Announcing Hurrah! Leaderboard Enterprise Edition with multiple datasource integration

It’s been a busy first half for our Customer Success representatives, who are in charge of signing new companies up every month. They thoroughly guide every new client through our innovative real-time leaderboards and enterprise gamification processes.

Whether it was the Sales or Customer Service crew of a recognized Sports team, a Professional Service, or an IT shop, we have come to the conclusion that they were all facing similar challenges before knowing about Hurrah!. Although some of them were already tracking their team’s performance by sketching a set of business goals on a whiteboard or online spreadsheet, their method was very basic and old-fashioned. Hurrah! has been specifically designed to automate and improve such process. It minimizes the hassle while providing an extremely friendly way for employees to stay tuned with their goals, as well as keeping them motivated over time while driving CRM adoption and boosting performance.

One key aspect of our successful leaderboard and performance monitoring tool, is the ability to pull data in real time from the existing CRM system. Over the past couple of years, several of our fellow partners successfully implemented Hurrah!, and soon they came back to us with a feature request that caught our attention: the ability to pull some specific data from other data sources, since the information was not always available within Dynamics CRM.

Our product development team took this challenge and isolated themselves from the external world for a few months. Today, after gaining some pounds, and performing lots of testing, we are proud to announce the results:

Hurrah! Leaderboards is now able to connect with the most popular enterprise database systems, and even Excel sheets!

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So, what does this mean for a Sales or Customer Service Manager?

Well, either as a fellow partner or as a Dynamics CRM enthusiast, you will not only experience the same level of connectivity you currently have with your favorite CRM, but also with other popular databases. Do you love our multi column chart slide but have some sales data stored in the Phone Systems and Call Center software? Now, you can mix it up with all that rich data stored somewhere else (Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, IBM DB2, and Excel, to name a few), and broadcast it right away on the TV screens.  Do you want to congratulate and launch the big event based on some valuable data stored in an external system, either an ERP or a billing system? No problem!

Obviously, this also opens the door to non-Dynamics CRM teams, allowing Hurrah! to fit in more spaces. Eventually, it would also allow every organization who is willing to experience the excitement of live motivation, engagement, and success, without considering the system they use to store data and CRM activities.

We trust this feature opens a wide variety of possibilities, making the broadcast of valuable information a lot easier, regardless of its location.

Another feature we included in this new release, thanks to our customer’s feedback, is the Metric Customization Platform. Metrics are now easier to setup than ever, directly from the administration console (yes, the one that looks like PowerPoint™), just with some quick help from your IT guy and zero dependance on our implementation team.

Feeling excited, right? We encourage you to upgrade for free to the latest version of Hurrah! Enterprise as soon as possible, or ask for a Live Demo and see how it could easily plug into your non-Microsoft CRM system.
alejandro-morales

Ale Morales
CEO @ CRMGamified

Touchpoints and Touchdowns

These days, it is not unusual to hear of companies using fantasy sport teams as part of their sales gamification strategy. Dividing a sales force up into ‘teams’ improves sales team performance and improves sales pipeline quality through better CRM use, but a new trend observed by CRM Gamified finds that sports organizations themselves are enthusiastically embracing gamification strategies for their own sales team organizations.

This is not surprising given the recent increase in sales for sporting events. The NBA alone set record attendance for the 2015-2016 season with over 21 million fans attending games and making a record for sellouts (723). With a need to manage large sales departments that are handling high volumes of ticket sales, gamification works particularly well with sports organizations to help sales teams benchmark performance, increase data reporting accuracy and increase sales.

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While most sales trainings include a thorough onboarding process, they do little to ensure that reps will have an ongoing opportunity to advance their knowledge retention and selling skills. According to a recent white paper on the future of sales training by Sales Performance International, “without systematic, ongoing learning and reinforcement, approximately 50% of the learning content is not retained within five weeks, much less applied, and within 90 days, 84% of what was initially learned is lost.” This highlights the need for a gamification product that is not only user-friendly, but can continually be honing salespersons’ skills via the application of competition and engaging leaderboards.

The Hurrah! Leaderboard® by CRM Gamified is an example of this type of dynamic leaderboard that shares sales data from CRM and engages sales teams with game elements such as rankings, awards and recognition, all which can be tailored to the individual (custom alert songs, etc.). Further, when sales are made, details and custom sounds are displayed for everyone to see. These audio-visual cues serve to motivate the reps to make more sales and display accurate data. Meanwhile, lower sales performers are able to witness the best practices of higher sales makers and their corresponding revenue, which in turn, motivates them to increase their sales.

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These elements of the Hurrah! Leaderboard make it a particularly compelling tool for sports organizations. The Dallas Cowboys, for example, are just one of many top sport leagues that have experienced success with the Hurrah! Leaderboard, especially appreciating the “live” recording and broadcasting of data via the Big Event alerts that the leaderboard utilizes. Using a set of pre-defined KPIs specific to the sports industry (Won Ticket Sales Opportunity, Won Renewal Ticket Cases, Total Full Season Revenue, Premium Pack Revenue to name a few examples), the Dallas Cowboys sales department chose the Hurrah! Leaderboard for its real time reporting and tracking features combined with the audio-visual cues for motivating the sales team. As PJ Pepa, CRM Manager at the Dallas Cowboys states, “when using gamification software, use the best technology available with Hurrah! CRM!”

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

Dallas Cowboys use Hurrah! to Motivate Reps and Increase Sales!

Cowboys_Stadium_fieldThe Dallas Cowboys hold several sporting honors, including being the only NFL team to record 20 straight winning seasons.

The Cowboys have a robust sales department that had already been using a CRM since 2007 to track and log sales, but they were lacking a reporting tool.

 

After seeing the way the Hurrah! system’s Big Event alerts worked when sales were recorded, the CRM management team got excited—and knew that if it attracted their attention, it would do the same for their sales reps!

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See how Hurrah! helped Dallas Cowboys Motivate Reps and Increase Sales!

Tired of updating leaderboards manually? Welcome to the new era of Real Time Leaderboards!

It is well known that monitoring operations based on “Activity and Results” KPI’s is essential for any Call Center or Telemarketing team. In the end, choosing those vital metrics and monitoring them, is what makes them succeed or not.

Some time ago, this important procedure was done poorly with a delay in showing reports, sometimes waiting weeks or even months. Nowadays the cutting edge call centers can monitor their key metrics in real time, allowing faster interaction and instant feedback. This finally streamlines their operations and improves the motivation of the people involved.

A variety of leaderboards and reporting solutions are available in the market, but the ones that actually work are the ones able to show instant updates automatically. Usually they are directly connected to the original data sources: such as CRM Systems, Data Warehouses, Sales Datamarts, Phone Systems, etc.

Non-real time solutions

There are also some solutions (even with a fancy front end) that require in-between files such as Excel spreadsheets or .txt files. We call that type of technology: a “non-real time” solution.

These types of tools are usually much easier to configure and they can start operating in a matter of minutes, however there are some important disadvantages:

 

15988-female-hands-typing-on-a-laptop-keyboard-pv 1) Someone is required to manually update the Excel/txt files, increasing the risk of mistakes or errors that may lead to unwanted actions… What happen if that person has a day-off at work?

 

 

2) It represents an additional non insignificant cost. Let’s suppose the person needs 15 minutes 4 times a day to upload this data. He will be wasting 1 productive hour a day in this particular task. Considering an average cost/time of $30 an hour per person….in a month the investment will be $600, which means $7.200 by year.

 

64368770_7bce91daf6_o (1)3) In Call Centers and Telemarketing, the operations are so intense that measuring the streamline of the business must be done more often. If we use a Monitor/Leaderboard system updated by hand, an employee would have to do this tedious task at least 8 to 10 times a day resulting in personal fatigue and discouragement.

 

4) Tracking live scores make people feel more excited, no instant feedback is possible using Excel files. We prefer to celebrate specific outstanding actions (or results) at the same moment they occur.
For instance if someone calls 50 clients in a week or closes a $50k deal, a REAL TIME solution catches the event and shares the action with everybody at the same moment the person accomplishes the goal.
There is a huge difference between having that information LIVE, than waiting 24 hours until the data can be refreshed by someone editing an Excel file. Something similar happens if someone wins 2 or 3 positions in a leaderboard or if someone climbs to the 1st position. People want to see the changes in the metrics and in the leaderboard immediately, right at the moment it happens.

Leaderboard/Reporting Solutions help companies to track KPI’s and make them visible for everybody. They also aid companies to design tournaments and contests among their people invoking an intense sense of competition and self-improvement.

But… which group of Reporting/Leaderboard solutions is less risky and cheaper? Which one represents a more powerful solution to motivate teams?

Those that, even being easier to deploy, require in-between files updated by people? Or those that take the data directly from the source showing it clearly to anyone in the office?

alejandro-morales

Alejandro Morales
CEO CRMGamified

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!

 

Boston Celtics Crashing the Sales Boards with Hurrah!

^69972C1013CD44DD0A705EA0F142E76F9BF9C78E2B1341FE90^pimgpsh_fullsize_distrThe Boston Celtics, the most successful NBA franchise with 17 championships – more than any other NBA club – has relied on both its historical legacy and modern technology to achieve sales growth.

The Celtics sales team knew about respecting the trust of the fan
and bonding season ticket holders with the team long-term as a
priority, but measuring sales and encouraging the sales group was another story.

 

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Hurrah! Live in the Boston Celtics Offices

 

See how Hurrah! became an exciting tool to develop their own sales tournament!

Download the Case Study Here 

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.