The Gamified Workplace: How Friendly Competition and Small Incentives Can Bring Out the Best in Your Employees

One of the biggest hurdles to CRM implementation is simply getting people to use the new system. How many sales have been lost because the right data for closing the deal never made it into the system? How many opportunities never even got past a great initial call because the sales rep forgot to make a note or properly flag a field? It’s problems like these that make low user adoption such a headache.

Even when your employees know that CRM data is the lifeblood of the business, getting them to actually use the platform can feel like pulling teeth.

How do you get your employees on board with CRM adoption? Issuing harshly worded edicts or griping about it in staff meetings isn’t going to cut it. If you want to solve this problem, you need to change their behavior.

What if updating and using the CRM was approached less like a yawn-inducing data entry task, and instead treated more like a game? Good behaviors are rewarded in this approach, with friendly competition between departments and individuals highly encouraged. The more the CRM is used correctly, the more incentive those users have to strive for even better results.

This strategy is called “gamification.” The basic concept is to apply familiar game mechanics and design techniques to engage and motivate employees. By implementing gamification concepts into the CRM, you can turn adoption into a competition, using the natural impulses for recognition and status into powerful incentives to complete even the most mundane of tasks.

 

Gamification in Action

At Intelestream, we’re working on a gamification platform for SugarCRM that will enable employers to provide “microbonuses” in the form of points that can then be redeemed for prizes. These prizes can be as simple as gift cards for retailers such as Amazon or Starbucks, or they can take the form of  organization-created rewards such as ‘Dinner with the CEO.’

Combining gamified process and workflows with rewards is a winning combination, and can dramatically improve employee engagement and workplace happiness.

One obvious benefit from this approach is improved employee retention, something that is important for all organizations. Simply being recognized for excellent performance through a company-wide leaderboard can work wonders for worker satisfaction. Great employees are given their moment in the spotlight, while others have a concrete objective to strive for. People in every field love to receive recognition for a job well done, with or without an attached prize.

Intelestream’s gamification platform allows you to offer these powerful incentives and recognitions directly through your CRM, strongly encouraging all users to engage regularly with the system. What better way could there be to boost CRM user adoption? The more time users spend within the CRM — even if it’s only to check their progress — the more comfortable they will become with the system itself. But how does the process actually work?

A common use case would be a bonus for a sales rep which is obtained upon closing an opportunity. Sales managers will be notified when a sales is closed, seeing an update on their SugarCRM feed. Once approved, the bonus can be issued directly from the CRM, arriving to the sales rep within seconds. Additionally, all users will be able to add Intelestream’s new dashlet in SugarCRM to display on their dashboard, allowing them to easily keep track of their own performance, as well as that of their team.

A gamification-driven CRM fundamentally changes the user experience for employees by making it fun and competitive, rather than feeling like a chore forced upon them by management. These features exist specifically to boost their level of engagement, and it shows. Companies that have adopted this approach are already reaping the benefits.

What does a gamified platform look like in action? Consider a system where users obtain coins and objects for completing certain tasks, reaching objectives, and  hitting certain deadlines or milestones. A global leaderboard is easily accessible within the application, showing the user’s rank compared to the rest of the company. The application also goes one step further by allowing CRM admins to create rewards that can be redeemed with a requisite number of coins or points. Meal vouchers, free coffees, afternoons off work and other such items are common, but higher-value options are also possible depending upon the budget and resources of the company.

Managers can therefore prioritize activities, tasks or best practices by placing the greatest value on them, and employee morale benefits from working for a company that demonstrably rewards their daily contributions.

 

Real-World Results from Gamified CRMs

A properly implemented gamified system provides tangible benefits to any organization. Even software giant Microsoft has gotten in on the gamification act, acquiring innovative sales gamification platform FantasySalesTeam last summer. Microsoft detailed two case studies in their blog, demonstrating the real-world benefits of the implementation.

A pilot program was launched comparing the performance of 130 reps in a gamified platform with 700 of their peers using a standard system. The results were impressive The reps using the gamified platform closed 88% more deals on average than the control group. Even more telling, the average contract value for those reps was 213% higher than the non-gamified group.

Microsoft’s second case study revealed the benefits of gamification for their clients. Wireless Zone, which used the same gamified platform, enjoyed a 176% increase in total sales, a 35% in specific sales, and a 9% increase in profit. These results speak for themselves.

These aren’t isolated examples, either. Security company G4S saw their user engagement rocket to 98%. The company quickly say an 86% increase in sales performance, resulting in a revenue uplift from $7 million to $18 million. In other words, gamification was a real game changer for G4S.

 

The Integration Game

Here at Intelestream, we are currently putting the finishing touches on our gamification integration tools. Using our SugarCRM plugin, admins will have total control over their incentive programs. Specific users, groups and teams can be added to competitions, rules for awards can be determined, and prizes can be easily created. Users can even compete for non-prize items like badges. All gamified processes are simple to start, stop, and monitor from within the dashboard.

All of these features are included in this initial release, with more features planned for future iterations of the platform.

Interested in how gamification can improve your business and boost CRM adoption? Drop us a line here at Intelestream to find out more.

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