E2.0 is characterized by the acceptance, adoption and application of the Social Media and Collaboration framework to foster engagement among employees with their partners and customers (and combinations thereof). Enterprise 3.0 is about Participation and will be realized with the application and deployment of game dynamics, also referred to as ‘Gamification’.
Driving Participation with Gamification
Gamification is not about ‘gaming’ and thereby establishing World of Warcraft-like Guilds and Avatars in the workplace. It could -- fingers crossed -- make work fun (the applications and processes we use); however, the intention is to integrate game dynamics into your website, business application, campaign, services and processes to drive greater participation.
For example, how often do you search for a contact or information in the CRM system only to find multiple instances of the same company, contacts who left years ago or at best, the right contact, but with outdated contact information? Or how often do you need input and feedback into the latest messaging, product design or sales proposal without issuing favors or some other form of incentive?
Gamification is about driving behavior and actions to achieve an intended outcome. Sales is a good example of how game mechanics can motivate behavior: reps are compensated for closing business, often incented through bonuses or spiffs to sell certain products/services and the top performers are often rewarded with an annual sales retreat, “Club” to celebrate their accomplishments.
While social and collaboration tools are at sales reps’ disposal to increase sales effectiveness, it has not landed with this group in a way that changes behavior in a truly meaningful way. Just check your CRM system for updated contacts, deal information, sales win/loss contributions or account plans.
From what I heard last week at the Forrester Technology Sales Enablement conference in San Francisco, this tends to be the extent of collaboration and social networking one frequently observes in a sales cycle:
Sales rep works on an opportunity by making some calls, collaborates with a few peers, does some online research and completes the sales proposal (and/or RFx) in collaboration with a few others. Once completed, he makes the pitch to the prospect, reaches an agreement, makes his commission and feels like a King.
How Gamification Works
What would happen if we applied a game layer to this scenario? First, a quick look at Gamification and how it works. Game mechanics include:
- Earning Points
- Winning Challenges
- Levels -- or “leveling up”
How Gamification Transforms the Sales Process
By applying game dynamics, here’s a more detailed view of how the sales process -- support, education, enablement could be transformed.
From Engagement to Participation
To increase the participation of users, gamifying processes and associated applications to capitalize on basic motivations can drive behavior and results. This evolution from Engagement to Participation -- the Enterprise Collaboration, even Enterprise 3.0 world -- will see the Social infrastructure leveraged to drive outcomes by applying a game layer.
This transformation obviously requires new thinking and approaches to User Experience and overall design, but the reward of doing so could have significant benefits.
Editor's note: Additional articles on Gamification include: