Social Good Inspires Sales Excellence: A Conversation With SAP

Global software company SAP rewards its top performing sales team members with charitable sales incentives that deliver social good. Chris Cale shares what makes the program successful.


Chris Cale

Vice President, Sales Programs and Operations at SAP

Who He Is:

In his role at SAP, Chris leads the development and implementation of go-to-market programs for the SAP Solution Extensions portfolio of software solutions which contribute more than 1 billion euros annually to SAP. He works closely with sales teams, customers, and the SAP partner ecosystem to increase revenue and to recognize excellent performance from these teams, which was the inspiration for the SolExcellence Sales Awards program. Previously, Chris had roles in alliance management and sales operations at Microsoft and received a bachelor’s from Stanford University. In his free time, Chris enjoys cooking, sailing, and biking around the Philly area.

Q: What are SAP Solution Extensions?

 
A: SAP Solution Extensions are products sold by SAP that are developed by third-party independent software vendors. Over the years, more than 5,000 customers with tens of millions of users have confidently chosen to implement them. These best-in-class solutions fully integrate with enterprise business processes supported by SAP software and deliver unique offerings that address distinct business needs.

Q: How does SAP Solutions Extensions integrate social good?

 
A: Since 2015, the SAP Solution Extensions team has recognized top performers by way of the SolExcellence Sales Awards program and a partnership with GlobalGiving, which complements SAP’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy. Employees want to get involved and make a difference. We therefore connect our employees with charitable causes where they can make a tangible contribution to social change.

Q: What business need are you solving with the SolExcellence Sales Awards?

 
A: We wanted a way to recognize the extraordinary results of SAP’s talented sales teams in closing the largest, most strategic SAP Solution Extensions deals every quarter and recognizes their commitment to making the world a better place. Each winner receives a trophy and a $1,000 GlobalGiving Gift Card to make a donation to a charitable project of their choice.

Q: Why is the charitable component important to SAP?

 
A: The SAP Solution Extensions team supports SAP’s mission to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. SAP believes that social, environmental, and economic activities and performance are interrelated—each impacting the other. SAP’s efforts focus on creating a sustainable future for the company, our customers, and society.
The SAP Solution Extension team developed this program to recognize top performers and help employees become purpose-driven in giving back and making an impact.

Q: What do your employees think of the program?

 
A: The program is extremely well received by those recognized, their managers and teams, and most importantly, by the GlobalGiving organizations who have received their donations.
Recipients have provided feedback that they appreciate this approach to an awards program which provides more meaning than traditional gifts. The opportunity to make a connection to so many deserving groups is a reward unto itself.

To date more than $100,000 has been donated to more than 150 charitable projects in 54 countries by 200 employees and counting.

Q: What does it take to inspire SolExcellence program winners who have an opportunity to impact social change in the world?

 
A: Our global sales team members are hardworking self-starters who are passionate about problem solving and are eager to learn and grow. Often, they are short on time. The GlobalGiving program allows them to donate to high-impact projects, including initiatives that align with SAP’s CSR focus on building digital skills for underserved youth and accelerating nonprofits and social enterprises to run at their best.

The partnership with GlobalGiving allows sales team members to step back and help make a difference.

The SAP Solution Extensions team appreciates playing a small part in a much bigger picture to empower SolExcellence winners to help the world run better and improve people’s lives.

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Featured Photo: Creating dignified jobs for 72 women in Kenya by Imani Collective.

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