August 5, 2015
Earlier this week, Microsoft announced the acquisition of Austin, TX-based Incent Games, the developers of a “sales gamification” platform called FantasySalesTeam (FST), with the intent of adding the gamification of sales into its customer relationship management (CRM) software. Gamification refers to incentivizing sales teams to improve performance through running contests similar to those found in fantasy sports games.
Bob Stutz, corporate vice president at Microsoft Dynamics CRM, said that the company will integrate FST into Dynamics CRM and consider its use in other Microsoft products. “With Microsoft’s focus on productivity and our obsession with customer success, this acquisition is a great fit. To help drive adoption of our CRM solutions in fun and creative ways, we are integrating FST into our offering,” he wrote on the Microsoft blog. “In the coming months, we will integrate and offer this service to our customers and will continue to support customers using FST with other CRM [products]. The potential of applying this feature beyond the sales scenario to other fields and areas in a business is exciting as well.”
Adam Hollander, chief executive of FST, welcomed the acquisition and its potential to help the gamification platform reach a larger audience. “As part of the Microsoft team, I can’t wait to help write the next chapter for FST. Today our product is used by thousands and soon it will be available to millions,” he said.
FST runs as a web, iOS, and Android app, and allows a company to define sales metrics and assign sales representatives with ‘player positions’ based on current performance and create a scoring method by which performance can be tracked and rewarded. Sales representatives can use the game to create their own virtual sales team, much like in fantasy football, and use it to compete against other. Sales teams often receive incentives to boost performance, but Incent Games claims that gamification tools like FST keep sales representatives more engaged with incentives programs as the top performers do not always win by default. Furthermore, gamification platforms can better collect sales performance data without adding additional layers of operational software and services. Any institution running this would need to prioritize membership management software.