How the Yankees used Gamification for Dynamics CRM user adoption

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When the Yankees deployed Dynamics CRM in 2011, they knew their biggest hurdle was going to be user adoption. Implementation of a CRM is often the easiest part within any organization, the real art lies in convincing your employees to utilize the system consistently. Microsoft notes that 42% of CRM project fail due to a user adoption problems. While many organizations turn to force (ie-log your sales numbers in CRM…or you will not be paid) the Yankees took a different approach to influencing user adoption that had a positive effect with their employees.

To address this important issue, management turned to a relatively new concept called “gamification” to encourage their employees to use the system. Gamification leverages individual’s natural desires for competition and reward for accomplishing a desired task.  The goal was to make using CRM fun. So when they deployed Dynamics CRM for their Ticket Sales Department, the first initiative was creating a “CRM Heroes” team. This team stood between the sales team and the services team to help uncover what was working and what wasn’t with the current state of their CRM. By the end of the first year, nearly a quarter of their sales team wanted to be a part of the program and provide input on how CRM could better serve their needs.

One of the biggest initiatives the team came up with was to set up a television on the sales room floor that flashed CRM dashboards for everyone to see. So progressively throughout the day, team members could see other team members growing opportunities and sales numbers. Not surprisingly, this action in a sales department increased the competitive nature of the team and everyone became more diligent about logging activities and sales numbers so that the entire office could see them moving up the leaderboard.  One team member came up with the idea of a “Hustle Board” award that rewarded the sales team members that hit certain marks, like weekly appointment totals.

Scott Jeffers, Manager CRM and Database Strategist for the Yankees stated, “We enter these goals per user and it helps us see how users are progressing against these goals….Sure you might not be a sports team, but whoever you are, if your goal is to have your users use CRM, you just want to make it fun.”

Many organizations fail to realize how important CRM adoption is to a successful implementation. It is important that your manangement team understands that implementing the right tools is only half the battle. By creating a creative and consistent path to user adoption, your firm can ensure CRM implementation is a success. 

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