Jennifer Karpus-Romain

Bring the Benefits of Gamification to SugarCRM

Blog Post created by Jennifer Karpus-Romain on Jun 1, 2017

Humans love games. We challenge each other in countless sports, match wits in card and board games, and entertain ourselves with an endless variety of video games. From childhood to adulthood, and even into old age, games are universal part of the human experience across every culture.

With this in mind, it shouldn’t be surprising that game-like mechanics and design ideas have found their way into other settings, including business contexts. By incorporating game-like systems into non-game situations, it’s possible to make even boring and tedious tasks more “sticky” — more compelling and motivating, that is — to keep people engaged with the job at hand. Handled correctly, this “gamified” system can even steer specific behaviors.

Gamification can be found everywhere: Loyalty card programs, frequent flyer miles, social media check-ins, and even progress-tracking apps are all examples of customer-facing gamified business strategies. But what about a situation where gamification is used by a business to improve results internally?

A “gamified” CRM can be used to improve sales processes, drive employee performance, boost motivation and improve revenue. Check out Intelestream's gamification white paper for more information.

In the context of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, gamification uses similar game-like design concepts to create business processes that are also more “sticky.” This kind of gamification is nothing new — sales organizations have used contests and leaderboards for decades — but always in a piecemeal way.

That’s why we’ve created Splash, our gamified “motivation engine” for SugarCRM. It brings all those pieces together.

Splash is a fully integrated gamification platform, incorporating a variety of game-like mechanics to the day-to-day activities you’re already doing in SugarCRM. Splash’s seamless user experience makes these gamified elements feel intuitive, improving user engagement. There are three core elements to the system:

Improved User Adoption: This makes the platform more “sticky” to users, providing incentives for users to log in, explore the system, and master common tasks.

Engage Employees: Using rewards, challenges, competitions, rankings, achievements, and prizes, workers (or other users) become more engaged with specific tasks and goals.

Drive Measurable Results: By rewarding specific kinds of behaviors — from hitting specific goals to completing a set number of tasks — management can create strong incentives to improve KPIs.

How does Splash incentivize user behavior? Let’s take a look at a few examples:

  • Earning points, coins and levels by completing challenges
  • Gaining status and recognition through leaderboards and competitions
  • Unlocking achievement badges
  • Competing in contests, both as an individual and as teams

Coins are a good starting point to talk about Splash’s version of gamification. Every time a user completes a pre-determined “challenge” within the CRM, like “close 5 sales” or “create 10 user accounts,” the system rewards them with a set number of coins. These coins can then be traded for prizes — these can be virtually anything, from a $10 gift card to dinner with the CEO — giving users an incentive to complete even more challenges. Along the way, users steadily increase their skill and experience with CRM.

Leaderboards are another kind of competition-driven incentive. Some users might keep an eye on the leaderboard every day, and strive to climb their way to the top. Even those users who aren’t interested in fighting their way to the top of the leaderboard can be motivated by this system, as no one wants to be at the bottom. Other metrics, such as overall rank, ranking by month or year, and ranking within a team, encourage even moderately competitive workers to put in a little extra effort.

What about users who aren’t motivated by competition at all? Not all games are about winning or being the best. There are plenty of games where the goal is to explore, collect, build, or collaborate. People play games for all kinds of reasons, and a great gamification platform uses every motivational tool available.

This brings us to another key concept: Achievements. They work much like challenges, but are more targeted to a specific outcome or skillset. In a support setting, for instance, a challenge could be something like “close five open cases.” Once the user has completed that task, they unlock a badge — a virtual merit badge seen on their CRM user page — showcasing their accomplishment.

Achievements like this are a major part of modern video game design, providing the user with both a goal to work towards and a kind of bragging rights when badges are unlocked. For people who are more motivated by collection than competition, achievements and badges can provide a solid incentive.

In addition to being seamlessly integrated with SugarCRM, Splash is also fully compatible with Hoopla, allowing leaderboards and other information to be broadcast to a livestream. Few things are as motivating as knowing your ranking will be shown to the entire office throughout the day. The Hoopla integration provides yet another tool for driving user behavior, and getting people to do what needs to get done.

Splash also comes with an administration interface, where administrators can configure and customize anything about the system, setting details like the point thresholds for levels or the details of specific challenges. It even allows control over the game actions within Splash, allowing elements from custom modules to be incorporated into the system.

This is just a glimpse at the many powerful features Splash brings to SugarCRM. It’s a seamlessly integrated platform designed to dramatically boost user engagement, encourage improvement in KPIs, and protect the company’s CRM investment. And, if that wasn’t enough, it can also make the using the CRM itself just a little more fun.

Splash is now available for purchase from the SugarExchange.