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Ambition, a gamified sales management platform based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, today announced that it closed a $15.5 million series B funding round led by investment firm Primus Capital. According to the company, the infusion — which brings Ambition’s total raised to over $20 million — will support the startup’s ongoing growth initiatives.

Ambition occupies the sales performance management market, which largely comprises software that turns commission plans into dashboards. While useful, cofounder and CEO Travis Truett argues that it’s a reactive approach that doesn’t align with fast-paced environments where revenue leaders must turn insights into actions.

“Ambition was founded in 2013 prior to going through Y Combinator in January of 2014. Jared Houghton, Brian Trautschold, and I continue to lead the company today,” Truett told VentureBeat via email. “Ambition turns all the noise being created by sales tools — such as Salesforce software, sales acceleration, or conversation intelligence tools — into human-centric insights that revenue leaders utilize to consistently coach, incentivize, and maximize their people. [Our] unique approach to rep performance management helps Fortune 500 and rapidly growing sales teams alike embrace remote work and combat both employee disengagement and manager data overload. Ambition’s mission is to help teams create momentum and achieve goals in the work-from-anywhere world.”

Gamified sales

Ambition’s sales, coaching, and gamification platform syncs with existing customer relationship management and tech stacks to deliver insights. It provides structured one-on-one  and team coaching programs that integrate with performance metrics for a summary of every rep.

“Remote work has presented a huge challenge to revenue teams, as traditional coaching rituals and culture initiatives were broken by leaving the office. Ambition has seen enormous momentum over the past year as companies prioritize the future of engaging, coaching, and developing our most precious resource: talent. The opportunity for Ambition is to own the burgeoning rep performance management space — a critical cornerstone of the enormous sales enablement category,” Truett added.

The sales performance management market was valued at $3.19 billion in 2020 and is expected to climb at a compound annual growth rate of 13.09% between 2021 and 2026. Beyond startups like Mindtickle, Ambition competes with Ascent (formerly LevelEleven and Geopointe) for customers investing in sales gamification software.

“Ambition provides a new opportunity to allow visibility into the impact of a company’s sales coaching programs, or even the effectiveness of managers on their employees’ performance. By tracking ‘attribution’ of coaching, sales enablement leaders can gauge programs and adjust to maximize rep outcomes,” Truett said. “Many Ambition customers have hundreds of managers, so creating a reporting and insights layer on the impact that variables like coaching discussions, training content, management process, or check-in cadences are having on individual employees leads to massive implications.”

Ambition

Above: Ambition’s sales gamification and management platform.

Image Credit: Ambition

There’s evidence to suggest that gamification works. In a TalentLMS survey, 89% of people said that when their work was gamified, they were more productive at work. Another study found that games in the workplace can increase an employee’s ability to learn new skills by up to 40%.

“Ambition focuses on large sales teams at enterprise companies or rapidly scaling organizations. Today, we have over 160 customers, many of which with hundreds to thousands of users on Ambition,” Truett said. “The pandemic and remote work accelerated the workplace transformation we have believed in for years — which is one where work-from-anywhere is normal and engaging and cultivating talent is critical. The business has continued to accelerate this year, with momentum both on the new logo side and rapid expansion to new business units — such as customer success — in our existing customers.”

Ambition says it doubled its client base of Fortune 500 organizations over the last year. To support the growth, the company hired 26 new employees across its offices in Chattanooga, Nashville, and Atlanta, bringing its workforce to 67. Ambition plans to employ 85 people by the end of the year.

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