Inspiration and Compensation in a Time of Transformation

The new workplace offers employees a huge opportunity to contribute their ideas and talents, and as a result, companies need to rethink their compensation strategies. Visionary sales leaders transform their operations, not to serve and support those who are reluctant to change, but to empower a future generation of technology-enabled high performers who are motivated to leap tall buildings. As sales leaders, we need to constantly align our processes, including our modes of communication, to reflect these shifting priorities.

When you provide the right motivation, you can influence how employees act and salespeople sell. As our adage at Xactly goes, "incent right, sell more."

Are your salespeople, processes, and technology aligned to inspire your sales force? What are you doing to cultivate a future-oriented corporate culture that attracts and retains top talent and promotes excellent performance?


To learn how to improve sales performance by leveraging what Gen Y cares about, check out Xactly's “Tips for Incenting Gen Y.

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A good example of the death of email, Chris, is the story of how I booked the Chief Marketing Officer of General Electric on Marketing Made Simple TV. No emails were involved. It was done 100% using Twitter. It just shows how much can be accomplished with social media today.

Jeff Ogden, Creator and Host
Marketing Made Simple TV

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