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Bunchball launched a sales gamification app for Salesforce.com a year ago as a kind of interesting experiment in motivating a sales force through game-like incentives. Today, the company is unveiling a new version of its Nitro gamification platform for                                        Salesforce in order to make sales people into better, more motivated sellers.

Gamification is the use of game mechanics to increase engagement in nongame activities. It is as old as airline loyalty programs and as new as apps running on top of enterprise customer relationship management (CRM) software. The latter is more effective because it’s easier to collect data on behavior and motivate people to change what they do now. Speaking on a panel last night, Bunchball founder Rajat Paharia (pictured left) said, “I think that gamification is going to change the nature of work.”

The latest version of Bunchball’s Nitro helps get a gamification program up and running in a matter of minutes. But it’s also a tool that teams can customize to get sales teams more deeply engaged in high-value behavior. The core gamification product has to have some real intrinsic value or an activity that people find interesting to do. Bunchball is announcing the new Nitro at Salesforce.com’s Dreamforce 2012 conference in San Francisco this week.

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The new Nitro is one of 14 offerings to be featured in Salesforce.com’s redesigned AppExchange Social Enterprise Showcase. Nitro applies the dynamics of competition and achievement through the use of goal-setting, real-time feedback, competition, status, and recognition.

Joe Fisher, the vice president of new products at Bunchball, said in an interview with GamesBeat that the new release of Nitro is easier to set up. It also is more customizable, so the leaderboards of the top sales people reflect the activities that you want to motivate. For instance, companies can motivate salespeople to get more leads and turn more of those leads into sales, rather than simply measuring the end result of actual sales.

The software now has a “getting started” wizard to quickly gamify the Salesforce experience based on organization type, such as sales, tele-sales, inside sales, outside sales, or service.

Bunchball’s customers include Adobe, HP, Cisco, Warner Bros., Comcast, LiveOps, VMware, and Hasbro. Bunchball’s investors include Granite Ventures, Triangle Peak Partners, Northport Investments, and Correlation Ventures.

The latest version of Nitro for Salesforce will be available later this year via Salesforce.com’s AppExchange Social Enterprise Showcase. All Nitro Salesforce customer will automatically receive the new update as part of their subscription.

Christopher Anderson, the director of information technology at Schumacher Homes, said, “Gamification has proven to be a successful engagement strategy. We’ve seen how Bunchball’s solutions have transformed workforce processes into an effective approach to our business.”

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