By: Sarah Perez | TechCrunch.com
Microsoft announced this morning the acquisition of Austin, Texas-based Incent Games, the makers of a “sales gamification” platform called FantasySalesTeam. As the name implies, the company’s software allows sales organizations to run contests that are similar to those found in fantasy sports. Microsoft says today it will make this feature available to its own customers in order to help them incentivize their sales teams and achieve better results.
FantasySalesTeam’s clients have included names like HP, Siemens, Michelin, GuideOne Insurance, FSU Credit Union, Service Corporations International, Bayada, Comcast, Wireless Zone, UPack, AllOverMedia, Lionbridge, IntraLinks, J.J. Keller & Associates and others.
The product allows organization to assign “player” positions to sales reps based on performance, and then award prizes associated with various outcomes tied to the company’s desired sales metrics and achievements as their “teams” score. These scores could be recorded in the business’s CRM system, through out-of-the box integrations with platforms like Salesforce.com and Microsoft Dynamics, for example.
Another Microsoft tie-in included the ability to use the platform independently of a CRM system and instead record scores directly in Excel worksheets.
FantasySalesTeam also allowed companies to draft non-sales employees to their teams, including managers, service, operations, marketing and finance staff, to increase company-wide collaboration.
Microsoft notes that its interest in the product had a lot to do with the results it was able to achieve, and cited a couple of case studies to prove that point. For instance, Service Corporation International piloted the software with 130 reps and compared their performance to 700 others. FanstasySalesTeam on average closed 88 percent more deals at 213 percent the average contract value, Microsoft says.