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BunchBall Makes CRM More Fun

When we had the chief scientist of Salesforce.com JP Rangaswami at our 2Way conference in New York earlier this summer, he spoke about how the gamification of apps will change the nature of work. And at the annual Dreamforce conference next week in San Francisco, you can see this happening with two of the finalists for their Appquest competition. Both IActionable’s Engage and Bunchball’s Nitro for Salesforce are work-orieneted games based on the Force.com platform.

The idea isn’t to make work time into playtime, but add the kinds of things that we are used to in the gaming world in our everyday work lives. I got an advance look at Nitro and it is intriguing, and you can see a typical profile page here.

Nitro uses a way to encode the Foursquare-style badges and point tallies in a sales team context, to reward them for closing deals and satisfying customers. As an example, you can set things up with Nitro so that ever closed sale will give the salesperson 500 points. Each person can examine their point total and what rewards others have received. Nitro will embed a progress bar and summary widget showing you your real time rankings and team standings, and featured challenges. It is integrated into the Salesforce Twitter-like Chatter tool, sending out notifications to your news feed when you earn certain points or pass particular eward levels. There is a rich collection of rules under the hood, as you can see here.
And as a sign that they are serious, corporate merit program operator Maritz is now reselling their platform for their own employee recognition programs.

The idea is not just to have fun at work, but to also reinforce behaviors that you want your sales team to abide by. You can set up regional or workgroup competitions among teams. The Nitro app has plenty of default settings to make it easier to set up new challenges and contests, and you can adjust these to make the rules and various actions meet your requirements. The app will cost $10 per user per month. It will be available at the end of September, pending review for the Salesforce app store. You can watch a short video here.

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