Transforming CRM with Gamification

Salespeople are not interested in “data entry” kind of a job presented by today’s CRM software. They are into hitting their sales quotas and the rush they get from closing a deal.

Besides, sales managers want up-to-date information, almost instantaneous sales insights, in real time. So that using such information, they can make healthy marketing decisions, accurate forecasts, and manage a sales pipeline that doesn’t sound ‘alien’ to them.

That’s why applying the concept of game design thinking into business tools and software to increase employee engagement, attention and productivity is becoming highly alluring to businesses.

But, there is still much reluctance to embracing new technologies among the employees. According to findings from Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace report “There is a big problem with employee engagement these days.” While the study pegs the employee disengagement at 67%, that might not be much a bump if you compare the figure to 70% disengagement on Gallup’s 2013 employee engagement report.

As a result of this tendency, businesses that adopt CRM software have to fight intimidating reluctance to embrace them within an organization. As a result, it prompts business to find a more immersive way of implementing a CRM to attract the interest of the employees.

Those are the strings CRM technology is pulling at to help foster engagement among the sales agents.

Gamified CRM – Mr. Fix for Employee Disengagement Conundrum?

Would using a CRM system that appeals to your employee’s craving for rewards and delivers a powerful sales performance enhancement, change the way your employees approach sales?

According to Brett Brosseau, the CEO of FidoTrack, “A gamification solution is the facilitator of increasing employee engagement.” FidoTrack, a call center gamification company has implemented high-yield gamification solutions for call centers in various industries.

There are still other successful cases that back-up the efficiency of CRM gaming:

  • Wireless Zone saw a 176% increase in sales and subsequent increase in profit of about 9% after running CMS gamification for the first month
  • When Service Corporation International started using gamification, their sales representatives closed, on average, 88% more deals compared to their competitors.
  • Thanks to gamification, Hewlett-Packard (HP) reported a  rise in revenue of about 31-44%(depending on the regions).

Gamified environments encourage management mentality shift so that employees are no longer motivated by monetary compensation for every good performance posted.

Gamified CRM and Sales Agents

Everyone hates routine, and it could make your sales reps less productive. Your brain needs to take some rest for it to function properly. CRM gamification adds a dose of fun to routine work, shuttling your sales rep through the halls of entertainment while still keeping them focused on the job. Since the brain is getting the much-needed refreshment, your sales team will waste very little time on social media platforms and other equally distracting activities.

Apart from entertaining them, gamified CRM allows sales agents to easily set quotas so that everyone will know the milestones they need to hit. That way, the CRM assists sales agents in structuring their work if they are not that good at keeping up with all the customers in the pipeline.

Gamified CRM and the Sales Managers

Gamified CRM opens up new opportunities for CRM-enabled sales management. Within a gamified environment, it is more about accomplishments than getting monetary rewards. Employees earn badges for every accomplishment. High performance is not pegged on price value, but it’s mainly about the desire to win. As such, sales agents work harder and always stay focused to achieve their daily targets.

When it comes to fostering right attitudes, the gamified environment penalizes the employees in the event of a bad habit. Since no one likes losing, the descending game scores that ensue will encourage the sales agents to work harder and more prudently.

Gamified environments also lead to increased team collaboration. As a result of team competition, sales agents will be motivated to share their best practices with the members of the sales team so as to achieve a common goal.

Besides, the nature of the CRM game means once a new employee joins the company, the rest of the sales team players will easily help them adapt to the new work environment. On top of the fun, gamified CRMs offer high-quality data and insights that help increase customer engagement, track leads and close more sales.

While your conventional online CRM software might just be as effective, most employees might find them a tad bit boring. CRM gamification introduces a fun environment that attracts the interest of your sales agents. Performance is not rewarded with cash but by scores, while failure is penalized by a loss in scores. Since everyone hates to lose, the representatives end up working harder and smarter to achieve their goals.

Gamification pitfalls you need to avoid

Adopting a gamified CRM presents a lot of benefits. But if you do a shoddy customization job, it’s likely to result in a costly failure of your gamification project.

Here are some of the challenges you need to avoid:

  • Attaching more value to quantitative results – If your rules are focused on rewarding quantitative results, your sales reps may choose to tackle simpler deals that offer them more scores. While the competitive environment keeps them busy in pursuit of quick gratification – the scores,such imbalances will definitely lead to neglecting high quality leads. Now, this underestimation of valuable CRM activities is bad for your marketing team. But, putting up extra attention to fair game rules will help to avoid such trickery and get more job done at the end of the day.
  • Praising winners and ditching losers –Nobody loves to be on the losing end, every time. It’s demotivating and will prompt a weak performer to quit the game. That means a properly organized sales gamification CRM should motivate the low performing sales members to look up to top performers. Another alternative remedy would be “out-do-yourself” scenario. That way, a member can set their personal sales goals and focus on achieving them.

Challenges that hinder the adoption of gamified CRM today

As gamification moves from a management trend to a core competency, enterprises are more willing to integrate this technology into their strategies to drive more engagement towards employees and customers.

But, while the gamification for CRM keeps intensifying, there are still quite a number of people who are not sold. “Gamification is still seen by many as a gimmick – or, at best, just a re-packaging of best-practice HR,” noted Ovum’s Richard Absalom.

Quite a good number of managers are also skeptical about the longevity and viability of gamification as a marketers’ conduit to motivate and engage target audiences. Besides, enterprises are struggling to understand the new trends in CRM and how it’s going to implicate their businesses in the long run.

A survey conducted by Pew Research Center revealed that about 53% of respondents felt the uses of gamified CRM will be widespread by 2020. But, about 42% felt that gamification will not be of lasting impact to businesses by 2020. In fact, most of the naysayers expect that gamification will soon enter the “trough of disillusionment” phase resulting in many failed applications.

But if gamification is applied correctly – using correct game design principles, Gartner reckons, the new technology will have a significant impact many domains. Besides, the use of game mechanics will have a huge transformational impact in some fields. It’s a huge market today and is predicted to be worth over $5.7 billion in 2018.

Summing it up

Now, while your conventional CRM system might just be as effective, most employees might find them a tad bit boring. CRM gamification introduces a fun environment that attracts the interest of your sales agents. That means if your company has a sizeable sales department, you will have enough players to create teams and compete.

Performance is not rewarded with cash but by scores, while failure is penalized by a loss in scores. Since everyone hates to lose, the representatives end up working harder and smarter to achieve their goals.

Author bio

Fretty Francis works as a digital marketing executive at SoftwareSuggest, an online platform that recommends software solutions to businesses. Her areas of expertise include ecommerce software, and performance management software. In her spare time, she likes to travel and catch up on the latest technologies. Connect with her on twitter: @SoftwareSuggest

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