Tuesday 4 August 2015

Microsoft Acquires Sales Contest Platform FantasySalesTeam, Will Integrate Into Dynamics CRM

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.
Wireless Zone, meanwhile, saw a 176 percent increase in total sales, 35 percent increase in specific product sales and a 9 percent increase in profit in the first month they ran FantasySalesTeam.
“With Microsoft’s focus on productivity and our obsession with customer success, this acquisition is a great fit. To help drive adoption of our CRM solutions in fun and creative ways, we are integrating FantasySalesTeam into our offering,” Bob Stutz ,Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Dynamics CRM said in a blog post. “We believe that motivating users of Dynamics CRM to focus on their most important metrics while simultaneously increasing usage and adoption can help drive tremendous impact on our customer’s success.”
Microsoft says FantasySalesTeam’s software will be integrated into its own Dynamics CRM platform, but it will continue to support those who are using it with other CRM solutions. And it said it will evaluate how to apply FantasySalesTeam’s feature set to other areas outside sales in the future.
Founded in 2012, FantasySalesTeam had raised $1.4 million in outside funding from investors including ATX Seed Ventures, Central Texas Angel Network, and Marvel Venture Partners, according to CrunchBase. This year it had closed on its Series A, which was $750,000 of that $1.4 million. Terms of the deal to Microsoft were not detailed.

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