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Dopamine: How Gamification helps its production making us healthier?

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter. It is a chemical messenger originated from a nervous termination that interacts with a specific receptor to produce different physiological responses helping in the transmission of signals in the brain and other vital areas.

Dopamine is found in humans as well as animals, including both vertebrates and invertebrates.

 

How it works?

This neurotransmitter’s main functions are promoting mental energy, improve attention, impulse control, motivation and determination. When there is a deficient production of dopamine the results are translated in fatigue, dizziness, high desires of sugar or coffee, weight gain, attention problems, decrease of sexual desire and impulse control.
A recent study done by the MIT reveals that dopamine is also the neurotransmitter responsible of motivating us in
the most difficult moments, under a promise of “reward”. This study was made in a population of rats, scientists explain this findings are applicable in the same way with humans.

The results showed that when the rat was approaching an objective or a distant prize the dopamine production increased, this can be seen with Parkinson patients where dopamine is affected and there is not enough motivation to reach objectives or long tasks.

 

Games and Dopamine

d2Dopamine Involved in learning and feelings of reward, is released in the brain’s striatum during game activities strengthening the brain cell connections underlying memory and learning, which is why games can be put to educational and therapeutic uses.

Game strategy applications have an appeal that crosses many demographic boundaries, such as age, gender, ethnicity, or educational attainment. Besides being fun and stimulating, they can be used to help set up goals and rehearse working towards them, maintain a record of behavioral change, provide reinforcement, feedback and self-esteem.

Encouraging play, creates excitement and a more lighthearted work atmosphere that in turn stimulates employees to take more creative risks.

 

How Gamification is helping?

The reasons why people play are very punctual. In a survey made by the CRMGamified team to relatives and coworkers, the answers where centered in these specific reasons:

  • Socializing: Relationships between players are stronger because entertainment can foster trust, empathy and compassion. It is a perfect way of making new friends and breaking the ice in any situation of shyness.
  • Stress relief: Play releases endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote the sense of well-being and can even relieve pain.
  • Revitalizing: As the famous Irish Nobel Prize winner George Bernard Shaw said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
  • Brain challenges: Playing brain skilled games help prevent Alzheimer and improve brain functionality. Playing games with relatives, co-workers or friends help ward off depression and stress.
  • Creativity: The best way of learning something as children or adults is by playing. A fun task turns into an easy task immediately, stimulating imagination, and improving problem resolution.

 

d3Sports and Dopamine

Athletes are likely to have one thing in common: Higher levels of dopamine.  The habit of regular workouts, push them to perform way better than in their last workout. Better known as the brain’s “reward center”, dopamine is essential for concentration, quick reaction time, focus, and what’s most important, good moods.

 

 

 

d4Food and Dopamine

A balanced diet is a very important step to improve dopamine production, the neurotransmitters are produced from amino acids and these require vitamins and minerals, so the diet must be rich in proteins such as those found in meat, fish, vegetables, beans, eggs and soy.

 

 

 

Work and Dopamine

To determine the consequences of stress during work we should understand the difference between positive stress and negative stress. In both cases there is an emotional condition that models working attitude and effectivity.

Positive stress enhances productivity and performance, while negative stress does completely the opposite. Knowing dopamine is produced in very high levels when a sensation of reward and recognition is present we should be aware that a negative stress will trigger the results we want to avoid.

So how can we turn negative stress into positive stress?

After all the necessary research needed to develop a successful solution, CRMGamified combined two motivation methods proven to work together or separate depending on the needs of the company.

 

crmg-02CRM Gamified Motivation Engine Brings the excitement of a sales contest accomplishing goals and having immediate rewards through a simple game platform full of points, levels, badges, challenges under a friendly and precise colorful architecture linked to MS Dynamics CRM.

 

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image_thumb.pngHurrah! Shows the information registered in MS Dynamics CRM that can also be measured by CRM Gamified Motivation Engine, in a live slideshow exhibited in TV screens around the office with a rewarding experience of customizable videos, sounds, music, pictures and events recognizing the achievements of teams or individuals.

 

 

Webinar Recording

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This technique links work responsibilities with an entertaining game/competition experience, activating an increased production of dopamine thus a positive physical response, showing non-detectable results of work overwhelming or burnout.

 

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S.M.

 

What do Sales Managers hope to find when implementing a CRM platform?

Implementing a CRM system in an organization has two clear purposes: One: increased actionable data, and Two: insight into successful business processes. With CRM, managers are able to measure and evaluate actions that take place in the sales process and then do something about those actions to increase sales and motivate key behaviors. Here are some changes Sales Managers hope to find when they implement a CRM System:

Stronger Alignment with overall Sales Strategy

When sales, marketing and customer service share a common CRM platform, Sales Managers hope they’ll speak the same language. Departments across the organization would be able to work towards the common sales goals. Having a common CRM platform should improve the successful cohesion between all these groups.

Improved Customer Interactions

Customers respond positively to a personalized experience. CRM platforms have to allow you to quickly find customer information, recall their needs and provide them excellent and efficient service. With improved customer interactions new and repeat sales become easier.

Fast Response to change because of actionable data

Sales Managers gain access to accurate and timely data, and can make changes quickly, except the data isn’t always uploaded correctly, CRM platforms must have an easy and friendly way to enter data, but that’s not always the case.

So, what next?

These purposes are not always easily achieved. Sales Managers face a big challenge when they don’t find or can’t get what they expected from their new implemented CRM platform.

So, how do they really get the most out of their CRM platform? Why are these goals not achieved? Usually Sales Managers come across a wall, and that’s the fact their team is not adapting to the system, it is not entering data regularly, still uses spreadsheets and therefore data in CRM is outdated, departments don’t seem to speak the same language as expected, repeat sales are still hard to achieve, and Managers are still wondering if their CRM platform will have a fast and effective ROI.

The answer is yes! it will. This is where gamification add-ons will help Sales Managers like you finally get the most out of your CRM. The simple fact of adding some Gamification key elements will radically change the way users see CRM, your team will not see it like something that is dull and, at an individual level, pointless, anymore. Rewards and recognition will be key at aligning the goals you have as a Sales Manager to the individual goals of team members and global goals of the organization.

With proper design, gamification can tackle business process challenges such as creating a culture of continuous improvement, sharing best practices and having process visibility. Furthermore, gamification provides continuous public measurements for process activities which in turn provides timely feedback for both employees and management. Last but not least, gamification can stand as a comprehensive strategy to achieve desired business outcomes.”

Debbie Rea, Global Account Manager from her Whitepaper Gamification for Executives, you can download it here.

The solutions we offer at CRMGamified: Hurrah! Leaderboard and our Motivation Engine will help you in applying these key elements from gamification to get what you expected from your CRM, increase and speed ROI and improve CRM user adoption:

  • Hurrah! delivers performance data in near real time and displays results in your preferred format: leaderboards, dashboards or dynamic values. You can choose to trigger key events and showcase them. More information on why others have chosen Hurrah! in our “Top 9 reasons to choose Hurrah! Leaderboard
  • Our Motivation Engine is an easy to install add-on designed especially for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, aimed at inspiring the key behaviors that drive more sales, generating actual business results, better CRM data quality and CRM user engagement. Learn more about CRMGamified Motivation Engine.

What challenges do you think Sales Managers face when adopting a CRM platform? Leave your comments below.

Another great Convergence!

Hi everybody,

We’re really happy! Last Microsoft Convergence was great!

16th, 17th and 19th March have been great days in Atlanta. This year’s Convergence had a stupendous kick off as 13.000 people approached this huge event. Among them we found colleagues, business partners, old friends, and, of course, made some new ones.

It was the perfect occasion to exchange ideas with peers, see things for the first time, and learn about the latest features and updates. And we were glad to receive so many positive comments on our new projects. Thanks to all of you who came visit our booth and experienced first-handedly our ‘Motivation Engine 3.0’ and ‘Hurrah!’.

 

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Our bussy Booth !

CRMGamified Co-founder and Product Manager, and Microsoft Dynamics MVP, Pablo Peralta, who we like calling PP, represented our team at the event and shared with us his experience.

‘Microsoft Convergence is an always positive event, which definitely renews and revitalizes energies’, he said. ‘This year we were visited by many clients who have already implemented our solutions and were curious to see the new updates on our products. We received at our company’s booth a large group of people that were recommended by our existing clients. The connection with the clients was really strong and we spent truly nice moments’, he added.
According to PP, ‘Motivation Engine 3.0’ brought excitement from those who were aware of previous versions, but didn’t know about this one (which was launched one month ago).

Another ingredient that made this event so special for us, was presenting, for the first time, our newest creation ‘Hurrah!’. Since it was launched by mid-year 2014, we were waiting anxiously to present it at the Microsoft Convergence.

A lot of effort has gone into making this event a success. But… it wasn’t all work, work and work. Everyone attended to the Microsoft Convergence’s party… including the famous band ‘One Direction’!!! Their performance came as a great surprise for everyone. Another big revelation was having Satya Nadella, the current CEO – Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, as the opener of the main Keynote.

So, a great number of talks, innovations and a huge expo where partners presented their products. Not bad for only three days, don’t you think? In fact, it is an EXCELLENT initiative of Microsoft Dynamics and the most important of the events they organize.

Here are a few highlights from the twitter feed #Conv15:

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Heading to the next Microsoft Convergence? It will be this year as well (since November the 30th until the 3rd of December). In Barcelona, Spain. But we won’t say anymore. Just wait and see.

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

The Evolution of Leaderboards by Mario Herger.

Leaderboards are one of the most popular game design elements that gamification designers have in their toolset. Ranking players by their achievements is something that we are all familiar with, as it has been used in most sports to showcase the winners and losers. But leaderboards are not just isolated. They build on other game design elements, such as points or medals to be functioning.

 While leaderboards (and points) are extrinsic motivators that come from outside an individual, they need to be connected to intrinsic motivators. Intrinsic motivators including epic meaning, learning, or relationships benefit from the quantitative aspect of leaderboards. Short-term extrinsic combined with the long-term effect of intrinsic motivators make a gamification design strong and engaging.

 

 

 

When choosing a leaderboard as a design element, a gamification practitioner needs to make sure that it plays its part for the long-term goal. Leaderboards alone tend to encourage competition, which may be counter to the goal of collaboration in an organization. After all, that’s why we create companies, because together we can accomplish more than as individuals. For short-term and occasional initiatives a leaderboard may be perfectly fine. It may give the necessary energy boost to an organization and de-emphasizing the competitive aspect can help improve metrics. Use it to drive sales, but only do so occasional. Excessive use may lead to unethical behaviors, as the ranking may dominate over the real benefits that a customer may get.

Leaderboard designs changed over the years. Arcade games displayed the top players, which – if you were not a top player – was pretty demotivating. You would never be amongst the top 10 and thus your name never appear in the list. This changed and newer designs do not rank players against everyone in an organization or network, but only show your rank amongst friends and team members. In fact, your own rank is in the center, and those of the players that are before and behind you. Seeing a difference of 3 points to your next competitor is more actionable than seeing the large difference of 100 points to the first ranked player.

enterprise gamificationBut the evolution of leaderboards doesn’t stop here. More and more designs include multiple parameters. Think of the medal ranking at the Olympic Games. Gold, Silver, and Bronze are listed and influence the ranking. Or sports leagues display games won, tied, and lost. Or even scored goals and other factors.

Companies have taken cues from those areas and leaderboards today don’t look much anymore than in the Arcade game days. First, the leaderboards may not even compare players to others, but to their own past performance. This way both a new hire and an experienced employee can get value out of a leaderboard. It displays how they did and can improve. And not just for one factor. Nowadays multiple parameters are included, showing the strengths and weaknesses that the employee has to work on. Such leaderboard designs may come in circular shapes displaying historical data and the progress in the skills.

Think of parameters such as deals closed vs. leads, deal amounts, negotiation skills, travel expenses etc. displayed and your improvement over several periods. Seeing progress there motivates and players would be more willing to share their tricks with others. In the end everyone profits: the players and the company.

Leaderboards are certainly one of the most powerful elements in the arsenal of a gamification designer, and the evolution of it combined with other design elements will make for powerful gamification designs.

 

Mario Herger

Founder & Partner

Enterprise Gamification Consultancy
www.enterprise-gamification.com