Gamification: the best tool to captivate millennials

Millennials are proven to be the hardest generation of talent to retain at work.

Until the arrival of gamification.

Millennials are known for being autonomous, restless and keen on independence. They are constantly looking for new experiences, even at work. For this generation, working is not just an obligation, nor it is only about money. They are looking for something different: a comprehensive experience through a job that is rewarding but also meaningful.

Moreover, they are not shy when facing challenges or looking for quick results. As we already know, they grew up in the social media era: for them, it’s all about instant gratification.

According to the latest research from Gallup Consulting, millennials currently represent 38% of the US workforce. However, only 29% are fully committed to their work, as the report “How Millennials Want to Work and Live” points out.

With those numbers, we can understand why the term “employee engagement” has taken a completely different meaning. HR experts have begun to see gamification as a way of captivating, motivating and engaging millennials at work.

But what does gamification actually mean? Sebastian Deterding, a specialist in the field focused on researching user experience, video games, persuasive technology and gameful design was one of the first people who coined the term. In his own words, “Gamification is the use of game design elements in non-game contexts”.

In the last decade, many companies have incorporated different kinds of games in their offices like table tennis, video games, and board games, among others.

But, what would happen if gaming became an intrinsic part of the job? Well, we’ve seen that gamification in a workplace presents many significant advantages, especially in certain fields such as commerce, advertising, marketing, sales, call ceners, etc.

Here are 5 reasons why gamification can help to engage millennials:

1. Makes you feel happy

For the millennial generation, money cannot be the only reward when performing tasks at work. Assuring their well-being and complete professional satisfaction is also extremely important. Several scientific pieces of research demonstrate that gaming causes an increase of dopamine levels in the brain, boosting one’s energy, good mood and productivity.

2. Promotes collaboration

People tend to create strong bonds when playing games. At least, we trust that everyone is going to play according to the rules of the game. Teamwork is an essential force in any organization, and millennials are well aware that significant things are not meant to be achieved alone.

3. Fosters the learning process

Through trial and error, gamers learn to cultivate all kinds of skills. And if there is something that this generation wants, it’s to know 100% what is expected from them and what kinds of things they must learn to be even more successful in the professional field.

4. Motivates self-improvement

Games are also excellent tools to encourage personal growth. Once you have a clear vision of your achievements, the brain instantly activates its reward system. For example, progress bars and leaderboards that showcase the player’s journeys, how far they have come and how far they have left to go push employees to desire an epic win.

5. Helps employees understand the goals of the organization

Last but not least, the strategic use of gamification can improve internal communication within the company, clarifying its short and long-term goals. When millennials understand “the why” of their tasks at work, they are more likely to stay on track and develop desires to advance along their career path.

Using Gamification to Improve CRM Engagement

2137737248_318e717653_oEncouraging employees to adopt a new technology within any organization can be challenging. Significant time and money is invested into a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to be set up specifically to meet a company’s requirements. The CRM is a key sales tool for tracking potential and existing customers. It is crucial that data is entered accurately and in a timely manner in the CRM system. This data will be used in making key business decisions within the company.

 

An organization knows that in order to see the returns on their investment in a CRM system, a variety of measurements and ways to encourage and motivate the employees to use the system need to be in place. Some approaches to encourage and motivate an employee are more effective than others, but how is one supposed to choose which approach is the best.

CRMGamified has modernized an old approach by leveraging gamification mechanics and applying it to human behavior. Gamification is designed to overcome existing obstacles that prevent or hinder employees from adopting a new technology. It promotes human behaviors that will lead to increasing the quantity and quality of customer data.

Problem Statement

More than ever, companies are implementing CRM systems. The gathering of customer data can be a key deciding factor in a company’s initiatives and direction it takes in developing and selling its products. The data needs to be entered by employees who have customer facing roles accurately and in a timely manner.

Problems start when data is not being entered or it is not entered accurately. There are many reasons why a user does not enter the data. The following is a summary of some of the challenges a company has when trying to encourage an employee to adopt and use the CRM.

6914441342_775b4ab9a7_oData Entry

After a CRM system is implemented, data needs to be added to the system to create the reports required to facilitate decisions. If a user is asked to add data and they do not understand why this data is being entered or how it will be used to make corporate decisions, the data entry will get de-prioritized over other work that is perceived as more important.

Accuracy of the information

Data is being entered into the CRM system, but what is the quality of the data being inputted. Perhaps there is some uncertainty among the sales people as to the type of information that should be entered or the information is too general. When the time comes for a decision to be made about a customer, there may not be sufficient data to make an informed decision.

Lack of involvement of in the CRM project,

When the key users of the system are not involved in the initial stages of the CRM project, the CRM may not properly take into account the work processes in place. The CRM is supposed to facilitate work and decisions not hinder them. Certain decisions may have been made that the user may not understanding. The end result is resistance to using the CRM or feeling that the CRM creates more work for them by not incorporating their feedback into the project, a great way to get their buy in is from the start of the CRM implementation.

wipe-97583_960_720Regular cleanup of the data to remove redundancy

Poorly entered data could generate redundant data and create inaccuracies in the CRM reports. Data needs to be reviewed periodically to remove any redundant records. Regularly cleaning up the data ensures the quality of the data.

Training

Training is essential for the adoption of the CRM. If a user does not know how to use the CRM, the data will be entered incorrectly. Follow up training is necessary to cover any new or revised work processes. Users may feel attending the training not necessary and may want to focus their efforts on selling. This type of thinking impacts the quantity and quality of data.

There are many tactics that can be utilized to encourage and motivate employees to use a CRM system. This white paper explores the use of gamification as one tactic to motivate a user and improve the quality and quantity of data entry in a CRM system.”

The CRM Gamification Solution

iconFooterThe implementation of a recognition and reward system encourages and motivates employees to use the CRM system. Ultimately you want to reward and recognize desirable behaviors. Achievement and recognition are the top two motivation factors. These factors need to be in place for an employee to have satisfaction at work. The reward system can use points, badges, rankings, leaderboards, levels, missions, and real-time feedback to motivate and reward employees for their efforts.

What is Gamification

This is where the use of gamification tactics come in. Gamification is taking an activity that is perceived as dull and uninteresting and injecting some fun into it. Gamification uses game design techniques to motivate people to achieve their goals. It is about taking an application and applying game mechanics to make it engaging. It is used to reward users for their contributions.

Where to Apply Gamification in CRM

Gamification can be used to encourage behaviors that you want users to adopt. Include gamification in your sales methodology. For example, if a sales person makes a new contact, this person receives 1 point. Make a new contact in one of your target accounts, obtain 2 points. If a person makes x number of sales calls, this person receives three points.

Create some healthy competition by using a leaderboard. Post the names of sales people and their sales by highest sales first. The people with the lower sales numbers will want to catchup and even surpass the leader.

Create levels, for example Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Different rewards can be established at each level.

Why Gamification Works

Gamification works because it motivates employees to embrace CRM as a tool to facilitate their daily work. People like to play and compete in games. Gamification to CRM systems does just that. The more badges and points that a user has, this user is perceived as the guru of the CRM system. This user becomes the go-to person. Gamification creates that award system to recognize a person for their achievements

Having accurate data entered in a timely manner is crucial to a company’s CRM system. The CRM system is a key tool to facilitate decisions for customers. Without good data, effective decisions cannot be made.

Gamification is one tactic to ensuring that the necessary data is entered and is an effective means to motivate users by rewarding and encouraging specific behaviors to generate sales success.

Gamification takes advantage of human nature such as the desire to be acknowledged and rewarded for achievements. It plays on an individual’s competitive side by motivating them to try and be the best.

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Hurrah

Hurrah! and Motivation Engine are software programs to help sales managers effectively use gamification within their companies to encourage effective data entry and the best behaviors to achieve sales success.

For more information Contact Us

The Minnesota Timberwolves Win BIG with Sales Motivation Technology

012308-TC-Twolves001The history of the Minnesota Timberwolves, an NBA expansion team formed in 1989 is full of great players and impressive accomplishments. They headed to the playoffs 8 consecutive times from 97-2004 and beat Michael Jordan and the Bulls in their heyday.

 
Their Sales team also has a proud history, setting the league attendance record their first year in existence, drawing more than a million fans.

 
See how Hurrah! created the same excitement in their offices as on the court!

 

POOR ADOPTION & ENGAGEMENT WILL COST YOU

This is what’s been on my mind lately, as I speak with existing and potential clients about the issues they face getting employees to work in CRM.

 
1. Importance of an Adoption Plan
Along with an Implementation Plan, an Adoption Plan – that is a plan to make sure employees use what has been bought and paid for- is essential, no matter whether you are starting fresh or upgrading.  Many organizations simply put everything on hold while they focus on the upgrade process.  However, I’ve learned from highly productive Dynamic CRM clients, both plans should be crafted with End Users in mind.  By doing so, the project remains focused on how the CRM will support employees in their work and achieve overall company goals.  Many times we get lost in the “technology for technology’s sake” weeds.

If you look into the elements of a good Adoption Plan, you will read much about end user motivation and “What’s in it for me?”.  Explaining the Good News of CRM may not be enough and it is considered a best practice to explore and incorporate other motivations that may work within the culture of your organization.  Some motivations to consider as part of your Adoption Plan are:

 

• Appreciation from leadership
• Public Recognition before peers
• Rewards
• Peer pressure
• Competition
• Accountability

 

Finally, as with any plan, milestones, measurement and ability to adapt quickly will increase the chances of success.  Transparency and timeliness of data as spoken about by Satya Nadella at Convergence is everything.  Up to the minute reports – pictured below from CRMGamified’s Motivation Engine – easily accessed by all, will allow for decisions to be made immediately. Managers can see what is working, employees can see their progress and improve. Implementing an adoption plan with a motivation engine that measures and shares data as employees work in CRM should add to success for all!

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2.  More next time on Employee Engagement and what it means to the bottom line.  You may consider reading this NYTIMES article “When Employee Engagement turns into Employee Burnout”  about how high employee engagement, as it has been traditionally defined, is no longer sufficient to fuel the highest levels of performance

 

Debbie Rea

3 Tips to Become a Rainmaker in Sales & CRM

What are the best days and times to close sales? Why shouldn’t you drink coffee in a sales meeting? When having lunch with customers, why should you take the best seat at the table? Why should you never ‘be in a meeting’ when a customer calls? Why do breakfast meetings make rain?

These are some of the questions and rules brought up in the book ‘How to Become a Rainmaker. The Rules for Getting and Keeping Customers and Clients’ by Jeffrey J. Fox. This is a bestseller about selling and if you haven’t read it yet and you want to be above average, you should.

It was great information for me and so I wanted to share just three concrete examples where Mr. Fox’s advice + the use of a CRM platform like Microsoft Dynamics CRM and some gamification techniques, will help  you make rain!

1) Always Precall Every Sales Call

As Mr. Fox states, appointments with decision makers are relatively rare events. And yet Meeting with decision makers is crucial to getting the sale. Because of this, meetings (now very commonly held virtually) with decision makers must be carefully planned.

In his book, Mr. Fox says that “Ninety percent of all sales calls are won or lost before the salesperson sees the customer. This is because so few salespeople actually plan their calls…Rainmakers never waste a sales call: they always make a Pre call plan.”

 

What does that mean in the CRM world? Adopting, adapting and implementing a simple checklist like the book suggests into your CRM. It should be no more than adding some fields to the PhoneCall system entity to help you and your sales team make more effective sales calls and save valuable time for next phone calls.

Example:

  • Sales Call Objectives
  • Relevant questions to ask
  • What am I going to show in this call?
  • Anticipated customer concerns and objections
  • Points of differences with competitors
  • Which dollarization benefits to the customer will  I share today?
  • Expected results and next steps from the call
  • Expected surprises?

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‘A Rainmaker never calls on a decision maker without a written precall plan’, Jeffrey J. Fox.

2) Fish Where the Big Fish Are

It makes no sense to waste your time, money and energy chasing poorly qualified opportunities or low profit deals, aka small fish!

Making good use of CRM can substantially improve your accuracy when qualifying opportunities and best of all, decrease headaches and increase  revenue.  How can that be  accomplished? 3 very simple ideas:

  • Exploit the new Business Process Flows (BPFs) introduced with CRM 2013 (unfortunately I have seen very few customers  using it to its potential). Mandatory “Yes/No” questions aligned with Mr. Fox’s concepts i.e. ‘Current customer?’, ‘Contact is familiar with our products?’, ‘Want or need our products’,  ‘contact is decision maker?’, ‘I know about budget’, ‘We are first bidder’, ) combined with options (i.e. timeframe, purchase process) and stage may be very useful. Example:

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  • Leverage Business Rules, also introduced with CRM 2013. Visually display your rules that have been proven successful in qualifying  or disqualifying opportunities. By that, I mean proactively alert the sales rep the opportunity doesn’t fit with some proven criteria. For example, if your contact isn’t a decision maker, and you don’t know the budget then a suggested action is to diplomatically skip this one and invest the time in other opportunities.
  • Start your day with dashboards, not records! Dashboards (customized  internally ), can quickly tell you things like: your top opportunities, your top customers, # of opportunities won/lost by customer, $ in revenue by customer, # of phone calls by customer or opportunity, % quota achieved (if combined with CRM goals) besides of course, the most common charts like sales funnel. Work from dashboards and drill down to records, see the forest first, then focus on the right trees.

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  • Celebrate BIG sales! As Mr. Fox states the big sale is the trophy fish on the wall’, a phrase I couldn’t agree with more!. And I am very happy when customers tell us stories about how much their sales people love to see their picture on the widescreen through Hurrah! Leaderboards after a gong rings or a goal is scored celebrating a BIG SALE!

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3) Use the Point System Every Day!

I will re-state the author’s advice here:

‘There are four steps which are part of every sale:

  1. Getting a lead, a referral, an introduction to a decision maker.
  2. Getting an appointment to meet the decision maker.
  3. Meeting the decision maker face-to-face.
  4. Getting a commitment to a close (a purchase) or to an action that directly leads to a close.

Assign one point to Step 1, two points to Step 2, three points to Step 3, and four points to Step 4.”

 

Of course,the  number of points and everyday targets may vary from business to business but gamification of your CRM will allow you to assign points to important business processes and keep everyone focussed and on track.

We at CRMGamified offer tools to award and keep track of points and progress toward well qualified opportunities with great profit and revenue potential.  Gamification of your CRM helps you develop rainmakers and increase success for all.

 

Look how easy it is using Dynamics CRM and our Motivation Engine:

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That’s a pretty simple but common rule, including the creation of a record (in this case Lead), that meets some condition or conditions.

Very similar configuration can quickly be done for appointments, phone calls, opportunities and actually whatever system or custom entity you may be using in your Dynamics CRM to track sales data.

Oh! Who is going to make it rain this month? Visually design a badge and define a more difficult rule like generating 10 new opportunities this month with actual revenue >5.000 and closing 2 of them. You may want to include making certain number of phone calls or appointments as well.

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Moreover, if you’re in a management role, you may want to know in real time how your sales team is performing, encouraging the behaviors that drive more sales:

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While if you are in a sales position aiming to improve your stands, you will love to see how nice your trophies and your next upcoming missions look.

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There is a lot more to be done but I hope this post briefly helps to leverage Mr. Fox concepts through a real and fast way of bringing them to action.

Leave your comment below with opinions on how to improve sales performance with Dynamics CRM!

 

Cheers!

PP

@pabloperalta

MVP | Microsoft Dynamics CRM

PS:  Of course if interested, I will be happy to demo our Motivation Engine as well as our TV Leaderboards for Dynamics CRM any time for you. Just try the chat below or simply click Get a Demo link.

Welcome CRMGamified® Motivation Engine 3.0!

 

There are many ways one can start a new year – our way is to do what we love most: Provide our customers the power to get the most out their CRM investment!

How do we do that? By constantly innovating and building cool new products and releases based on real experiences. That has been our mantra since the first introduction of our CRM Motivation Engine for Dynamics CRM, to the release of our recent new beauty, Hurrah! in mid-2014. Already, several call centers have incorporated Hurrah! into their CRM and have witnessed great results, not only in sales and customer service teams’ performance improvements but also in the valuable business information garnered from their CRM in real-time!

Today we are writing a new page in the history of CRM world-class gamification tools.

CRMGamified® Motivation Engine (ME) 3.0 is here with a completely new re-imagined user interface, engaging user experience, administration simplicity and architecture. Best of all? It’s fully compatible with Dynamics CRM 2011 (since UR12), 2013, 2015 and Online.

Let’s take a sneak peak at it…

The new, re-imagined user interface

Users will be able to see their accomplishments and progress in a new visually appealing format.

How many points have I earned? How close am I to reaching a new level? Which rewards am I most proud to showcase? It’s all there in the new User Profile page.

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Figure 1 – The new User Profile page

 

See a detailed record of all your rewarded activity, including comments and congratulations from your peers and leaders as they celebrate your progress, as well as your updated ranking on the leaderboards…

 

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Figure 2 – The new Motivation Engine user activity feed

 

Which team or teams am I a member of? What accomplishments have we accumulated together?

 

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Figure 3 – The new Team Profile page

 

The new Team Profile page lets users quickly see that, as well as all the activity feed for the team, its members and where the team stands in the rankings.

 

The most engaging CRM experience ever

Qualified your first lead? Here is your first achievement! Congratulations!

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Figure 4 – The new Motivation Engine encourages users’ good behavior from the very beginning.

 

Tried hard calling customers today? You deserve some points, of course!

 

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Figure 5 – Recognizing performance in real time, providing positive reinforcement to users.

 

With the addition of CRMGamified® ME 3.0 to your Dynamics CRM, your users will now be thrilled to adopt CRM and receive frequent positive reinforcement for good habits, ultimately leading to motivated teams, better sales results and improved customer service performance.

Different types of leaderboards for different time periods give all users the chance to be at the top and share in the excitement of their winning stats:

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Figure 6 – Multiple leaderboards by different time periods

 

And your mission is…

Call 10 leads from your last campaing. Register them as new contacts, capture valuable information from them and arrange meetings to deliver a demo of the new product. Congratulations! You’re a Client Chaser.

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Figure 7 – Define targeted missions aligned with business goals in the new CRMGamified® ME 3.0

Your next mission:  generate 5 new opportunities, move them ahead in the sales pipeline, and finally close your first deal. Mission completed? Congratulations! You have graduated to Sales Initiator.

Missions let you, as a manager or administrator, define steps that will help users stay focused on accomplishing their (and your) business goals. No matter if those goals are related to sales, customer service, marketing or custom entities. You will be able to design exciting missions for them!

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Figure 8 – Easily design your missions, steps and rules based on any of your CRM entities.

 

Simple to setup and administer…

As in previous versions, CRMGamified® ME 3.0 is a managed solution that you can easily import into your Dynamics CRM system.

Once imported, you will not believe the power and flexibility you now have in your hands to model games that target your business goals and CRM entities.

 

Multiple games support

We know different areas within your organization pursue different business goals and in turn, use different elements in CRM.

We have managed to handle those scenarios since v2, and the good news is that it is now easier than ever and you can natively design and tailor different games for different audiences, with of course, different reward rules, achievements, badges, missions and levels.

Here is how the Games Administration page looks like in the new CRMGamified® ME 3.0:

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Figure 9 – The new Games Administration page. Easily add or import new games and administer existing ones.

 

Easily manage who is taking part in the game and who isn’t …

Quickly add or remove people or teams from the game. Easily search and visualize which game that user (well, now player!) is active in.

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Figure 10 – The new Players Administration page will let you easily add users and teams to your game.

 

The new Rules Editor

Your business is unique and so are your processes, entities and fields in Dynamics CRM.

Our new Rules Editor is designed to make it easier for you to setup the simplest to the most complex reward rules, based on your customizations.

Give 10 points for each new opportunity users create. Give 10 extra points if that opportunity is related to your new product line. Reward with a special badge after winning first 5 opportunities for that product line. For your customer service team, do things like rewarding 10 points for resolving cases on the first call and giving extra points for consistently meeting SLAs that particular week.

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Figure 11 – The new Rules Editor makes it easier than ever to define the simplest to the most complex reward rules that meet your business criteria.

 

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Figure 12 – Define multiple conditions per achievement.

 

The new Badge Designer

YES! You asked for it, you got it.

CRMGamified® ME 3.0 lets you visually create and design your own badges. Indicate a title and description to define it, then select from the included and extensive variety of out of the box icons, colors, stars, difficulty levels and your badge is ready to be used!

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Figure 13 – The new Badge Designer lets you visually create and design your custom badges.

 

Want to learn more?

See it working live!

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We welcome you to join us in any  of our 30 minute on-line presentations  where I will be accompanied by Iang Yim, our CTO & gamification expert in charge of the design and development of this new beauty.

Can’t wait? Request a demo now!

 

I’m so excited about achieving this milestone, and I cannot wait to show you all the exceptional power you can now have in your hands to ignite your CRM, motivate your users, and reach your business goals while getting exceptional CRM adoption rates.

 

Pablo Peralta

Microsoft Dynamics CRM MVP

Co-founder & Product Manager

t: @pabloperalta