Inevitably, the employees of Servier Pharma are more productive: the applications are more intuitive, the operation requires less time, the information is consolidated on a single device and marketing materials are available immediately. When one has to deliver 10-12 presentations a day, these facilities surely make you more efficient.”
Laurențiu Bogdan, IT Manager Servier Pharma
An international Gallup survey, conducted as a result of a sociological research conducted in 2011 and 2012 in more than 140 countries, shows that only 13% of employees are truly engaged in their work, 63% of them are disinterested and unmotivated to undertake any extra effort, while 24% are actively disinterested, unhappy and unproductive. In this context, the development of innovative programs to attract as many as possible followers into the category of employees who come to work with pleasure, is a concern and at the same time, a challenge for large companies. Could the introduction of the gamification concept into employee’s daily activity represent a solution to this intercession’s success?
Servier Pharma is the largest independent French pharmaceutical group with a presence in 140 countries and a turnover of over 3.6 billion euro. The company operates in Romania since 1996 and exclusively promotes its own drugs. According to the revenues, Servier Pharma ranks second among the pharmaceutical companies, its work relying on a team of over 300 employees, of which 200 medical representatives, distributed nationwide in major cities.
In 2013, Servier Pharma was included in the "Top 50 best performing companies in Romania" conducted by BIZ magazine.
Although employees’ engagement at Servier Pharma is not representative for the Gallup survey, as the survey’s results in the company are well above its conclusions at extended level, the pharmaceutical group is constantly concerned with motivating and increasing employees’ engagement in daily activities.
This is one of the reasons why Servier Pharma has developed, for the first time in Romania, a Gamification solution involving native CRM concepts.
The 200 medical representatives of Servier Pharma Romania have the responsibility to identify new customers, promote and sell company’s products and manage the relationship with present customers.
Their work involves a lot of field work, the daily average of 12 clients visited does not allow too much time for reporting the qualitative and quantitative information collected. Until two months ago, although the entire team was equipped with laptops and had access to a CRM solution for entering data collected in the field, there was a major lack of interest in using it. On the one hand, employees claimed the CRM solution had an unfriendly interface, on the other hand the weight of the laptop was an inconvenience that lead them to postpone the data input until they reached the office. As they were not introduced immediately after being obtained, much of the data was diluted or lost.
Under these circumstances, Servier Pharma sought new ways to motivate the sales team, relying on the fact that results are much better when people are interested and doing their job with pleasure than when coerced or forced.
„Even if 100% of the people completed their data in the CRM, that does not mean they did it with pleasure or had the mood to report. There was a risk, unproven, that people entered data randomly. I strongly believe that it is much easier to motivate people to do things better than to compel them. Therefore, we aimed at developing an attractive solution for the people to enter data with joy and be interested to use it once they have the opportunity," says Laurentiu Bogdan, IT Manager Servier Pharma.
The solution was to create a new interface for the CRM solution, which included gamification aspects. The project’s objective was to increase the percentage of usage by medical representatives for reporting activity (presence at events, trials, presentations in pharmacies, stock evidence of samples for pharmacies, recording data collected from clients during visits, etc.), and to generate behavior modification on the fulfillment of certain tasks.
The concept of gamification was discovered by Servier Pharma in the fall of 2012, with the participation at the Gartner International Conference. In December the project was already crystallized in company's IT department, and during the next three months all department heads were involved in order to understand the benefits of such a solutions and to sketch a technical specification to better and more complete cover the need.
As the concept of gamification is very new for both Servier, and for the Romanian market, the company sought a software developer open to challenge. „Fortunately, we found in TotalSoft specialists equally interested in the concept as we were, and we completed each other extremely well", says Laurentiu Bogdan.
The requirements for TotalSoft were to implement a solution that was based on the principle of virtual rewards for entering data into the application. The solution works on tablets with Windows 8 and creates a facile and interesting environment to users. A "Slot Machine" game was created, in which each medical representative is rewarded with points, medals and cups for the achievement, under certain circumstances, of tasks for which Servier seeks improvement or a change in the way they are performed. For example, if the user (medical representative) reports a visit to a client the day it was carried out, and five days later, he will accumulate points which, at a time, can be turned into gambling chips. Like with any game, accumulating a large number of points positions one among leaders and provides advantages.
The Slot Machine game lasts a year, and to keep users’ interest level high, it is peppered with short-term games, designed to solve punctual business needs or those driven by specific projects. Basically, for the improvement of any information in the database, a short-term game can be created, so that information can be easier, faster and more accurately obtained, without generating users’ perception of an undesired extra effort.
The position of each player is transparent; points earned, medals and rank won are visible on his account and keep competition alive. Generally, the gain is represented by a motivational message, not by a material reward, the goal being to attract users into playing for the game’s sake and not for some bonuses.
„The application has been at work for almost 2 months and results are already visible. Sales representatives perform activities they have not done before in the classical CRM solution, or accomplish them better than they did before. Within just 1 month from starting to use the application we have gathered the largest data volume of the past 10 years” states Laurențiu Bogdan, IT Manager Servier Pharma.
The solution is managed internally by a CRM Officer who, along with sales managers, identifies customer database issues that must be improved and launch new games designed to straighten things. This is actually the most important current challenge, keeping the game interesting by introducing elements meant to maintain the interest high. Sales people are people of action and constantly need new challenges.
- Improved reporting of the daily visits to clients „If prior the daily visits were being reported late, and without entering into too much detail, now 60-70% of agents report as expected, in the day of visits and the level of detail desired by managers” states Laurențiu Bogdan.
- The volume of information collected and of details on customers increased significantly. „ There are fields in the application for which the level of comments has increased from 100-200 per month to tens of thousands of comments per month. All this information is very valuable for the development of promotional programs, customer loyalty and communication with customers" says Laurentiu Bogdan.
- The visibility of each agent has increased and at the same time a transparent path for feedback has been opened. As the rankings are public, the competitiveness of the participants in the game is driven, as everyone strives to obtain the best image possible. „Just by the fact that the degree achieved by each employee (lieutenant, colonel or general) is visible, we have created the opportunity of collective appreciation and given people the opportunity to do the best they can for their image" believes Lawrence Bogdan.
- It is easier to obtain information on the customer base; "If we find that e-mail addresses are filled in small proportion, we create a game for 2 weeks by means of which the one who completes the most e-mails earns extra points. Thus, we can complete the customer database quickly with any information we need", appreciates Laurentiu Bogdan.
- Changing the way an activity carried out can be induced by means of the game, without people perceiving it as an obligation. For closing an activity in time, the user gets points, the same as for checking-in at a visit. At the end of the game, the seller with the most points receives a trophy.
- The involvement of the people increased; the ease of use of the gamification system and the mobility of the Windows 8 tablets allow fast and easy reporting;
- The evaluation of medical representatives by the regional managers is no longer carried out on paper but on the tablet, which is faster and more efficient;
- There is a much better stock management due to obtaining information in real time, while optimizing sales activity;
- The easy management of the application, independent of TotalSoft, allows permanent “seasoning” of the game with various information, keeping users’ interest awake.
Case study revised in 2013.