Microsoft are committed to continually updating their products through new features and even whole new applications, especially within Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Last year, Microsoft acquired a number of businesses and we are now starting to see the results of these acquisitions being incorporated into their products.
For Microsoft Dynamics CRM, there have been two new service offerings that are in preview; one is FieldOne, a field service management solution, and the other is FantastySalesTeam. We want to have a look at FantastySalesTeam in this blog; what it does, its benefits and who would benefit from this new feature.
FantasySalesTeam (FST) was acquired by Microsoft in August 2015 and is a form of gamification software. This is where elements of games are applied to non-gaming situations; in this case, creating sales contests through fantasy leagues to increase sales, motivation and team engagement. Fantasy leagues are extremely popular in America, so it is a little American, but this is becoming more and more popular in the UK.
The FST preview for Microsoft Dynamics CRM was only released a couple of weeks ago and there is no clear date for general release yet. At the moment, FST preview is included as a Preferred Solution, which means that action is required by your CRM admin to activate it and it sits as a separate entity within CRM. Anyone with a Professional or Enterprise license can install and use the preview. There is currently no information about what will happen once it is out of preview – whether it will be included in a license type or come at an additional cost – however the preview is meant to be available until mid to late 2016, so you can use it freely now.
FantasySalesTeam is definitely aimed at businesses with a larger sales team, as you need to have enough Sales ‘players’ to make the game worthwhile. We would recommend about 10 or more sales staff but there are no restrictions so long as the sales members have Professional CRM licenses.
The value of using FST also depends on your current sales situation. It might not be worthwhile if you’re happy you have very strong sales and a happy, motivated and engaged team; but most companies would always be happy to improve these areas, so it could be worth taking advantage of now as it is at no extra cost to your CRM licenses.
Once FST is enabled for your CRM and you are all registered you can set up the games via the FST website (not in CRM). You will be welcomed with their ‘Playbook’ which is a set of comprehensive and easy to follow videos – these are brilliant and give simple step-by-step instructions, so anyone could set up the games without any training or technical knowledge.
To start, you need to import your players. This data is automatically pulled in from your CRM and you can filter based on what licenses users have. Only those with Professional licenses can be Players but anyone can be a ‘Fan’ (basically a spectator) – including people outside of your organisation! You can go on to assign roles, such as Sales Managers, Sales Assistants, or roles outside of Sales.
Next, you create your first game! Add the name (which can be changed later) and chose what type of game model you will have. Individual contests may be worth considering for a very small sales team, but the whole aim of FST is to encourage team-based competition, which has been proven to have the best results.
Game types (for fantasy teams only): Football, baseball, soccer, racing & basketball
Game Models: Fantasy Teams, Fixed Teams, No Teams & FSTTV (which just streams metrics on screens, contest or non-contest based)
You then create your metrics, which can be anything you choose. This is a huge advantage as you can create whatever metrics are most appropriate to your business: phone calls, revenue generated, opportunities won, meetings booked... anything. You assign points against your targets and can assign different targets to different roles; so number of calls against Telesales roles, customer satisfaction scores again Post-sales roles, etc, so that the metrics are appropriate to the roles and achievable.
Next you create your teams, which is based on what game model you chose in Step 1 and is a simple drag and drop process. If you’ve chosen to add fans, then you also add these.
Now you can pick your prizes! It’s great to think outside the box and to try and think of things that will be valued. For example: leave work an hour early one Friday, have lunch delivered to your desk for a week, anything! When finished, click Game setup.
Once this is done, you can go into Dynamics CRM and go to the FantasySalesTeam entity and your game will appear under ‘Games’. Click into the game and then map out the sales metrics to the correct field in CRM. The most popular automatically pull through but you can choose any within CRM and you can even create an Advanced Find – for example phone calls to companies with over 50 employees.
This now means all the metrics and results will automatically pulled through from CRM, so you can go back into the FST login and click ‘Activate’! This sends an email to all players and gets the game started….
The first time everyone starts using FantasySalesTeam, each person has to click a link in their welcome email to create an account to be able to view leader boards, points and profiles. This is what you will see when you log into the FantasySalesTeam site:
This is the welcome page, which has a feed for sharing comments, sending animations and receiving updates. From here you can navigate to your profile or to the leader-board, which looks like:
Resources: Other than the great Playbook videos, FST also provides kick-off templates, welcome emails and lots of useful resources, to make organising a sales contest as easy as possible.
FSTTV: FantasySalesTeam TV allows you to connect the leader boards to screens around your office. If you have a sales contest the results can be screened to keep competition high but you can also use it to show non-sales contest metrics, such as total number of calls per person.
Scheduled emails: You can send emails directly from FST or automate emails to send at scheduled dates and times. You can quickly embed results within the email, send tests and then send your emails easily to keep engagement high.
While I’m not a salesperson or really into fantasy leagues, I found this extremely fun to setup and try. The whole process was simple but very effective and this is still just in preview mode. I think FantasySalesTeam is a great addition to Microsoft Dynamics CRM – not just because its shows Microsoft’s commitment to keep adding new features and their progression; but because it is so easy to use and really will have a positive impact on your company’s sales.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM has great capabilities for all aspects of business now but we often forget that it was originally a sales tool. This addition to CRM will drive even better sales results as well as motivating teams. At the moment, Microsoft Dynamics CRM users can enjoy using this gamification software at no extra cost. Unfortunately, because there is no pricing information for when it comes out of preview, we do not know if it will be included or an extra cost. If it is included, then it’s an incredible value-add.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM users have been enjoying a large number of new updates and great improvements and Microsoft are continuing to acquire new businesses. We can’t wait to see what other future additions will be added. If you haven’t considered Microsoft Dynamics CRM, now is the time to start. It’s growing offerings makes it cost effective, powerful, scalable and what we believe to be the best CRM solution on the market.
If you would like to find out more information, see a demo or have a trial yourself, contact us today.