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The Top 6 CRM Gamification Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them!)

When we implement Gamification on our CRM, we expect to take full advantage of it. Right?

In this post, we are going to show you the most common mistakes during this process, so you can be aware and avoid them at all costs. Don’t let any small hiccups stop you from getting all the benefits from your new Gamification!

To give you an accurate approach, we have merged our personal experience in the Gamification field, with various testimonials from other CRM Gamification Experts. Check out this list and take note 📝:

Mistake 1 — Focusing on Rewards Instead of the Process

When Gamification and CRM are working together, is very common to use the prize appeal. People become more engaged when they have a tangible reward.  

Yet, according to Nicolas Babin, ranked #1 Gamification Guru in March 2018 by Rise Global list’s, there is a gap in this technique.

“The biggest mistake one could say is when people game the system, meaning they use gamification to win a prize and in the meantime, they do not fill out the CRM system correctly or honestly”, Nicolas pointed out.

When you advertise a very attractive reward, people will do whatever it takes to win (even cheat). Instead of the “achievement” being the most important, the prize itself becomes the main focus.

How to solve it:

“To prevent that, it is important to not offer great prices and to ensure borders, so that no one can game the system and cheat”, advised Nicolas.

Prizes are useful to establish and align common goals with your team, but It should solely be a recognition symbol for the good work and commitment of the reps.

Some of our clients used to reward their team members with tangible prizes such as concert tickets, trips, etc. This is great, although we have noticed that the most stimulating prize for sales reps is much simpler: recognition.

Displaying their names on Leaderboards generates a constant appreciation internally, for their hard work. This also catches the eye of Managers and C- Level Employees. Imagine the CEO seeing your Big Sale on the screen. That’s a real prize.

Employee Recognition Hurrah! Sales Leaderboards

Mistake 2 — Believing that Gamification alone will solve all the problems

“The biggest mistake is thinking that gamification alone will solve long-term issues with using CRM (or any service). If the root issue is not understood (why are people not doing what I want them to do) then gamification will often only add a novelty boost in activity.”, pointed Andrezj Marczewski, author of Even Ninja Monkeys Like to Play (2015).

As mentioned above, when we acquire a new tool we expect to see the “magic” happening instantly, and forget that it usually starts off as only that: a tool. Like any tool, it needs a context to function. It also needs someone to handle it. It can’t do the whole job by itself.

How to solve it:

To begin you must ask yourself: why are you using a CRM and why is the CRM important to the company and the company’s goals? Once you have these answers, you must communicate them to your team. Then only after that, can you begin to take advantage of Gamification.

Andrzej recommendation is right along these same lines “you need to educate people about why they need to use the CRM first, then start to apply things that make that use feel rewarding and (if such a thing is possible) fun. But they have to understand the real value to them and the company first!”

We’ve written about the challenges of implementing a CRM and incentivizing the user adoption. Check it out if you want to learn more about the 10 Deadly Sins in CRM User Adoption.

Download Now Free eBook 10 Deadly Sins in CRM User Adoption

 

Mistake 3 — Starting with a Complex Gamification Model

Pablo Peralta, the founder of one of the biggest LATAM CRM communities, also shared some insights. For him, one of the most common mistakes is “starting with a complex gamification model and using complex gamified dynamics”.

A lot of people that have never tried gamification before, try to jump into it using complex techniques and features. This can easily confuse, and create the illusion that gamification is tricky stuff. This can also result in a lot of mishaps.

“Gamification must be implemented in a very simple model. Like giving points to the reps who follow the behavior that you want them to, measuring impact and so on. Then, with time and feedback, starting to introduce badges and other prizes”.

How to solve it:

According to Pablo, “the best option in corporate environments is to start with the most basic stuff”. This means the most basic gamification techniques and methods.

Next, Pablo suggests to “introduce the concept and which behaviors you want to reward. Keep measuring the members’ feedback and allowing them to adopt it.”

Finally, Pablo suggests that increasing the complexity of the gamification solution is the best route, but to do it slowly. This involves things such as “introducing badges and other prizes”.

"Introduce the concept and which behaviors you want to reward. Keep measuring the members’ feedback and allowing them to adopt it".

 

Mistake 4 — Applying a Short-Term Gamification Strategy

We talked to Michael Wu, recognized as an Influential Leader by CRM Magazine, and his message to us was clear: short-term techniques are not recommended when it comes to CRM.

“One of the biggest mistakes in applying gamification to address these long-term behavior change is that people often use short-term gamification tools.”

He also added, “unlike gamification in marketing and sales, CRM user adoption and employee engagement are both long-term problems. It’s pointless to drive adoption or engage employees only for a few months”.

How to solve it:

Michael advises using strategies that apply more challenging and complex games because they are the most effective in the long run.

Although they present results slowly, they are the ones that drive more complex behaviors. Also, they are able to entertain people for a longer period of time.

He concludes that those who bet on short-term solutions “are doomed to fail when addressing challenging business problems that involve long-term behavior change.”

Mistake 5 — Forgetting to develop a strategy before applying gamification

According to Karl Kapp, author of The Gamification of Learning and Instruction Fieldbook: Ideas Into Practice (2013).

“One of the biggest mistakes is not integrating the CRM gamification efforts to a larger strategy. If your overall strategy or sales model or prospecting method is ineffective, simply adding on a gamified CRM with points for calling a prospect is not going to magically increase sales.

A gamification effort needs to be carefully combined with an understanding of the overall goals. You need to map individual events, efforts and behaviors to a specific reward structure not just to the overall goal of “sell more” but to enabling goals or milestones like impacting the ratio of call activity to next step activity, which will eventually lead to larger goals.”

How to solve it:

The first step to avoid this mistake is to establish a baseline strategy.

This is necessary so gamification can “assist” in the process. It must be clear that Gamification does not define the directives of your team and your business.

“An organization needs to clearly have identified steps and activities that lead to success before going off and half-heartedly gamifying the CRM. The organization needs to set clear goals, milestones and trigger events and then weave the gamification solution into the comprehensive effort. Too often gamification is added in total disregard to strategic considerations when it comes to gamifying a CRM. The fix is to work on strategy first, gamification second”, conforming to Karl.

"A gamification effort needs to be carefully combined with an undestanding of the overall goals"

 

Mistake 6 — Reducing the complexity of the Business

For Marigo Raftopoulos, ranked #2 Gamification Guru in March 2018 by Rise Global list’s, one of the most common mistakes is “a lack of appreciation of organizations as complex systems”. We should not reduce our company’s process and complexity.

A company structure is, by nature a complex system. If we want our business to succeed, we need to make sure to align our process as precise as possible. After this, gamification will be the easy part.

“A well-meaning gamified CRM could be encouraging positive desired behaviors such as project collaboration, knowledge sharing or innovation drives. However, the success or failure of that system largely depends on the prevailing culture, work processes or management styles of the organization. For example, a collaborative, knowledge sharing tool will not be optimized in a prevailing organizational culture of secrecy and distrust”, Marigo pointed out.

How to solve it:

“The lesson here is that gamified CRMs are a technological tool, and not the complete solution”, she concluded.

Again, we learn that a company’s culture is fundamental. The gamification can definitely be a good choice for changing behaviors, but it would not work by itself.

Company's Culture Hurrah! Sales Leaderboards

If you are looking to take your first step into the gamification world, we recommend you look for an easy to use and effective solution.

Our Hurrah! Leaderboards creates appealing and customizable slideshows, that are very simple to set and user friendly. By displaying KPI’s in real time, Hurrah! helps align your company’s goals with all members of the team. Driving performance and bringing excitement and recognition to daily activities

 

Try Hurrah! for Free

 

We would like to thank all of our generous contributors:

Nicolas Babin, ranked #1 Gamification Guru in March 2018 by Rise Global list’s, and a renowned Marketing and Gamification Consultant.

Andrzej Marczewski, author of Even Ninja Monkeys Like to Play (2015), and Senior Solution Consultant.

Pablo Peralta, founder of Comunidad 365, the biggest CRM Community in Spanish.

Michael Wu Ph.D., named as an Influential Leader by CRM Magazine, International Speaker.

Karl Kapp, author of The Gamification of Learning and Instruction Fieldbook: Ideas Into Practice (2013).

Marigo Raftopoulos, ranked #2 Gamification Guru in March 2018 by Rise Global list’s, Strategic Business Advisor and Digital Media Specialist.

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.

dashboards

 

  • 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.

CRM systems: The data entry nightmare

When it comes to adopting CRM systems, organizations face one big challenge or what we like to call the data entry nightmare.

The main purpose of installing a CRM system is to have all the critical information that comes from the customer interactions stored in a database, in order to improve many key business activities and outcomes, like product, customer service, revenue and profitability to name a few.

To do so entering that information into the database system is essential. That´s where the data entry nightmare begins: Without timely, complete and accurate information the system is useless. However, the job of those who are expected to provide the input is not data entry and they will resist doing so as they believe it slows down their work process and breaks their rhythm.

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So first of all, everyone using the CRM needs to have a clear idea of why the company decided to use the system and most important, what information is needed to achieve that goal.

Once that is clear, you will be able to identify Key Performance Indicators and evaluate those measures as well as make changes necessary to improve processes.

But going straight to the point, what will you measure, and improve if your people are not entering data in the CRM?

The answer is obvious: Nothing. You will measure nothing or at least nothing significant. However there is something you can do to encourage adoption of your CRM and kill the data entry nightmare.

You can incorporate a set of game mechanics in your CRM. What does this mean? It means you can create achievements and challenges with rules to reward your people for keeping CRM records up to date.

You can include levels, point, badges and rankings as real time feedback. You can create a one day challenge or monthly missions. Why would this work? Because people like having a goal and immediate feedback and recognition for their work. It’s human nature.

CONTACT US

Learn how you can kill the data entry nightmare with Hurrah! and our Motivation Engine!

 

From CRM systems to CRM playgrounds by The Octalysis Group

The Client Relationship Management (CRM) industry has been one of the first to embrace Gamification and one of the first to become somewhat disillusioned by it. While many Gamification cases delivered great short term results (high initial  user interest, sign-up and participation rates), they still failed to achieve the long term user engagement desired. Why did this happen and how do we keep CRM Gamification on the right track? Let’s explore the pitfalls and how to avoid them.

 

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One size does not fit all

Early adopters of CRM Gamification products opted for systems that were heavily based on motivation through letting users gain experience points, badges and leaderboards. Often these systems were one-size-fits-all off-the-shelf products that can be slapped on to your existing CRM product.

However, such a buckshot approach crucially forgets to acknowledge that different users have different preferences and motivational drives that trigger them into action. The majority of people won’t crave collecting badges and points forever just for the sake of it. We need to focus also on giving users autonomous choices and showing them how their choices worked out. Or making them feel that they are part of something bigger, more meaningful, a sense of purpose. Create some suspense, design for curiosity.

 

This is difficult to design for, and you cannot apply a one-size-fits-all approach here, but is necessary for long term user engagement (what we call the end-game, which caters for longer term users). For more on this check out the leading Gamification Framework Octalysis and how The Octalysis Group designs for long term engagement with the 8 Core drives of Motivation: www.octalysisgroup.com

 

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Take your user on a journey

Many Gamified CRM systems fail to recognize that we need to slowly build up the experience for the user. The first time someone uses the system is very different from the 100th time they interact with it. Look for example at how you have changed using Facebook since you started using it. Over time, user knowledge has increased and expectations are different. We say: using a product is not static, it’s an evolving journey!

 

In Octalysis, we recognize 4 Experiences Phases of a User’s Journey: Discovery, Onboarding, Scaffolding, and Endgame. Different phases should focus on different sets of Gamification features and appeal to different Core Drives. Just as it is not ideal to put a five-year-old on a streamlined superbike over using a small bike with training wheels, CRM systems also shouldn’t open up all 50+ features to a beginning user. Our brains hate it when we don’t have any options, but we also hate it when we have too many options. It confuses us, paralyzes us, and ultimately makes us feel stupid and overwhelmed. It is better to first discover and understand what features are the most valuable to the beginning user and just offer those. After that, allow users to slowly unlock new ones as they become familiar with the early features. Each new feature will then become a delight that users will appreciate and learn to use.

 

Collaboration wins the race, not Competition

In CRM systems there is often an emphasis on creating competition in order to get people to interact and make them productive. However, when it comes to long-term engagement metrics, collaboration is much preferable over competition. Both competition and collaboration draw their motivational pull from people feeling a sense of Social Influence & Relatedness (Octalysis Core Drive 5).  But there is a fundamental difference: competition creates urgency, stress, and short bursts of activities, but often leads to user burnout. In addition: competitions may create short term spikes to engagement but may in time stifle cooperation and decrease the quality of the work floor culture.

 

Collaboration on the other hand doesn’t push users as much, but users feel more empowered and will sustainably continue to commit to the Desired Actions within the CRM System, leading to more productivity in the long run. When we design for collaboration we design for users helping co-workers, group quests, mentoring, group recognition and enabling knowledge sharing.

 

Often we use a mix of competition and tangible rewards at the beginning of a CRM user experience (Discovery and Onboarding), and design more towards collaboration and creating autonomous choices in later phases of the experience (Scaffolding and End Game). If Gamified CRM products would take these lessons onboard, we are pretty sure the enthusiasm for Gamification will continue to grow as it does in other business areas.

 

To learn more about the 8 Core Drives and how to balance short and long term motivation in Gamification, read Yu-kai Chou’s book: Actionable Gamification – Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards