Leaderboards do’s and don’ts: the best and worst practices for sales executives

Selling is an innately competitive activity. In the last decade, big companies have implemented gamification as a way to help change behaviors, develop skills and enable innovation among their teams.

It’s been proven that games played at work can actually boost productivity and rev-up employee morale.

In this context, sales leaderboards have taken the lead as the best tools to ultimately pump up sales revenues. Moreover, adopting this kind of platforms helps employees get a full picture of the company’ s goals and how their actions are going to help achieve these goals.

For example, through the data displayed on Hurrah! Leaderboards, each team member can get to feel the value they bring, increasing engagement and aligning personal goals with the goals of the organization.

But, be careful! Having a leaderboard is an awesome idea, as long as you take some good advice in how to design and implement them to transform them into useful (and even life changing!) instruments.

To help you succeed in this path, we present you the do’s and don’t s that every sales executive should take into account. Please take note!

 

THE DON´Ts 

 

Measure everything by dollars

Attention sales executives! You might feel tempted to measure every victory with the amount of money earned or the number of deals closed by your agents. This is something you should pay close attention to, because you don’t want your awesome leaderboard to turn against you.

Focusing solely on the dollars made might distract you from other important factors you should be paying attention to. For instance, in order to make the best out of gamification in the workplace you need to look at how overall employee behaviors are changing.

Are they calling more leads? Producing more high-quality content? Answering client inquiries faster and more efficiently?

Never forget that productivity, and most importantly, employee engagement have many sides, increasing sales is only one of them.

 

Choosing the wrong metrics

Like we just pointed out, the aim of gamification should be changing behaviors and fostering employee well-being to the rooftop.

The problem is that poorly constructed leaderboards tend to do the exact opposite. How does that happen? Simple: when choosing the wrong metrics.

Badly designed leaderboards often emphasize those at the top ten in selling numbers, leaving the underperformers way behind. Instead of motivating an agent who is struggling behind, this might cause them to become even more discouraged.

To avoid that any member of the team feels alienated, sales executives must construct leaderboards that enables middle performers to shine just as brightly. At Hurrah! Leaderboards we strongly recommend deploying gamification that allows every single member of the team to feel like the hero of their own game.

 

Encouraging the wrong behaviour

Following up with our previous thoughts, having a leaderboard that just highlights the achievements of top-ranking team players not only will affect individuals performances but also the overall team morale and dynamics.

Competition gone wrong can have terrible consequences. How can we prevent it? Simple. Like all gamification mechanics, leaderboards are nothing more than games with rules. When constructing them, agents should think about how the rules can be bent sideways, and reinforce them through proper design.

 

 

THE DO´S

 

Create friendly competition

Don’t lose focus on one of the main goals of gamification: making the workplace fun again for everyone. Leaderboards can be a great tool to achieve this, but reps should not forget the human aspect in this equation.

Talking and explaining (in person!) how the system works it’s essential to creating friendly competition and encourage each team member to work to improve their standings but also to boost collaborative spirit.

 

Customize your leaderboard

Making your leaderboard visually and aesthetically attractive is a task you should also take very seriously. Sales leaderboards must make it easy to track individual and team progress in an exciting visual format.

With Hurrah Leaderboard we give you the opportunity to customize your background videos, add music to the mix and creating unique “big events” to celebrate big sales, goal achievements, birthdays, special events organized by the company, etc.

 

 Learn more about your team

Last but not least, don’t lose the opportunity to get to know each member of your team through the game.

Putting stars as rewards for high-performing employees or even display flashy graphics does not automatically mean that the team is going to fully engage with the system.

To make this happen executives should take the time to look deeply into who their agents are, what they love, what are their strengths and weaknesses and what makes them tick.

Doing so is the only way to harness their skills and make them more productive and engaged with the organization goals.

Ready to start the game? Do you think there are other bad o good leaderboard practices we should mention? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!

Try our digital leaderboards today for free and see how it changes your work environment.

 

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The hiring game or how gamification can change the way you manage talent

One of the biggest challenges that companies face nowadays is how to find and retain talent in a highly competitive and changing global market. This becomes specially important when it comes to the very demanding millennial workforce, like we talked in one of our previous posts.  

In this context, it has become essential for HR experts to move beyond the conventional approach of talent hunting, and more so, talent keeping. Recent surveys show how very few employees are truly committed to the goals of the organization they work for but, is this really their fault?

The subject is complex and there are always many sides to this story, but it certainly seems very unlikely for any company to achieve success in this digital era without trying new ways to engage and encourage their teams.

So, what are the secrets for succeeding at this challenging task? One of the big trends in this scenario is gamification, or in other words, the use of game design elements in non-game contexts.

According to a resent MarketsandMarkets research, by the end of 2017 70% of Global 2000 companies will be using gamification in their business, and the market will be worth $5.7 billion by 2018.

But how does all this really apply in the HR world? Here’s a few examples that will help you understand the undeniable advantages of using online and offline game dynamics in this kind of processes.

When talent search meets fun

For a few years now, HR experts have begun to see gamification as a way of captivating, motivating and engaging employees at work. But that’s not all there is to it.

The implementaion of game dynamics can begin from the moment a candidate applies for a certain position. As a matter of fact, gamification has spread to the recruiting and career services industries where it’s used to garner interest in job openings, provide preview of applicant’s future performance and further motivate candidates to commit with the interview process, among other things.

The conventional norms of resumes, emails and calendar invites are being replaced by software support platforms designed to make the recruitment process more entertaining and engaging for candidates.

For companies, on the other hand, the use of gamification data can enormously help to make smarter recruitment decisions as well as for cutting down time to hire.

For example, with Hurrah! Leaderboards our clients can set a package of slides that includes real-time information such as new job vacancies, CV submittals, client interviews, contractor placements and screening of candidates, among others. All this to add a fun ingredient in the otherwise monotonous hiring process.

Furthermore, this kind of playful dynamics can be adapted to test aptitude for the job itself and give candidates a better input into the task and the skills required by the hiring company. After all, positive feedback is one of the big cores of gamification.

Improving the training experience

Adding an innovative streak to the recruitment process is not the only way of using gamification in an HR context.

Unhappy unproductive employees often complain of the lack of learning opportunities provided by the company they work for.

In fact, it’s proven that staffers that are highly trained are not only more productive but also more willing to stay and work for the organization for a longer period of time.

And how can gamification help in this process? What better way to learn new abilities than through a fun interactive experience. Games can turn humdrum training materials into easily-digestible and highly effective learning programs.

This sort of strategy may algo be used to test how a team or a certain employee reacts to new challenges using scenario-based learning, integrating points to gaming dynamics or awarding badges when tasks are completed.

So, is gamification the future of HR strategies or just a passing fad? What do you think? Don’t forget lo let us know your thoughts in the comments!

And… don’t miss the oportunity to talk to us about using Hurrah! to motivate your teams in a new fun and simple way. Get in touch and try Hurrah! for FREE.

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.

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?

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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.