Microsoft to Gamify Dynamics CRM With FantasySalesTeam Buy

Sales contests are coming to Dynamics CRM, announces the software company after acquiring gamification software maker Incent Games.

Dynamics CRM

Microsoft is looking to add some fun and games to its Dynamics CRM portfolio after acquiring Incent Games, the Austin, Texas-based maker of FantasySalesTeam.

Bob Stutz, corporate vice president of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, described FantasySalesTeam as a "sales gamification platform that's helped hundreds of companies boost sales productivity, drive revenue and improve CRM adoption through collaboration and team based competition," in an Aug. 3 announcement regarding the deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Stutz revealed the Microsoft will be adding the technology to the company's customer relationship management (CRM) platform. "The benefits of this creative and popular feature will soon be available for our customers to help them incentivize their sales teams to new heights and better results."

FantasySalesTeam blends sales incentives with a popular office pastime, fantasy sports.

"Their platform is highly effective at increasing team collaboration, productivity and consequently driving greater results and business growth," Stutz said. "Through team-based competition and involvement of non-sales employees (such as managers, service, operations, marketing and finance) employees 'draft' teams and become truly invested in each other's success."

Team-building aside, the software makes it difficult to stay on the sidelines. "Individual and team results become highly visible, driving both competition as well as collaboration and creating positive, impactful cultural change," continued Stutz.

Some customers have reported measurable results, according to Stutz. Wireless Zone, a chain of cellular and mobile stores, has increased total sales by 176 percent and increased profit by 9 percent during the first month of running the software, according to the Stutz.

"As part of the Microsoft team, I can't wait to help write the next chapter for FantasySalesTeam," remarked Adam Hollander, CEO of Incent Games. "Today our product is used by thousands and soon it will be available to millions," he added.

In recent months, Microsoft has been bulking up its Dynamics CRM platform for sales and customer service organizations. In April, the company officially launched Microsoft Social Engagement based on social analytics technology from NetBreeze, another Microsoft acquisition. Last month, the company rolled out Azure Mobile Apps connector for Dynamics CRM Online to help organizations speed the development of Dynamics-based mobile apps.

Now the company is turning its attention to the "last mile" in helping businesses drum up more sales. "We believe that motivating users of Dynamics CRM to focus on their most important metrics while simultaneously increasing usage and adoption can help drive tremendous impact on our customer's success," Stutz said.

Although future versions of FantasySalesTeam will carry Microsoft's branding, it will continue to make the product available to customers using rival CRM platforms. In the meantime, the software giant is investigating how to apply the gamification technology to other business software types.

"The potential of applying this feature beyond the sales scenario to other fields and areas within a business is exciting as well," Stutz said. "We will evaluate these other scenarios closely as we integrate and evolve FantasySalesTeam into the Dynamics ecosystem."

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...