Gamifying the gamification industry

This is a guest post by two of the Gamification Gurus, Pete Jenkins and Vasilis Gkogkidis, describing how Rise is being used to motivate gamification professionals to be more active on social media.

Introduction

Recently the Success Tracking University was launched by Toby Beresford (https://successtracking.teachable.com/blog/962609/launching).

When we read about it we immediately wanted to help spread the word by sharing some of our experiences with numerical feedback and how it can change behaviour. We have used numerical feedback as a tool to motivate users in a lot of projects we have designed or part of as it can be a quite powerful tool if used right.

In this blog post, we will talk about how Rise, a company that Toby Beresford founded, engages and motivates gamification professionals to be more active on social media. The aim of this case study is to have a look at how numerical feedback made us feel as users and changed our behaviour.

One way to use Rise is as a tool to make a leader board and keep track of how well players are doing on their social media and online presence.

The leader board we participate in is called Gamification Gurus Power 100 (https://www.rise.global/gurus) and monitors how well participants are doing on their social media. The metrics include Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn interaction with the audience as well how many blog posts you uploaded for the month.

We will start by explaining how leader boards work as a game mechanic and what effect they have on the players and on audiences watching the players. Then we will list the goals behind this leader board and how it promotes the gamification industry.

How do leader boards work

The sole purpose of leader boards is to introduce competition among the players. Let’s take a sport like Tennis as an example. Let’s have a look at the Men’s Singles leader board for 2017.

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Table 1: Source: http://www.espn.com/tennis/rankings

We need to keep in mind again that a leader board works on three levels:

  1. it helps the designer of the system to reach the goals of the project,
  2. it motivates and rewards players and;
  3. engages and informs the audience that follows the sport and the leader board.

Let’s break this leader board down and analyse it to see how it works on each of these levels. Going from left to right, the first thing we see is the rank of the players and their name. It may seem obvious but it’s important to have numbers indicating the ranking every player occupies on the leader board. Being number one is a matter of status, I want to see the number 1 next to my name if I am first on the leader board. The same goes for the audience, they want to know who is the best at their favourite sport. By giving this information first the designer of the leader board awards status to the players and informs the audience about who is the best at what they are interested in.

Next element of this leader board is a list of flags indicating where each player comes from and which country they represent. The designer here wants to remind us that Tennis is a sport that people play all over the world. It’s not a national but rather an international phenomenon and each player represents his or her country. Players feel proud to represent their country of course and audiences from these countries are proud to see their flag up there on the leader board.

Third element is the movement of players and how many places they went up or down the leader board. This element shows the progress of players in time. Maybe I was third last month but now I managed to climb to number one or two. It’s important to show how stable player’s performance is. The best players always perform well over a long period of time.

Finally, we have points! Points are rewarded to players for playing the game. The better they play, the more points they get and they perform better than their competitors. This is the element that determines the ranking in every leader board. This is the numerical feedback we have been talking about. Points can be very useful because we can quantify performances based on them. You can see how many wins each player made throughout the year and how many times he lost.

What does the Gamification Gurus Power 100 achieve?

Let’s have a look now at how numerical feedback helps the gamification industry grow by changing behaviours.

A leader board that rewards people to share good content online related to gamification works on three levels as well. First, we have the designer (Toby Beresford in our case) that wants to motivate gamification professionals to share content regularly to grow the industry and create a buzz around it and around Rise, which is his product and he wants to demonstrate its usefulness.

Then we have the players, the gamification professionals that their reward is status that helps them boost their profile in the gamification community. I also think that getting credit from your peers when you share something useful is very motivating. The same goes for some of the conversations that start online and the information you may get on a new project you didn’t know about.

We can’t forget the audience of course. People that want to know more about gamification and they can have a look at the leader board to know who to ask for some information and knowledge on gamification.

Getting numerical feedback from this leader board has really changed the way we think about our social media. We all know that it’s very good to promote good content on social media and have active profiles that help you promote your work.

Participating in the Gamification Gurus leader board though, has really changed the way we use social media. We now feel that we get something extra for being active and for creating engaging content.

As we mentioned earlier, points can really help you analyse a performance and see what you need to improve and of course how well other people are doing on the same thing. Curiosity is in all of us and can motivate us to participate in something to see how good we are compared to other people.

We hope you enjoyed our small case study, if you want to know more about us please have a look at https://gamificationplus.uk/ and find us on Twitter: @petejenkins and @v_gkogkidis

PS. Editor’s note: you might be interested to see that Pete has increased his score from 24 this time last year to 73 (out of 100) on the Gamification Gurus, and Vasilis has increased his from 31 to 65:

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Pete Jenkins Gamification Gurus Score. Source: https://www.rise.global/gurus/p/2249879
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Vasilis Gkogkidis Gamification Guru Score. Source: https://www.rise.global/gurus/p/5916048/r/2526853

How one realty client uses leaderboards to track success across their business

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This is an interview with Kevin Welch on how he uses Rise boards to motivate seller behaviour in his direct reports.

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Hi Kevin, great to meet you, tell us a little bit about your role and what you do?

Hi, Toby, it is a pleasure to meet you as well. I am the Inside Sales Manager here at the Keri Shull Team – Optime Realty. I manage a team of 4 that acts as our calling team with a primary responsibility to book appointments for our outside sales agents. Along with managing them, I am responsible for database management, tracking and accountability which is why I became interested in Rise.

How are you using Rise right now? i.e. whose success are you tracking?

I am using rise to track different leaderboards for different departments in our company. We are tracking buyer ratified contracts board, seller ratified contracts board, an Inside Sales appointment total board, and then we created a greatness tracker board that combines a few different activities we feel contribute to success.

What are your players aiming to achieve with Rise?

Our players are aiming to be at the top of their respective boards.

Have you noted any successes so far?

It has created healthy competition because the agents don’t want to be at the bottom and they are all striving for the top of the list.

How do you share the scores each time you update your board?

Every time I update the boards, I screenshot the board and paste the image into a powerpoint to present weekly in our team meetings.

Excellent, thanks Kevin, we look forward to hearing how your teams go from strength to strength!

How one Rise client is increasing inside sales by tracking seller personal brand development online

Persuading sellers to change their behaviour is hard.

In the classic book on change “Who Moved My Cheese?” two mice have been trained to get their daily cheese from a certain point in a labyrinth. When the cheese then runs out the two mice behave differently – one keeps coming back to the same place, hoping the cheese will return, the other sets out for pastures new, ultimately to find a new source of cheese elsewhere in the labyrinth.

We human behave in much the same way when change comes our way.

For sales professionals, the “cheese” is where we get our next order from. For inside sales reps, sitting at a desk somewhere in the company office, it is all too easy to sit back and wait for the cheese to come to you – inbound sales calls and repeat orders all require no effort on the part of the rep.

However when it comes to selling to other businesses (B2B) the times they are a changing.

Just take a look at these stats:

  • 90% of B2B customer buying decisions start online (Forrester)
  • 75% of B2B buyers use social media to research vendors (IDC)
  • 57% of the buyer’s journey takes place before a sales professional is involved. (CEB)

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If these trends continue, pretty soon that ringing phone with potential new orders is going to dry up. Unless the sales rep is found on digital, they will never get that all important call.

This has led many organisations, including one large tech company that uses Rise, to provide re-skilling opportunities for their sales reps. Reps can be trained in creating a findable personal brand online, engaging an audience and then being found when a new purchase is imminent.

But training is only half the battle.

What really matters is what happens back at the desk during the daily 9 to 5. Are reps putting into practice the new skills they’ve been taught? Are they becoming power users of the tools provided by the business?

It is here that success tracking comes in. Our client is using Rise to provide a tracking score for each rep across a number of behaviours and tools. Each week the rep receives their personal score and a breakdown of how they scored it across different categories. The rep can drill down further and understand what activities they’ve managed to do this week, and which ones have regressed. Insights are provided into the metrics alerting them with, for example, declining behaviour 3 weeks in a row or celebrating a personal best.

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Sellers get a weekly personal score tracking on digital behaviours and sales tool use that contribute to online selling success. This means training can continue with automated coaching outside the classroom.

Activity and engagement is tracked in this way across multiple systems including internal CRM & seller tools, and external social media such as Twitter, Slideshare, Linkedin and blogs,

To drive further engagement with the program sellers can see the top 5 worldwide scores and top 5 for their region. This gives them a clear benchmark to aim for when trying to optimise their behaviour.

The key to the success of this program, now 3 years old, has been seeing the increase in desired behaviours across the whole seller population. For example, reps have on average increased their number of Linkedin connections by 83 each.

If you’d like to discover more or discuss, how you can run a success tracking program for your reps and partners who are making the transition to digital selling, then get in touch via the @risedotglobal Twitter account.

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7 ways to train for your dream job – lessons learned.

7 ways to Train for dream jobCareer development isn’t something most of us do very well. Our horizons are all too often limited to the career progression offered by our current organisation, our bosses job or perhaps a dreamy, unfocused vision of turning our hobby into a day job.

Even in well run organisations, career progression is only properly discussed in an annual performance review and tends to be narrowly focused on roles within the current business unit. Of course this makes sense, there are few rewards for HR and managers who “outplace” cost effective and high performing staff!

However in the digital age, employees no longer need to accept the status quo. Just a mouse click away are the informal learning resources and opportunities for us to take our career in a new direction – we just need the guts to try.

In this post I want to talk about the journey of Andrzej Marczewski who in 2011 set out on a journey to leave his job as an intranet manager to become a leading gamification consultant. It took him 5 years but he eventually achieved his dream job!

To do so he used a number of informal learning methods, not provided by his then employer, that brought him success. We can learn from the route he took.

In his own words, the tools he used were:

Social Media

“Social media was the key to getting really going as it gave me access to people who had the same interests as me and could point me in the direction of what to read to learn more – as well as being willing to teach me directly. If social media didn’t exist, there would have been no chance at all for my work to get me noticed.”

Books and Papers

“I read up on game design, with books such as The Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell and A Theory of Fun from Raph Koster. I researched the psychology of rewards from papers by the likes of Deci and Ryan, but also from more “pop” books like Nudge and Drive.”

MOOC Courses

“Kevin Werbach released his Coursera MOOC course on gamification. I wish this had been around in 2011 as it was a great way to validate a lot of what I had been doing.”

Blogging

“I started to write about my version of gamification and my views… I continued to research and produce content on a weekly basis and just kept gaining traction.”

Meetups

“I went to meetups and events about gamification as often as I could and eventually started to speak at them. I remember my first Gamifiers Meetup talk with abject horror. I spoke at conferences such as the Gamification World Congress which helped with exposure greatly. ”

Success Tracking

“By 2012 I was getting fairly established, I had started to be a regular in the Gamification Gurus top 10. I have to give credit to being on the Gurus leaderboard as well, for better or worse it provided good exposure over the years!”

Moonlighting

“I did a little bit of gamification consultancy on the side, but it was not until 2016 that I finally broke into gamification as a career – 5 years after I started making a move on the industry!”

So those are the some great lessons learned!

For me, the most interesting aspect was how Andrzej used the Gamification Gurus Rise board to track his social media success. The board tracks his blogging activity, engagement with his twitter content and the reach of his talks using Slideshare. By optimising all three of these metrics, over time Andrzej was able to reach the top 10 and improve his online social presence. Having such a strong online presence in the sector was a big benefit to his prospective employers looking to offer expert advice to their clients. Success Tracking in action!

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Andrzej Marczewski is now a Senior Solution Consultant focused on gamification at Motivait and continues to blog at www.gamified.uk.

Healthcare firm uses Rise team leaderboards to motivate 230 reps across USA

Creating a sophisticated division and team leaderboard structure on Rise is simple thanks to Rise’s Teams feature.

One Rise customer, a Learning Technology director within a large healthcare company, used Rise to track and enter scores for over 230 sales reps across the USA.

Each rep was part of a local team (Charlotte, Detroit, Chicago etc) and team scores were summarised in regional divisions such as “South East” and “Mid-West”.

The points methodology tracked 8 metrics (aka Scoring Algorithm) for each rep. The consolidation of points for each team meant that each rep’s activity contributed to the performance of their team, whether great or small.

The main leaderboard shown to reps was their division board. That got everyone focused on their team score and rank rather than individual scores.

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The Mid West Division leaderboard showed summary scores for the 4 teams in this division

Individual scores within each team were either totalled up (for some metrics) or averaged out (for other metrics) depending on the number of sellers in the team.

For those wanting to know more it was possible to drill down into the team scores to discover the contributions of each individual seller.

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Drilling down on an individual team allowed reps to see how they were contributing to the performance of the team as a whole

The results were then shown on a big screen monitor at the annual sales conference for the organisation.

As long as they were using the same score algorithm for each rep and team, Rise’s team feature made it easy to automate the production of division and team leaderboards. Then Rise’s distribution features – TV leaderboard, web widget, email and social media posting – helped spread the word about the sales contest.

Tracking her way to world number 1

michelleThis is a guest post by Michelle Sandford from MicroSoft telling the story of how she tracks her rank and score on her way to online success.

I’ve always loved Linkedin. As someone working in tech, the idea of a CV – a static piece of paper that is out of date the minute it’s printed, is somewhat distasteful to me. I imagine mine buried in a stack of 200 other such documents, all black and white, Times New Roman, similar template, similar details. Indistinct.

But Linkedin was never like that, even from the start you could put a photo on it – which added some colour and personalised it. But now – it is so much more than a live résumé.

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It’s the Articles that I love most. It used to be that you had to be someone famous to write Articles on Linkedin. You had to be “An Influencer” already. But now – anyone can do it, and I believe it is the articles more than anything else that have been building my Tribe.

In the beginning, I was a bit timid – afraid that people would read what I wrote and judge it unworthy. Now I realise that was foolish, because of course, when you start writing Articles no-one is reading them. But once you get into a habit, and are writing them once a month, or even better, once a week – you will start to build a following.

The other thing that I do, is I don’t try to come across as some mighty intellectual. I do not fill my articles with language designed to make myself sound smarter than those around me. I talk as I do in real life. I think many people find my manner child-like and somewhat endearing. But I know the simplicity of my language is what adds value to my blogs. Anyone can read what I write and understand it, it makes sense to them in the context of their lives. I’m not trying to be a “Thought Leader” by demonstrating my superiority to anyone. I am trying to make sense of all the crazy data and help the people around me through it.

Recently the guy who runs the Microsoft Social Selling Program told me that I was the number 1 Microsoft Social Seller in Australia and Number 3 in the world. He said with a tiny bit more engagement – commenting on other people’s posts, a few more connections – and I could become the Number 1 in the World! Which is interesting because I do not work in Sales, or even in Marketing. But I have the widest reach! I had a look at my own personal hero – Mark Russinovich – and he has 3,777,043 Followers. I have 2,510 Followers. How is it possible that I have a higher Influencer Score? The answer I think is that he doesn’t write Articles on Linkedin!

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Now there are a lot of people who tell me that “Social media just isn’t my thing”, which I think is insane in this day and age. Social Media is free! I can engage with people across the world. I can build influence and connection while I sleep! There is a permanent record of my personal brand across the interwebs.

When I go to events or meet new customers – it is rare that someone hasn’t heard of me. Many of them will say “Wait, what is your surname? Hey, I Follow you on Linkedin!”. I do not need to establish credibility anymore, it’s been established in advance and I can go straight in to talking about more interesting stuff. It is a tremendous time saver. It’s a relationship accelerator. It’s a connector.

I am a little bit anxious in big crowds. I am afraid of using the telephone. I get imposter syndrome when introducing myself to executives. But I have built a Tribe on social media and they have my back. They make me strong. They make me credible. The world knows who I am without me having to “elevator-pitch” myself to everyone I meet. And it’s better. Way better. Why don’t you give it a try too?

Michelle Sandford is a Tedx Speaker, Tech Girl Superhero, Microsoftie and one of MCV’s 30 Most Influential Women in Games. She is the Vice Chair of the Australian Computer Society in Western Australia and she is currently the #2 Social Seller on Linkedin for Microsoft in the World! Follow her on Linkedin and on Twitter @msandfor and if you like video, check out her YouTube channel.

If you’d like to see your own social influence score head over to the Online Influencer Rise Board and sign up to join, each week you’ll receive an email with your score and rank as you track your own way to online success.

Rise can also be used to track and rank LinkedIn activity and SSI scores if your team have sales navigator licences, email us for more details.

 

Rise customer ClickMechanic shares their success story

It’s not often that you get a customer story told in a guest post like this. We’re thrilled with the ClickMechanic team’s Rise journey – this guest blog has been written by Simon Tinsley, Click Mechanic’s Digital Marketing Executive:

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Hi! We’re ClickMechanic, not only are we satisfied customers of Rise, but we’ve taken the success tracking philosophy of the effective use of data and targets and applied it throughout our company with great results. We’re so excited about sharing our story so it can help other growing businesses that we asked Rise to let us share our story on their blog and they kindly agreed.

Firstly, a little background, we’re an online marketplace for car repair, servicing and inspections with a nationwide network of mechanics. We’ve used Rise’s leader board to promote engagement on social channels amongst our mechanics and found that it provided a 23% uplift in sharing from our mechanics.

More striking has been the impact that applying targets carefully has had throughout our company. We noticed recently that a quarter of bookings placed never get assigned to a mechanic – meaning more unsatisfied customers and less revenue for us. Recently we introduced a number of initiatives that reduced the number of customers without a mechanic by 60%. So, how did we do it?

Firstly, we gave people responsibility for a particular area of customer service each day. This focus allowed our team to reduce the amount of time they spent switching tasks, and therefore reduced wasted time. Alongside this, it gave a sense of ownership and responsibility over that area for the day. Secondly, we made the key metrics visible to the whole team. Such that the team can see the results of their efforts. The immediate feedback has seen our net promoter score increase from 80 to 85.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we introduced targets for assigning bookings to the team. Here, we followed the key principle of ‘Count Fruit Not Leaves. Initially these were individual targets, though we found this provided faulty incentives. Team members on other tasks for the day would try to squeeze in assigning bookings to inflate their numbers and ‘win’ and neglect other tasks. With this in mind, we switched to a team target to encourage co-operation between the team. Not only have we seen the KPIs increase, but also we’ve had feedback that the team like having something to aim for and find it motivating.

We’ve also applied personal metrics to our development team. We work on a fortnightly sprint and plan our engineer’s time using ‘points’ to represent blocks of time. By doing so, we are better able to plan our development work and coordinate the rollout of new product features. Alongside this, it creates accountability within the development team – if tasks aren’t completed then the reasons why can be discussed transparently. Tracking this data allows for improving our estimation of how long projects take and can help us to identify if there are certain aspects of our process that consistently cause projects to run over.