This is a discussion on the emergence of Gaming CRMs and how they will influence the nature, social identity and behavioral habits of sales...
How The Gaming CRM Space Will Change Customer Relationship Management (Forever)
Imagine a world where we knew exactly who the best salespeople are. In this world, we have access to stats, data, and insights into how they achieved this status in their industry. Moreover, in this imaginary world we are able to know this information based on comparing statistical data of the population. Better yet, what about a sales world that is built on performance driven competition? Not only would this world provide a CRM solution that allows sales reps to brand themselves based on their past and future performance, but would generate returns for their employers.
With accelerated growth in a booming CRM industry, you don't have to imagine that world — it's already here. But why should a company use a gaming CRM for their team instead of a traditional system? In this series, we'll explore the merits of a gaming CRM, who benefits from it, and how it works. We'll also explain why now is the time for you to get ahead and adapt a gaming Customer Relationship Management system.
Who benefits from a gaming CRM system?
SALES REPS – The Drivers Of All Organizations
With over 20 years of experience, I know a thing or two about sales. In my roles as a sales person, sales manager, and now founder and CEO of a CRM company. That being said, I would like to think that I am qualified to make the following statement:
Too many sales people are either indifferent to CRM systems or annoyed by them.
This creates a lack of usage of the company's CRM, which then leads to poor account management and reporting. A huge ripple effect for a company.
So, why are sales people responding this way even after getting paid? It's all about psychology.
People are motivated to do something properly if the benefits are clear and applicable to them. Using your CRM because it "benefits the company" isn't compelling or enticing enough. This results in a large percentage of sales reps not seeing how a CRM improves value to their sales performance.
The emergence of gaming CRMs shifts this paradigm by leveraging basic psychological triggers in a spirit similar to designers for PlayStation, Xbox and such. These designers have learned that people care about their public profiles and digital representations. Not only will people work hard to ensure that their profiles represent them properly, but they’ll spend extra money to do so. Let me give you an example of how Outfield accomplishes this through the “Player Card”.
Meet Eric. He's a real salesperson at Outfield. His Player Card is reminiscent of the baseball cards we all collected as kids (and adults). One side of the card features his profile photo, name, and overall Performance Efficiency Rating. On the flip side, his monthly stats and attributes are showcased.
Eric's online representation and brand is not only dependent on his sales performance, but also by how he interacts with his CRM. How he engages with his CRM encourages him to use his CRM properly — especially since it's tied to his digital personal brand. Keeping his scores up shows himself — and others — that he's thriving. This is an example of how we leverage behavioral psychology to drive proper habits.
The more Eric reinforces positive habits, the quality of his data in the system rises. He’s diligent around calendaring all his appointments and task reminders. His deal pipeline is accurate and up to date. Additionally, he’s more organized. As a result, he’s closes more opportunities and racks up bigger commission checks. By seeing the increasing data, sales reps can expect more recognition and potential for advanced career opportunities. Using a gaming CRM helps the sales rep create more thorough account management and record keeping to ensure productivity overall. All of these things sales managers will have an appreciation for.
Sales Managers – The Pillars of All Sales Organizations
From my experience, Sales Managers have the most to gain —and the most to lose — from the CRM they use for their teams. Every single one has the right intention — to capture data, to track pipelines, to have a better understanding of what their sales reps are doing. In the process, they can spend tens of thousands and, in many cases, well into the millions on sales enablement and CRM tools.
It isn’t until after the money has been spent and the new software has been implemented that managers realize they aren’t capturing the value they hoped for. In fact, according to the Miller Heiman Group, 43% of CRM customers use fewer than half of their CRM features. A company could be spending a million dollars a year and lose over 500k in value.
This is a major problem.
3 reasons why all sales managers should avoid getting stuck in a similar situation:
- It won’t sit well with their director — especially after the sales manager likely sold them on the value this project would bring to the organization.
- The salespeople aren’t motivated to use the system. Are you just going to fire them all for not using the system properly? Probably not. The result usually ends up being a waste of money and time laced with a bit of frustration and disappointment.
- Finally, if salespeople aren’t using the CRM platform properly, it’s not valuable to the manager. Account notation is subpar. Reporting isn’t worth much. As for the data — garbage in, garbage out.
There are tons of books on Game Theory at Amazon. Some are more theoretical, others are math focused. In your spare time, I suggest that you engage in both.
A quick way to think about Game Theory within this context is that it’s essentially the practice of producing a desired outcome based on a multitude of intersecting behaviors and variables for and against players. Or, in this case, your sales reps. As a manager, the main goal is to generate the desired outcomes from your sales team. The purpose of a Gaming CRM is to create a platform that produces the right results through the leveraging of emotional and psychological triggers.
Think about it: with the appropriate changes in sales rep behavior, managers can expect improved reporting, data entry, data output and less of their CRM budget going to waste. Imagine what power they will have with all this quality information at their disposal. Better information ultimately translates to better overall strategic decision making.
The Company – Steering The Main Ship To Productivity
The above benefits don’t just stop at value creation for the sales rep and his or her manager. They’ll impact the company’s overall sustainability. Let’s talk about a few scenarios. We’ll begin with company performance.
An organization’s performance is a reflection of all the individual components and variables that contribute to its output. Zig Ziglar famously quoted:
“You don’t build a business, you build people, then people build the business.”
In order for your team to build the business, they must be provided with the proper tools and knowledge. Once systems are properly adopted and the sales organization is equipped with the appropriate information, they now have the two most important foundations for success. Alternatively, many organizations either fail or negate reaching their potential when this is not the case.
With the emergence of the Gaming CRM space, the good news is there are solutions in place. Leveraging game theory and behavioral psychology is the key to driving proper utilization and adoption.
More importantly, after interviewing 100 sales managers, Outfield uncovered that 89% of sales managers found that introducing game mechanics to their sales strategy positively impacted sales numbers and revenue. 90% also stated that employee morale lifted as a result of employing game mechanics. To learn more about our findings, download our 50 page white paper: The Ultimate Guide to Gamifying Your Sales Team.
Aside from performance and morale, the biggest factor to consider is CRM adoption. You remember the statistic I mentioned by The Miller Heiman Group? Well, that’s a big deal! Imagine spending hundreds of thousands on a CRM system and only capturing 40% to 50% of its value. Not only is that a waste of money, but it’s a waste of time and other resources.
In addition to thinking about the budget misuse, consider the opportunity costs associated with the project. What else could your team have been spending time and resources on to generate value? As a business owner, I strongly resent wasted time. Especially after considering the alternative uses of time that could have generated positive output. I guess everything is 20/20 clear in hindsight. What I’m hoping to accomplish through this blog is to drive home the importance of avoiding these situations in the first place.
The beauty of emerging Gaming CRMs is that they offer tools that will reduce the number of scenarios mentioned above by simply playing on basic human psychology. Is it childish? Nope! Some of the best marketers in the world do this without you even being aware. Further, installing game mechanics into sales ops has been a thing that companies have been doing for years. Something as simple as a leaderboard in the sales office that lists names and sales rankings is an example. Gaming CRMs just take things up a couple of notches.
How The Gaming CRM Space Will Impact Industry As A Whole
If it’s done effectively, one of the byproducts of gamifying events is the resulting numbers that represent the outcomes of those events. Society refers to these numbers as statistics. As we know, stats are simply records of events. The operative word here is “records,” which indicate acts that are recorded into history. As we move more and more into the gamification of our society we’ll see more quantifying of persons, places, and things.
Within the context of our conversation, Gaming CRMs help quantify the sales person, their attributes, and the value they generate. These systems will be able to do this based on how they interact with the CRM. Let’s revisit the Player Card. You’ll notice that Outfield has listed four attribute categories (similar in spirit to Madden and NBA 2k): Hustle, Diligence, Preparation, and Leadership. Each category is built on an algorithm that includes variables reflecting how the sales person interacts with the CRM.
Over time, as the sample size grows, these numbers will become a more accurate digital representation of the sales person. This new reality will help sales managers coach better and more deliberately. Then, recruiters can source sales talent with more confidence. And of course, the sales person will have a better understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses. The best sales people will be in position to write their own ticket due to their proven track record.
Let’s look at this from a macro perspective. Transparency around a salesperson’s talents and value creation should lead to less uncertainty around his or her potential (and by extension that of the overall sales team). The best case scenario here is that the sales person and their manager have a better understanding of their abilities along with opportunities for growth. Ultimately, with the improvement in sales functioning, companies should run more efficiently.
As companies become more efficient, their costs per unit of revenue production should decrease, which means they are positioned to retain more earnings. More earnings lead to increased salaries, dividend payouts, hiring, the flow of money, and so on. These are all great things for the economy.
How do you see gaming CRMs influencing industry?
While you may be thinking that all this might be a simplistic view of how the emergence of the gaming CRM space will impact culture and society.
Consider different social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They've changed our lives and impacted culture and society. These startups, which in their infancy were underestimated, have impacted industry in a very big way.
Streamlined communication is the obvious, but more importantly is the marketing and business development potential these platforms are providing their user base. Not to mention the psychological influence they have on individuals. Everyone is taking pictures of everything. People will risk their lives to capture video footage. It’s gotten to the point where I dread taking pictures of women in public because they have to be “just right!”. So we end up taking 50 of them. All this because they care about their public profile and digital representation. You see where I’m getting at?
In the end, gaming CRMs are rendering to sales people what Instagram is to influencers – attention, recognition, notoriety, and a place to showcase their talents. So I’ll ask you again to consider how gaming CRMS will influence society when they reach maturity.
This is part-1 of a 3-part series where I discuss the emergence of the Gaming CRM and how it will influence Customer Relationship Manager, along with society at large. The next topic will be centered around social identity.
Outfield is a performance based CRM company that specializes in leveraging game theory and behavioral psychology to drive CRM adoption, motivation, and overall productivity among sales organizations. With customers in over 50 countries, Outfield’s gaming CRM helps teams work simpler, smarter, and more effectively. Becoming the world’s most highly adopted CRM is their mission, and their vision is to accomplish this by creating a platform that is aligned with the values of the up and coming generation of sales people.