CRM 2013 Gamification

CRM 2013 Gamification

Today we’re talking about CRM 2013 Gamification.  Before we start, I want you to know that I cringe at the word “gamification”.  Don’t get me wrong, I actually like, believe, and implement gamification; however, gamification has a bad connotation because of how people have hyped and improperly implemented it.  There are fantastic examples of very successful gamification, my favorite being stack overflow.  But for every good example, there are probably dozens of implementations that ended with loyalty backlash and frustrating results.  The good news, is that today I’m going to share with you the secrets of good CRM 2013 Gamification for the low, low price of…


An example of what not to include with Gamification in CRM 2013

Imagine staring at this all day…

Congratulations, you’re a Winner!

Sorry, the first thing to know about gamification is: avoid cheesy things!  No one wants blinking or moving graphics.  No one.  Instead of focusing on the negatives though, I want to talk about the things you need in order to get productivity gains coupled with user engagement.

What do people want?

First, management wants measurable results that show productivity gains.  That’s the easy part; that’s metrics.  Most every organization has KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).  Leverage those, but be careful about relying on their accuracy blindly.

Users are a little more complicated, but at the core they want pertinent information.  I say individuals are complicated because in my experience people are driven by varying goals.  I’m driven by responsibility and clout whereas others shy away from both.  I’ve worked with incredibly brilliant people that have only wanted a positive remark and could care less about money, responsibility, or anything else.  The beauty of gamification is that when done right, all of these can be met without being conflicting.


Wait, aren’t people only driven by money?

Often times people respond to my “people have differing needs” comment with the statement that everyone is driven by money.  Luckily almost everyone is familiar with the “Five Love Languages” book in which it shows your partner’s love language and your love language are not always the same.  Granted, I’m not condoning physical touch in the work place.  I’m only illustrating that if gifts are your thing, your partner may be driven by something else entirely. Like the love languages, motivations at work are never money alone which is why gamification in CRM 2013 is exciting.  Gamification in CRM 2013 helps motivate people in ways that matter to them and avoids focusing on money alone.


Ok, I’m with you, but what do I use to motivate people?

Your key driver should be information (both input and output).  I like to make gamification the user’s dashboard.  I typically start with a summary of where they are from a monthly perspective.  I also like to show how they stack amongst their peers as well as provide quick links to do aspects of their work.  All jobs have mundane tasks but CRM allows us to automate these tasks in a very efficient manner.  In order for people to regularly use a new gamification dashboard, it’s important to focus on making input easier through automation.

Let’s start with the basics:

  • Provide pertinent information
  • Make maintenance easy (automate as much as possible)
  • Automate reminders / show when data is missing
    • For reminders, this prevents you from nagging them
    • Missing data is data – think black swan
  • Focus on a short finite timeline
  • Create something they want to use (above all it’s a tool)


Wait, I thought gamification was badges and levels and stuff?

Ok, the above list is your foundation.  Most of that can apply to any type of application, but it’s important to lay the ground work.  When it comes to gamification, there are features that you should utilize when applicable.  Let’s talk about the aspects of gamification and understand where they can apply.

Goals – CRM already has this built in and I’d recommend extending these or creating your own goals entity to track what matters to you.  These should be present and specific to the individual.

Badges – These are more generic and can apply to people across groups.  I typically use these for training and “certifying” people.  One example I had was we created a course for Excel with three levels.  The reason for this was due to a high volume of reports being requested.  We found that accessing the data was extremely simple if you knew how to use Excel; however, most people in the organization were not properly trained.  Anyhow, people had an incredible thirst for knowledge and were greatly appreciative.  One unforeseen outcome of the badges was this lead to more team diversity.  Instead of waiting for or overloading someone, a project manager could look across the organization for people matching a particular skillset.  We ended up with badges for LEAN (1-3), Excel (1-3), SQL (1-2), Word (1-2), PowerPoint (1-2), Web Dev (1-3), and several others.

Levels – When it comes to levels, or “Leveling up”, it can be a bit tricky.  For one, it’s important to align your long term company goals with the levels.  In one example I had, we had project teams consisting of various individuals.  At the completion of the project, everyone was instructed to write a lessons learned and rate the project and each member (1-5 scale, 5 best).  After three projects with a score of 4 or more, the individual leveled up.  It then took 8 project for level 3, 15 for level 4, etc.  This scenario worked pretty well but took some bumps and bruises along the way.  For example, the higher the level usually meant the individual was put on a larger, better project.  Unfortunately new hires were put on smaller projects with presumably less experienced and lower rated people.  In the end, we approached this by having the more experienced mentor the newer people and project managers were encouraged to have the higher level people split time on projects in a more advisory capacity.

Competition – Some people are competitive and some could care less.  I tend to avoid focusing on the competitive aspect.  I like the idea of creating an atmosphere to where everyone is competing against themselves with their own personal goals.  With that said, I do like to show how a person stacks up against everyone else.  My advice, stack ranking is ok but be subtle.

Points – Points are cool and can be doubly useful.  In my experience, I allow everyone a weekly bucket of points, let’s say ten.  When someone helps you with something, you can reward them with points.  The great thing about points being used this way is that it allows me to see who’s helping who and who needs help.  Points somewhat became their own economy in that people would give more points for things handled in a faster fashion.  We also gave rewards for people and their point accumulation during each quarter.  These went beyond the IT borders and really created a fun environment with random rewards.


These are great examples, but my organization does not work this way…

Slow and steady wins the race.  If you stick to the core that this is information which improves people’s productivity, you can make subtle inroads.  I would avoid jumping all the way in with each element of gamification.  Instead start by creating visibility and then choose something that will naturally fit into the organization.  If feedback is positive, talk to everyone about options and see if anything resonates.  You may be surprised to find people get excited about the community aspect you’ll instill.


How does CRM 2013 fit into Gamification?

CRM 2013 has all of the basics to get you going.  Entities are easily configured to add in the functionality you desire and defaulting users to the gamification dashboard is great place to start.  Not only will you improve productivity within the organization, but user adoption for CRM 2013 will also blossom.  Leverage the xRM functionality CRM provides and get your organization gaming on CRM 2013!

I hope you enjoy 🙂

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About Paul Way

Born and raised in Greenville, SC. I'm a coder to the core. The only thing I love more than coding is my family and your epic comments.

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