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Customer relationship management (CRM) software helps salespeople keep track of leads, meetings, marketing efforts — anything relevant to retaining old customers and signing new ones. But even powerful CRM systems like are useless if salespeople don’t want (or remember) to use them.

To reduce the friction of using CRM, Cirrus Insight brings Salesforce functionality into Gmail. Cirrus customers can update Salesforce records, create leads and contacts, and sync your Google and Salesforce calendars (among other features) without leaving Gmail.

Cirrus Insight brings Salesforce features into Gmail

Above: Cirrus Insight brings Salesforce features into Gmail

“Salespeople live in email, so why don’t we have the CRM live in there with them?” asked Brandon Bruce, cofounder and chief operating officer of Cirrus Insight, in an interview with VentureBeat.

Cirrus is further incentivizing CRM use by partnering with LevelEleven, which makes a CRM gamification product called Compete. Launched in Sept. 2011, the Compete app motivates salespeople to drive more business by making Salesforce CRM a competition, complete with company-wide leaderboards.


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“We find that typically they’ll have a prize reward tied to it — but I’ll tell you, it’s never about that,” said LevelEleven CEO Bob Marsh. “Salespeople just get so fired about the competition itself that adoption of Salesforce goes up significantly.”

Once Cirrus and LevelEleven agreed on a partnership, it only took them a few weeks to integrate their technologies. Now Cirrus customers like, The Boston Globe, and HootSuite can host competitions that track employees’ Cirrus usage at no additional cost.

LevelEleven and Cirrus Insight are both small companies, with 13 and 10 employees respectively. LevelEleven, based in Detroit, Mich., raised a $2 million funding round in Sept. 2013 from Detroit Venture Partners, Hyde Park Venture Partners, Salesforce, and a few others, bringing its total investment to $3.5 million. Cirrus, which is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., is a bootstrapped startup that’s looking to raise its first substantial funding round.

To learn more about how LevelEleven integrates with Cirrus Insight, check out the video below.

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