By Linda Rosencrance
When it comes to user adoption,
too many companies discover that, "you can lead a user to Microsoft Dynamics
CRM but you can't make him use it."
But what if you made his work seem like fun?
That's the idea behind what's known as the
"gamification" of Dynamics CRM.
Last September we
told you that Microsoft partner Cole Systems was putting a little "spark"
into Dynamics CRM 2011.
At that time, the company launched Spark, an employee
incentive solution that changes the way employers distribute internal rewards.
Spark is a sales tool add-on that takes the idea of gamification, which adds
the game design technique thinking to something that is not a game n this case
Dynamics CRM, according to Amanda Raines, Cole's Director of Marketing.
An add-on to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, Spark lets
users earn badges, accumulate points, and be rewarded based on what they've
earned. Users in sales, marketing, and customer service can receive badges for
Earlier that year, Microsoft
global partner Avanade began charting a path to gamification for Dynamics
CRM in the call center by attempting to keep the best qualities of gamification
while maintaining management controls.
Although gamification is still in its infancy in the
world of Dynamics CRM, more firms are jumping on the "fun" wagon and rolling out
new gamification tools.
recently launched a Microsoft CRM Gamification Tool that aims to help managers
increase user adoption and motivate sales teams by adding game elements to
everyday routine operations, according to company officials.
To get top performance from your staff, consider turning
their work into a game, company officials said. Inserting game elements into
traditionally non-game context could help engage CRM users and to achieve
better results, officials said.
The company's Gamification Tool makes it easier to
update CRM to take advantage of people's psychological predisposition to compete
by giving them the ability to participate activities that progress a group's
goals or to give the users a path to follow toward mastery of a skill, according
"No one really seems to enjoy filling in the endless
number of CRM fields, even though CRM systems need to be constantly and
consistently updated in order to work effectively," said Ilya Feigin, CTO and
co-founder of WaveAccess, in a statement. "But if you turn boring routine into
a game, with point values for different CRM activities (such as adding a
contact, updating telephone numbers and other contact info), you will
definitely get better results from your employees."
Another Microsoft partner getting in on the fun is
Gap Consulting, which offers a free tool - Gamification
for Microsoft Dynamics CRM2011 - a solution for Dynamics CRM2011 that
contains a framework that lets the system administrator (or "game
administrator") apply gaming principles to their CRM applications, according
The objective of gamification in the context of Dynamics
CRM is to drive user adoption by giving users an incentive to use Dynamics CRM
by making it more fun, Gap Consulting officials said.
CRM consultant Francis Edwin sees the benefit of gamification of Dynamics
CRM. He writes:
"[As] a CRM consultant, I've
always seen the problem of CRM user adoption in most organizations and . . . now
I was thinking how beneficial it would be if we incorporate the concept of
gamification into Microsoft Dynamics CRM to drive more user adoption," he said.
Edwin said gamification for Dynamics CRM could
benefit two groups specifically:
Edwin said if Dynamics CRM users are recognized and
rewarded for their efforts, they'll feel valued and that will motivate them to
Dynamics CRM consultant Mani Ramachandran also sees
the promise of gamification for Dynamics CRM.
a blog post, Ramachandran points to Gartner's prediction that in 2014 70% of
global 2,000 organizations will have at least one "gamified" application, which
can range from mastering a specific skill to improving one's health.
"Reading about these emerging trends, I do wonder
how our very own CRM 2011 can be applied to create business solutions that
cater to those needs," he said. "The opportunities for businesses are great -
from having more engaged customers, to crowdsourcing innovation or improving